Daniel Glass – A Drum Historian

There are a lot of cool things about Daniel Glass. First of all, his hair. Secondly his pure rock n’ roll energy. Lastly -and most importantly I should say- his musical history knowledge.

Being a fan of relentless cliche dropping I should now say that: knowing where you came from helps a great deal in learning where you ‘re going to. Mr. Glass wants to get that point across in every opportunity he’s given and I truly support him for that.

His Vic Firth series about History of the Drumset has been eye-opening for me. Below you can watch the first 9 parts alltogether. Then you can follow the rest from the related videos section, the series goes up to part 15.

Let me elaborate a bit with an example on what his knowledge has given me. You ‘re at a soundcheck with your band and the engineer asks for a beat and some fills in between to check his levels and kit tone through the PA.

As a cool “into now” drummer, any of us would most likely play a steady 4/4 groove with the right hand on the hat the left on the snare, a cracking backbeat, maybe some ghost notes in there and fills that go around the toms from high to low. This has been absolutely correct and useful for drummers for at least 40 years now. But was it always like this?

What about those people that didn’t have any toms to play big fills? What about the guys that didnt even KNOW what a backbeat on beats 2 and 4 is gonna sound like? What about the dudes that were playing packed 3k seaters and didn’t have a PA to get their little intricate ghost notes (???) to sound along with the rest of the kit? Daniel Glass mainly responds to all these questions in these series.

I can now understand that the instrument I’m sitting behind every day is probably younger in age than my dad. And believe it or not this has helped my mind in terms of playing more than the 6-stroke roll I so love to use.

In this Drumeo feature he really expands his concepts on teaching and playing. He explains how significant a good pulse of quarter notes is not only for timekeeping but in playing in general along with sounding good on the kit. Now, I get it maybe for most people this stuff sounds boring. But I’d like to see anyone try to lay a rock n’ roll beat without a good sense of quarters or even better try to immitate a Gene Krupa feel on the toms. He’s absolutely right when he says that pulse and natural quarter note flow is what makes people move and dance and generally relate to a bunch of guys standing some feet above them, making noise.

A small treat for me when I did some research on Daniel is that he’s somehow involved in one of my favorite films as a kid, The Mask with Jim Carey. Turns out his actual band is called the Royal Crown Revue and were the house band of the night club scene where The Mask goes on rampage. I think maybe the drum intro is still stuck in my head after almost two decades.