Artist Interview: Pat Saunders
(Sales Rep, Pearl)
Pat Saunders is a Pearl Sales Representative who calls on drum shops in the central part of the country. Pat lives in Nashville and is a freelance musician, sound engineer and instructor. Pat teaches at the Cool Springs Music & Arts.
Question: What was your first drum set?
I began my musical journey on a Pearl Export with a ’59 Ludwig Duco snare drum. I’ve owned, played, and sold thousands of drums since then, but these will always stay in my collection.
Question: Did you ever take private lessons?
I learned a lot from dad prior to studying with some of the best cats in the Detroit area. As a perpetual student of the instrument, I continue to take lessons when and where I can. I also learn new things from my students every day.
Question: Who is your favorite drummer and why?
Jeff Porcaro, THE groove master. He walked a line of chops restrained, and set the benchmark for studio musicians. Every track he played on puts a smile on a drummer’s face.
Question: What makes the Pearl brand special?
Pearl has something for every drummer in every style of music, from beginner to pro. The commitment to quality and customer service has resulted in the some of the best gear in the industry, and, without question, the BEST hardware money can buy. Whether on a gig, or in your basement, Pearl has you covered.
Question: What are your thoughts on the electronic elements so common in percussion these days?
We live in the digital age, and technology will continue to make advancements in all types of recording and live situations. We have to embrace it. At the end of the day though, music is an organic, human experience. Whether you hit a button or a drum, we’re still in control of our own time.
Question: How did you make the transition from recreational drummer to professional drummer?
Practice and networking. You have to walk the walk, and talk the talk. Once I had the chops to pull these off, the phone started ringing. The term “pro” implies that some level of expertise has been achieved, but without strong interpersonal skills, you can end up being the best drummer in your basement. Music is communal and should be shared with everybody. Be the sharing type, I am. It also helps tremendously to be super nice and accommodating. This makes people want to work with you. A good attitude is a tool that’s just as important as your sticks or your drums.
Question: What inspires you to continue drumming?
My students inspire me every day, every lesson. I’m passionate about passing along the right information to everyone that steps into my lesson room. I do expect daily practice though, and make sure that technique is right…
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