Richard’s Best Drum Rhythms of 50 Years – the album
This album is Richard’s Swan Song to his 50 years behind the drums. It is an unusual album because his drum kit is the only instrument on the album.
It is a “drum only” album, so if you like rhythm or are a drummer, then the album may be of interest to you.
The last few years, he pushed the limits of a standard drum kit by adding more sounds to his drum kit. These added percussive sounds produced some one of a kind drum sounds, and this album, is the result.
Richard’s Best Drum Rhythms of 50 Years was released in the summer of 2020, and Richard is now providing videos for each of the 4 tracks on the album, which you can view from this page.
Richard’s Drumming Background
Richard started playing the drums at age 11, He played professionally in his early years, then on and off throughout his life.
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.
Discipline Through Drumming
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.
Latin Drum Rhythms and Sounds
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.
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.
A few years later, he found the Korg Wavedrum. it is an electronic drum with about 200 hundred electronic sounds. It required an amplifier to output the sounds to, but these sounds provided never before heard sounds on a regular drum kit.
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 Kit
Richard’s drum kit consists of – a 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 on the album are rudimentary, funk, latin, disco, linear, and improv.
Richard thanks the many drummers before him, who have provided ideas and inspiration, that helped him grow his drumming craft.
This album and videos are a way of paying it forward to provide ideas to up and coming drummers, and the drum community at large.
A Drum Only Album ?
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 ?
Watch the videos and see !
The Next Chapter
Richard has moved on to play the ukulele and write songs, but rhythms will always be part of him and his music going forward.
The phrase is simple and the words are few,
but behind them is a whole lot of appreciation.
Thank You’s from the Mission Ukulele Circle
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