We all love Vinnie, and there are no words to describe what he has done for drumming in the last four decades.
Just watch any of his solos, listen to any of his grooves, and be amazed at the number of incredible ideas he constantly comes up with.
Just as in analyzing any drummer, we can study him using two approaches: width, and depth. While width is fun, ‘cause it’s exciting to keep adding new licks to our repertoire, depth is where we really learn.
That’s why I picked just one among the most recognizable licks used by Vinnie, and we are going to use it to explore 30 different ways to study his style.
The phrase is simply based on 7 notes: flam, right, left, flam, right, left, left. Yet, what can come out of it is astounding.
We can hear Vinnie playing this lick in many recordings, like these examples for instance:
1- Vinnie Colaiuta Album – ‘Slink’ – 4:15
2- Jin Chi – ‘Man in The Ring’ – 1:08
3- Colaiuta with Richman – ‘Hottentot’ Live – 1:02
4- John Patitucci, Vinnie Colaiuta, and Bill Cunliffe TRIO “Conception” in Studio Performance – 3:47
The method we are going to use is based, as usual, on applying parameters to it: accents, orchestrations, dynamics, subdivisions, substitutions, permutations and so on.
Here is the PDF with all transcriptions:
And HERE you can check out the YouTube video demo.
Once we have gone through these examples the assignment is to do the same with at least one more lick from these 6 Vinnie ideas, and ideally with a few of our own signature phrases.
Using this technique is one of the main ways to develop our own style and quickly improve our musicianship.