Dave's Drumming Technique

DMB 2 copy fix 1I was introduced to the drums through my father who played drums for a group that worked weddings and did Polka nights at local Polish clubs. I remember getting to play on his drums whenever the band rehearsed at my house. I loved those times. When I was in my early teens I started taking lessons from Justin Bruno who taught at a local music store around the corner from my house. Jay, as everybody called him, was a phenomenal drummer as well as teacher. I took lessons for eight years. Jay opened me up to all kinds of music with a drummer’s point of view from Jazz and Latin to Classical and Rock. I learned to read music a bit and worked my way through many drum books; Stick Control by George Lawrence Stone being my favorite. Jay showed me how to use Stick Control in many different ways; for example: just using your feet or playing a jazz cymbal pattern while playing the exercises between foot and left hand. In later years Stone’s book would be my inspiration for writing The Matrix of Primary Patterns; a comprehensive pattern manual for drummers and percussionists. I started playing with some friends in garage bands of the day; nothing real serious but a whole lot of fun. I met Michael Wahl Berardi in the late 1980’s and that’s when I became more serious about drumming and a musical career. I never played with anyone quite like him. His musical ability and composing skills were just what I needed. Michael always has a knack for pushing me or anyone else for that matter to the limit of musical expression and beyond. It truly has been an honor to witness Michael’s art form first hand. I honestly just try to keep up with him, most of the time. His music and unique guitar technique allow me to utilize everything I learned in those early days of lessons. A lot of what I do is swinging on the ride cymbal while playing syncopated patterns between my bass drum and snare. Some of what I do utilizes Latin rhythms, Blues or just back-beat rhythms. At times we delve into odd meters or something other than 4/4 time. With Michael the sky is the limit and there are no boundaries. If it sounds good and is working on a particular tune then we go with it. I try to play the song rather than just play drums; if that makes sense. I also practice a lot. Michael’s tenacity for practicing long hours on guitar has definitely rubbed off on me. We both dedicate a lot of time into individual practicing. That’s the key to becoming a better player over time and never staying on a musical plateau; always learning and moving forward. On the album ‘Synthesis’ I used a variety of different drums from electronic to acoustic, even one of my dad's old drum sets.

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