VIC FIRTH ARTIST
"I hardly know anyone who is closer to the real Moeller than Claus Hessler." - Jim Chapin
Besides being an "in demand" clinician and performer; Claus is writing educational columns for the German DRUMS & PERCUSSION magazine and iPad App. He is also a member of the MODERN DRUMMER EDUCATIONAL TEAM contributing articles to the US magazine. His first book OPEN-HANDED PLAYING VOL. I (co-written with Dom Famularo and including a foreword by Billy Cobham) has been released worldwide with Alfred Publishing and earned international recognition including a 4-star review in the MODERN DRUMMER magazine. After that, DAILY DRUMSET WORKOUT turned out as a huge success in Germany and was also published in English in less than a year from its original release date. His latest educational release OPEN-HANDED PLAYING VOL. II: A STEP BEYOND (including forewords from Simon Philipps, Will Kennedy and Kenny Aronoff) was released at PASIC 2011. His DVD DRUMMING KAIROS has been released May 2013 and is one of the most remarkable and unique educational packages in recent years.
"My father always spoke so highly of Claus, his dedication and technique. He thought Claus was great!" - Tom Chapin
Besides the wide stylistic range of his playing Claus' unique and individual style of drumming comes as a mixture of stunning technical skills, open handed playing and ostinato work that never gets into being "just drums". His teaching activities include the University for Music and Performing Arts in Frankfurt and a busy schedule of clinics and private teaching. The KEIMYUNG UNIVERSITY in Daegu (South Korea) awarded Claus a position as "Distinguished Professor". His workshops and clinics are known for a unique mixture of education and displaying stunning musical and drumistic skills likewise; sharing stage at international drum events with drummers like Steve Smith, Walfredo Reyes Jr., Dave Mc Clain or percussion fame Luis Conte and earning standing ovations at PASIC 2011.
FEATURED PERFORMANCE VIDEOS:
VIDEO SPOTLIGHT: PASIC 2011
DRUMSET MASTERCLASS: "OPEN HANDED PLAYING"
Open-handed Playing, Vol 1 & 2
Volume one of German author Claus Hessler’s Open-Handed Playing book series deals with the basics of drumming with uncrossed hands (developing ride-hand phrasing, voicing alternatives, etc.). This second volume focuses on linear concepts and applying rudiments to an open-handed setup.
The linear section progresses through two- and three-voice patterns, and then covers ways to incorporate the hi-hat foot, double strokes, accents, rests, and layering rhythms before concluding with a bunch of fill ideas.
The rudimental chapter takes paradiddles, double paradiddles, and a handful of flam rudiments through a variety of applications, including orchestration possibilities, ostinato options, and superimposing them within different subdivisions.
The book concludes with eight fusion/rock play-along charts designed to help you figure out how to use this stuff in real-world musical situations. If you’ve never considered open-handed drumming before, this book offers a very strong argument for it.
Claus opened his 2011 PASIC clinic with a play along track, demonstrating the versatility of the open handed playing concept! In this clip, Claus is using the Alex Acuña Conquistador (SAA) Timbale sticks.
In this part of Claus' masterclass, he discusses aspects of the open hand playing concept that can open the right hand to new colors and rhythms around the set.
Claus answers audience questions about his open hand playing approach.
Claus talks about his "Voice Variation Approach" to open-handed playing that's a part of his "Open Handed Playing" books by Alfred Publications.
Claus demonstrates some simple rudiments applied to the drumset using the open-hand approach - then finishes with an extended solo.