Tiger Bill's Biography
Tiger Bill Meligari is a professional drummer, teacher-clinician, author-publisher, freelance writer, Webmaster, and producer with more than 30 years experience in the drumming field.
A highly regarded specialist in drumset technique, Bill has spent the last three decades perfecting a system that allows drummers to play with extraordinary speed, power, endurance, and precision but without the muscle tension that can cause carpal tunnel syndrome and similar physical problems.
At winter NAMM 2004, Bill proved the effectiveness of his system by winning the "World's Faster Drummer" competition for fastest hands and also set a record as the 2nd person ever to play over 1,000 beats per minute with his feet, as officially registered on the Drumometer. This placed him in the rare category of one of the world’s fastest drummers with both hands and feet.
TigerBill's book and DVD detailing his Tension Free Drumming Technique, represents the most detailed guide to drumming technique ever produced. His ground breaking double bass drum text has received high praise from master percussionists, including Louie Bellson and Roy Haynes. His Web site at TigerBill.com contains the most comprehensive free information available on drumming and percussion. In addition to his work as Webmaster and original content provider for his own Web sites at TigerBill.com, TigerMix.com, and TensionFreeDrumming.com, Bill started life on the Internet as resident Drum Expert on the Drums.About.com website. He then moved over to his own drum sites: TigerBill.com, which you are currently on, and TigerBillsDrumBeat.com.
He regularly contributes articles to the major drum publications and has produced a unique television show for drummers of all ages, styles, and experience levels. The show, Fun With Drums, was the first of its kind to aired on Cable TV stations across the United States.
Education: Bill began playing drums in the 4th grade. At age 13 he began private instruction. Bill attributes his sharp reading skills, exceptional coordination, and ability to perform any musical style to the solid foundation provided by his first private instructors, Al Germansky and Glenn Weber who still teaches at NJ Schoold of Percussion. In his final year of high school, he began to study with famed percussionist Joe Morello and soon became one of his top students.
Tiger Bill is a Black Belt Martial Artist registered under the Kukkiwon in Seoul, Korea, with additional training in more than two dozen Martial Arts (under Dan Inosanto, Richard Bustillo, Larry Hartsell, Grandmaster Ik-Hwan Kim, Paul Vunak, and the Gracie Family). He has also obtained certification as a Police Defensive Tactics Instructor under both the Smith & Wesson Academy and PPCT Management Systems. According to Bill, "Some guys take up dancing to improve their timing and drumming skills, I feel that Martial Arts is the perfect complement to my drumming." In fact, most people think Bill's nickname Tiger comes from the Martial Arts but it was actually given to him by former instructor Joe Morello, due to his ability as a quick study. Not only did he quickly learn all that Morello had to offer but was the first student to read and play Joe's transcribed drum solos (from the book "Off The Record") from start to finish.
Having studied Martial Arts for nearly as long as music, Bill has found Martial Art technique and drum technique to be based on similar mechanical principles. He says, "Speed requires keeping the muscles loose and relaxed. The faster you strike, the more power you generate. That's true whether you are striking a drum or throwing a punch."
Experience: Bill got his first steady paying job playing drums for the North Jersey School of Ballet at the age of 13. He received both the "Outstanding Musician" and the "John Philip Sousa" Awards for exceptional musicianship while in high school. In college, he played in the William Paterson Jazz Band under the direction of Thad Jones but the lure of the road was too strong and Bill left school to pursue a drumming career. He traveled on the road for more than 10 years, which gave him experience playing a wide variety of musical styles from jazz to rock to symphonies to show tunes.
Bill performed his first clinic at the Third Annual Percussion Symposium in Miami, Florida in 1971, where he was featured on an extended drum solo in Al Ipris' composition 32 Heads Are Better Than One, presented by the Ludwig Drum Company. (The piece utilized three drumsets, one of which was played by Danny Gottlieb.)
This was when Bill first conceived the notion of adapting the for-drummers-only clinic format to be suitable for presentation to the general student body. His aim was to generate interest in music in students from elementary school through college level. It's a concept that he still uses today at school clinics across the country.
Bill has worked with a variety of artists from Jazz specialists like Thad Jones to Rock & Rollers like Vince Martell (original lead guitarist of the Vanilla Fudge). Recordings include albums with keyboard artist Rocco Ferrante and Dickie Goodman's hit album Jaws. He also enjoyed a stint working as drummer-percussionist with the Joe Morello Quintet.
Today, Bill brings his drumset technical expertise to clinics in schools, music stores, festivals, and major drum events around the world including various PAS Chapters, NAMM’s Music and Sound Expo, Cape Breton International Drum Festival, and KoSA. Drummers continue to travel from around the world to study with Bill at his East Coast drum studio.
Tiger Bill’s major goal is to generate interest in music and drumming while sharing his knowledge of Tension Free Drumming Technique around the world.
And in his "spare" time, Bill has become an accomplished computer programmer who, along with his Newtek Video Toaster, has been at the forefront of the Desktop Video revolution from the beginning.
An accomplished programmer, having graduated from Chubb Institute for Computer Technology, Bill feels that computers are the greatest things since music and he uses the combination to keep his site updated plus produce his own free drum lessons (available at TigerBill.com and DrumMagazine.com), educational books, videos, and TV show, which have helped thousands of drummers worldwide in their quest to take their drumming to the highest level. In addition to his own products, he also sells Web sites, drum gear, books, and videos through his company TigerMix.com, Inc, which can be found at: TigerBills Best Drum Shop.
From Bill: "I love to teach, I love drums, I love the Internet, and I love computers, so I guess I'm in the right place! Although the Internet is a great learning tool, you can waste a lot of time finding what you need. I'm here to save you time by bringing you the latest and best links and original features on everything concerning Drums and Percussion, whether you're a beginner, weekend warrior, professional, or armchair admirer. And I might even throw in a Karate chop now and then just to see if you're paying attention!"
For More About TigerBill: Check out Tiger Bill's Place. You can also contact the Tiger directly by posting to our free forum or Click Here to send the Tiger an email. Unlike many artists, the Tiger actually responds to all of his own email, personally!
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