Testament’s Gene Hoglan Offers Tips for Metal Drummers
Drummer Gene Hoglan will soon be releasing an updated version of his ‘The Atomic Clock’ instructional DVD. He’ll also be hitting the road soon, treating fans to ‘The Gene Hoglan Experience,’ where he’ll share some of his drumming secrets. As a teaser for all of this, Hoglan recently spoke with Music Radar to share some of his drumming tips.
Hoglan, also known as ‘The Atomic Clock,’ laid out a list of guidelines he said helped him become one of metal’s most successful drummers. Some of the tips focused on playing techniques, while other tips could apply to all musicians, regardless of what instruments they play or what sort of music they prefer.
Hoglan starts off the list by stressing the importance of stretching and warming up before playing. “Your body will love you for it in your later years by not breaking down on you,” said the drummer. He also suggested that drummers learn as many styles as they can as this will help them stand out among other musicians. “One-dimensional or multi-dimensional playing — it’s your choice. I think the multi-dimensional players tend to stand out and go further in their careers,” he advised.
Having said that, he also advised against spending too much time and effort learning from lessons and drumming books. While learning the basics is important, Hoglan warned that too much instruction could erode a drummer’s own personal style. He did say, though, that playing with as many other musicians as possible is a good way to improve one’s drumming. Another one of his do’s was to pick up and learn another instrument along the way.
Hoglan wrapped up his advice with one last “don’t.” He said drummers should never believe that they know everything there is to know about drumming and playing music. “You’re nowhere close. I know I’m not. I believe that a true musician never knows it all,” said Hoglan. “Learning never stops.”