After viewing the newly released DVD Performance & Technique (Warner Bros.) from monster prog-metal drummer Bobby Jarzombek, it’s easy to see why he was chosen by metal’s flashiest frontman, Rob Halford, for the metal god’s solo project a few years back. Besides having impressive technique, Jarzombek has mastered the art of stick twirling, and he incorporates a visually exciting approach to cymbal crashes, attacking from all angles, including two cymbals located behind his kit.
“I started stick twirling back in the heyday of metal in the late ’80s, when Tommy Lee and Tommy Aldridge were doing a lot of it,” says Jarzombek. “It took a couple of months to develop. Then I started figuring out what twirling techniques worked best at different tempos. I don’t practice twirling much anymore, so when I have some clinics or gigs that call for it, I have to get back in shape and strengthen the muscles to pull it off convincingly. It’s really tough on the forearms.”
But Jarzombek is not all flash. His ambidextrous hand technique allows him to play complex grooves with left-hand lead, while incorporating interesting double bass patterns inside his groove and fill ideas. Jarzombek recalls, “I started using the open-handed technique [left-hand lead] about fifteen years ago, when I was playing with Riot. I learned all of their material with my left hand playing hi-hat and ride patterns. It felt great and made sense. Everything I learned after that was with left-hand lead. I still play fills leading with my right hand, and sometimes it’s hard to come out of that and go back into a left-handed groove.”
Jarzombek is proud of his work on the DVD. “I produced it myself,” he says. “It’s mirrored after the formats that Weckl and Donati have done on their instructional videos. I tried to incorporate more interesting and educational bonus footage by including first-hand advice about recording in the studio, doing a live soundcheck, and picking out my cymbals at the Paiste factory.”
For more information, go to www.bobbyjarzombek.com.