1



Buddy Rich

  • American musician
  • Born September 30, 1917
  • Died April 2, 1987

Bernard "Buddy" Rich (September 30, 1917 – April 2, 1987) was an American jazz drummer and bandleader. He is considered one of the most influential drummers of all time and was known for his virtuoso technique, power, and speed. He performed with Tommy Dorsey, Harry James and Count Basie, and led a big band.


Almost everything I've done, I've done through my own creativity. I don't think I ever had to listen to anyone else to learn how to play drums. I wish I could say that for about ten thousand other drummers.




And, well of course, Count Basie, and I think all of the black bands of the late thirties and early forties, bands with real players. They had an influence on everybody, not just drummers.




I think it's a fallacy that the harder you practice the better you get.




So, to come In with a set routine it's something I've never believed in. It should depend on how you feel, because you play what you feel.




There were so many individual styles thirty or forty years ago.




I play a percussion instrument, not a musical saw; it needs no amplification. Where it's needed, they put a microphone in front of the bass drum. But, I don't think it's necessary to play that way every night.




But, when you have to resort to turntables, trick lights, flashing lights, fire and all that, you're actually saying, I need this because what I do is not all that together.




I can't sit down long enough to absorb any kind of learning.




But, I don't think any arranger should ever write a drum part for a drummer because if a drummer can't create his own Interpretation of the chart and he plays everything that's written, he becomes mechanical; he has no freedom.




It takes us about four or five days to get an album out.




So, practice, particularly after you've attained a job, any kind of job, like playing with a four piece band, that's... an opportunity to develop.




Every drummer that had a name, had a name because of his individual playing. He didn't sound like anybody else, So everybody that I ever listened to, in some form, influenced my taste.




If he's a true symphony artist, he knows better than that because he knows that the only truly creative musician is the jazz musician.




And, you know, I think the original recording of Ravel's Bolero, probably whoever played percussion on that, will never have It played better than that.




I think at one time every drummer wanted to play like Krupa or wanted to win a Gene Krupa drum contest. This is the big inspiration for drummers and naturally it has to be the same way for me.




I can think of a lot better things to do with my hands than to cut them up on the rim of a drum.




They're simply following what was laid down in front and they play the same thing. So, there's no great challenge In being a classical drummer.




I think the drummer should sit back there and play some drums, and never mind about the tunes. Just get up there and wail behind whoever is sitting up there playing the solo. And this is what is lacking, definitely lacking in music today.




But I think that any young drummer starting out today should get himself a great teacher and learn all there is to know about the instrument that he wants to play.




Well, I never really practiced because I never had the opportunity to practice.




I mean, I think I liked every band I ever played in because each band was different, each band had a different concept, and each band leader was different... different personalities and musical tastes.




But primarily, the drummer's supposed to sit back there and swing the band.




To have everything written for you... It's not really creating. That's why I think symphony drummers are so limited. They 're limited to exactly what was played a hundred years before them by a thousand other drummers.




You only get better by playing.




I consider every drummer that ever played before me an influence, in every way.



1