I’ve been reading Modern Drummer since I was a teenager, and since first picking up the January 2001 25th Anniversary issue, I’ve managed to hang on to my copy of nearly every subsequent one. The first time I saw MD at a shopping mall bookstore in the early 2000s, I remember thinking, Wait, someone makes a magazine for US? I felt excited and grateful; many of you likely felt that same elation after picking up your own first copy.
It wasn’t long after discovering MD that I became aware of this month’s cover artist, Mark Schulman. It was in the Ask a Pro column of the March 2003 issue. Schulman was performing with the pop icon Cher then, and he was asked by a reader about his ability to achieve different drum tones at the kit without having to change setups. Mark’s response was clearly worded, enthusiastic, thorough, and informative. In addition, his advice on technique, phrasing, and tuning still holds up.
Schulman’s 2003 response feels particularly profound today due to the amount of effort he put into answering that one question. His reply filled an entire page, and not a word was wasted. In the time since that piece was published, Mark’s lost none of that passion for informing drummers. For proof all you need to do is read this month’s cover feature, which includes extended coverage on his journey and methods. Check it out on page 20. And if you’d like to read Mark’s March 2003 Ask a Pro response, that entire issue is available digitally in our archive at moderndrummer.com.
While I was revisiting that 2003 issue, I couldn’t help but think about the technological and social changes that our industry and readership have experienced in the ensuing years, and how those changes relate to the artists we’re covering this month. As social media became important in many of our lives toward the end of the ’00s, Schulman followed right along for the ride while building an independent studio career via various online platforms. Among the topics covered in his interview this month, Mark digs into some of the specific steps he took on that path. Elsewhere in the issue, the pop drummer Kaz Rodriguez talks about building a successful career in part by utilizing YouTube and various digital outlets prior to landing a gig with the singer/songwriter Josh Groban. And in this month’s Spotlight column you can read about the social media campaign that’s recently helped the drum accessory company Spinbal achieve success.
And speaking of social media, we always appreciate your responses to our monthly Readers’ Platform questions, and we value the feedback you share with us via [email protected] Keep those comments coming, and enjoy the issue!