James Gaudette

Meeting Buddy Rich

In 1985 I got to meet and take a lesson with Buddy Rich on his tour bus (after a show at The Lowell Memorial Auditorium, Lowell MA). He was kind and friendly to me. We talked and joked for awhile, then he asked me "...can you keep good time and really drive and swing a band?" I told him I think so and then he said that's the most important part of being a drummer. He then told me "the secret technique of a great drummer", which was to find the "sweet spot" on the stick where it naturally rebounds. I still use this very important advice and use it in my teaching as a drum instructor.

That 1/2 hour with a true drum legend changed my musical life forever! I still have the autograpghed show flyer.

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Thanks for Sharing YOUR Game-Changing Moments!

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Game-Changing Moments!

In celebration of Vic Firth Company's 50th anniversary, we've spent an entire year celebrating Game-Changing Moments in drumming -- including yours! To everyone who shared a story with us this year, thank you! Drumming is a shared experience and we are all brothers and sisters! Your stories have inspired us to continue making the best sticks possible and to continue changing the game for drummers everywhere.


We received thousands of amazing stories this year. Although it was difficult to choose only one story, we're happy to announce that Joe Russomano is our grand prize winner in the Game-Changing Moments contest!

Read Joe's Story