By Stanton Moore
The gauntlet of funk drumming was passed in the ’90s to Stanton Moore, a New Orleans native who was weaned on the grooves of such great locals as Zigaboo Modeliste, Johnny Vidacovich, and Herman Riley. He was first thrust into the limelight with the instrumental jam band Galactic, and used this springboard to launch countless recording and band projects, including a blossoming solo recording career with two titles in his portfolio. He knows what you should be looking at.
1. How The West Was Won, Led Zeppelin
I think it is very important for drummers today to pay close attention to the way Bonham played the drums. He used large drums and large sticks to attain some of his sound, but the sticks rarely came above his shoulders, much less behind his head. If you check it out closely you’ll notice he had a very loose (French-timpani inspired) grip, using his middle finger as his fulcrum, rather than his index finger. This creates a nice area of space in between the base of the thumb and the stick. His loose touch adds to the bigness of his sound. A tight grip makes for a choked sound. Also he quotes Max Roach’s solo from “The Drum Also Waltzes” at the beginning of his “Moby Dick” solo. Very informed and hip.
This series is great because it gives you an opportunity to check out most of the great jazz drummers in history in a one-stop source. It’s great to be able to watch Elvin, Tony, Art, and Philly Joe in their element.
3. New Orleans Drumming
This series (with Herlin Riley, Johnny Vidacovich, Earl Palmer, and Herman Ernest) gives great insight into many of the styles and history of New Orleans drumming and how it has influenced most of the styles played in America today.
1. The Drummer’s Complete Vocabulary As Taught By Alan Dawson, by John Ramsay
Alan Dawson was the great Boston-based teacher that taught so many great drummers including Tony Williams, Steve Smith, Vinnie Colaiuta, Harvey Mason, Kenwood Dennard, John “J.R.” Robinson, and Terri Lyne Carrington. The book includes a full coverage of all the rudiments, four-way coordination, ways to solo over song forms and much more very applicable information.
2. Syncopation, by Ted Reed
I chose this for its continuing versatility.
3. Stick Control, by George Lawrence Stone
This book offers extensive studies in developing the hands and can be applied in limitless ways around the kit. As with Syncopation, you can split the figures up between the hands and feet in countless ways.
This article was originally published in the August-September 2004 issue of Drum! magazine. Please note the above article includes affiliate links, meaning Drum! will earn a small commission (at no cost to you) when you click through and make a purchase. Thanks for your support!
Check out our FREE DOWNLOAD of “Bonham: Like Father Like Son.” In this father and son interview we asked John and Jason Bonham the same exact set of questions, only twenty years apart.