Chad Wackerman

142 – Chad Wackerman: From A to Zappa

In this podcast I talk to Chad Wackerman. A phenomenally skilled jazz and rock drummer, Chad’s professional career began in 1978 with the Bill Watrous band. Since then he has amassed a remarkable body of work including a seven year association with Frank Zappa, with whom he toured the USA and Europe and recorded 26 albums including the London Symphony recordings.

He has also recorded 6 albums and toured with guitar legend Allan Holdsworth, played on the ‘One Voice’ album and video with Barbra Streisand, and recorded albums and toured with artists as diverse as Steve Vai, Andy Summers, Men At Work, Ed Mann, Albert Lee, Colin Hay, Dweezil Zappa, Pasqua/Holdsworth/Haslip/Wackerman Group, Terry Bozzio, Carl Verheyen and David Garfield.

Chad has also toured with James Taylor, John Patitucci, Joe Sample, Banned From Utopia and The World Drummers Ensemble (Bill Bruford, Luis Conte, Dou Dou Ndiaye Rose and Chad Wackerman) .

As a band leader and composer Chad has five critically acclaimed CDs: ‘Forty Reasons’, ‘The View’, ‘Scream’, ‘Legs Eleven’ and his latest release, Dreams Nightmares and Improvisations. Chad has written music for the television show ‘The Dennis Miller Show’, as well as composing music for Allan Holdsworth’s ‘Secrets’ , ‘Wardenclyffe Tower’ and ‘Sixteen Men of Tain’ CDs. His trio has a performance DVD, ‘Hits Live’.

Chad’s drumming combines the power and conviction of rock with the sensitivity and finesse of jazz. His playing is remarkably free of predictable patterns and licks, relying instead on invention and interplay with the musicians around him.

When 99% of people doubt your idea, you’re either gravely wrong or about to make history.”  -Scott Belski
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In this podcast Chad Wackerman talks about:

  • Getting started with playing drums
  • Early, influential teachers
  • His father’s legacy as a master educator
  • The commonalties between him and his brothers (who are also professional musicians)
  • His crazy Frank Zappa audition
  • Explanation of polyrhythms
  • Murray Spivak and the methods behind his teachings
  • Much more

Resources and links mentioned:

Chad Wackerman Uses:

  • DW Drums
  • Paiste Cymbals
  • Innovative Percussion Sticks / Brushes
  • Evans Drumheads
  • Roland Electronics
  • AKG Microphones

Podcast Sponsors:

  • DW Drums
  • Promark Drumsticks
  • Dream Cymbals