Melodic Polyrhythms is track 1 of 4, from the album – Richard’s Best Drum Rhythms of 50 Years, a swan song to Richard’s 50 years behind the drums.
Richard started playing the drums at age 11, He played professionally in his early years, then on and off throughout his life. The last few years, he pushed the limits of a standard drum kit by adding more sounds to his drum kit.
His added percussive sounds produced one of a kind drum sounds, and this album – Richard’s Best Drum Rhythms of 50 Years, is the result.
He remembers having the desire to play drums after seeing Gene Krupa on the Ed Sullivan Show.
He asked his parents for drum lessons. They thought the desire would pass. But he was still asking them a year or so later, so they arranged drum lessons with Del Wagner at the Al Sprintz Music Store on Portage Avenue in Winnipeg. Del Wagner taught him drums for a few years.
He did not have a drum set to practice on, as his parents were still hoping the “drum thing” would fade away. So Richard practised on his bed and on books for two years, ( like Del told him to do ) all the time wanting a drum set. After two years, his parents purchased him his first drum set.
As a teenager, his Mom was annoyed when he would be finger drumming on the kitchen table and furniture around the house.
He was dedicated to his drum practise, and the practise became a big part of his life. He feels that drums taught him a big life lesson of discipline. Discipline that he was able to use later in other parts of his life.
In his early 20’s, he made his living drumming in bands, playing six nights a week in bars, clubs, and hotels.
A few years later he was married and raising his family. The drums were packed away, except when asked to play the odd gig, and he started a career in the insurance industry.
In his 50’s, his interest in drums resurfaced. He practised on his own, still learning and improving his drum rhythms.
He wanted to expand the sounds that a standard drum kit had, to make it more musical.
Cowbells and Wood Blocks
For additional sounds he added a couple of cowbells and wood blocks and a tambourine to his kit. He learned latin rhythms that used these types of percussion instruments and sounds. But he wanted more sounds on the drum kit.
He found the Korg Wavedrum. An electronic drum with a few hundred sounds. It required an amplifier to output the sounds to, but this was a big step forward.
The Wavedrum had sustained sounds, that would last beyond a typical drum note. On a standard drum kit, only the cymbals had sustained sounds that would last longer than a second or so.
Richard’s drum setup – Yamaha Manu Katche drum kit with 3 cowbells, 2 wood blocks, a tambourine, and a Korg wavedrum played through a small amplifier.
The rhythms played are funk, latin, disco, linear, rudimentary and improv.
Richard felt that these recordings would provide ideas to up and coming drummers, and the drum community at large.
Album Tracks include –
Melodic Polyrhythms – 11:55 mins.
Funky Euphony ( sweet sounds ) – 12:20 mins.
Improv Throb ( rhythmic beat ) – 15;12 mins.
Syncopated Tintinnabulation ( bell sounds ) – 10:35 mins.
This video Melodic Polyrhythms is track 1 of the album. The other video tracks will be released in the coming weeks.
Richard always had the idea to make an “drum only “ album.
The challenge was – How much “music” can I make with a drum kit ?
And – Can it be interesting enough that people would listen to it ?
Take a listen to Melodic Polyrhythms and see !
Get the album
at the following links –
Richard has moved on to play the ukulele and write songs, but rhythms will always be part of him and his music going forward.
Balance In Life the album
He released his first album of original songs in February 2020 titled – Balance In Life.
Richard’s – Balance In Life album can be found at these links –
Website – https://richardlepinsky.com/