Thursday, December 22, 2016

Inner Drumming

One of the more interesting drum books ever written is Inner Drumming, by George Marsh. Marsh is a big Tai Chi practitioner, and his linear drumming method, using a novel, artistic system of notation, is all about energy flow... the book is sort of like Four-Way Coordination, informed by Eastern philosophy:

I'd like to get those blow-ups of the diagrams. Someone should be selling those.

I spent some time with the book in the 80s, when there was a copy floating around the percussion department at the University of Oregon. I don't think I was ready for it— like Dahlgren & Fine, I think you need to be a fairly developed/mature player to get the most benefit from it. But any ambitious drummer— like someone who would be reading Cruise Ship Drummer!— should own it. For a long time you had to get it from George himself, now it's available from Sher Music. You can read more about the book and about Marsh at his website, and also friend him on Facebook.

UPDATE: Oh, Michael Vatcher! I spaced out for a moment. I once met him at a jam session in Eugene, Oregon, when he was in town on a Creative Music Guild show. It was very random, because he was on a John Zorn record, Spy vs. Spy, which I was listening to a lot right then. He said he and Joey Baron broke a lot of sticks on that session.

1 comment:

Ed Pierce said...

Thanks for the info! Michael Vatcher went to the same high school as me (Eureka High School in Eureka, CA), but he was around 15 or so years ahead of me, I believe (I've never met him, just heard about him--by the time I first heard about him I think he may have been already living in Europe). Both of my high school band teachers (Don Moehnke, who was his high school jazz band director in the early 70's, and Dan Horton, a great saxophone player who played with Vatcher in some settings) spoke extremely highly of him. Mr. Horton once told me that Vatcher was one of the most unique and musical drummers he'd ever heard (he said, "I've been around the world, and I've never heard another drummer who sounds like Michael Vatcher"). I imagine he's arguably the greatest jazz drummer (or drummer, period) who ever came out of my high school.