Benny Greb was born in Germany, in Hamburg in 1980 and began to play drums at the age of six years self-taught, playing over the songs. At 12 he took his first drum lesson and thanks to his experience in previous years he progressed very quickly. He joined a punk band but soon discovered rock and jazz playing in school bands.
Today Benny Greb at age 38 has already collected dozens of collaborations, DVDs, live, very popular clinics and is among the drummers with the greatest artistic and educational depth. His unmistakable style combined with his light approach and a little nerd place him among the greatest modern drummers. It goes smoothly between many genres from jazz to classical, from rock to Latin, combining an unusual fantasy with an excellent technique, without ever giving up the sense of humor.
He is considered an excellent teacher and demonstrates this both in his publications, in drum classes and workshops and through the lectures he holds regularly at the music schools of Hamburg, Mannheim, and Hammelburg.
It is endorser Sonor, Meinl, Vic Firth, and Remo.
Enough with the story of his life. Let’s move on to what interests us:
Let’s start with Benny Greb’s drums. Since 2004 he is a Sonor endorser and every time I saw him in the clinic, he used the SQ2 series and lately Sonor has also released a beautiful video that I put below.
His setup consists of a 20 × 16 ″ case, 16 × 16 ″ eardrums, 10 × 7 ″ toms (all with Vintage Maple drums), his inevitable Benny Greb signature 13 × 5.75 ″ snares and 600 Series hardware.
Two words for the signature snare drum which is made of 5mm thick Scandinavian beech wood and 45 ° edges. Mounts 2.3mm Power Hoop wheels in steel with 8 TuneSafe tie rods and blocks.
He often uses a second 12 “snare drum to the left of the Charleston and another tympanum, a 14 × 14”
As for the dishes, use the Meinl and specifically the Byzance series.
Its standard setup (which obviously varies depending on the situation) has as its constant the 8 ”Crasher Hats, which obviously bear his name and which are small charleston he uses very often to create beautiful games of independence and sound. You can see all his setup directly on the Meinl website.
Always with Meinl, he has created a whole series of personalized products, from the cases for the dishes to the famous training pad with personalized graphics.
Use the Vic Firths with which he signed his own custom series. They are 16 “long 5B, with a diameter of 0.595 and a teardrop tip shorter than the smooth model, in order to have more definition and rebound on the plates. They are distributed in Italy by Aramini.
More technical features directly to the Vic Firth site.
Benny Greb uses Remo skins, Emperor coated hinges and resonant Ambassadors. Use the Powerstroke 3 for the case.
In my opinion, he wrote and produced 2 very interesting ones which are ” The language of Drumming ” and ” The art & science of groove “.
My advice is to take a look at it because unlike classic educational DVDs, these are full of exercises, but they also have tons of taste and inspiration, which are the things that matter most in a teacher.
Greb’s teaching is simple: Practice, lots of practice, but above all you need to know what to study before you start doing it. ” Groove is not a gift, but only the fruit of so much practice, ” he says. Free to think as you wish, but in his second DVD he tackles this issue in-depth and I must say that he is very convincing.
If (understandably) you don’t want to spend money with a locked box, I suggest you take a ride on Youtube and look for one of the clips where you can guess the style of the DVD.
Often live uses two snare drums (Benny Greb Signature) simultaneously tuned one high and one low so as to have on the first the sound of the classic snare drum and on the second a sound more like an electronic drum.
To compose the songs of his latest group “Moving Parts” he was inspired by the New York jazz scene in recent years, especially drummers like Mark Guiliana, Jojo Mayer and Zach Danziger.
As a teenager, he played in a punk band.
If English is not a problem, don’t miss out on his advice on Drumeo.