Follow me @billraydrums
I found my father’s drums at 15 months old and was immediately drawn to the power of a backbeat and how it made me feel. My then-four year-old self discovered my dream, nee’ purpose when the local “drum guru”, a man by the name of George Lawrence (who is still a friend to this day) performed a drum solo at my parents’ photography studio in Jackson, MS. while getting band pics done.
In 2015 a move to Seattle began a new chapter in my life. Currently I instruct at Seattle Drum School and in my own private studio. I have been playing with Paul Gilbert and did his recent release “Behold- Electric Guitar”.
My Livestream Rig
Preliminary side note: Zoom the camera/audio manufacturer, and "Zoom" the conferencing app are two entirely separate companies which can cause confusion when talking about "Zoom Cameras". Know the difference going in! TL;DR- Multiple cam/dual computer setup with OBS (a linked list of my hardware/software is at the bottom of this article.) Zoom Cameras, model Q2n4K. Zoom L-20 Livetrak for sound input. Zoom cams plug into powered USB hubs, with each hub in a separate USB port. I try to maintain...
Number Four-iollo of Oriollo in my Drumiollo Collectio....llo?
I have an affinity for the work of Vukan Karadzic, a Serbian metalsmith who has been building drums under his brand Oriollo for a while now, and they are incredible. I told him I was not gonna quit until I had a dozen of his pieces. So in late 2018 I acquired my first #1, which was a 5x14 Bell Bronze (Bellmaker series). I then saw one of his aluminum drums, an homage to a 5.5x14 Acrolite in American Music in Seattle on the used rack and that became Oriollo #2. In 2019 I ordered a custom...
New Snare Drum! Oriollo 5x14 Bell Bronze
"The Bellmaker". I have always wanted a bell brass snare drum; the clarity of their tone, the poignant attack they offer, something about them is truly unique. The problem was, I didn't want to spend upwards of $2000 on a snare drum to achieve this! I've always been a fan of the underdog. The small business owner whom, armed with a dream and experience, does something so good, unique and cool that envelops passion and love into the final product... a lot of the large companies seem to have...
Verbal Abuse- When Is It OK?
Recently I did a weekend house concert-type gig with an independent, somewhat well-known regional artist. House concerts are fun because the crowds are more intimate and there's usually a nice spread of fine food and libation and the band are the "guests of honor". And because of the smaller venues, well.. .They're smaller venues! And being able to play congruent to that situation is a skill that is carefully developed over time. Playing in the "tiny space" is a completely different...
Review of 22" Sabian Phoenix Ride Cymbal
There's two things that drummers will constantly be on the hunt for- the perfect snare drum and the perfect ride cymbal. I've been a Sabian artist now going on a year and am really in love with the sounds they create. When I ordered my set of cymbals last year upon signing on as an artist I think that the choices made were all pretty much spot-on in regards to "what will work for me" being that I'm oftentimes called to play so many various types of music and in many different settings. I got a set of...
So I decided to throw caution to the wind and take the drumkit out to a bar and play along to some tracks of artists who are not known to the general public, but really, really ought to be. Get Sub Rosa at CD Baby.com 2 + 2 = Chicken by Schmaltz I do not use a click track when playing to these tracks; I just have to know where to step. Playing without a click makes me listen into the song and it's a deeper level of congruence for me, to lock into the more subtle rhythmic "handholds". It's a...
Some tips for the GC Drum-Off
I am now teaching via Skype and in Seattle, WA. Contact me to schedule a lesson! I have had a long and interesting history with the Guitar Center Drum-Off. In 1989 I had just relocated to the West Coast and somehow I learned that there was a drum solo contest and it was that very day; I called the store and got a slot to play, and tied for first place with another guy. When it was all over, I think we each got a snare drum and we walked across the street and the judges bought us a pizza. It's a...
Backwards Progress or "The Big Sandpile"
Response to a guy on a drum forum who is "giving up" because he "thinks he's not getting any better" Oftentimes when you feel as if you're getting worse it's not because you are "getting worse" but because your awareness is expanding and you hear more things that you used to didn't perceive. It's like this- when you begin any activity you're going into a darkened room. You know the room is infinite but all you can see is the tiny space that your tiny light allows you to see. As you begin to...
Tracking for the Mike Watson Stuff...
Getting geared up to go into the studio and start round three of the Mike Watson project.
An Interview with drummer Bill Ray, his afire passion for the beat has done popular as musician & teacher
Michalis Limnios of Blues.gr hooked up a great interview.