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Mike Mangini

The mighty drummer Mike Mangini was born on April 18, 1963, in Massachusetts USA, named Michael Anthony Mangini.


He may be known to you as the Dream Theater drummer, but he is far beyond.


He played and co-wrote albums for artists such as "Extreme", "Annihilator", Steve Vai, and of course James LaBrie who introduced him to "Dream Theater".


His parents say he started playing the drums at the age of two and a half. We know he has been performing since the age of 4 and started learning professional drumming at the age of 5. He continued to study non-stop until the age of 18 specializing in almost every possible style, from jazz to speed metal.


By the age of 9, he was already playing complex tracks by the legendary drummer Buddy Rich.


He has a degree in computer science and worked as a programmer on a Patriot missile project.


In 1987 he began giving private lessons to drummers, guitarists, and pianists. He was also a professor at Berkeley where he taught to play the drums.


He has written two books - "Rhythm Knowledge Volumes I and II" - in which he details, among other things, the principles on which he based his extraordinary style.


He broke the fastest drumming record five times.


In 2013, he released an award-winning instructional DVD called "The Grid," which explains how to turn musical improvisation into a science.


After the departure of Mike Portnoy, he was invited along with other drummers to an audition to decide which of them would step into Mike Portnoy's huge shoes. The auditions were documented in a series of videos and the Mangini was of course the one that defeated all the other drummers.


So for those who have not yet watched these auditions, it is simply a must. This is an opportunity to get inside the band and experience up close the considerations and preferences in choosing the drummer.


Here are links to the three episodes of the audition series held by the band:


Part One:


Part Two:


Part Three:


As you can see from the auditions, one of the criteria that Dream Theater members were looking for in a drummer is the ability to write and create and Mangini undoubtedly has those abilities. It may have taken him a while to adapt to the band, but on his fourth album with the band - "Distance over Time" - he undoubtedly demonstrated these abilities as he wrote the lyrics to the song "Room 137" and co-wrote the melodies of all the album songs, as he did in "A View from the Top of the World".


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