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Thread: Bill Bruford

  1. #1

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    Bill Bruford


    Drummer: William Scott "Bill" Bruford
    Style: Progressive Rock and Jazz
    Main Bands: Yes, King Crimson, UK, solo works
    Brief Summary: Bill is the quintessential prog-rock drummer, in fact you could say that he is the grandfather of the progressive drumming style. 'Recently retired' from the business, Bill has an enviable position of having played in four of the foremost British progressive rock bands, starting with Yes (leaving after their classic "Close To The Edge" album), joining King Crimson (which he would be in and out of their lineups over time) doing a brief tour with Genesis when Phil Collins took over lead vocals, and forming UK (only to leave after one album). A master of odd meters, polyrhythms and complex as well as more simple and swinging percussion, it was Bruford's use of the earlier Simmons SDS-7 electronic drums on King Crimson's trilogy of "Discipline", "Beat" and "Three Of A Perfect Pair" that not only showed what was possible with electronic percussion (and therefore gave acceptance to all the electronic drums that are out there today), but rhythmically was also influential on a whole new generation of drummers such as Danny Carey, Tim "Herb" Alexander, Mike Portnoy, Gavin Harrison and Blake Richardson.

    Other Facts: After a number of line-up changes in his solo project Earthworks, Bill decided to forego electronics altogether, citing not only the expense of freighting his Simmons SDX kit, but the fact that he wanted to go back to his love of playing acoustically with a jazz drummer's touch. His son Alex is also a drummer, but stylistically way different than Bill.

    On the King Crimson track "Trio" from "Starless And Bible Black" Bill is credited by Robert Fripp (the group's founder) as "contributing silence", as Bill (being a writer himself - he plays piano as well) knew the tune, a delicate piece between bass, violin and Mellotron, did not require any percussion at all.
    "...it's the Paradigm Of The Cosmos!" Stewart Copeland on Youtube

    668: The Number Of The Guy Next Door To The Beast.

    "A random act of kindness; it keeps my heart in shape!" - Late8

  2. #2

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    Bill Bruford is incredible and to me is just on a different educated tangent than any drummer I've ever heard.

  3. #3

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    He always had his own very different/unique style. Great guy too!
    - Tom

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  4. #4

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    Love him! So glad to see the big names getting the recognition they deserve here. Thanks again admin/supermods/mods for making this section possible.
    ZildjianLeague/LP/Aquarian/Mapex/Pearl
    Snares: 4
    RIP- Frank, Wolvie, Les Paul
    Quote Originally Posted by Pearl MCX Man View Post
    I wish I was your wife
    Quote Originally Posted by amdrummer View Post
    if double bass is cheating then so is using two sticks

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  5. #5

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    GREAT drummer. His work is so different, and so un-copy-able. I read his book, a great read on the 'middle path' of being a star, and an advocate of setting up the drums your own way, against conventions, and stressing economy of movement. I went to a drum workshop of his in 2007 (his year of retirement) and he is incredibly engaging and funny in person.

  6. #6

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    Bruford, the band and the drummer, in action in 1979. Allan Holdsworth on guitar, Jeff Berlin on bass, Dave Stewart (from National Health, Hatfield And The North and Gong, not The Eurythmics) on keyboards,and Bill Bruford, drums.



    Last edited by Drumbledore; 09-25-2012 at 11:29 AM.
    "...it's the Paradigm Of The Cosmos!" Stewart Copeland on Youtube

    668: The Number Of The Guy Next Door To The Beast.

    "A random act of kindness; it keeps my heart in shape!" - Late8

  7. #7

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    Bill Bruford is fantastic...definitely a big influence on my drumming style.
    Peace, Love, and Rock N Roll

    Matt

  8. #8

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    The Emperor's New Clothes


    Children's Concerto
    Last edited by Olimpass; 03-31-2017 at 03:11 PM.

  9. #9

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    No kidding, Oli, I have that Moraz/Bruford album on vinyl, picked that rarity up for like three dollars here. Great album to hear him play acoustic drums on. Even some brushwork.
    Last edited by Drumbledore; 09-25-2012 at 11:30 AM.
    "...it's the Paradigm Of The Cosmos!" Stewart Copeland on Youtube

    668: The Number Of The Guy Next Door To The Beast.

    "A random act of kindness; it keeps my heart in shape!" - Late8

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Drumbledore View Post
    No kidding, Oli, I have that Moraz/Bruford album on vinyl, picked that rarity u.p for like three dollars here. Great album to hear him play acoustic drums on. Even some brushwork.
    Nice score Drumbledore. Yes, I frequently shop for older vinyl and sometimes pick it up cheap. Another cool one was a piece of vinyl in a drum mag. I don't remember which one but it has Bruford and Chester Thompson reverse side, promoting Paiste Cymbals. I had transfered it from the turntable to the computer....awesome stuff.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Olimpass View Post
    Nice score Drumbledore. Yes, I frequently shop for older vinyl and sometimes pick it up cheap. Another cool one was a piece of vinyl in a drum mag. I don't remember which one but it has Bruford and Chester Thompson reverse side, promoting Paiste Cymbals. I had transfered it from the turntable to the computer....awesome stuff.
    Yeah, I think Modern Drummer was doing that sorta stuff for a while in the 80's to early 90's. I've one with Steve Smith and I think Gary Chaffee doing a drum duet, 1 kit panned to each side, so when you adjusted the control knobs on your system, you could hear either one or both drummers.
    "...it's the Paradigm Of The Cosmos!" Stewart Copeland on Youtube

    668: The Number Of The Guy Next Door To The Beast.

    "A random act of kindness; it keeps my heart in shape!" - Late8

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Drumbledore View Post
    Yeah, I think Modern Drummer was doing that sorta stuff for a while in the 80's to early 90's. I've one with Steve Smith and I think Gary Chaffee doing a drum duet, 1 kit panned to each side, so when you adjusted the control knobs on your system, you could hear either one or both drummers.
    neat, one drummer on each channel.

    My mistake, I just found those mag inserts and they were 2 separate ones, square, a little smaller than a 45 in size but played at 33 1/3. No reverse side on these.

  13. #13

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    That's an interesting drum setup in the pic.

  14. #14

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    Was just listening to "Fragile" again today. Some incredible drumming on that album....not to mention one of the coolest album covers ever.

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BsRdT9hwqGs"]Yes - Heart of the Sunrise - YouTube[/ame]
    Peace, Love, and Rock N Roll

    Matt

  15. #15

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    Wooooh! Some vintage Bill Bruford....I have a snippet of this music clip on my "Yes Years" documentary, but never seen the full video, until I've stumbled across this gem. A great, great example of Bill's rudimental control. Trippy video too, hey the 70's was like that, lol.

    Last edited by Drumbledore; 09-25-2012 at 11:31 AM.
    "...it's the Paradigm Of The Cosmos!" Stewart Copeland on Youtube

    668: The Number Of The Guy Next Door To The Beast.

    "A random act of kindness; it keeps my heart in shape!" - Late8

  16. #16

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    I'd like to claim Bruford as an influence when learning to play, but I could never play his stuff!

    He is gonna be here in Ft Wayne this Tuesday doing a drum clinic.
    And the trees are all kept equal by hatchet, axe, and saw. . .

  17. #17

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    Woot!!! Somebody (bless 'em!) has uploaded the entire "Bruford And The Beat" video from 1982 up on Youtube. No more putting up separate links to separate parts.

    Watch this one, guys and gals, before it might disappear from YouTube!

    Last edited by Drumbledore; 09-25-2012 at 11:31 AM.
    "...it's the Paradigm Of The Cosmos!" Stewart Copeland on Youtube

    668: The Number Of The Guy Next Door To The Beast.

    "A random act of kindness; it keeps my heart in shape!" - Late8

  18. #18

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    In another one of sir phrogge's "duh " moments,,,,
    courtesy of phriend pat mastellotto(sp??? Sorry pat)
    during da "vrooom" tour of king crimson (double trios)
    pat hooked me up wif backstage passes
    ( da girls in da ticket ofc bet $5 a piece no id sez phrogge
    oh dat lucky $30 winner thxs me,,,anyway,,,back to da story,,,)

    when i broke my hand typing in 1995 i started on a mission
    to get input from everyone i could think of....and in a q & a
    wif bill bruford i'm standin there shakin da hand of " da man"
    oh all dat beautiful snare sounding work thru "yes" & "crimson"
    i ask ,,,as many years as you've been playing ,da recordings,da tours,da live shows....have you ever had hand problems gripping da stick"???? He looks me straight in the eye and politely responds in dat very stright up english manner:"if you grip the stick properly,one should never have hand problems..."duuuuuuuh...

    I never gripped a stick da same way again,,,
    i had jim chapin teach me da moeller method
    (thxs roy burns,dom famularo,steve gadd & bob breighthupt)
    and has even lead me to my own product developement"phlipperz"!!

    We need to realize as drummerz if not human beings ,how many
    phantastic opportunities bless us to be able to exchange info
    @ all levels of this marvelous world we co-exist in as drummerz

    again i state:if we could add just one piece of information
    from every individual we cross paths with in this journey called life imagine how great yer library would be,,,
    god bless us each & every one.....
    "FEEL DA GROOVE & PLAY IT FORWARD..."

    "BEAUTY IS IN THE EARS OF THE BEHOLDER ,
    ENJOY IT ALL,,, MY BROTHERS & SISTERS"

    COMMANDER & CHIEPH OF
    "PHROGGE'S AQUARIAN ARMY"

    CHARTER MEMBER OF THE "OUR
    LADY OF DA NEW BEAT CONGREGATION"

    LEGEND IN MY OWN MIND
    & FORCE BEHIND DA
    "PHX AZ LEGEND OF DA ZYDECO TIE"
    (AND OTHER TOYZ)

  19. #19

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    Another great UK drummer! Such a small country, sooo many famous drummers!
    SONOR 6 pc Special Edition 3007's red maple, old Pearl Brass 14x6 FF snare, Yamaha Tour Custom maple 8 pc., Tama 4 pc., honey amber B/B, Ludwig Supralite chrome 14x6.5 steel snare, Paiste, Saluda & Zildjian
    Loaned out Slingerland upgraded 4 pc 1963 black, wrapped maple + 14" Pearl birch FT
    The Almighty Speed King pedal, Speed Cobra, Sonor Single

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  20. #20

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    I tips me hat (bandanna?) to you, Sir Phroggie....you indeed know many Brethren Of The Stick in high places!
    "...it's the Paradigm Of The Cosmos!" Stewart Copeland on Youtube

    668: The Number Of The Guy Next Door To The Beast.

    "A random act of kindness; it keeps my heart in shape!" - Late8

  21. #21

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    bruford was a big influence for me . i've fell into rock prog because of his style in yes. heZ's been a big influence for most of the great prog drummers too. his snare sound is a brand mark. very organic, not much wires heard.

    ....and he play on tama, altough i'm not sure if he's still a tama endorser.
    tama SC/BB anthique sunburst 14-10-8-10-12-16-bd 22reference snare14x5cymbals HHX's/AAX'shardware tama

  22. #22

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    Drumledore,,,
    thxs not meant to be a name droppin exercise ,,,but,,,
    knowing that its been 51 years since my 1st drum
    & 35 years or better as pro,,,along da way my passion
    for dis art (or sport) has turned me into one of da biggest
    drum groopies on da planet ,,,,i am humbled to be considered
    "phriend" by so many... My thirst & hunger for this "rhythm quest"
    will never die as long as i continue to stroke da fire
    to inspire myself....and others (like it or not)

    I feel my responsibility here is to encourage that passion
    out of each and every member of drumchat...(and da world in general)
    For wif few exceptions (the elders here)
    you are the future of drumming,,,

    we did not in any way shape or form has access to all da
    information, and websites,and audio files or media in general...
    It was almost like some sorta secret club ya hadda seek out members..

    Knowing,learning,or,heck even just being reminded
    what got drumming in all forms to where it is now
    it is as important as playing blast riffs on dbl bass @ 400 mph or faster,,,

    it all starts on da "one"
    its all about da groove
    no matter how y-o-u've
    thought about it,.....

    I'm a poet and don't know it
    but my posts show it....
    They're "longfellows"....lol
    "FEEL DA GROOVE & PLAY IT FORWARD..."

    "BEAUTY IS IN THE EARS OF THE BEHOLDER ,
    ENJOY IT ALL,,, MY BROTHERS & SISTERS"

    COMMANDER & CHIEPH OF
    "PHROGGE'S AQUARIAN ARMY"

    CHARTER MEMBER OF THE "OUR
    LADY OF DA NEW BEAT CONGREGATION"

    LEGEND IN MY OWN MIND
    & FORCE BEHIND DA
    "PHX AZ LEGEND OF DA ZYDECO TIE"
    (AND OTHER TOYZ)

  23. #23

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    Last edited by Olimpass; 03-31-2017 at 03:12 PM.

  24. #24

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    thanx for posting that video, oli

    i met bill at the namm show, right around the time of that video, he is an amazing drummer/percussionist, and a super nice guy. he was very approachable, and open for dialouge...

    thanx for the memories
    if you ask a drummer what time it is?!? they're likely to respond with a time signature "oh, it's 4/4"....


  25. #25

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    What a drum solo! Never seen fingers used on drumpads before, that was really cool! Thanks for the video Oli.
    ZildjianLeague/LP/Aquarian/Mapex/Pearl
    Snares: 4
    RIP- Frank, Wolvie, Les Paul
    Quote Originally Posted by Pearl MCX Man View Post
    I wish I was your wife
    Quote Originally Posted by amdrummer View Post
    if double bass is cheating then so is using two sticks

    Forum Rules
    DrumBum
    No metronome?
    The Rudiments

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