Gavin Harrison is an accomplished drummer who started playing at a young age and now a member of two British progressive bands, Porcupine Tree and King Crimson. Harrison was born on May 28, 1963, in Harrow, North London. While a young child, Harrison listened to many jazz records his father had collected. These records influenced him to start dreaming of becoming a drummer one day.

Though Harrison was an active drummer since his early teens, his major break through came in 2002 when he joined Porcupine Tree an English progressive rock band founded by Steven Wilson in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, England. The group mostly plays a mixed genre of rock that involves traditional rock, psychedelia, and metal. Harrison had a close association with the band even before becoming a full time member. He joined after their drummer for eight years, Chris Maitland left the band.

The first major work Harrison did with the band was recording of an album that had been deemed to be a major hit then. The album was called In Absentia. This wasn’t the first major one undertaken by Porcupine Tree, though in a way it was after they were joined by Harrison. They had earlier produced Star Die: The Delirium Years, 1991 -1997, a few months after Harrison joined them. This album was mostly a collection of major songs the band had produced in those years.
In Absentia was a collection of 30 songs which Steven had written in the two years before its recording. Recordings were done in New York and in London and they contacted a renowned sound engineer Paul Northfield and sting arranger Dave Gregory to work with them in bringing the album together. What came up after the final mixing was done by Tim Palmer in Los Angeles, was a master piece. The album was released in September 2002 in USA and 2003 in Europe. The album went on to top charts in most countries in Europe. It also became the band’s greatest grosser of all time, selling over 100,000 copies within a year of its release.

In 2004, the band released a new version of the album, a 5.1 surround sound version. This version was mixed by Elliot Scheiner a respected producer who has also won a Grammy Award as a producer. This version not only realized huge sales, but also won an award for best 5.1 mix at the 2004 Los Angeles’ Surround Sound Music awards. The group took a four phased promotional tour to promote the album. The tour took them to Europe and North America. In one of these concerts, they performed with Opeth, a famous Swedish metal band. Their tour culminated in a homecoming concert in London Astoria. The concert that was held on November 30 2004 was all sold out, as enthusiastic fans longed to hear success song of the band.

In 2007, Harrison joined King Crimson a musical group founded in 1969 by guitarist Robert Fripp and drummer Michael Giles. This group plays basically progressive rock but they also incorporate other styles like jazz, classical and experimental music to psychedelic, New Wave, hard rock, gamelan and folk music.
Harrison is an author of two books, Rhythmic Illusions and Rhythmic Perspectives. These books offer rich insight to methods of playing drums. He has also released two instructional DVDs, namely Rhythmic Visions and Rhythmic Horizons. He has been voted "Best Progressive Rock drummer" by the readers of Modern Drummer Magazine in 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010.

Gavin's Signature Stick

Gavin Harrison (SHAR)
An elongated ROCK shaft with a blended taper and tip. Delivers an ideal combination of power and playability. With blue Vic Grip.
L = 16 7/8" | Dia. = .630"
  [enlarge photo]


    Early influences and experiences
    On becoming a working drummer and getting gigs
    Technical vs musical drumming
    Exploring rhythmic muipulation and developing ideas
    On progressive rock drumming and Porcupine Tree
    Recommendations for young students
    Slippin' Away (David Paich)
    Overriding odd meters to smooth out the groove
    Double bass "patterns" in odd meter feels, Q & A
    So What (Miles Davis)

Check out Gavin's instructional materials and recordings:

Rhythmic Visions & Horizons

Gavin Harrison's Rhythmic Illusions and Rhythmic Perspectives, both highly acclaimed, cutting-edge drum books, have earned him ten-star reviews and were voted in the top five of the Best Drum Publication catagory by Modern Drummer and Drum! readers' polls.

Now, you can have BOTH critically acclaimed DVDs in one 2-disc combo pack!

Rhythmic Horizons DVD Includes:
• Lessons on Overriding, Resolving and Polyrhythmic Theory
• Five full length performances, plus an 8 minute plus drum solo
• Multi track cymbal and drum films
• Alternative audio mixes - with and without click
• Play along MP3s and MIDI files, plus printable pdf's of all lessons
• Preview of Porcupine Tree's live DVD

 Selected Video Clips from Rhythmic Horizons
  Gavin plays along with "So What"
  Excerpt from Gavin's solo.

Rhythmic Visions DVD Includes:
• Lessons on Displacement, Modulation, Subdivisions and Spacings
• Master Modulation exercises and Four way Harmonic Syncopation
• On-screen notation
• Interactive menus and audio tracks for music +click options.

Running Time: 3 Hours 10 Mins

Gavin Harrison and 05ric: “Drop”
'Drop' is the first fruit of Porcupine Tree drummer Gavin Harrison’s collaboration with singer and Extended Range Bass player 05Ric, and features contributions from Robert Fripp, Dave Stewart and Gary Sanctuary. Nine carefully crafted songs combined with ground-breaking multi-layered guitars, vocal harmonies and rhythms.

"With every drummer of note, you can point to a record where he truly arrived. Where he owns it. It might not be that drummer's most popular recording, but it's the one where he innovated techniques that literally put him on the map. Steve Gadd = Steely Dan's Aja. Tony Williams = Miles Davis's Four And More. Dave Weckl = Bill Connors' Step It. Vinnie Colaiuta = Frank Zappa's Joe's Garage. Philly Joe Jones = Miles Davis's Milestones. Drop is the record where Gavin Harrison's well-earned technical skills and good-foot grooves become one, as he dances through polyrhythmic madness, odd-metered overkill, and illusions realized with both mind and body." - Ken Micallef, Modern Drummer

LISTEN to samples from “Drop”

For more information on Gavin, his books and DVD's, visit him online!

For more information on Porcupine Tree, visit