Feel or Technique, importance?

Pollyanna

Platinum Member
Ken, I really enjoy your perspective. If I lived within cooee of you I would almost be tempted to reconsider my views on lessons and see if you had any free spots :)

BTW, I'd just like to make sure no one feels I'm being anti-technique here. I'm just hoping to strip away any conceptions of judgementalism - be it real or perceived - the idea that drummers succeed or fail, and just focus on the joy of playing and what it is about drumming that turns us on as players and listeners. I think that's where both technique and feel come from.

How absurd is it to sit behind behind something so perfectly designed for having a GREAT time as a drum kit and to feel inadequacy or insecurity?

I never again want to forget that feeling the first time I sat behind a kit and it was as though the kit was saying to me ... "Plaaay meeee! PLAAAAY MEEEEEE!!"

:)
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
How absurd is it to sit behind behind something so perfectly designed for having a GREAT time as a drum kit and to feel inadequacy or insecurity?

I never again want to forget that feeling the first time I sat behind a kit and it was as though the kit was saying to me ... "Plaaay meeee! PLAAAAY MEEEEEE!!"

:)[/QUOTE]

Great post Pollyana. You guys over the pond get really talking after we've retired (to bed that is). Feel like I'm missing out. Anyhow, I thought it might be time for some inspiration, especially when sighting physical limitations to playing. I have a benign spinal tumor that limits me to some degree, but this guy throws the whole feel, technique, effort, talent thing up in the air for me. Enjoy http://www.myspace.com/marcplayle
 

Average

Senior Member
That's why so many of us love Ringo. We think, "Hey, that sounds great AND it's do-able!". Later we find out it's harder to get right than we first thought but what he plays is still in the league of mere mortals.
Doh! You aren't supposed to admit that! Ringo is supposed to be some sort of genius, way beyond what any mere mortal is capable of!
 

Deltadrummer

Platinum Member
Ken, I really enjoy your perspective. If I lived within cooee of you I would almost be tempted to reconsider my views on lessons and see if you had any free spots :)

BTW, I'd just like to make sure no one feels I'm being anti-technique here. I'm just hoping to strip away any conceptions of judgementalism - be it real or perceived - the idea that drummers succeed or fail, and just focus on the joy of playing and what it is about drumming that turns us on as players and listeners. I think that's where both technique and feel come from.

How absurd is it to sit behind behind something so perfectly designed for having a GREAT time as a drum kit and to feel inadequacy or insecurity?

I never again want to forget that feeling the first time I sat behind a kit and it was as though the kit was saying to me ... "Plaaay meeee! PLAAAAY MEEEEEE!!"

:)

I appreciate that. I's August, for drum teacher's there's always an opening. :)

I have come to the realization that people are going to read into posts exactly what they want If you say 99% of the time it is like this, someone will say, yeah but what about the 1%.

I actually had an experience playing last week where I felt like Stan was playing me. I couldn't shake Stan's spirit. It had possessed me. :) I think that's pedagogy.
 

Pollyanna

Platinum Member
It depends, Ken. Does this mean you're coming to Sydney this August to give me lessons? That's sooo sweet of you - thanks! :)

I agree re: reading into posts. It goes like this ... yadda yadda yadda [CONTENTIOUS STATEMENT] qualifier qualifier qualifier. Trouble is, once the contentious statement's been made, the red curtain comes down, and then the qualifiers are ignored while the reader skimming composing a pithy retort for the perceived wrong statement in his (or her :) head.
 
(Sorry for the bad english,i´m from spain.)

I think that the feel and tempo are the most important thing playing this instrument.
But technique is also important to be able to take the ideas from your brain and move it to your playing.
 

baksheesh

Junior Member
It's a searing indictment of the Western mind set that everything comes down to a dichotomy, an either/or. If it's not night, it must be day. If it's not wet it must be dry. If it's not funky it must be uptight etc. etc. etc. That's a really damaging and constricting way of looking at the world IMO, and you see it everywhere, alas.
Most particularly, and getting slightly off topic here, but you hear it in political debates, panel discussions of news items, commentaries on moral and ethical issues. It stifles a true exchange of ideas and the possibility of mutual compromise which is what communication is all about. Instead, you get a case of 'if you disagree with one interpretation then you must agree with the opposite point'. There's no room for a truly balanced, sophisticated and subtle viewpoint.
That holds just as true for music. Absolutes are extremely damaging for music. I'm thinking of dictating terms - everyone's got to play like this, or 'European Jazz' doesn't deserve to be considered on the same terms as American 'true' Jazz. That's why Wynton Marsalis is so damaging for Jazz, all things considered the negatives about him far outweigh the positives.
I always try to get far, far, far away when a dichotomy presents itself in black and white, it should be rephrased in grey, like perhaps - 'which drummers emphasise feeling over technique?', or 'in which circumstances is excessive technique damaging to a piece of music?' and in contradistinction 'name some stuff that you just have to have oodles and oodles of technique or it sounds ridiculous?'.
To answer that last one, i'd say in Indian music, in the ultra fast Gats at the end of a performance, or Billy Cobham with Mahavishnu - y'know, any ultra fast ensemble playing. With the caveat that Corea's 80s stuff (Elektrik Band) is disallowed on the grounds of being extreme pants.
 

aydee

Platinum Member
This has got to be the single most powerful post that I've read in my 2 or so years on this forum.

You killed it , Baksheesh!
 

Boomka

Platinum Member
Gadd is Gadd because he practiced his behind off. Steamer is Steamer, Colonel is Colonel, Smith is Smith, Average is Average, all based on the amount of work we have put into the instrument. There is no magic.
So if we put in an equal amount of work to Steve Gadd or Roy Haynes, we can play just like them?
 

JPW

Silver Member
So if we put in an equal amount of work to Steve Gadd or Roy Haynes, we can play just like them?
If you have exactly the same environment, habits, and practice system and teacher then yes (I still think genes play a very marginal part in anything except diseases). But why would anyone want to be same as somebody else? To me music is communication, technique is vocabulary. More vocabulary is always better than less, but it doesn't mean the things you are saying are high level poetry.

I watched a documentary of a miracle kid that had some sort of brain damage which allowed him to play the piano very very good. But even then he just didn't do really anything else than play the piano because he just couldn't do anything else like a normal human being. I'm not buying that he just miraculously started to play piano very good someday. He also practiced his ass off. ... So he developed this enormous 'vocabulary'. But as I listened to his music I began to think that brain damaged child just doesn't have anything to say really. He could only play happy or sad. I hope you get my point.
 

Deltadrummer

Platinum Member
It's a searing indictment of the Western mind set that everything comes down to a dichotomy, an either/or. If it's not night, it must be day. If it's not wet it must be dry. If it's not funky it must be uptight etc. etc. etc. That's a really damaging and constricting way of looking at the world IMO, and you see it everywhere, alas.
.
The other problem that has come up with the dichotomy is that we are limiting a discussion to two broad terms that have not been clearly defined. Is feel an inner sense of the time or is something that happen when musicians play together. Oh, there another dichotomy. ;) Is feel something perceived by the listener or something expressed by the performer? Oh there's another dichotomy. Is technique the application or the expression of the musical idea? Is it neither is it both? And even better yet, Can it change?
 

rootheart

Senior Member
The other problem that has come up with the dichotomy is that we are limiting a discussion to two broad terms that have not been clearly defined. Is feel an inner sense of the time or is something that happen when musicians play together. Oh, there another dichotomy. ;) Is feel something perceived by the listener or something expressed by the performer? Oh there's another dichotomy. Is technique the application or the expression of the musical idea? Is it neither is it both? And even better yet, Can it change?
If you feel like you do not ever want to be a drummer in a band, all you have to do is use terms like "dichomoty", "discussion"...and so on ...instead of "where is the beer, man?"...grin..very easy
 

Average

Senior Member
So if we put in an equal amount of work to Steve Gadd or Roy Haynes, we can play just like them?
I would hope that you would play like yourself only much better. Eventually as people grow musically they start speaking with their own voice.
 
I have not read all of the posts on this topic which might very well be the fundamental basis to any art form, but here are my thoughts.
I have started late in drumming and I know I will never get to be good enough to go on stage or even perform for anybody other than my captive family. Still I fantasize that this could have been my calling. If only had I started earlier I might have made drumming my life.
Yet I think about drumming all the time and right now it is my only hobby. I do work on technique, but I get the most satisfaction from the feel that I can generate from my playing. The love for the instrument has opened doors in my soul and I now get emotional just listening to old songs I never really appreciated before. I get the most chills in my back when I hear ghost notes or bass beats I know are not required but are there none the less for me to appreciate and somehow I feel richer because I can now hear those nuances.
Yet all this is a cultural experience.
At work some of my associates that have their musical origin in other cultures wonder out loud why I bother with drumming and find it odd that I get pleasure out of looking at a new snare or cymbal.
One thing for sure, the bigger the drum kit the more technique is required the less the feel.
I hate big kits and find all that busy sound annoying.
Somebody said it before...less is more feel.
 

Funky Crêpe

Silver Member
i don't believe it's about having technique, many great drummers don't have great technique, but they are very TECHNICAL.
It's all about having great technical skills and having the feel to encorporate them.
look at steve gadd, look at his left hand technique, not the greatest....but he does have great technical skill that surpass' that.
 
W

wy yung

Guest
Bah!

I never said anything of the sort. I never said a non-musician couldn't judge music. I essentially said this:

" You may have the greatest musical thoughts in the world, but if you haven't got the muscles to press the strings down in the right places, all your idealism is for zilch"
Janos Starker (cellist)

A master has earned the right to "disregard technique" (look at Picsso, for example) but someone playing for 1 year simply hasn't.

Here's one more quote:

" The music must be dominant, not the technique. The two things are not of equal importance. You have to have both craft and emotion to make art but when you focus on your goal, you had best see it as a musical goal. When I'm playing, I don't want to think about technique.
A true artist is someone who can express emotions is such a way that it creates those emotions in others. When my 7 year old throws a tantrum, that's not art. You can't just throw paint at a canvas and say that's art. You can dump a bucket of paint on the floor in a fit of anger and say it expresses anger-but it isn't art. It takes organization and discipline to create art"
Pamela Frame

'nuff said from me

There is a saying in martial arts: "In the beginning basics are nothing, but at the end basics are everything"

I believe this suggests that one must have a good foundation before one can truly understand. I think this agrees with Jeff.

John Riley made a fine point. I think it is misunderstood though. Those who focus only on chops do not work as often as those who focus on supporing the music. I have seen this time and time again with drummers I have worked with. Some are more interested in playing superfluous fills than simply supporting the musicians around them. These guys rarely get called. I had to deal with one on a session last Sunday. When I told him his fills were upsetting the band he told me "Well that's not my problem". I told him it was if it affected the ensemble. He relented. Thankfully.
 

jake_larson

Senior Member
I think you need to work on both equally cause without technique you cant play anything but without feel your music wont sound good
 
W

wy yung

Guest
I think you need to work on both equally cause without technique you cant play anything but without feel your music wont sound good
Very true. Knowing when and how to apply technique is the key. I like many have worked hard on technique, but do not feel the desire to use it all the time. Especially when inappropriate. Of course there are some very famous players who chop out all the time and it works for them. It depends upon where you wish to work.

"Technique is a means to an end, not an end in itself."
 

jonescrusher

Pioneer Member
Re: Last Page

The OS report on yesterdays game says the Billys 5 goals are the first time in the last 36 years that one Saints player has scored this amount of goals in the one game.
Have wracked my brain which didnt take too long but I cant think who the player 36 years ago was.
Can anyone cast a light on this for me?
_________________
I love Audi
I log in with excitement everyday hoping you've posted another gem immu, keep 'em coming.
 

Pollyanna

Platinum Member
It's a searing indictment of the Western mind set that everything comes down to a dichotomy, an either/or. If it's not night, it must be day.
I think just about everyone here agreed that both are needed and those two aspects of drumming are related. Does this mean that ALL westerners think dichotomously and ALL Easterners readily embrace paradox? :)

I disagreed with the notion that you can't play with good feel without excellent technique. I felt the original notion was about what we do with our technique - whether we're mor inclined to show it off or to use as headroom?
 
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