Saturday, November 12, 2016

Volume 53 - Darien Guy

Once again, I am proud to bring another drummer to the forefront.
A young man who is not only talented but focused and eager to help those who want to learn. Looking to do more than just be a drummer, Darien is positioning himself to be a strong businessman in the inner-working of drum companies and being an author. 
When you see young katz like this, doing what they do, you know the future is in good hands. So, let's not wait any longer...let's see what Darien is Talkin Chop about. 


Name or Stage Name: 
Darien Guy 

Where are you from? 
O'Fallon IL. Currently living in St. Louis Mo. 

How long have you been playing? 
21 years. Professionally since the age of 16. Starting touring in high school. 

What is or are your main genre of playing? 
I play all genres of music. I'm mostly known for gospel and orchestral/marching percussion. 

How did you get where you are now? 
I'm asked this question a lot, but to give you the best answer, it is just hard work and dedication. Being consistent and focused on my craft. 

What are your goals, short & long term? 
Short Term Goals, releasing my marching stick with Cooper Groove Drum Sticks. Release my joint book with Robb Ryan from Canada. Long term Goals, have my "Darien Guy Series Stick" in retail stores nationally/internationally. Being able to teach in other countries. Become session drummer. 

Do you have any specific countries abroad, you would like to teach in? 

I would love to teach in London, Italy, Africa. 

You don't hear a lot of players talking about Marching Sticks, let alone creating one what is your motivation behind this? 

Well here's a fun fact. I marched snare drum my senior year in high school. From there I played drumset in WGI and DCI. but I also taught different marching percussion programs when I wasn't touring. Playing with marching sticks helped out a lot when comes to my chops. Marching sticks are a lot heavier than drumset sticks. I have a lot love for marching percussion and Drumset. Creating sticks with Cooper Groove sticks has allowed me to be innovative. Creating the perfect balance between the two. I want people to try my stick as well as the Cooper Groove Sticks because they're a specialty stick. The benefits are endless. Decrease fatigue, stimulating pressure points. Memory grip, decrease shock in hands and arms. The list continues. If you have questions about my stick, feel free to contact me personally! 

Artists you would like to play for? 

Esperanza Spalding, Fred Hammond, Quincy Jones, Tosha Cobbs, Richard Smallwood,TyeTribbett 

I see you're involved with a couple of drum companies, please tell us which ones and how you got involved with them? 
I am at Cooper Groove, Marching Percussion Ambassador. I'm a Smyrna Cymbals USA Artist. I am also a artist of DGA-drum gear alliance. Sledge Pad Artist and in hopes to become a Mapex Artist 

I’m also happy to announce that I’ll be apart of INov8 Winter Percussion Staff for the 2017 WGI marching season! I’m truly honored to work with Dave Isaacs and the rest of the staff! I’m truly grateful to be apart of such an awesome team of educators. Great things to come for INov8 Percussion!!!

So, what are your duties as an ambassador for Cooper Groove? 
It's my job to spread awareness of the Cooper Groove Marching Percussion Products and educational resources. Teach clinics and other educational resources. 

Are you playing out with any projects right now? 

1. I’m working on a joint book with Rob Ryan. I am also working on a e-book for the Darien Guy Marching Series Drumstick. 
2. I’m also releasing a book on marketing strategies for the working musician.

Can you tell us more about your book with Ryan. What is it going to be about? 

I don't want to reveal too much information but, it will capture the interest from beginner to advanced players. Polyrhythmic based but also a few other surprises thrown in. 

A book on marketing strategies, What areas do you see musicians making the most mistakes? 
It's not that drummers or musicians make mistakes. It's more so, they're unaware of branding, marketing, advertising etc. with my experiences and education I've learned through my time in the business, It has allowed me to want to share and help drummers build their following and or brand. I'm very grateful to be apart of Symrna Cymbals and the other drum businesses I'm in. Taking the knowledge I've learned through my experience sharing with other is my life goal. So with my book it will give drummers and musicians a detailed outline of how to market their products, advertisements campaign strategies, building a membership list etc. I'm very excited to get it out and I'm looking forward to release it. If you'll like to get first shoot me an email at 

What are your touring experiences, if any? 1. When I marched WGI winter guard international with Gateway Indoor Percussion. I toured from 2008-2011 with that organization. 2. Toured with Colts Drum and Bugle Corps from Dubuque, Iowa in 2010 3. Clinic tour in 2016... cities were, Los Angeles, California, Chicago, Illinois, Jesup, Iowa, Sacramento, California 

So, with your clinic tour. How did you find that experience? Did you have a specific focus that you presented to the attendees? 
My clinic tour was great. I love teaching and expanding young minds. My primary focus was “ Finding the perfect balance between marching percussion and drumset” 

Darien Clinic WTHS

Describe your current set up & gear - heads and sticks...ect? 1. Cooper Groove Sticks 2. Symrna Cymbals 3. Mapex Drums 4. Sledgepad 5. 1964 in ears 

Would you consider yourself a gear junkie?  
Not really, lol but I do love my gear! 

Which wood shells do you prefer, and why?  
I prefer Birch, it leaves a very distinct sound in and out of studio. 

Do you have a “Dream Kit”?  
I love the sound of a Sonor or Yamaha kit 

How do you describe your drumming style? 
You can say my style is very versatile. I can sit in, in any genre and be comfortable playing their music. I challenge myself every 6 to 7 months striving to learn new styles of music. Opening up my mind to different rhythmic ideas is very important as a drummer.

Why the drums? 
Drums were my first love. Some of the musicians who inspired me were drummers. 

If you weren’t playing drums, what would you be doing? 
I'm pretty sure it would have to be something music related and the COO of a Cymbal Company, Symrna Cymbals USA 

How has drumming impacted or changed your life? 
Yes it has, it has allowed me to inspire musicians around the world. I'm very grateful to be in the position in life. 

Are you involved in the local music scene in your hometown, other than just playing in your band? 
I am an active musician for Enjoy and New Life in Christ. 

What do you enjoy most about playing at church? 
First, I'm a child of God, I love God because he gave me the gift to play drums and being able to share it with the world. I love playing in church cause it allows me to connect people with God through my music, my worship and praise. I grew up in church and my connection to Christ came through the connection of people. Playing in church allows me to be free, and being able to connect with God spiritually through music. Also, I love to see the talent comes from the church. Gospel music can be bit challenging when it comes to certain artist or musicians that are in the church. So to see up and coming musicians rise to the top, do to their background in the church gives me the drive to work harder. Because I was the kid who sat on the front row each Sunday looking at my cousin Mario Hubbard play drums, which has lead us both to do great things in life.

Name 5 of your drumming influences? 

1. Tony Royster Jr. 
2. Rob Woodie 
4. Mario Hubbard 
5. Calvin Rodgers 

Darien w/ Rob Woodie

Name an inspiring concert that made you want to go home and start shedding? 
After seeing Fred Hammond in concert with Calvin Rodgers on Drums. 

How much time do you practice? 
2 hours a day. 

What types of things do you work on, in those sessions? Independence, rudiments, articulation and grooves.

Do you record drum videos of yourself? if so, how has it helped you? sometimes in performances but mainly in my practice sessions. It allows me to see if my hands suck or not laugh out loud

Do you have a crazy or interesting gig you can share with us? 

I might have the opportunity to work in Shanghai, China with motive music in DCI fellowship. With this opportunity I'll be able to teach the marching percussion arts. 

What are your words of wisdom for your fellow drummers out there? 
Create opportunities for yourself on the business end of things. Make sure that your skill set is just as strong as your business model. Be open to ideas and connect with many drummers and companies as possible. 

Last Words, Links, Hashtags and Thank You’s??? 
I would like to thank Talkin' Chop for the opportunity to share my story my thoughts with this drum community. It is my job and my calling in life to share as much as I can with upcoming inspiring musicians.
Facebook - artist page

I really want to thank Darien for sharing a little bit of his drum life with us.
Having that strong marching background has given this kat a different perspective and develop his style and approach to drumming.
I look forward to seeing his progress and success down the road.

If you guys get a chance, drop by his website or soc. med. and say hello. For those interested in his new stick or his book (coming soon) or maybe you just have some questions, hit him up.


If you or someone you know needs a little free promo for their drumming career, maybe you're in a band or you work as a side man, play in church or a cover band? Hit me up and let's get you out there!

Contact: DeHaven

#DrummersSupportDrummers  #TalkinChop  #DrumLife


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