Guys, please welcome Stanley Randolph to the #180Family!
We’re excited to now have online drum lessons with Stanley available on 180Drums.com. He’s a drummer for the stars, producing, touring and recording drums for artists like Stevie Wonder, several members of the Jackson family, TLC, New Kids on the Block (NKOTB), Christina Aguilera, M-Ten, New Gensis & many more.
Still in his 20’s, Stanley’s resume is relentlessly growing and doesn’t look to be slowing down. The first thing we noticed about him at 180 Drums was his feel and touch on the drum set. He hit each drum with a different intention and brought color, texture and melody to the drums. He also didn’t hit wimpy. He was hitting hard and digging in. When it came to the feel of his playing, it was like the drums were melting together in front of you.
Every note glides perfectly into the next note and it’s as though he’s hitting all the drums at once while only thinking about one note at a time. Amazing and beautifully crafted playing that appears both effortless and furiously thought out.
If you said Mr. Randolph was just a groove drummer, you’d be gravely mistaken. He has chops that challenge the best of the best and can execute rudiments around the kit like no one’s business. Having a background in playing Snare Drum in Marching Band, his hands are really well put together. Another result of Marching is that he also uses big Vic Firth sticks.
The CM series is a 17″ stick with a .635″ Diameter. Stanley Randolph does not messing around and the weight / sheer seize of the stick helps him set his intensions behind the kit. The best part about Stanley’s Chops, might I add, is that he knows where and when to light it up. He’s very careful not to spray the kit, but intentionally digs in and lets it fly when the song or artist calls for it. Mr Randolph is a groove machine and the chops are the icing on the cake. You really do get it all with Stanley!
After a full day at the studio with Stanley, we drove him to Toronto’s Air Canada Centre for his gig that evening, double drumming for TLC and NKOTB. After showing us around the venue and tour bus, Stanley brought us to his kit that sits just below the stage, in the pit, with other band members. For this tour, Stanley was covering a wide variety of styles. One minute he’d be playing R&B, another he’d be playing straight up rock.
As the night went on he moved from up-tempo, disco and dance beats, to slow ballads with a gentle touch. This required not just a skilled ability to play quietly on the kit, but also drums able to handle the shifting gears of the setlist. He was using a DW Collectors Series drum-set that his Drum Tech Jay Reynolds flawlessly maintained.
You could tell Jay not only loved what he did but carried a sense of Pride in working alongside Stanley every night, “He’s the real deal, Stanley’s amazing night, after night”. Jay encouraged me to grab a seat at the kit and take a closer look.
A favorite interaction Dave and I observed that night was when Jay began showing us Stanley’s Zildjian Cymbals. He was caught saying how much he enjoyed a number of cymbals Stanley had given him after the last tour.
Another crew member walked up as Jay replaced one of the cymbals (not broken, just used) on Stanley’s kit and Stanley immediately turned and gave it away to the crew member, who identified as a drummer on the side. Stanley’s not just a great drummer, but also a great person. You could tell how much every guy hit it off with Stanley.
“Hey Stanley, you coming out tonight? You better be, Nelly’s got something planned.” Donnie Wahlberg exclaimed as he hurried past us to get to a NKOTB meet and greet. “Yeah, I’ll be there man.”, Stanley said laughing as Mark hurried past a few hundred girls beginning to line up to meet the band.
Catering was no different, everyone walking by Stanley lit up as they said ‘Hey!’, clearly having a great relationship. Inside jokes were everywhere with this guy. Maybe there’s a lot more to being a successful touring drummer than simply playing the drums…
Needless to say, our experience hanging with Stanley Randolph and teaching lessons with him couldn’t have been better. With every instructor, I try to get inside their head a little, but also remain excited to ask questions, as though I was in a private lesson with each of them.
That’s one thing I believe is exclusive to what we do at 180. No one was as excited to hang and dig into Stanley’s playing that day than myself, and watching back over the videos we filmed with Stanley has been a constant source of inspiration and encouragement.
Go to two of Stanley’s Lessons on 180Drums.com by clicking the thumbnails below!