In episode 13 of the UK Drummer Podcast I talk with the one and only Kaz Rodriguez. In addition to a list of playing credits to his name that include Jesse Ware and Cirque Du Soleil, Kaz also composes drum play alongs that have been used by some of the worlds best drummers, including Aaron Spears, Chris Coleman and Tony Royster Jnr. To listen head to www.soundcloud.com/ukdrummerpodcast/episode-13-kaz-rodriguez
In Episode 12 – I speak with Sigma MD/drummer, Paul Jones. We talk about everything from how to get gigs to Paul’s interest in fusing electric and acoustic drums together to create his unique sound. For more info please visit –
Some Random Thoughts – March Blog 2016.
I thought I’d get a bit more personal with this months blog by sharing a few things that I’ve learned in my life/career so far. These are the gems that I feel apply to being a musician particularly well. So I hope that they are of some use to you all. Here goes…
1. Unfortunately, you really can’t (and won’t) please everyone, and trying to do so usually backfires.
2. If people can’t accept you for who you are, or don’t wanna be friends with you after you’ve made an effort to try to be, then you’re probably better off without them in your life.
3. Life can get pretty crazy sometimes, so if possible try to take a little time to do the things that make you happy – even if it’s just for a few minutes each day.
4. When in doubt, just go with it. Don’t try change situations that you have absolutely no control over (so unless you’re hurting yourself, or others in the process), just enjoy the moment. They’re not going to last forever.
5. Develop a hard skin. Successful people want to stay on top forever and might not always give you the turn that you might feel you deserve. Likewise, often people on their own way up might feel threatened or self entitled to something that you’re also after and hurtful things can be said or done that might discourage you along your journey, (who knows you might even be the one to say or do them). Regardless having a hard skin can help you shake the negativity off – especially within the entertainment industry.
6. Trust your gut !!! Pretty self explanatory really, but your instincts are usually correct.
7. Be nice to others, even if you think they’re unkind or inconsiderate towards you. You never know who’s help you might need one day, or who might need help from you.
8. Surround yourself with people who believe in you and help build you up. You’ll be amazed at what you can achieve by doing this, even if it means that you might have to hear the ‘cold’ occasional truth about yourself every once in a while.
9. Stop complaining all the time. Unfortunately, this is much harder than I’d like to admit, but negativity breeds negativity (you would’ve heard me say that on the UK Drummer Podcast a few times).
10. Don’t fake it – just make it… You don’t have to be a fake individual to survive in this world. As mentioned earlier, you’re probably make a couple frenemies along the way but being true to yourself is worth its weight in gold so don’t let anyone take that away from you.
Until next time, practise hard, work hard and I’ll see you around.
Warm Ups – April Blog 2015.
I’m one of those drummers that always preaches to up and coming drummers and students about how important warm up’s and stretches are, and how if they become part of ones everyday routine, they’ll become second nature and not even feel like extra work. I enjoy warming up and nowadays use it as a way to run through/practice various rudiments or ideas that I might not always use as much as others when I’m actually playing or performing. I find that as well as loosening up my muscles and preparing my body/joints physically, those few minutes by myself away from the rest of the band also allows me to prepare mentally and focus (or visualise) what I hope to achieve before actually getting on stage to do my gig.
The truth of the matter though is that up until about eight or nine years ago, I wasn’t really too bothered about warming up or stretching, I felt that it was a chore having to sit away from my fellow band members or friends that had come to the shows and to go and ‘warm up’ felt unsociable and rude. Plus, because I’ve always been pretty health conscious I guess I just took for granted that warming up was what the old guys did and because I didn’t (and still don’t) consider myself as an old guy, that I didn’t have to waste my time. So on the whole, warm up’s or stretches as an exercise was something I avoided for years and years.
The human body (amazing as it is) is also pretty funny and I noticed over the years that as one does age you definitely start to feel the side effects from serious injuries you might have had as a kid, or a fairly accident prone (let’s call it adventurous) teenager. For me personally, I started to notice a few issues in my right arm shortly after breaking my wrist and elbow in 2007 (never mind how I did it, that’s long enough for another blog).
The longer I drummed (in one given session) the more I started to notice that I’d get pins and needles all the way from my right wrist up to my shoulder, and although I could ignore the sensation it definitely raised some personal concern, especially as by that point I had decided that being a musician was what I wanted to do as my profession.
After seeing a physiotherapist for a few months and not seeing the results that I’d hoped for, I made the decision to attend a few appointments with a chiropractor. This turned out to be both a good and a bad thing as we managed to narrow down the problem that was affecting my arm and fix it however the issue seemed to have shifted from my arm to my lower back and right hip. Good times, ha ha.
So after losing patience (and a little hope) in others to try and rectify the issues I started to feel, I decided to rather start trying to strengthen my core, stretch out my muscles and nerves and put a small warm up routine together which I now do before I practice or perform. Here’s what I do:
For my core and general health I joined a gym. I have no aspirations to become a body builder or anything like that but I use the normal gym machinery and focus on exercises that can improve both my core and cardio. Besides helping with my above mentioned problem, my stamina level has also increased and I find that I don’t ever seem to get to fatigued while playing shows anymore. Obviously I understand that joining a gym isn’t for everyone and I’m not saying that it’s something that you should do I just like the atmosphere and find the drive I see from other gym goers energising. Plus, if gyms aren’t your scene, nothing stops you from going for a run, doing a few push up’s or simply coming up with your own thing to do at home
As far as the actual drum warm up’s, my personal routine involves playing some type of ostinato on my feet (for example – singles or doubles on a double pedal, or maybe a samba or songo patten) and then playing four or eight bar rudiment type drills at various tempos. I usually try to do this at least four to eight times completely before moving onto some exercises from something like George Lawrence Stones ‘Stick control book’. This of course is if I have the access to a drum kit, if I’m at a gig I usually just sit backstage (or anywhere I can) with a practice pad for my hands and the floor for my feet. I try do this for a minimum of ten to fifteen minutes before I actually perform.
The simple results I have seen (and felt) by adding a few stretches and the above mentioned steps have been amazing, and while I do still occasionally get irritation in my right hip I can only imagine how much worse the problem would be if I hadn’t adapted some kind of routine. Plus it makes perfect sense to warm up, doesn’t it? I mean drumming is a very primal and physical activity, so the better the blood flows and the muscles work, the easier it should be. You wouldn’t start your car and go on a long journey on a cold winters day without letting the engine run a little so why go in cold with your drumming?
Todd ‘Vinny’ Vinciguerra Interview by Travis Marc. 2015.
I first discovered Todd ‘Vinny’ Vinciguerra in 2013 while paging through a copy of Modern Drum Magazine, for which he had written some double bass building working outs that I thought were completely unique. I decided to do some research and was happy to discover that Todd was quite an in demand player as well as an established drum author. I decided to make contact to see if he’d do an interview with us, and he said yes, here’s what he had to say.