"Drive"

rootheart

Senior Member
hi, is "drive" a forgotten/unterrated term?
I´ve been reading drummerforums ever since, lot of talking about "groove" and such, but I never found the most important term "drive"..
When I started drumming as a kid many moons ago, one of the theoretical things that caught my interest was the term "drive"...and I was told that "drive" means: You play in time metronomewise, not speed up, but the listener has the feeling as if the music speeds up like hell.
How can this be done, I was wondering, after I´ve been told such..I had no idea, but as a kid I worked on this..and it gave me lots of milage
Meanwhile I know many examples, and some tricks to do this, but this far I just want to know if anyone out there knows this term and its meaning..
Your opinion welcome.
 

bobdadruma

Platinum Member
I share the same meaning that you do. I only know three or four drummers tools to affect Drive. Changing the ride from 8th to 16th , etc. Playing more bass drum notes. More snare hits and one hand rolls.
 

rootheart

Senior Member
I share the same meaning that you do. I only know three or four drummers tools to affect Drive. Changing the ride from 8th to 16th , etc. Playing more bass drum notes. More snare hits and one hand rolls.
sorry, grin, this is not what I am talking about...an example for drive is e.g.: you and your band play a shuffle beat (maybe a blues) together wich is swung 8th...then all of the sudden, for just one bar, you do not play shuffle but hit straight notes on the ride bell, while the band is still playing shuffle stile..this does not fit in terms of drumming, but creates the "Rock´n Roll Friction = Drive": now your ride seems to play faster then the band, though it is in time..it is playing wrong in term of drumming, but for the listener you drum faster than the band, though you are in time...very hard to explain, therefore I posted it, wondering if some old school grandpa drummers ever heard about this term.
Besides of drumming tricks here is an example of "drive"...sounds like the band speeds up but they do not..
http://de.youtube.com/watch?v=EBkOKD6jejo
 
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Vipercussionist

Silver Member
I think what you are talking about is very hard to put into words, but many drummers would know it if they heard it.

I've heard this concept called Russian Dragon. You are "in tempo" but the beat feels as if you're rushing or dragging the beat.

I apply this sometimes on a Double Shuffle beat to make the tune feel "heavier".

Take a typical bluesy double shuffle with both hands playing the same shuffle figure, (but dynamically playing the backbeat with the snare hand). Typically I would play four on the floor with that, but If I want the tune to seem "heavier" I'll just play HALF of what I would usually play.

Maybe I can explain it better . . .

See attachment for the double shuffle I mean.

If I were playing that shuffle (on the ride or hats) and keeping the backbeat on 2 & 4 (with the shuffle ghost notes on the snare) I would typically play the kick on 1, 2, 3 & 4.

If I want have the tune appear slower, I would play the kick drum on JUST 1 & 3, it feels slower AND heavier/meaner. Seems pretty effective from where I'm sitting.
 

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rootheart

Senior Member
I think what you are talking about is very hard to put into words, but many drummers would know it if they heard it.

I've heard this concept called Russian Dragon. You are "in tempo" but the beat feels as if you're rushing or dragging the beat.

I apply this sometimes on a Double Shuffle beat to make the tune feel "heavier".

Take a typical bluesy double shuffle with both hands playing the same shuffle figure, (but dynamically playing the backbeat with the snare hand). Typically I would play four on the floor with that, but If I want the tune to seem "heavier" I'll just play HALF of what I would usually play.

Maybe I can explain it better . . .

See attachment for the double shuffle I mean.

If I were playing that shuffle (on the ride or hats) and keeping the backbeat on 2 & 4 (with the shuffle ghost notes on the snare) I would typically play the kick on 1, 2, 3 & 4.

If I want have the tune appear slower, I would play the kick drum on JUST 1 & 3, it feels slower AND heavier/meaner. Seems pretty effective from where I'm sitting.
What I wanna to talk about simply is this: "drive as an illusion "..listen to a song that seems to speed up but it does not speed up.."Drive" is the illusion of speeding up..:
http://de.youtube.com/watch?v=EBkOKD6jejo
 

rootheart

Senior Member
yes..play this shuffle e.g. for 3 bars. But in the 4th bar you do not play shuffle but play straight notes on the ride cymbal, while the band is still playing shuffle...what happens is that you play in time but your ride seems to play faster than the band...just a "drive" illusion
 

rootheart

Senior Member
another simple old drive-song that comes to my mind is: Lay Down Sally by Eric Clapton: drumming is easy, basically.. but listening to the song it seems to subtile gradually speed up..just like driving a car on a highway or such..I just wondered if anyone out there ever heard about the term "drive"
 

Vipercussionist

Silver Member
What I wanna to talk about simply is this: "drive as an illusion "..listen to a song that seems to speed up but it does not speed up.."Drive" is the illusion of speeding up..:
http://de.youtube.com/watch?v=EBkOKD6jejo
I don't think it's an "illusion" as it DOES change the "feel" of the groove you're playing, even though it might not change the tempo.

Mixing up the patterns of the beat you're playing can certainly change the perception of the drive or tempo of the tune WITHOUT actually changing it.

All drummers may not feel the same way, but if I play a simpler pattern it will usually slow the tune down, and if I play a BUSIER pattern, it is perceived as a quicker tempo.
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__________________
Most respect the badge, but all fear the drum.
 

Steady Freddy

Pioneer Member
Drive was a very commonly used term back in the day. Examples of this can be found in Bonhams fool in the rain. He goes to a triplet ride on the bell of the cymbal while maintaining the half time shufle, This changes the lope and feel on that section of the song. It gives the groove propulsion.

Another example would be switching from a 2 & 4 back beat to playing quarter notes on the snare. Bill Buford used that a lot during his time with Yes. The same can be done by playing four on the floor during a section of a song and then going back to a 1 & 3 based kick pattern.

There's a million ways to do it.
 

bobdadruma

Platinum Member
After reading these previous posts in this thread I realize that I have been using the techniques of Drive for many years. I use the Blues Shuffle ride and the other techniques all the time. I simply began to use them when I learned various songs that I have played for years or when trying to be creative when jamming. When I posted earlier in the thread I didn't know how to explain "Drive" as well as many of you did. Thank you all.
 

jangus

Silver Member
I think drive is achieved by playing in front of the beat. I believe there are three parts to every beat: the front, the beat, and the back. Playing on the front makes it feel like your rushing if you just listen to the drummer, but you aren't, you are always in time with the band. Playing right on the beat is simply playing right on the beat, not always the easiest thing to do, but it's standard. Playing on the back of the beat makes it feel like your dragging, but the beat is nevertheless there. This is where you can lay back and groove. That's how I always interpreted it.

What do you think? I call it the Theory of Relativity.
 

rmandelbaum

Platinum Member
if you play right on top or a little in front it drives the band where as you play a little behind and it sits back a little. You don't really have to play everything in front, on top or behind, just move the snare a little and see what kind of an effect it has.
 

jangus

Silver Member
I guess it's easier to think of a beat as two parts, beginning and end, because it's next to impossible to play every note on the EXACT center of the beat. Beginning drives, end grooves. Be mindful that the musicians you play with do not rush or drag in reaction to the way you are playing. Us drummers have to think about some complicated things.
 
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