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Antonio Sanchez drumming superhero techniqueAntonio Sanchez. If you’re a drummer, you’ve likely heard of him. If you’re not, or somehow haven’t, you’ve still almost definitely heard him. From his solo jazz percussion composition work for the film Birdman . . . to his mind-blowing performances and recordings with Pat Metheny, Michael Brecker, Chick Corea, Gary Burton, Miguel Zenon, Avishai Cohen, Danilo Perez Victor Mendoza, and beyond . . . Sanchez is everywhere.

In a recent Drummer’s Resource podcast interview, Antonio and host Nick Ruffini got on the topic of “technique.”

I occasionally need a reminder why I should be practicing more, and why I should continue focusing on the fundamentals. Sanchez supplies some great reasons – offered here as a reminder to myself and to you, in case it’s ever needed.

• • •

“Technique is what you need in order to express your musical ideas.

I am against people that use technique just for the sake of technique and flashiness. And I’m also really against people with no technique that say, “oh, I’m just going to play super musical,” but say that because they can’t play anything else. They cannot play fast, or they cannot play a roll over the toms, which you should also be able to do, because, when you need it, you will want to be able to do it.

“The thing is WHEN to do it . . . when NOT to do it. That, to me, is the key. You should have this amazing, powerful technique at your disposal. You should be like a superhero – only using your superpowers when you have to. The rest of the time, just be there to serve humanity, which, in this case, would be music.

“Technique is not just to play fast. Technique is used to extract the best sound possible from the drums, and to have the best feel, and to have the best time. All of that. Because if technique is getting in the way of what you’re trying to do, your time is going to suffer; your touch is going to suffer; your sound is going to suffer.

• • •

I definitely recommend checking out the entire podcast when you get a chance, as well as the other 140+ interviews that Nick has on his site.

Catch you later. I need to, um, go practice…

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