Derico Watson Clinic

5:05 After several introductions, DW finally takes the stage. He’s all smiles. He thanks the sponsors. Talks about wanting to do DCI, but never had a chance. Thankful to be here. Talks about his gear (Premier 5pc, 1 rack 2 floor.)

DW: I’ve been on tour a while and I’m ready to have fun!

5:09 sits at kit and plays to track. Sick, odd meter grooves! Such a great pocket.

Jazz/funk rack continues. DW solos around the groove. Lots of hits and syncopation.

5:15 Free solo. Starts with snare rolls and adds kick and tom hits. Dynamics and in and out of time.

He is obviously having a lot of fun. I’m struck at how much he reminds me of a young Bernard Purdie. Some stick tricks and blast rolls around the kit. Flowing in and out of time … It’s almost whimsical. He’s now toying with and amusing the audience.

He launches into a breakneck DnB groove. So fast! In the middle of the solo, he takes the splash off of it’s stand and puts it on the side snare (all while still grooving). He stops and starts so quickly.

Jazz section of his open solo. While keeping the jazz ride, he plays around with time. Finally, a decrescendo into nothing before erupting into a flurry if snare chops with alternating flams that would make any DCI drummer jealous.

The solo comes to a halt with a slow ritard. The crowd lobes it and rewards the solo with thunderous applause.

5:30 DW takes the mic.

DW: I guess I had that bottled up inside me. But the important thing is to play to the music.

#1 remember, that drums are broken down to 3 elements: singles, doubles, and flams. Anything you see your favorite drummer play, you can do it- it’s just a combination of these things.

Learn as much as you can. Learn about timpani, marimba, rudiments. If you don’t know your rudiments, then why are you here? Is that cruel? The rudiments become a part of what you do. If you played snare all summer, then you need to work on your feet!

Here’s one exercise I did to work on my hands. (he demonstrates an awful double stroke roll on the monitor). (he then demonstrates an exercise that’s based on the standard drumline double warmup. He adds the foot in unison with the hands)

I also play flams and mirror it on the bass.

Hang out with people who are better than you. Be humble. You should want to get better. Do everything you can do to her better. Alright, I’m done preaching! (applause) I’m thankful for every opportunity I’ve had.

Q&A: You’re using a single pedal, so how do you get the flam sound?
DW: I follow the double stroke on the hh with a quick double on the kick. I try to do as much as I can do with one foot.

I like to make sure I have a light beater with medium tension.

Q: what kind of books did you start with?
DW: I didn’t really start with books, I learned these marching licks by ear.

Q: When you played with Stanley Clarke are there special things he asks for?
DW: he wants me to play the drums! None of this pocket stuff! He played with Cobham, Lenny White. There are times he wants me to go crazy! Especially at the end of tunes. I tried to make him feel good. It was great. I saw the world and they’re talking about doing it again and I think I got the gig.

Q: did you ever record DnB with Wooten?
DW: Not yet, but we’re talking about a straight ahead record.

5:52 One last track. It’s a 6 on 7 feel. It’s a darker, piano funk number. Into a straight ahead section still in the alternating meters.

5:57 DW: What you see before you is a little boy following his dreams. If I never play again, tell my mom it went well!

That’s it for todays coverage. See you tomorrow!

Thanks! You've already liked this