Updated: Mar 24
Hi, Greg Burrows here. I’m honored to have been invited to contribute this blog post for Modern Drummer magazine, a publication I’ve been reading since the very first issue, which came out when I was in my early teens. There have been hundreds of articles and exercises in MD that have influenced me and helped shape who I am as a professional player today—and I’m still learning and improving, each and every day, along this lifelong journey of playing drums.
I have a diverse background and extensive experience in the full spectrum of a fairly typical working New York City drummer: I’ve played off-Broadway shows (briefly, Blue Man Group: Tubes back in the 1990s), Brazilian samba, weddings, bar band gigs, and modern dance classes (a great, creative opportunity for drummers. These days I tour with psychedelic cumbia band out of Brooklyn, New York, Chicha Libre (sharing timbale duties with the astounding Karina Colis). I love all types of music—though if you stick me on a dessert island with only one choice of music, it would have to be jazz. The subtlety, skill, musical level, listening, and brush work necessary to be a jazz drummer is exactly what I want to focus on in the current phase of this journey.
I’ve studied with the great Joe Morello, Henry Adler, Gary Chester, and Bob Moses on drum kit; Montego Joe and briefly the legendary Milton Cardona for Latin percussion; and numerous other teachers (including, currently, occasional coaching lessons with Mike Clark and John Riley).
These days I’m also focused on mastering the incredible Korg Wavedrum drum synthesizer and branching out into traditional old-time percussion stuff like playing the spoons and rhythm bones. I have several examples on my YouTube channel where I’m playing solos on these instruments (search in YouTube: “Greg Burrows”).