One of the joys of being artist relations manager for Meinl USA/Canada, is being able to witness so much drumming. I think it goes without saying that I am around drummers all of the time. So obviously it goes without saying that I am listening to drumming all of the time. Having been in the drumming industry for 12 years now, I have heard A LOT of drummers...some great, and some that could use some work...
Having said all of that, I think that Meinl Cymbals has an incredible amount of drumming talent in our team of artists. All of our artists have dedicated their lives to their art, and ironically enough, with that dedication comes a large amount of time away from the drum set. That's largely due to the business end of being in the music business. Having to travel and all of the massive amount of time that travel consumes, as well as dealing with lawyers, managers, booking agents, online marketing (many of our artists are actively involved in this), photo shoots, band meetings, the list goes on and on...All of this can take a professional drummer away from his or her drum set. That means the amount of time that had been spent practicing prior to having made a career out of drumming is usually a thing of the past.
So it's a rare thing when I get to hear an artist have an actual noticeable improvement in his or her's drumming skills. That's not to say that most artists are stuck in a creative rut. Maybe their band's songs improve from album to album and that's the artistic climb that can be measured. But to hear a drummer actually getting better after having been consumed by day to day business for so long is a wonderful thing to see and hear.
Two days ago I attended a clinic in Nashville, TN hosted by Fork's Drum Closet. The clinician was Jason Bittner. I have to say that Jason has been growing by leaps and bounds. Hands down, I was floored by just how much he's progressed. Jason has always been a world class metal drummer. But last night his constant determination to up the ante with his drumming skills was evident more than ever.
Check out the link. Halfway through he really starts cookin'!