Drummers who "overplay" the music.

Tommy_D

Platinum Member
It seems like the general consensus around here is for the drummer to "play to the music" and not over play it with flashy fills or erratic ride/hat patterns where it is just not called for. Basically, you should be a musician and have your drumming compliment to enhance the music.

If this is the case around here, I figure we could have a pretty good discussion about what it means to overplay the music and provide examples for people. With that said, I'm wondering what drummers you think "overplay" the music. I'll start:

Carter Beauford - Dave Matthews Band

Dont get me wrong, Carter is a mind-bogglingly amazing drummer and percussionist, but holy hell is his drumming over-the-top for Dave Matthews Band. Carter could be one hell of a progressive rock drummer, but he plays in what I would deem a "Jam Band" and therefor completely overplays the music. I really enjoy his playing and would love to learn just what the hell he is doing behind the kit, but I often wonder how much more mellow and "jam-style" DMB's sound would be without Carter behind the kit.
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
It's hard to generalize. In DMB, Carter is a big part of a identifiable sound.

Overplaying isn't just about how much. If it works and you can pull it off and with a suitable dynamic then it's usually ok.

If the playing is out of control, unintentionally messy and doesn't gel with the other micro rhythm things gong on then it might be a problem.

It's all about context, though.

Wondering how DMB would be without Carter. Well, maybe a it like Janice Joplin's band without Janice. Lol
 

Hollywood Jim

Platinum Member
This could turn into a very mixed and confusing discussion. So many opinions, so many different tastes in music.
It is safe to say that when you listen to MOST popular music you don't hear a bunch of drum fills.
But you do hear steady consistent rhythms which might be considered somewhat boring for a drummer to play.


.
 

Out Of Warranty

Senior Member
One drummer that comes to mind and BTW one I love is Keith Moon. Most of the time it works for the Who's music, but sometime it seems "messy" to me.

As I age I am definitely falling into the "Less is Best" camp and lately have been working to that extent on "non-fills" by moving one or two beats of groove around - trying not to over do it.
 

Trigger

Senior Member
Matt Mingus from Dance Gavin Dance perfectly overplays. Once you realise what he's doing his parts are extremely creative. Very cool drummer.
 

Groov-E

Silver Member
Simon Philips on the last Hiromi album. On one song he clearly abuses the tom and either rushes or lags at some point. But I still enjoy listening to it and he is a master !
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
I think we can all agree that John Bonham was the worst over-player of all time followed by Travis Barker.
 

Brian

Gold Member
One drummers overplaying is anothers genius...makes for a great spirited debate, but it generally doesn't go very far.

I always thought of Carter Beauford (sp?) is an excellent drummer AND plays the music well. Agree that DMB has a signature sound, easy to identify upon just one second of listening. It's hard to argue against any part of the formula.
 

PlayTheSong

Senior Member
"Overplaying" can mean a number of things.

For beginning and intermediate drummers, it means getting all excited about the fills at the expense of the pocket. I sometimes cringe when I listen back to a fill I threw in that disrupted the song instead of enhancing it.

Hopefully pros can throw in whatever they want without messing up the flow of the song and/or stepping on the other guys' parts. If so, how much is too much? It's a matter of taste.

I'd say Neil Peart is an example of a drummer who inserts fills everywhere without detracting from the song. He's not subtle but he's exact.

As a rule, until we reach expert status, I think we oughta colour inside the lines.
 

MoreBeer

Silver Member
Carter Beauford - Dave Matthews Band

Dont get me wrong, Carter is a mind-bogglingly amazing drummer and percussionist, but holy hell is his drumming over-the-top for Dave Matthews Band. Carter could be one hell of a progressive rock drummer, but he plays in what I would deem a "Jam Band" and therefor completely overplays the music. I really enjoy his playing and would love to learn just what the hell he is doing behind the kit, but I often wonder how much more mellow and "jam-style" DMB's sound would be without Carter behind the kit.
I sort of agree....although if Carter was not the drummer and their band was watered down by an average 1-2-3-4 guy, its quite possible the music would not be as well received? His playing just cuts through their music and to a certain extent, defines it.

Disclaimer....NOT a fan of DMB, although Carter is among my favorite drummers.
 

Tommy_D

Platinum Member
I sort of agree....although if Carter was not the drummer and their band was watered down by an average 1-2-3-4 guy, its quite possible the music would not be as well received? His playing just cuts through their music and to a certain extent, defines it.

Disclaimer....NOT a fan of DMB, although Carter is among my favorite drummers.
I'm not a huge DMB fan either, but I was listening to the Crash album today (which is beautifully mastered by the way) and it came to me that Carter's playing is so crazy. It's crazy good; I don't deny that, but its also just plain 'ole crazy.

I listen to the music and can easily strip out 80% of his playing and still keep a very similar feel to the music. As a drummer I enjoy listening to his playing, but to a layman is this something bothersome to them? Would it be the equivalent of a guitarist throwing in random solo during the verses of the songs only to put in a screeching solo during the chorus?
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
While we all espouse what we all espouse around here, we need guys who "overplay". That's not me but a guy like Carter who can make all those notes work...we need guys like that.
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
This is really sort of stupid. If a band writes original music, they can play it however they like. Does Joe Satriani "overplay"? The answer is no. He's not doing covers, he's writing his own music that's meant to be busy. Carter can't overplay something he wrote, he is a great drummer, and not only does he know what he's doing, I'd wager he has reasons for all the notes he put in.

I mean, really. Brings to mind:


So this probably boils down to one of two things. A) Jealousy of lower rung drummers trying to justify their own lack of ability to play busy, or B) Simply different people with different tastes.

Does dream-theater overplay? Do all the metal bands doing double bass 32nd notes at 300bpm overplay?

There's no point in comparing drummers to one another. Styles are different, tastes are different, the people consuming the music are different.

Don't worry about "overplaying" originals. Just listen to the music and play what truly sounds right to you.
 

opentune

Platinum Member
I kinda prefer to focus on the positives of any drummer, after all CB is a pro, and Matthews hired him to fit the bill.
I doubt any layperson notices his drumming as complex, if they notice the drumming at all.
 

Anon La Ply

Renegade
It depends. Every rock and pop group I've played in wants the drummer to contribute beyond straight grooving - to add a bit of flair at times as with all instruments.

Given that Dave Mathhews' music is as dull as dishwater *ducks for cover*, Carter B's flamboyant playing at least adds a little interest :) Ditto Kwon Soon Keun. Would his group have become a viral worldwide hit without his hammery? Ditto Steve Moore with that pedestrian casino band.
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
When listening to studio recordings, you will likely not hear any overplaying. It simply wouldn't be allowed by the artist or producer (and in the old days, the record labels who were concerned with selling product.) Whether the drumming is complicated or simpler, it's how the people involved wanted it.

But it's still a subjective concept. The way to test whether the drummer overplayed is to imagine the parts played simpler. If the song benefits as a result, then the drummer probably overplayed. When it's the Who, it should be readily apparent that it can't be any other way. Again, it's rare that you'd ever hear anything terribly inappropriate on a studio release. I can't think of any songs with complicated drum parts that didn't sound right as-is. Even a few songs* that I once thought were a little busier or more syncopated than they should be, turned out in hindsight to sound exactly right. Simpler drum parts would have been inadequate.

Bermuda

* FYI, We Five's "You Were On My Mind" and Dylan's "Tangled Up In Blue" have deliciously syncopated drum parts that might normally be considered over the top. You Were On My Mind becomes almost a snare solo by the end of the song!
 
M

Matt Bo Eder

Guest
It seems like the general consensus around here is for the drummer to "play to the music" and not over play it with flashy fills or erratic ride/hat patterns where it is just not called for. Basically, you should be a musician and have your drumming compliment to enhance the music.

If this is the case around here, I figure we could have a pretty good discussion about what it means to overplay the music and provide examples for people. With that said, I'm wondering what drummers you think "overplay" the music. I'll start:

Carter Beauford - Dave Matthews Band

Dont get me wrong, Carter is a mind-bogglingly amazing drummer and percussionist, but holy hell is his drumming over-the-top for Dave Matthews Band. Carter could be one hell of a progressive rock drummer, but he plays in what I would deem a "Jam Band" and therefor completely overplays the music. I really enjoy his playing and would love to learn just what the hell he is doing behind the kit, but I often wonder how much more mellow and "jam-style" DMB's sound would be without Carter behind the kit.
But one man's "overplaying" could be another woman's "This is perfect", no? And sometimes what I think is overplaying one year, becomes underplaying the next year. It's all art, it's all subjective. I like both the simple groove and the complicated groove, depends on my mood and the music they're playing. I don't think the DMB would be the DMB if they had anybody else that drum chair. I can't imagine anyone else in the Rolling Stones besides Charlie.
 

Tamaefx

Silver Member
Even if I like him a lot, even if the music style invoque overplaying , I sometimes feel that Mike Portnoy in DT shouldn't have changed his rhythm or do a fill every four bars. Some songs don't need so many rhythm shifts.
 
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