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Saturday, September 14, 2013

New video interview with Neil Peart's first drum teacher Don George

Drum Talk TV has posted an extensive interview with Don George, Neil Peart's first drum teacher. Host Dan Shinder talks to George about a variety of subjects, including one of his students, Neil Peart, who started lessons at age 13.

Over the years, Neil Peart has talked and written of George. In his first interview with Modern Drummer, Neil talked about George, although he used a pseudonym. (It's worth noting that this interview happened around the time that Neil was becoming quite famous [Permanent Waves], so he most likely was protecting George's privacy).

CI: Who was your first drum teacher?

NP: I took lessons for a short period of time, about a year and a half. His name was Paul, I can't remember his last name. He turned me in a lot of good directions, and gave me a lot of encouragement. I'll never forget him telling me that out of all his students there were only two that he thought would be drummers. I was one of them. That was the first encouragement I had which was very important to me. For somebody to say to you, you can do it. And then he got into showing me what was hard to do. Although I wasn't capable of playing those things at the time, he was showing me difficult rudimental things, and flashy things. Double hand cross-overs and such. So he gave me the challenge. And even after I stopped taking lessons those things stayed in my mind, and I worked on them. And finally I learned how to do a double hand cross-over. I remember thinking how proud I would be if my teacher could see it.

In this Drum TV interview, when asked about Neil Peart as a student, George said, "Neil was always one step ahead, always practicing, always playing."

I'd never had a chance to hear Don speak, and I was impressed with his thoughtful and articulate discussions on drum technique, teaching, and inspiration. I can see why Neil was inspired by George.

One question he said he asks his students seems especially important: "Do you want to be a musician or a drummer?"When I started playing drums at age 15, I thought the correct answer was most certainly, "drummer." But after some 30 years of playing, I understand the importance of being a musician.


posted by AndyO @ 4:45 PM   0 comments