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Drummer Kaz Rodriguez talks samples and triggers at ICMP

Laura  Barnes
Drummer Kaz Rodriguez talks samples and triggers at ICMP

The Institute of Contemporary Music Performance (ICMP) recently hosted an exclusive masterclass with one of the most talked about drummers currently on the scene, Kaz Rodriguez. 

The packed out event at ICMP’s London campus was enjoyed by bass guitar degree and drum degree students.

Rodriguez is renowned for being a composer and touring session drummer within the pop scene, who recently featured on the cover of the April edition of Rhythm Magazine, and provided a world-exclusive lesson for the magazine’s YouTube channel.

As well as playing for singers including Joss Stone, Jessie Ware, Sinead Harnett, Jay Sean, Plan B, Wilkinson, and Aston Merrygold, he has also toured with 15 musicians accompanying Cirque du Soleil.
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In the drumming world he has collaborated with the likes of Travis Barker (Blink 182), Aaron Spears (Lady Gaga), Anika Nilles, Chris Coleman (Prince), Gerald Hayward, and many more. He is a regular demonstrator for Roland and well-known for giving masterclasses internationally and composing his own songs and backing tracks.

During the masterclass, Rodriguez discussed his choice of equipment, specifically his hybrid set up, special cymbals for use with electronics, and how to use samples and triggers to create different styles, such as Drum’n’Bass grooves on an acoustic kit.

He covered various aspects of technique, including layering, but advised students that a vital skill for a session musician is being able to play what is needed, because “it is the most simple groove that will get you the gig”.

Students heard how his time with Cirque du Soleil, whilst at university, was a real learning curve, and the experience that inspired him to start songwriting. Alongside this they were told that having the discipline to “always finish whatever you start” – be it a musical project or a degree course, is a motto he lives by.

BMus 1st Year student Alexander Savva commented that it was an “amazing experience; definitely informative and beneficial. I would love to see him re-visit!”

Rodriguez commented: "I've had a wonderful time here at ICMP, such a wonderful establishment and dedicated students who gave me warmth in my masterclass, looking forward to coming back!"

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Tags: drums , icmp , drummer , kaz rodriguez , masterclass

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