Benny Greb is a prolific drummer but he is more than that. He is an artist at the kit who can make you feel like most drummers can’t. His playing oozes feel and groove and luckily, he has the tools to teach you his talents.
Here you will get to know about Benny Greb, his music releases, and educational releases.
Who is Benny Greb
Benny Greb is a versatile artist known for being a creative drummer, clinician, and singer. Benny Greb was born on the 13th June 1980 in Augsburg, Germany. From a young age, he was enthusiastic about music and started playing the drums when he was only 6 after receiving a kit as a gift.
In the early years, Benny was self-taught and he would learn by playing along to his favourite songs. He drew influence from musicians such as The Police, James Brown, Tower of Power, Billy Joel, and James Taylor.
It wasn’t until later in his childhood he took lessons starting at the age of 12.
Benny progressed quickly now he had tuition and began to play in some local bands. At this younger age, he was mostly a punk player but he then went on to discover rock before transitioning into jazz.
At this stage, Benny knew that he wanted to become a full-time drummer and musician. Benny’s mum saw this and pushed him to study full time to further progress.
In 1997 Benny began to study music full time in Dinkelsbuhl and then in Hamburg. It was here Benny rounded out his knowledge of music as well as getting the opportunity to gig and jam with other musicians.
Transitioning from studying to a full-time drummer
After finishing his studies, Benny set himself a target to be living off drums financially within one year. If he failed, he would move back to his family and begin a traditional career. This was the start of his session drumming career. He would perform drums live, record in the studio and teach.
Benny was a bit different to most players though. He would listen back to his performances and critique them. What did he like, what didn’t he like and how could he have done things differently?
This is an important step that most drummers skip. How are you supposed to know what worked or where you need to improve if you aren’t your harshest critic?
This technique is also used by Anika Nilles.
Practicing with a purpose
As a full-time professional drummer, Benny Greb still spends a lot of time practising his craft. Not as much as he used to, but more productively.
Benny has a 3-month cycle of what he is working on and what he wants to achieve and makes the most out of every practice session.
When he practices, he knows what he is going to work on and avoids distractions. Many drummers sit down to practice but just end up playing things they already know. Not Benny.
For each session he documents:
- What he practised
- What tempo he practised at
- How he felt about the practice session
This makes tracking progress simpler and more effective. Especially when working on more complex concepts that need multiple sessions.
Where is Benny Greb today?
Today Benny is a drummer very much in demand. His ability to pick and choose flavours from different drummings styles gives him a wide scope for the drumming he can do. This vast palette of styles allows him to create grooves and feels many drummers couldn’t offer.
Benny Greb has performed with several musicians including:
- The Ron Spielman Trio
- NDR Orchestra
- Strom & Wasser
The Influence of Benny Greb
Few people have that persona to influence the world with their work and personality. “Grebfruit” proved to be a turning point for Benny’s career as it marked his success internationally. He got popular because of his creative sounds, grooves, and his never-ending passion for drums.
If we talk about his talent, he has given multiple music tastes to his fans. He is capable of playing:
- Acoustic punk
As well as being a fantastic drummer, Benny Greb has also released a lot of music. Some as solo releases and some with his band “Moving Parts”.
“Moving Parts” consists of Benny Greb on drums, Chris Montague on Guitar and Chris Hargreaves on Bass.
If you are wanting to listen to Benny Greb’s releases, check out the albums below.
- Two Day Trio
- Moving Parts
- Grebfruit 2
There are also plenty of singles and features to check out also.
As Greb is passionate about drums, music, and clinics it was a natural progression to release his educational content.
He released his educational DVDs, two of them so far called ‘The language of Drumming’ and ‘The Art and Science of Groove’. These have become hugely popular and this is down to the combination of the topics covered and the excellent delivery.
Benny is not scared to delve deep into complicated topics some drummers would stay away from. This is because he has an impeccable way of presenting extremely complex things simply and in an entertaining way. It is a joy to watch Benny as he teaches.
2009: The Language of Drumming
“The Language of Drumming” by Benny Greb is evidence of his talent and amazing sense of music that he produces with the drums. The Language of Drumming enables you to express emotions through the drums.
Benny Greb has introduced his 24-character system and taught how to use binary and ternary rhythms in developing timing, dynamic control, technique, and speed.
After the release of The Language of Drumming, Greb expanded his creativity by a complete system of drum-set methods in his book. This book is a stand-alone companion to the DVD.
The book is a complete source of guidance. It delivers different ways of learning the basic steps of drumming. As we learn a language with basic letters, similarly drumming steps are the same. As we know books are always helpful to all. So, this drumming book helps you think, understand and play the rhythms. It will facilitate you to decode other educational material and you will be able to come up with unique exercises.
2015: The Art & Science of Groove
The Art and Science of Groove is one of the best educational releases by Benny Greb. It’s an influencing and unique release that will help all drummers to get the undeniable feeling and emotion−groove.
In 2014, Greb launched a crowdfunding campaign that was the most successful in achieving all of its goals. All the contributors were enthusiastic about getting insights from Benny Greb. The campaign gave confidence to Benny for the release of an educational DVD that ascended the production levels to new heights.
The Art and Science of Groove have the best techniques and exercises that give energy and confidence to all those, wanting to learn and experience groove.
In The Art and Science of Groove, Benny Greb has introduced the five key elements: Time, Feel, Sound, Body, and Mind. He added sets out to shatter the myths about elusive, misunderstood to groove. Benny’s approach is a great influence for all levels of drummers. The Art and Science of Groove DVD have revolutionized the preconceived concept. It has provided an emotional connection to drummers so they become consistent while performing.
Benny Greb’s drum setup
At first glance, Benny Greb setup looks like a traditional setup. It features one rack tom with one/two-floor toms. You will then notice the second snare and an interesting selection of cymbals.
Benny likes to use various stacks to get unique sounds as well as darker cymbals that are full of character.
When you look at Benny’s kit you will notice everything is almost flat and the cymbals are very low. Over time it seems that Benny’s cymbals have gradually lowered.
- Sonor Drums
- Meinl Cymbals
- Vic Firth Drum Sticks
- Remo Drumheads
- SlapKlatz Pro Damper Gels
- Cymbal Resonance System
As well as the art of playing, Benny loves creating unique sounds. Benny possibly has the most signature products of any drummer. He has been lucky enough to work with fantastic companies that believe in him and want to help him achieve his sound.
Vic Firth Benny Greb Signature Series Drum Sticks
At its core, these drum sticks are a 5B. It features a medium taper with a shortened tear drop tips. This creates a focused and defined cymbal sound whilst providing enhanced rebound.
They also feature a unique green print rather than black. Nice.
Sonor Benny Greb Snare Drums
Benny has two versions of his Sonor Signature snare drum available. One in beech with a birch veneer and bubinga inlay whilst the other is made from brass with a vintage finish.
Both of these snares are 13″ x 5.75″ featuring a MonoRail dampener and Dual Glide strainer.
These are real premium snares. Crafted from the best materials with beautiful craftsmanship.
Due to the two internal dampening methods combined with different tunings, there are almost endless sound options. These snares are beautiful and incredibly diverse.
Meinl Benny Greb Crasher Hats
These are very unique to other cymbals. These are designed to produce a super short, dry, clear and high frequency whilst still being dynamic.
It is 8″ and made up of four stacked cymbals. The tighter the stack, the quicker the sound.
Meinl Generation X 12″/14″ Trash Hats
This is the first signature cymbal released by Benny Greb with Meinl. It is made using Meinl’s high tech computerised manufacturing.
Although labelled as hats you are more than likely going to want to use them as a stack. These hats are fast and crisp with a clear trashy sound when loosened.
Meinl Byzance Vintage Sand Series
This isn’t just one cymbal, it is a whole line of cymbals. Benny wanted a full set of cymbals that he could use to complement his playing. These feature a beautiful vintage finish with varying degrees of rawness depending on the cymbal.
These have been designed to be transparent without being harsh, full of nuance without being weak and having character and personality without overpowering the rest of the band.
- Hi-hats – 14″ and 16″
- Crashes – 18″ thin and 18″ medium
- Crash ride – 22″
- Rides – 20″ and 22″
Meinl Benny Greb Masterpad Practice Pads
Benny has two different size practice pads available. A 6″ for on the go and a 12″ for at home. The 6″ can be mounted on a cymbal stand whilst the 12″ fits in a snare stand.
The pads are nice a quiet without too much rebound. They also feature a nice graphic to remind you of the key pillars of drumming.
If you like the pad but fancy a different graphic, Thomas Lang also has a version of this pad available.
Find more Benny Greb
Benny Greb can be discovered in several places online. Keep up to date with him using the links below.
Benny Greb is one of the most influential drummers around and it is easy to see why. He is a fantastic and passionate player who has developed teaching the drums into an art form.
He has made his mark on the drumming world and I’m sure there is much more to come from him yet.
We can’t wait to see what Benny Greb gets up to in the future.