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Mr. Riley, I had the opportunity of meeting you this past weekend at the 2010 Cymbal Summit at Memphis Drum Shop in Memphis, TN. I am 29 and have been drumming for about 15 years. I learned technique and reading through band in middle school and high school, but am a self taught set player. I guess you could say I have reached my "mid-life crisis" of drumming, causing me to look back on the past fifteen years of playing and determine what I've accomplished and how I've grown as a drummer. Honestly is looks pretty bleak, but the inspiration I received this past weekend, as anticipated, has sparked a new determination in me to better my playing. A large part of that is due to you. While I only got to see and hear you play a very short set on Friday night, your influence as a drummer and as a person has found a home inside of me. The elegance and technique in your drumming give me much to aspire to but, what truly impacted me was your humble and approachable character. I have met many talented musicians but the true measure of a man is his character and I just wanted to thank you for having such a kind and gentle spirit. Many musicians at your level of playing and career have such a condesending attitude and it was both inspiring and refreshing to speak with you and see how you present yourself. As soon as I replenish some of the funds from my cymbal purchases at the Cymbal Summit I will be purchasing your DVD " The Master Drummer." I can't wait to get it and begin to learn from your wealth of knowledge and skill. Keep up the good work. Jesse
by Jesse Hornbeak (Jackson, TN)May 11, 2010 4:24 PM
Hi John, Thanks for your contributions to the art of drumming and providing a great instructional DVD. I have watched the DVD several times and been practicing all of the things you have said to practice in your DVD. I have been working on the ride technique you use and find it is much easier to play at faster tempos. You are a wonderful player and teacher.
by JonMay 6, 2010 10:26 PM
Hi John, Thanks for your continuing contributions to the art of drumming, and to drummers. Could you recommend a list of "essential" Tony Williams recordings (your personal favorites?) -- with the understanding that nothing Tony recorded could be deemed "unimportant". Thanks, Tom
by Tom Teare (Essex Junction, VT)May 4, 2010 1:18 PM
Thanks for your contribution to drummers arround the world!.An punctual question..how do I recognize playing behind,at center,or on top of time?...its about playing "micro-seconds" before or after the beat?...its just about feeling?...its frustrating to me!...help me please mr Riley!
by giancarlo (Lima Peru)April 24, 2010 8:54 PM
I started playing drums recently, I have been able to get drum lessons from my band director Mr. Allen, he showed me a lot about jazz, thats when i decide to learn to play drums. He told me the only why to learn jazz drums is through your books. He was right, thank you Mr. Riley for you books and all of your knowledge you have given to beginners.
by Brandon (United States)April 18, 2010 11:32 PM
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