Review: Yamaha Dave Weckl clinic tour

Last week Dave Weckl completed a three-date clinic tour to promote Yamaha's new flagship kit, the Phoenix (PHX). Roving reporter Jerome Marcus sent us his thoughts on the Brighton clinic:

Dave Weckl - performing through the fire of the Phoenix

Fresh from the completion of his European tour with Mike Stern, Dave Weckl returned to the UK to perform a short series of drum events with Yamaha in conjunction with the debut of the PHX Phoenix ‘Ultimate´ series showcased at venues in Glasgow, Manchester and Brighton.

Brighton-based retailer Drum Cavern (GAK) hosted the event at the Brighton Centre to a healthy body of drumming fans eager to make the most out of this opportunity to get up close and personal with Dave Weckl. He opened the event with a drum solo with a dynamic build using his fingers and hands, then on to rutes and ending with sticks. A fine performance delivering the mastery and dynamics of his technique.

Respecting that some drummers get to that place of hitting ‘brick walls´, Dave shared his solutions covering practise regimes, laying down grooves, refining kit set-up to the fluidity of soloing to get to that point which he describes as ‘spontaneous creativity´. His advice and examples directed the audience to thinking beyond grooves and chops to bring out the musician in each drummer.

Respecting that there is room in the business for all drummers, his advice for the serious drummer was to emphasise that they are not in the drum business but in the music business. For the professional this is as big a reponsibility as the development of their skills.

Whether a drum enthusiast or a serious drummer, this masterclass was packed with productive advice. In performance, his dynamic technique and rhythmic musicality are astounding and his dedicated talent stands respected worldwide; hats off to Dave for continuing to feed the craft and leaving constructive information to consider.

Yamaha´s PHX Phoenix ‘Ultimate´ Series is the new flagship for their drum line. As a long term endorser, Dave Weckl has experienced Yamaha´s drum lines and openly describes PHX as “´s like pushing the loudness button on your stereo” and yes, from the audience perspective the kit sounded warm and punchy. The quality of its sound dynamics was unleashed as Dave shifted through his solo from loud to soft and from fast to slow. The resonance and projection were distinctively impressive. Yamaha can stand proud of their 40 year technology - check it out, coming to a store near you soon.

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Chris Barnes

I'm MusicRadar's eCommerce Editor. It's my job to manage the buyer's guides on MusicRadar and help musicians find the right gear and the best prices. I'm a guitarist and a drummer and I've worked in the music gear industry for 18 years, including 7 years as Editor of the UK's best-selling drum magazine Rhythm, and 5 years as a freelance writer working with many of the world's biggest musical instrument brands including the likes of Roland, Boss, MusicRadar and Natal.