I was fortunate enough to have studied under a lot of amazing drummers and percussionists while I was at Berklee. Each one of them brought something unique to the table and influenced me tremendously, whether it be regarding style, sound, or technique. One of the most influential of these teachers was Jamey Haddad.
With Jamey, the focus was making music. And by that, I mean being able to make anything you touch sound musical. The majority of my lessons with him were spent in front of only one instrument.... a ride cymbal, a snare drum or a frame drum, and focusing on developing meaningful, musical phrases with the item at (or in) hand. On the surface, this may not sound difficult... but trust me, it is. There's a reason that I tend to poke fun at guys like this. And I'm not referring to the haircut.... though give me a few minutes, and I can come up with a few zingers around that.
But anyway, back to making music (Missings Persons superfans, you can direct your hate mail to me here). In this video below, Jamey displays how to pull an entire orchestra's worth of sounds out of a single kanjira... and then a hadjira. Yes, Jamey is such a badass, he has a drum named after him.
Enjoy the video... and next time you find yourself setting up that 16th china cymbal on your kit, please ask yourself, "is this really going to help me make better music". If you answer "yes", then I recommend you contact Terry for his hair stylist.