Freddie Gruber is a jazz drummer and drum teacher. Born in New York on May 27, 1927, he came up in the nascent New York be-bop scene, and gigged with Charlie Parker, among many others. Making fast friends with his roommate, fellow drummer Buddy Rich, he observed Rich's "style, technique, and guts" over a long period and eventually based most of his teaching method on what he assimilated.
Jazz legend Elvin Jones credited Gruber as being his "inspiration" for subdividing the beat, subdividing that subdivision, and continuing on into smaller increments.
One teaching concept of Gruber's is to "have the drum stick be an extension of one's hand." It should be as natural as waving a cab or waving hello to someone on the street.
Training students throughout his career, Gruber's student list is long and varied. It includes such drum luminaries as Frank Zappa's Vinnie Colaiuta, Neil Peart of Rush, Steve Smith of Journey, former Chick Corea drummer Dave Weckl. Other drummers benefiting from Gruber's teaching, and conceptual prowess include session drummers Ian Wallace, Mike Baird, John Guerin, Joey Heredia, Nick Vincent, Paul Goldberg, John Mehler of Love Song, Ambrosia drummer Burleigh Drummond, and Johnny "Vatos" Hernandez of Oingo Boingo, Michael Dubin, drummer/composer Peter Thoegersen, Royal Crown Revue's Daniel Glass, and Bruce Becker of the David Becker Tribune among many others.