(Claps) Dude, that was insane. – Thank you very much, thank you. – That was amazing. Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Mark Giuliana, on Drummed. Thank you. – Yes, a very happy tube here, thank you. – Yeah, thank you for coming.- My pleasure. – You were one of the most requested drummers to have into Drummed, and we’ve been talking lot back and forth over the last couple of months, so I’m finally glad we’re able to have you, and you’re always welcome here, buddy, so thank you so much. – Thank you, great to be here, thanks. – Yeah, beautiful, beautiful sounding drum set, too. A huge thanks to Jason McGee for helping us out with this. Huge thanks.- Thank you, Jason. – And I’ve got to say, we’ve had a lot of drum sets inside of Drummed, but this is the one that I think I’m the most jealous of. I don’t want him totaled it back, so. – Beautiful drums, and yeah, it’s just a real joy to get to know. You know, I played, we were talking before, I played in Seattle a couple of months ago, and he graciously offered for me to borrow these drums, and yeah, it’s just such an Annice instrument to explore and look around and try to find some inspiring sounds. – Big time. Well, it was a really cool solo, we’ve got a lot more coming for you guys today.
Thanks for joining us, by the way, we’re gonna be talking with Mark, and Mark’s gonna teaching a lesson on exploring creativity around the drums, and now if you don know who Mark is, he’s one of the most influential drummers of our time, I have to say. You just won the BestJazz Drummer award from the Modern DrummerReaders’ Poll, 2017. You just recorded with David Bowie, your latest album Jersey with your quartet’s out, which you guys can find online. Here’s a copy of it right here. You’re also the author of the title of this lesson, in a book, Exploring YourCreativity Around the Drumset, that you can check that out right here, and we’re gonna be giving away free copies of both the book and the album, so all you need to do to win that is once this lesson hits YouTube, 30 days from the release date on YouTube, just leave a comment, what was your favorite part of the lesson? And we’ll randomly choose a winner. We’ll get you a copy of the book, and the album as well. Okay, very cool. Now to follow Mark online, just go to his website,MarkGuiliana.com, you can find all the social links and everything like that there. – Just me, just my name, yep. – Yeah, pretty chill. So I’m looking forward to this. A huge thanks to the sponsors again, thanks to Jason McGer for allowing us to use his drum set and his snare. Huge thanks to Gretsch, huge thanks to Remo and Sabian as well.
Creativity Around The Drum Set
But exploring creativity around the drum set. I’m gonna leave it to you, and I’m actually really looking forward to just learning from this. – Yeah, cool, right now, and I’ll do my best. Yeah, I think, you know, the ideas, the book was a bit of a culmination of years and years of just trying to figure out how to build my own ideas and make my own musical statements. When I was younger, I didna have any of my own ideas, so I was very lucky to have some incredible teachers. My first teacher, his name’s Joe Bergamini, who’s a great friend, and a great drummer, and I was with him for a few years, and then I started studying with John Reilly, another incredible mentor of mine. And you know in those days, I needed them to provide the content. You know, I didn’t, I didn’t know how to make my own statements, inside the music, and they were great guides for me, and I still look to them for inspiration, but as I started to play more music with other musicians, which is the real joy, you know, as much as, just a disclaimer, I’m here on my own today, and I love playing drums, and I love the challenge of trying to make a nice musical statement on the drums, but it’s really playing with other people that gives me the most joy, and that’s what inspired me to practice, and that’s what keeps me going, it’s the playing with other musicians, that when you start passing inspiration around, and particularly improvising, searching at the moment, really looking for the ideas that are unique to that moment, and, it can provide some really euphoric results. And that’s, that what I’m chasing. Always, always, – That’s the end goal for you. – That’s it, that’s it, to get a chance to create with other musicians that I really admire is one of the things that bring me the most joy, for sure. – So the solo you played in the beginning, that was all improved, and I know that because I’d never heard you play that before and you were even saying right before the live lesson, what should I play, what should I play? So how do you get there? – Right, so, again when I was younger, the way I was practicing was, I needed to work everything out at home.
Majority of the playing
So, I would practice something and practice something until I thought maybe it was ready to be played in a musical context. So I would build that confidence at home with the specific material, whether it be a beat or a fill, and then I would get into a musical situation, and I would put it in there whether it was right for the music or not. It was the thing that I had prepared, so, but I realized, you know, now, this is to say that I love playing parts, I love great songs. I’m happy to play a part and play the same fill in the same place if that’s the best thing for that song. So today will be more about an improvised environment. I love that word, but I also, the majority of the playing I do is in a more improvised setting. So when I was in those situations, I realized, wait, how do I know what the music is gonna need until I arrive at that moment? So that thing that I thought was cool that I was working on my parents’ basement, 19 times out of 20 was not the right thing for the music when I arrived. Actually, I think it’s worth saying a little if you guys know this saxophone player named Wayne Shorter, one of my heroes, he talks about improvising in a really interesting way. He says, he thinks improvising as entering the unknown, and you can’t plan for the unknown, but you can prepare for the unknown, and there’s a huge difference between planning and preparing. So when I was younger was planning, I said, I’m gonna do this. And then I would get into the unknown and do it, and, you know, by definition I’m not in that moment any longer.
I’ve sent myself back a couple of days to when I was practicing to inject that material. So, but I can prepare. So that’s what I’d like to talk about today, since I don’t know what the music will need at any given moment, how can I be prepared to give it what it needs? – Beautiful, okay, yep. – So, basically, instead of preparing specific ideas, it’s more about preparing general, fundamental tools that I can reach for at the moment to hopefully create that best musical choice in any given moment. So there’s actually four, there are many tools, but I’ve found that four, focusing on four different tools has really helped me build these ideas. The first one is the dynamics. Dynamics is, you know, the volume at which you play, and I think dynamics is actually the most underrated musical tool we have. I think it’s very easy to take dynamics for granted, and, particularly in the softer zones.
These drums are tuned in a specific way, and these cymbals react so well at quiet dynamics, and I find that two things happen. You can discover new sounds inside of your instrument at quieter dynamics, and it makes people lean in a little bit, maybe. If you’re just constantly throwing sound into their face, it almost makes them godlike, whoa, okay, okay, but if you start to leave space and explore these quieter zones, it’s almost like, wait, what, oh, and I’ve found that A, it makes me listen a little harder, even to these sounds, and on a good day it will make the people listen a little harder, which is, which I think could be a great thing. – Right. – And then once you have them leaning in, then you can go anywhere, you know. So number one is dynamics. Number two is the rate, which is, you know, maybe a term that people hear more often as a subdivision, the way the beat is organized, the space between the beat. So eighth notes, triplets, 16th notes, that’s number two. Number three is orchestration. So where on the instrument you play an idea. And number four is phrasing. So, I think phrasing is where in time you play an idea. So for example, if you start that idea on beat one, it has a certain feeling. If you start it at the end of one, that’s, it has a different feeling.