Freddie Gruber is a jazz drummer and drum teacher. Born in New York on May 27th 1927. He came up in the nascent New York be-bop scene, and gigged with Charlie Parker, among many others. Making fast friends with his roommate, drumming icon Buddy Rich, he observed Rich's "style, technique, and guts" over a long period, and ended up basing most of his teaching method on what he assimilated.
Jazz legend Elvin Jones credited Gruber as being his "inspiration" for subdividing the beat, and then, taking that subdivision to another subdivision (and so on, and so forth).
One teaching concept of Gruber's is to "have the drum stick be an extension of one's hand." It should be as natural as waving a cab, or waving hello to someone on the street.
Another one of Freddie's many conceptual teachings is the way he explains the following... "ART" = "Get out of the way", OR, "Get out of your own way". "ART" is a mirror of "What it is," as opposed to "What it isn't". Which asks the question, "What is IT?" IT IS!, as opposed to IT ISN'T. It can only be "ART" if it's a mirror of what it is..."CRAFT"! Which smacks of excellence achieved! (Transcribed by Paul Goldberg, as quoted by Freddie Gruber).
Training students throughout his career, Gruber's student list is long and varied. It includes such drum luminaries as Frank Zappa's Vinnie Colaiuta, Neil Peart of Rush, Steve Smith of Journey, former Chick Corea drummer Dave Weckl. Other drummers benefiting from Gruber's teaching, and conceptual prowess include session drummers Ian Wallace, Mike Baird, John Guerin, Joey Heredia, Nick Vincent, Paul Goldberg, John Mehler of Love Song, Ambrosia drummer Burleigh Drummond, and Johnny "Vatos" Hernandez of Oingo Boingo, Michael Dubin, drummer/composer Peter Thoegersen, Royal Crown Revue's Daniel Glass, and Bruce Becker of the David Becker Tribune among many others.