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Steve Smith – his focus, ambition and signature snare

Steve seems to be a common forename for outstanding drummers: Ferrone, Gadd, Houghton, Jordan – finally I did get Steve Smith in front of my camera. We talked about his musical journey, his way of focussing and his new signature snare drum. 

Meeting Steve Smith At The Sonor Booth

NAMM Show, Anaheim. Right in front of the Sonor stand Steve Smith gives an interview – quite a few people are watching from very close by. I ask one of the Sonor managers to please introduce me to the legendary drummer. Ten minutes later I walk into a backstage booth towards Steve Smith. While I am searching for some introductive words, Steve beats me and says: “I know you. I’ve seen some interviews with you.”

How great is that!? We take it from there and arrange a meeting for the next day at Steve’s hotel. Not much time to prepare really but, I cannot let that chance slip by, can I? What could I possibly ask him that hasn’t been asked before? I do my research and end up with one big topic: focus.

How To Focus And Move On

Steve Smith is 63 years old, still busy and not tired at all. While he can look back to a fulfilled career, he still accepts new challenges. He has been part of so many creative processes – and yet he’s still inspired to produce more art and to share his knowledge. Just scroll down and have a look what Steve is a part of so far. Anyway, because of that I thought he must be someone who is able to focus really well.

Therefore we talked about different aspects on this matter: I wanted to know how Steve gets things done behind the drum kit first of all, whether yoga helps him with his focus or not and what he focuses on when things are not going well. Just like everybody Steve Smith experienced a downfall. But as you probably know and as poet Oliver Goldsmith said …

“Success consists of getting up just one more time than you fall.”

So watch the video above and find out about how to focus in diverse situations and also about a few other things.

Sonor Anniversary Snare Drum

Of course there is the short profile which gives you a lot of info about Steve Smith, but there is also a sneak preview of a limited signature snare drum. This year Steve is with Sonor for 40 years – reason enough to honor the extraordinary drummer with a special instrument. If you are able to get a hold of one of only 77 pieces, you will also receive a pair of Steve Smith signature drum sticks by Vic Firth.

And in case you missed the announcement of Steve’s two latest books, he talks about that in the end, too. Scroll down for the proper links and enjoy. I did. Now it’s about time that I get to finally see Steve Smith play live.

Stay on or by(e),
Yours Cat

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Get in touch with Steve Smith


Media and artists Steve Smith mentions in the video

Journey: Escape (CD | 1981)
Journey: Frontiers (CD | 1983)
Vital Information – NYC Edition: Viewpoint (CD | 2015)
Gene Krupa with Benny Goodman: The Complete Legendary 1938 Carnegie Hall Concert (CD | 1938)
Alan Dawson: The Drummer’s Complete Vocabulary as taught by Alan Dawson (Book | 1998)
Gary Chaffee: Patterns (Book series)
Eric Harland: Voyager – Live by Night (CD | 2010)
Mark Guiliana Jazz Quartet: Family First (CD | 2015)
Kendrick Scott: We Are The Drum (CD | 2015)
Hiromi: Alive (CD | 2014)
Steve Smith: The Fabric of Drum Art (LP & Book | 2016)

Eductaional stuff by Steve Smith

Pathways Of Motions (Book & DVD| 2016)
Drum Legacy (DVD | 2009)
Drum Set Technique / History of the U.S. Beat (2 DVD | 2007)

An incomplete discography

Check it directly – just click this link…

Steve Smith’s gear

Sonor Drums
Zildjian Cymbals
Vic Firth Sticks …
… Rutes TW11 Steve Smith Tala Wand
Remo Drumheads
DW Pedals
Puresound Snarewires

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