It’s about time.
My first memory of Tony Royster was as a youngster, alongside Dennis Chambers.
Then, with the advent of the internet, Gospel Chops, and social media, he started popping up everywhere. Fast-forward to present-day, and Royster, drumist behind Jay Z’s live apparatus and among the most sought-after clinicians on Earth, has come-of-age.
I knew as soon as I saw the deluge of covers of Show Me What You Got that I’d eventually have to do a lesson on Tony, but I wanted to wait. I wasn’t good enough as either a player or teacher to cover Tony in a meaningful way (I tried in the Faster Hands video, a process that took me weeks), and I was building a brand around learning the most important things first, and Homicidal Single Strokes seemed outside the wheelhouse.
But in the last year I’ve come to realize the point is extracting the most useful parts of every player, Bruce Lee style, and that if I could make The Royst accessible, maybe my audience would believe me that all of you, too, have the capacity to steal from the Best.
Anyway, you’re probably here for the transcription.
And for the comment thread this week, was there ever a time you thought you had everything together, then you watched another drummer and he made you feel like a rank amateur? (For me, Eric Harland, Lee Pearson, Nate Wood, Marcus...the list cotinues;) If so, who?