Drummers who "overplay" the music.

mikel

Platinum Member
actors who over act
chefs who over season
writers who are too wordy

it means nothing

my wife hates spicy food ... I love it

some don't care for Keith Moon ... I love him

there is no such thing as overplaying ... but there are such things as different opinions and preference
This /\

Its subjective. Recordings capture a moment in time and live gigs can be driven by excitement and an enthusiastic audience. Music is an art, not a science, so its about interpretation.

Less sometimes is more but, sometimes more is not nearly enough. Drums and drummers should have a personality, so much of the music we hear now on the radio is cookie cutter drumming and I think we are becoming brain washed into thinking one size fits all.
 

Hollywood Jim

Platinum Member
actors who over act
chefs who over season
writers who are too wordy

it means nothing

my wife hates spicy food ... I love it

some don't care for Keith Moon ... I love him

there is no such thing as overplaying ... but there are such things as different opinions and preference

Yes, I agree


My favorite conspicuous overplayer would probably be Greg Saunier
This is not a good example of overplaying. When the guitar players are banging on their guitars, he's banging on the drums.
When the guitar players are playing softer, he's playing the drums softer. I don't hear any over playing here.


.
 

_Leviathan_

Senior Member
actors who over act
chefs who over season
writers who are too wordy

it means nothing

my wife hates spicy food ... I love it

some don't care for Keith Moon ... I love him

there is no such thing as overplaying ... but there are such things as different opinions and preference
+1. It's all relative, and totally subjective.
 

SmoothOperator

Gold Member
It is kind of interesting that you seldom hear players criticized as underplaying. Though in modern music I think about 90%+ is underplayed. You know like punks and dolls that want to look cool and cute on stage or blues bands that just want beer etc. Mostly underplayed IMO, though I think people don't call it under playing they call it something to the effect of "not very good".
 

Anon La Ply

Renegade
An example of overplaying from a band I love, King Crimson. Pat Mastelotto in Coda: I Have a Dream (from around 9 mins) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x71U5GMtc8o

No doubt they had something abstract in mind, probably to convey a sense of chaos, but I didn't think PM's drumming approach in that one quite worked on a visceral level. I mention it because the performance of Larks Tongues and Coda are otherwise great - the link's an awesome listen if you're in the mood for crazy music but I thought the chaotic drumming was a small detraction.

Might be gettin' conservative in my old age.
 

8Mile

Platinum Member
You can't define it because it's a moving target.

Same thing with "play for the song." What does that mean? Nobody can tell you, because it doesn't exist. Whatever you do on the drums can be part of the song, if all the pieces fall into place. Or not.
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member

Tamaefx

Silver Member
It is kind of interesting that you seldom hear players criticized as underplaying. Though in modern music I think about 90%+ is underplayed. You know like punks and dolls that want to look cool and cute on stage or blues bands that just want beer etc. Mostly underplayed IMO, though I think people don't call it under playing they call it something to the effect of "not very good".
Perfectly right.
For me, I call them lazy !
And they could be boring as hell. No fill, no work on the hihat, no use of toms, no ghost note, and sometimes, no power in the way they play.
 

Gel-Sol

Member
I'm all for "over-playing." The drummer should be an equal member in the band. Go nuts. Just know when to dial it back. There has to be peaks and valleys.
 

HenryColt

Member
You can overplay and made it a WIN the same way that you can overplay and make a total FAILURE.
Sometimes it's obvious.
Sometimes it's subtle.

I do , in the same song, depending on the part or the mood, overplay a lot (and no one seems to care) and then make it simple simple, smooth and nice. (and no one seems to care).

In the end, you must live for your convictions. Do what you feel in the song.
 

Anon La Ply

Renegade
Something that's rarely talked about in these kinds of topics is where the drums are in the mix. Imagine what The Who would sound like if Moonie's drums were mixed like 80s boom-smack pop! The others would have been forced to turn up to 12. Either that or they'd lynch him :)

In 80s and later pop the snare and kick are mixed way up so any variation sticks out like dogs' yarbles. Any "great ideas" better be bang on or they'll disrupt.

Another thing, add a bit of verb or play in a room with wicked acoustics and there's a whole new requirement for drums - say bye bye to subtle nuances and ghosties and say hello to leaving more space.

I learned that about thirty years ago seeing Jethro Tull and Crowded House on the same bill in the godawful acoustics of the Entertainment Centre. Tull's brilliant intricacies turned to mush in a mess of echoes while Crowded House sounded like a million dollars. From memory, Paul Hester played the gig with kick, snare, hats, mounted tom and a crash.
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
Something that's rarely talked about in these kinds of topics is where the drums are in the mix. Imagine what The Who would sound like if Moonie's drums were mixed like 80s boom-smack pop! The others would have been forced to turn up to 12. Either that or they'd lynch him :)
You got that right Grea. Lots of notes, delivered with gusto, can only sit comfortably in most music forms if backed off in the mix & not too much "weight" added in production.
 

Wave Deckel

Gold Member
“A drummer never overplays, nor does he underplay, he plays precisely what he means to.”

-Gandalf
Hmmm... this is somewhat contradictory to Peter Erskine: "You don't have to show off" which means that there ARE musicians who try to impress everyone and thus overplay, not doing any favor to the music. Barriemore Barlow even admitted later in an interview that he played way too much at times and should have rather played less on some Tull recordings. But generally speaking, overplaying is rather a problem for amateurs who don't know better, and not for pros who usually have a good musical education.

But anyway, as others said already, this is all very very subjective. I don't think that Carter Beauford overplays a lot (sometimes he does a bit, yes... but it's not horrible). But I think that Vinnie Colaiuta e.g. overplays a lot. Jack DeJohnette overplays a lot. Others will say of course that both don't overplay. And both opinions are okay because they are purely subjective.

So... why are we discussing this?
 

newlin

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.!
Good sentiment that I agree with. When it comes to either professional-level recording bands/musicians, generally overplaying isn't a thing. Things are they way they are for astute musical reasons. Even for a lot of bands that aren't "professional" yet, they just write really well and they can get away with it.

But this is something you definitely often see with people who don't write music well. And I'm including even advanced drummers in this. There are incredible players that have no idea how to play with other people or write music. And terrible players that know how to listen and write well enough that they can get away with ridiculously simple stuff.

This might sound tautological, but I think "overplaying" is just a drummer's way of saying "wrote a part that makes no sense."
 
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