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Old 11-13-2007, 08:40 AM   #1
kristdavidson
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What do you think of Gavin Harrison???

I saw Porcupine Tree at the Forum last Friday and was really disappointed with G.H. For me his playing lacked any emotion, it seemed 'pre-planned', his playing was also really samey; He seemed to play the same beats (not grooves!) and fills for most of the show. Some of the things he does are clever, the rolls are clean but his playing leaves me cold. I have seen better non-professional players and I'm positive many of you guys are superior, but reading the pages of Modern Drummer, they are going crazy about his playing and technique, so I must be wrong. Did he have an off day or what?
I also didn't like how his Sonor kit sounded and I certainly will not be buying one! (Is it made of cardboard?) Which kit in the range is he playing?
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Old 11-13-2007, 09:21 AM   #2
Matthias
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I like Gavin a lot. I own his second DVD and his first book, and I love both.
What's the difference between beat and groove to you? Because almost ALL music (not only PT) has the same beat...!?
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Old 11-14-2007, 05:00 AM   #3
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I adore Gavin's playing, he's easily of my top 5 favorite drummers. I find him wonderfully creative, and I've stolen many ideas from him, especially fill ideas.

Music by its nature is enjoyed subjectively. Music (and drumming's) value is determined in your head after you interpret it. So given that everyone's nature and nurture will be different, then OF COURSE some people will like things others don't and vice versa.

And don't forget about things that might have affected Gavin or your own experience: maybe Gavin had a headache, maybe PT wasn't gelling that night, maybe the sound in the venue wasn't ideal, etc etc.
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Old 11-14-2007, 06:47 AM   #4
DRUMVARNA
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Great drummer!!
i like his books,and DVD.great ideas for diferent grooves!!
Virgil recomendet him and his book,to my Friend on last Virgil Visit in Bulgaria at 2001 or 2000 i can't remember!!
best regards!!
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Old 11-14-2007, 10:45 AM   #5
kristdavidson
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthias
I like Gavin a lot. I own his second DVD and his first book, and I love both.
What's the difference between beat and groove to you? Because almost ALL music (not only PT) has the same beat...!?


Anyone can play a 'beat' (even me), but a groove has a superior & unique feel, both in terms of tempo and emotion. Think something like Bonham, Collins, Porcaro, Gadd etc. Grooves are soulful not mechanical, playing with a little swing, if you know what I mean. This is not an impossible feel to achieve even in progressive music, it wouldn't sound out of place and I'm positive it would make the genre even sweeter to listen to.
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Old 11-14-2007, 12:52 PM   #6
D. Slam
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C.J. turned me on to Gavin. He plays some outlandishly cool stuff. Great feel and groove.
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Old 11-14-2007, 01:35 PM   #7
Matthias
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kristdavidson
Anyone can play a 'beat' (even me), but a groove has a superior & unique feel, both in terms of tempo and emotion. Think something like Bonham, Collins, Porcaro, Gadd etc. Grooves are soulful not mechanical, playing with a little swing, if you know what I mean. This is not an impossible feel to achieve even in progressive music, it wouldn't sound out of place and I'm positive it would make the genre even sweeter to listen to.

Then something went wrong that night, because Gavin definitely has groove!! To me beat means "pulse" first and foremost, so I didn't really get your point. Now I do. But I disagree concerning Gavin Harrison!
And yeah, as most of you said, he is extemely creative and has a unique way of playing.
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Old 11-14-2007, 02:35 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by D. Slam
C.J. turned me on to Gavin. He plays some outlandishly cool stuff. Great feel and groove.


Hey I've been quoted! That's me, that's me!!!

On a more serious note, I am very surprised to read that Gavin "lacks emotion." I can understand that one does not like his playing. But if there is one thing that Gavin excells in, it's creativity, feel and émotion. This guy has the reputation of finding the perfect parts for songs and he is a monster in this regard. So I have a hard time understanding those remarks about him, but hey, to each his own!
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Old 11-14-2007, 07:19 PM   #9
cjcdrums
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Music is subjective.

No one drummer will please everyone, regardless of how obviously awesome that drummer may seem to you.
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Old 11-14-2007, 08:05 PM   #10
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I think Gavin is fantastic. I've seen PT twice over the last year and both times they were great. Gavin's drums sounded great and I think he plays with great feel and groove, but with a technical side to it. I love his beat displacement concepts and have really learned a lot from his books and videos. I think all of the work he's done with PT is stellar. I also have his solo album and that's quite good as well. He has another project out with a bass player that I haven't heard much of, but I'm interested in hearing more. Gavin is one of the drummers that has really inspired me the last few years!!!
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Old 11-14-2007, 08:41 PM   #11
cjcdrums
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A nice 18 min video interview with Gavin.. (should be very easy to find)

http://www.backstagemusician.com/index1.htm


And a huge thread on the Drummerworld Forum where he's been answering questions...

http://www.drummerworld.com/forums/showthread.php?t=698

Last edited by cjcdrums : 11-14-2007 at 08:45 PM.
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Old 11-15-2007, 07:16 AM   #12
C.J.
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Originally Posted by cjcdrums
Music is subjective.

No one drummer will please everyone, regardless of how obviously awesome that drummer may seem to you.


Yes - that's a no brainer. But to me it's just as if someone came over and said "hey I just saw Vinnie and man his playin' was cold and grooveless." Get my drift?

That aside, I have no issue whatsoever with Kristdavidson's opinion.

Last edited by C.J. : 11-15-2007 at 07:19 AM.
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Old 11-15-2007, 10:36 AM   #13
D. Slam
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cjcdrums
Music is subjective.

No one drummer will please everyone, regardless of how obviously awesome that drummer may seem to you.


Exactly, C.J. For this very reason I find it a total waste of time to try and defend those players I do like along with defending myself for those I do not. It is what it is for each of us... As an example, I'm still trying to figure out what all the fuss about Gene Krupa was. Most people I talk to loves GK and sees him as one of the all-time greats. I tend to see him as one that was among the all-time greats.

Personally, his playing has never moved me that much. But see, there you go, that's just me.

D.
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Old 11-15-2007, 12:50 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kristdavidson
I saw Porcupine Tree at the Forum last Friday and was really disappointed with G.H. For me his playing lacked any emotion, it seemed 'pre-planned', his playing was also really samey; He seemed to play the same beats (not grooves!) and fills for most of the show. Some of the things he does are clever, the rolls are clean but his playing leaves me cold. I have seen better non-professional players and I'm positive many of you guys are superior, but reading the pages of Modern Drummer, they are going crazy about his playing and technique, so I must be wrong. Did he have an off day or what?
I also didn't like how his Sonor kit sounded and I certainly will not be buying one! (Is it made of cardboard?) Which kit in the range is he playing?


Thank you all for having your say on this matter. It seems my comments are not being echoed by anyone, so I must be way off the mark with this one. I can accept it if I am wrong. I have been wrong before with drummers I didn't like, then started to like years later. I have also seen players I loved initially but then grew tired of their playing. The beauty of a forum like this is that I can hear the views of others and then broaden my mind accordingly. I will do my best to get hold of some more G.H DVD's/CD's and try and learn from someone who is obviously good enough to influence many, many drummers on this forum. Certainly from the transcriptions I have viewed in magazines over the last few months, I can see that the parts are well worked out and intricate and (from what you guys have said over the last few days) could improve my playing both technically and creatively.
B.T.W, I gather he plays SQ2 maple drums with a (main) birch snare.
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Old 11-15-2007, 12:55 PM   #15
cjcdrums
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Quote:
Originally Posted by D. Slam
Exactly, C.J. For this very reason I find it a total waste of time to try and defend those players I do like along with defending myself for those I do not. It is what it is for each of us... As an example, I'm still trying to figure out what all the fuss about Gene Krupa was. Most people I talk to loves GK and sees him as one of the all-time greats. I tend to see him as one that was among the all-time greats.

Personally, his playing has never moved me that much. But see, there you go, that's just me.

D.


To be honest I feel that way about a lot of popular drummers. Max Roach, Ian Paice, Neil Peart, Bobby Jarzombek, etc.

To this day I do not see what the fuss is about Vinnie (go ahead and crucify me, I don't care). I've watched and listened to more of his stuff than a lot of Vinnie fans- hours and hours on Youtube, some stuff Dcdrumwithme was kind enough to send me, I've seen all the famous solos and licks he does, I own Ten Summoner's Tales, Karizma and other Vinnie classics.

Don't get me wrong, I think some of his stuff is brilliant! I love what he did with the Seven Days groove, I think some of his phrasing is interesting at times, and his playing on Allan Holdsworth-Against the Clock is really amazing.

That said, Vinnie is regarded by so many advanced drummers as the best ever. Yes, thats a subjective statement, trust me, I get that. But I can say Virgil is the probably the best over-all technician ever. I don't see how Vinnie could be in even the same league technically. He has great chops, and he can play polymetrics and polyrhythms well, but compared to Virgil, or Mangini, or Minnemann, or Mayer? Come on.

As far as the musical side goes, I find a lot of his work interesting and his phrasing very cool at times but not NEARLY as interesting or pleasing as listening to a Dave DiCenso, Gavin Harrison, Benny Greb.. Of course musicality is even more subjective than technique, because at least we can compare relative technical difficulty.

Anyways, I've been thinking this for years but have never said anything.. I respect Vinnie a lot, but he's far from my favorite, and I can't consider him even close to the technical best. So why all the worship (even from drummers I greatly respect)? I don't get it.
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