Gavin Harrison

198 – Gavin Harrison: Rhythm, King Crimson and the ongoing quest to improve

Gavin Harrison is one of the most recognizable names in drumming. Whether you know his work with Porcupine Tree, King Crimson, or his many studio recordings, there’s little doubt that Gavin is one of the greatest drummers in the world. His playing speaks for itself, but he’s also been voted “Best Prog Drummer” by the readers of Modern Drummer Magazine and has appeared on David Letterman’s “drum solo week.

“You learn something everyday if you pay attention.” – Ray LeBlond (Tweet this)

Gavin Harrison talks about:

  • Getting stated playing drums
  • Early influences, including his father
  • Starting off as a dancer
  • Why he plays open-handed
  • The traditional / matched grip debate
  • How he learns music
  • Thoughts on reading music
  • Porcupine Tree
  • Getting the King Crimson Gig
  • What it’s like playing with 2 other drummers
  • The Dave Letterman Drum Solo week appearance
  • Beat displacement
  • Practice routines
  • Much, much more

Resources / Links / People Mentioned:

Gavin Harrison Plays:

  • Sonor Drums
  • Zildjian Cymbals
  • Vic Firth Drumsticks
  • Remo Drumheads
  • Tama Speed Cobra
  • Gibraltar Hardware
  • Hardcase
  • AKG Microphones
  • Nord
  • Planet Waves
  • Korg
  • Cymbag

Podcast Sponsors

DW Drums: I’ve been playing DW for years…not only because they make high-quality, handcrafted drums but because they support and foster drumming initiatives all over the wold, much like this podcast. I’m thrilled to announce that DW has signed on to support Drummer’s Reosource for 2016! Be sure to check them out today and Audible is one of my favorite companies in the world! They make audio book so you can listen to your favorite books on the go. You know, but I listen more. I use audible every single day and can’t recommend them enough! The best part, you can download a FREE audio book by going to

Promark Drumsticks: Promark is Is now a sponsor of the podcast once again they were last year and now they are again. they just released the Mike Portnoy signature model that has the active grip 420X at it’s designed to add more power to your arsenal and features the heat activated technology. It’s s an awesome technology that actually adjusts to your body temperature and give you control you need so no matter how hard you play the active grip is going to help you handle it by getting tackier as it warms up. You can learn more about this great technology and the Mike Portnoy stick at

5 replies
  1. dave rodway
    dave rodway says:

    I’m going back through the archives in itunes. Wow. Yesterday listened to Gadd and Chad while driving to LA. Now Gavin. I love him.
    Thanks Nick.

  2. dave rodway
    dave rodway says:

    Gavin’s talking about writing intricate parts for 3 drummers.
    Years ago, Gary Chester used to have an annual summertime party.
    All students were asked to write a composition for no fewer than 5 drummers at a time.
    Then we would present our composition at the party. Sometimes 7 drummers would play one piece.

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