Lessons with

Bruce Becker

BALANCE + MOTION = TIME

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"Listen, I know you're serious... but, let me ask you something... Are you REALLY serious?! " ~ Freddie Gruber

Mission Statement

Inspiration

My teaching is dedicated to inspire and provide tools in opening new avenues towards developing your musical path, and to provide an approach that fulfills your personal needs.

Student Goals

While the goals of each student might differ, the over all goal of achievement, growth and development are the common theme.  

The mission statement for each student comprises of the following elements:

Desire

The fulfillment of following your passion

Dedication

The follow through of developing your talent

Participation

The focus, clarity and discipline to conceptualize, actualize and fulfill practice & study.

Student Cultivation

My mission is to inspire, motivate and educate through:

The Narrative

To speak and transmit the information with depth and clarity.

The Approach

A step by step approach to re-tool and develop more comprehensive technical skills

The Information

Drawing from the traditional aspects of Technique, Approach and Concept.

The Results

Take it as far as you can imagine.

Applying these principles will greatly enhance your chances of success!

THE EDUCATOR

Q:

What do Neil Peart, Steve Smith, Dave Weckl, and Bruce Becker have in common?

A:

All of these drummers have sought the unique insights and perspective on balance and motion from drum "guru" - Freddie Gruber.

Freddie the "Guru"

Gruber's reputation rests upon an approach that stresses a more efficient use of the drummer's anatomy.

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Freddie the "Guru"

Gruber has often been referred to as the "zen" master of teaching. This rare insight into this approach was spurred on by Freddie's close 40 year friendship with Buddy Rich. It can clearly be seen in Buddy's playing.

Bruce & Freddie

Bruce started his studies with Freddie back in 1977 and continues the unique approach of Freddie's today.

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Bruce & Freddie

It was at this time when Freddie's activity was at its height. Bruce not only studied for 8 years, but watched Freddie teach. He was also able to watch the evolution and changes Freddie made in response to musical styles and drum innovations of the time. "I was there at a unique time during the late 70's and mid 80's. The pace at which I saw Mr. Gruber evolve was mind boggling. I would literally spend hours and hang......and this went on for years", Bruce recounts in a June '93 interview in Belgo Beat (Belgian Drum Magazine).

Bruce's Equation

Bruce's conceptual approach and unique ability yields great results. Flip to see his equation...

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Bruce the Educator

Bruce's conceptual approach and unique ability yields great results. His equation is 

Balance + Motion = Emotion

He offers the most comprehensive insight into the teachings of Mr. Gruber, and has been teaching since '82.

The Student Becomes a Teacher

Upon relocating to Europe in 1992, Bruce spent quite a bit of time traveling with Gruber while finding his own teaching voice.

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Bruce the Educator

Together Freddie and Bruce did a series of Clinic and Masterclasses in Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany. While Gruber would pontificate, Bruce would demonstrate on the drums. At this time Bruce also became the Head of the Drum Dept. at A.I.M. (American Institute of Music) in Vienna, Austria. There he spent time actively putting his thoughts and concepts together based on all that Gruber had shared with him.

Your breakthrough today starts with one simple step

I find Bruce to be the greatest technique teacher I ever met, but the most important change for me has been in the way I feel and hear time. I used to play time, but now I create it with my body...it took a few years but my playing has gotten so much deeper...thanks.
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Tony Arco
Dave Liebman

Conceptual Highlights

Concert highlights from the upcoming festival in May 15-18, 2017

Mission Statement

What's the difference, if you don't know the difference? 
By applying three universal principals such as balance, motion, and use of gravity, you will certainly know the difference. The understanding of how the anatomy works in the drumming field is most important. Professional athletes, such as Tennis pros, Baseball players, and Olympic athletes all have coaches aware of the proper mechanics that enable them to become efficient in their prospective sport. Understanding timing and proper motion of the body is essential in maintaining fluidity of execution. 

There are three primary properties that make up the total musician. First, the listening aspect, the development of how to listen. Next, the practice mode, taking time to learn the rudiments of your instrument. And finally, the ability to go out, and play live and interact with other musicians. The most important of these, though, is the importance of learning the technique of the instrument you have chosen. Drums present themselves as a unique instrument because of the four-limb coordination that is necessary to master. Many drummers have sat down and arrived at an approach that becomes limiting, in a sense they build an embouchure that can atrophy over time. Basically one will pick up the sticks and never give much thought to the placement of anything. Understanding placement in drumming is REALLY serious business.

The mission statement for each student comprises of the following elements:

Balance, Motion and Time

The element of time has been defined by man through rotations, i.e. the earth rotating on its axis, the earth's rotation around the sun. By moving in a circular or an elliptical way we dictate what time is and can influence the 'feel' of the time. As opposed to vertical motion which doesn't offer a clear center to where the time is. Each limb can establish its own orbit to help move fluidly and not disrupt the 'flow'. By understanding weight shifting one can use the natural principle of gravity to affect placement of time and this is essential to the 'Heartbeat' of music. Much like a dancer, the understanding for balance, motion, and rhythm is everything.

Focus

The focus of ones time is important to achieve bona fide results. The concept of understanding motion in a slow continuous form is beneficial to ones playing. It is analogous to the young child who first learns how to tie his/her shoes. The process is slow and tedious at first. Then it becomes second nature and is done with rapid fire precision. Discipline is an acquired 'art'. It needs to be developed slowly and steadily.

Flow

The goal is to achieve a point where the motion of the stick 'does it to you'. Therefore you are following the flow established through momentum and rebound. The same thing applies to bass drum pedal, it has its own balance and tension, if all is set right it doesn't require much energy to propel it. Once it moves you learn to control it, so you can move beyond the body and affect groove and feel.

Your Potential

To maximize your potential you must engage in the:

Trinity

of

Musical Development

(1) Listening

One must listen to attain proficiency of musical form. It is also important to listen and incorporate different musical styles to increase your musical range.

(2) Practice

The 'art' of discipline takes time to nurture and it is up to every student to make practice a daily affair. This adds to the connectivity to what you are involved with, and makes it easier to access.

(3) Playing

Similar to studying a language, your conversation skills can only be developed and refined through engaging in regular conversation. Playing is the same! Seek musical outlets to allow your musical conversation to develop and expand.

Your breakthrough today starts with one simple step