Back in 2004 I was fortunate to study with Matt Wilson in New York City thanks to a grant from the Canada Council for the Arts. A concept that Matt often stressed in our lessons was the important idea of "flow" when dealing with the drum set from a physical perspective. This would lead him to also introduce to me some concepts and ideas that he had learned from George Marsh, the author of the book "Inner Drumming".
George Marsh has recently published his book entitled "Inner Drumming" and it consists of a very unique method and approach to moving around the drums. Combining a very clever and boundless approach to coordination combined with a Zen-like approach to movement and how we physically interpret and connect those coordinated patterns , Marsh offers a fresh direction to the drum set which I recommend to everyone. It all makes you think and play outside of your "box".
Here is a recent masterclass with George Marsh from Drum Channel in which he explains and demonstrates the concepts behind Inner Drumming:
Marsh was also kind enough to answer a few questions I had about Inner Drumming, his concepts and the book:
1) What is "Inner Drumming" and what prompted you to publish this book?
Inner Drumming is the study of internal movement from limb to limb when we play drums. It is done very slowly to insure maximum awareness of what it feels like to play with just one limb, then two, then three and finally all four.
2) How is your method unique from other drumming methods?
It’s the only book that I know of that deals with energy flow internally with extensive exercises to help in that development.
3) What do you hope drummers will take away from studying your book?
I want drummers to realize that the sounds they are creating are part of the internal flow of energy before, during, and after the sounds they make with each limb. This helps remove blockages that get in the way of playing what you hear. And what you hear starts to become one with the increased internal awareness.
4) What other drummers, musicians and/or life experiences and philosophies have influenced "Inner Drumming”?
Jazz music and the call to say something meaningful on the drums has driven me. My need to connect as deeply as possible in my body so that I could let go and create from a timeless place. A way to practice that gets rid of stuck patterns.
5) Who would be examples of other drummers/musicians/artists/athletes that might display the qualities you promote through your book and teachings?
Terry Bozzio, Steve Gadd, Bernard Purdie, Matt Wilson, David Garibaldi, Joey Baron, Elliot Humberto Kavee, Michael Vatcher, Jennifer Wilsey, Garth Powell, Steve Smith, on and on.
6) Any clues as to your next project? (books, performances, recordings, workshops, etc.)
I have a new CD called “Expedition" with Denny Zeitlin which is being received very positively.
Here’s a link to a review on Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/59821e77e4b02be325be02e0
And another review on Something Else:
I’ve written hundreds of studies dealing with cross rhythms, odd time signatures, roll studies, tuplet studies and I am also thinking about starting a monthly on-line group lesson on Inner Drumming.