Steve Gadd! What better place to learn new licks than from the father of all modern drumming?
He figured out they had a huge potential since their orchestration on drums and cymbals could open up possibilities unimagined before.
Starting from things everybody had used for decades he came up with incredibly musical and interesting phrasing solutions that have since become the norm.
Besides this huge achievement, his versatility and his work in lots of different musical genres and contexts, and with world class artists, allowed him to become extremely influential in the drumming community, thus contributing to shape the style of virtually all the drummers that came after him.
There’s not a single contemporary drummer who doesn’t mention him as one of his or her influences.
The main characteristic of Steve Gadd is the almost magical ability to transform everything he plays into beautiful music. Effortlessly, and spontaneously. Simply music.
That’s a goal that many drummers reach only occasionally, even over the course of an entire career.
His rhythmic concept is based on a great musical intelligence and instinct, which allow him to turn even the most complex solutions into something musically effective and appropriate for the song he is playing.
Add on top of this his perfect technique, a very personal sound (a combination of muffled drums, dry cymbals and also thick drumheads and low tunings), and huge amounts of passion any time he grabs the sticks, and it’s not difficult to understand why he is considered one of the greatest drummers ever lived.
It’s mind blowing how it only takes a few notes of any of his most famous phrases to recognize it’s Steve.
Although the amount of material available is immense, here we are going to focus on 6 of the licks most representative of his style, selected from the most recurring ideas heard in the solos he has played over the years.
Let’s check them out in this Pdf and Video Demo:
Adding them to your arsenal will instantly make you a better drummer.
You can click on each transcribed example to go to its specific time in the YouTube video demo where I play them.
If you are interested in this kind of studies, in Drum Chops Mastery you will find transcriptions of 50 of the greatest drummers of all time, as part of a complete course designed to help you master your soloing skills.
Click here for a free excerpt and the full list of drummers analyzed: