Cris Cohen: You also teach master classes. What do you find most students that attend these need to work on?
Gregg Potter of The Buddy Rich Band: What I see with just players all around, when they come to take a masterclass from say a guy like me, it's kind of like shopping for a Ferrari. When you go into that dealer you're not going, "I need something for everyday (driving)."
Usually when they come to me, we're talking about technique. When you see something fast and it sounds like there's a lot of things going on there, usually people want that. Like the magic trick explained.
But the most important thing for any drummers, anywhere, anytime, is just that you really do need to be a timekeeper. When you listen to Buddy play, when you take the drumming pyrotechnics away from that man, his concept of time, he was able to lay that foundation for people to play over. Keeping time, being solid, is the backbone for any group, whether it's a jazz group, a rock group, a funk band, a country band.
With every great Beatles song, at some point you go, "That Ringo guy really just made it move." That's kind of my masterclass format: Technique and keeping time are pretty much my focus.