Basic beginning concepts for the young modern drummer. What does it mean to be the drummer , to play a drum set and a groove . In my opinion , great drumming starts and ends with two basic principles which are so important to being a great drummer and so closely related to each other :
1. Steady , Consistent Time
2. A Deep Groove
I’ve always felt that if a drummer starts with and can be satisfied with these two elements above anything else then the world of drumming becomes an open sky . First of all , it’s your main job as an accompanying player to provide the ensemble with a steady and strong feel regardless of the tempo , style or metric time with which you are playing . This is your ” JOB ” as a drummer and the better you can provide that then the better you are now open to personal interpretations , dynamics , sensitivity , bravado and improvisational skills . When I say improvisational skills , I don’t just mean taking a solo. Above and before taking a solo , improvisational skills mean and include the way you play your ideas while accompanying someone else’s solo or even the way you approach playing a melody or written section . Let’s face it , 95% of what you play as a drummer will be in the role of accompanying someone or the ensemble as a whole. Hence , if your time and groove are so strong then you will always know where one is and if you know where one is then you are now open to developing the music you are playing in any direction you want or need to go . Now you may play your solo .
Knowing your rudiments .
Part 1. Rudiments – What rudiments do you need to know ?
Part 2 – Basic Independence – What is basic independence ?
Part 3. A Basic Swing Groove , the Swing Feel .
All of these components as with all groove styles should be played with a strong sense of steady motion . You can think metronomically but you will find out through your studies that perfect you will not be as we are human and time bends even if it’s the slightest bend , it’s natural and that’s beautiful . Even though there will be a bend , we must be steady . No one wants a drummer that speeds up , slows down , slows down a lot and speeds up again . This is the nature of a modern drummer playing modern music from jazz to funk to samba to hip-hop , we must be steady . This is what makes that strong sense of time and groove , that deep groove .
Tim Horner began playing the drums at the age of ten. His influences rest primarily with musical parents. His introduction with music began by singing in the church choir at a very early age and by the 4th grade he began playing violin, viola, and drums in his public school music programs. This continued through high school while also joining The Roanoke Civic Orchestra and attending numerous summer music camps. Upon entering Berklee College of Music in 1974 he made drumming and the goal of being a professional jazz drummer his dream.
His first major professional work was with The Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, which he joined in 1978. After a year on the road Tim returned to Boston leading his own bands, finishing his Bachelors Degree in Performance @ Berklee, recording and performing with many artists including Miroslav Vitous, John Scofield, Jack Wilkins, Buddy Defranco and Bob Mover.
In 1980 following his six years in Boston he moved to New York City and for 26 years has offered his experience, knowledge and skills as one of New York’s in demand jazz drummers and has traveled extensively in the US, Europe, the Balkans, Asia, North and South America with some of the world’s greatest jazz talents, performing concerts, clubs, recordings, teaching and master classes. Some of the artists he has worked with include: Warne Marsh, Hank Jones, Helen Merrill, Ernestine Anderson, George Mraz, Miroslav Vitous, Clifford Jordan, Pepper Adams, Richie Cole, Joe Locke, Ed Howard, Frank Kimbrough, Ted Nash, Ben Allison, The Jazz Composers Collective, Wynton Marsalis, The Maria Schneider Jazz Orchestra, The Village Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, Mark Murphy, Joe Williams, Carol Sloane, Roseanna Vitro, Dena Derose, Sarah James, Bill Mays, Bob Kindred/Ann Phillips & The Jazz Nativity, The MaryAnn McSweeney Quintet, The Mike Fahn Band, Vic Juris, Dave Liebman, Billy Drewes, Dick Oatts, Corey Christiansen, The Stryker/Slagle Band, John Hart Trio, The Rufus Reid Quintet and Linear Surroundings, John Dimartino, Bill Gerheardt & Cotangent, Mark Sherman, Marc Mommaas, Alan Farnham, and Tomoko Ohno.
In 2004 Tim traveled through 5 Balkan countries in Eastern Europe, Turkey and Cyprus representing the U.S. State Department as a member of “The Jazz Ambassadors”, an ambassador of cultural exchange with the Roseanna Vitro Quartet.
For The past three years he has been a regular substitute with The Village Vanguard Jazz Orchestra @ NY’s Village Vanguard as well as traveling to Europe and other local New York area venues.
Tim is a graduate of the Berklee College of Music in Boston Mass. and studied percussion with Dean Anderson, drums with Keith Copeland and drumming concepts with bassist Miroslav Vitous. His quintet, featuring vibraphonist Joe Locke and bassist Ed Howard, won the first Hennessey Jazz Search in 1985. He has conducted clinics, classes and seminars and currently teaches jazz ensembles and jazz drumming at New Jersey City University. Tim has an artist endorsement with Vic Firth Sticks and with Istanbul Cymbals and is currently working towards producing a recording of his own compositions which will be his first recording as a leader.