Dave DiCenso is a Boston-area drummer whose musicality and versatility have garnered him a diverse list of playing credits. He also happens to be a highly-regarded and sought-after educator and has maintained a thriving practice throughout his playing career.
What makes Dave DiCenso a great teacher
I love Dave DiCenso! Eh, I mean I love his playing.. Of course his chops are amazing. But his command over the instrument is way beyond that. There’s much more to him than just blazing chops. You could ballpark it by saying it’s his musicality. Well, duh.. Let’s get a bit more specific.
Vocabulary – Rhythm and phrasing
Dave DiCenso always seems to be capable of creating new interesting ways of saying things. That’s because he has provided himself with a never ending source of inspiration. Dave DiCenso has a very profound understanding of claves, cross rhythms and polyrhythms, subdivisions and phrasing. This vast knowledge of rhythmical components and rhythm in general allows him to combine endlessly.
Grammar – Technique and dynamics
Dave DiCenso’s dynamic control is second to none. This in its most basic form is purely technical and can (should!) be practiced thoroughly. Go get your Stick Control out and practice everything at different volumes. And basically practice everything you know at many, many different dynamic levels. Go for control instead of speed. The speed will come from having more control. This should get you there in terms of technique as you will gain control quickly.
Pronunciation – Sound and orchestration
Add to this his ability to get phenomenal sounds out of his instrument and again his knowledge of orchestration and you have an extremely well sounding musician. But there’s more.
To me there are few drummers who are better storytellers than Dave DiCenso. This may not be our primary task as drummers, but to me this may be the highest form of musicianship. Having the imagination of someone like Dave DiCenso may be something you have to be born with. But you have to cultivate such a talent nonetheless. And when you do, there may be more creativity and an obsession with speaking from the heart within you than you thought..
As always this is the deciding factor. From looking at his vocabulary, grammar, pronunciation and storytelling, we can only conclude that Dave DiCenso has the communication skillz of a true master. But this could have only been developed by someone with the deep desire to get engaged in a lifelong obsession with music and everything around it. Starting early on in a musical environment is one thing. Getting to this extraordinary level of drumming and musicianship requires decades of sheer dedication.
This along with the fact that he’s a wonderful human being, not only make Dave DiCenso a great drummer and musician. This also makes him an awesome teacher and author. I truly love people who make the world a little more beautiful. So yeah, I love Dave DiCenso.
Check out his two phenomenal books here.
Also check out his appearance at the Modern Drummer Festival 2006. You can get the full performance here, or watch this clip first. You should see the entrance and the start of the solo really. Check that, you should see this solo from start to finish! Nineteen minutes of captivating drums, incredible. I’ve heard drummers say this was the first long drum solo ever that was truly interesting from beginning to end. How’s that for storytelling!
And if you haven’t already, watch his infamous clips from Two Ton Shoe. Notice Mike Mangini in the crowd enjoying this sheer display of power.
If you want to check out all educational products by Dave DiCenso simply click here.
Or visit www.davedicenso.com
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