Practice Pad, Jazz

Danny Gottleib: Mel’s Rub-A-Dub

One of my most important teachers and mentors was the great big band master drummer Mel Lewis. Growing up in New Jersey in the ’60s, I used to go to the Village Vanguard to hear Mel’s power and finesse with the big band he co-led with Thad Jones (Elvin’s Brother!). The first time I asked Mel for a lesson he deferred, saying he was too busy. I mentioned this to Joe Morello, with whom I was taking regular lessons at the time, and he said, “I know Mel. Get him on the phone!” We did, and Joe convinced Mel to teach me. That was the beginning of a long friendship that allowed me to examine Mel’s playing from every angle.

Practice Pad, Jazz

Danny Gottlieb: Bagby Triplets

We recently lost a legendary drummer and icon of the Miami jazz scene. His name was Steve Bagby, and he was a big influence on any drummer who attended the University Of Miami during the past 30 years.

Practice Pad, Jazz

The Schnalle Method: Hot, Hot Uhgada

Long ago, in a column perhaps long forgotten, I introduced DRUM! readers to what I call the uhgada (so named because if you say “uhgada” over and over really fast, it sounds like the lick). This handy little pattern is a friend to many drummers and can be used in a myriad of ways.