Frank Briggs is best known among drummers for his top-selling instructional book/DVD package “The Complete Modern Drum Set,” which has remained in Mel Bay Publications’ top 10 percussion books for the past 22 years.
Frank has worked, toured and/or recorded with; Jimmy Haslip, Dean Brown, Philippe Saisse, Kit Walker, Atlantic Starr, Mike Keneally, Brian Beller, Tony Award winner Billy Porter, Jennifer Batten, 805, Engelbert Humperdinck, Swamp Thang, Pat Boone, Five for Fighting, Minako Honda, Frank Gambale, George Clinton, Tim Pierce, Gary Shea, Masters of Reality, Matthew Charles Heulitt, Frank Macchia, AntiGravity, Cirque Du Soleil, Ronnie Lawson, St. Clair, Rudy Sarzo, Pete Lockett, Don Randi, Loren Gold (The Who), Brian Price, Mariana Ingold, Pamela Polland (Joe Cocker), Steve Weingart, Ric Fierabracci, Ohm, Chris Poland, Freddie Fox, Lee Thornburg, Mitchel Forman, Andrew Lane, Eric Marienthal, Jeff Babko, Jimmy Earl, Doug Lunn, Ken Rosser, Chris Goss, Maxine Nightingale, Alex Isles, Sal Lozano, Hale, David Lawrence, and others.
Frank has appeared on many top record labels; Universal, EMI/Sony, Warner Bros, Reprise, RCA, Tone Center, Immune, Higher Octave, and MTM (Germany) and has composed and/or edited TV/Radio commercials and underscore for; Disney, Galoob, Micro Machines, PBS, NPR and Deutsch Welle (Germany). TV/Movie appearances/music cues include; Soul Train, Arsenio Hall, Pat Sajak, Jerry Lewis’ Muscular Dystrophy Telethon with Ed McMann, MTV, VH1, Studio Jams, Argentine TV Buenos Aires, and Ulysse Films.
He currently endorses Istanbul Agop cymbals, Attack heads and Yamaha drums.
Frank has lent his band leading, music directing, composition and performance skills to Fortune 500 companies American Express, Toyota, Forest Labs, Roche Diagnostics, GameStop, Disney, SAP, AstraZeneka, Sepracor, Amway, Lunesta, Celexa, Novartis and Eli Lilly – just to name a few. Mr Briggs has worked with the biggest event producers in this genre and has performed with Jay Leno, Jeff Foxworthy, Riverdance, Cirque Du Soleil, The Answer Guys, AntiGravity, Caroline Rhea, Hector Elizondo, Billy Porter, Earth Wind & Fire, Hip Pickles, and many others.
Frank Briggs has written over 10 instructional books and 2 DVDs on drum set for publishing companies Mel Bay, and Hal Leonard. His educational books and videos have been used worldwide by professional drummers, educators and music schools. He has traveled extensively giving master classes and clinics on drum set vocabulary and performance. Some of his clinic/masterclass hosts include; The Collective (NYC), Musicians Institute (Hollywood, CA), Syracuse University (Syracuse, NY), Berklee School of Music (Boston, MA), EMU Music School (Buenos Aires, Argentina), Red House PAC (Syracuse, NY) and many retail outlets, including Guitar Center (27 locations), Sam Ash, Tom Lee Music (Vancouver, BC), Big Apple Music (New Hartford, NY), The Music Center (Syracuse, NY), House of Guitars (Rochester, NY), Music Go Round (Phoenix & Mesa, AZ), Creative Music (Wethersfield, CT), Mackenzie Music (Eugene, OR), and dozens more.
Modern Drummer magazine recognized Frank’s Complete Modern Drum Set instructional DVD as one that helped set the standard for the industry and has consistently given his educational books 4 star reviews, and a featured interview.
“LA-based drummer/educator Frank Briggs exposes his jazz-fusion roots on his first solo recording, China Ranch (frankbriggs.com). Briggs displays fat, loose, and powerful Tony Williams–style technique and tone on this outstanding recording. He’s also recently recorded a new release, Circus Of Sound, with OHM, a Southern California–based progressive rock fusion trio featuring former Megadeth guitarist Chris Poland and bassist Robertino Pagliari.
OHM allows Briggs the freedom to stretch and explore, which he does tastefully and with attitude. A disciple of fusion music, Briggs studied with legendary jazz drummer Jack DeJohnette to help gain insight into this advanced musical art form. “Jack taught me that time was internal,” states Briggs, “that how tightly you hold a stick can change your sound and feel, and that it’s always about the music. After studying with Jack, I wanted to become a great musician, not just a great drummer–there is a difference.
Briggs composed all ten tracks on China Ranch and describes his drumming as supportive. “This recording is all about the music,” he says. “There is plenty of blowing, but in essence, the drums play a supportive and featured role.”
Briggs’ drumming reflects the feel and musicality of a seasoned veteran of electric jazz. His compositional style is highly influenced by his musical idols, which include Tony Williams, Herbie Hancock, Weather Report, and Pat Metheny. Regarding his composing, Briggs notes, “I ‘use’ the keyboards for composing but don’t really play. I usually start with chord progressions, and I seldom rely on theory. I sometimes spend months composing a tune.”
Briggs is well versed in many musical styles, and he explains how that aspect has shaped his career: “I think it’s helped me develop my own voice more than anything else,” he says. “I draw from a lot of different sources in music and drumming, which has made me who I am. That approach has certainly advanced my musical ideas.” -Mike Haid (Modern Drummer Magazine)
A native of Central New York, Frank settled in southern California where he remains busy as a private instructor, session/live drummer, drum set clinician/coach, and where he produces various types of projects at his studio in Los Angeles, CA.
Frank is available for recording, tours, gigs, masterclasses, clinics, general sessions, corporate events, drum set coaching and instruction, in person or via his online school.