Feel or Technique, importance?

aydee

Platinum Member
I am a whole bunch of contradictions. I'm going to give myself a group hug.
 
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Pollyanna

Platinum Member
Not completely, though it is clearly more three-dimensional. I'll love to go to Sydney someday. I hear its a really nice city.
Shame you couldn't have seen Sydney 20 years ago. A lot more traffic now and the music scene has fallen away dramatically thanks to poker machines. I was amazed when a friend recently recommended a place with a blues band with bucketloads of feel playing on Wed nights with no door charge - just a few kms from my place! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KWX6vV5uqJM.

I thought places like that had just about died out. I now have a Wednesday night habit :)
 

Pollyanna

Platinum Member
Nice. Drummer's shuffle is really cooking and the keys are fabulous.. losta feel / losta technique. Not a bad way to spends Wednesdays.
Yeah, love that drummer. The guitarist in that vid played in one of my old bands and he's sitting in with them cold (he's much better than me). I chatted with Robert the singer last night and mentioned that I was Tim's old drummer. He asked if I wanted to sit in on a number and I said no, I'm happy listening to the guy already there.

At some point I might ask him if he gives lessons because he's got some goodlies I'd love to have (and also, unfortunately, wears a wedding band :)
 

haredrums

Silver Member
I know that this conversation has been over for a while, but I wanted to bring up some new stuff to see if you guys had thoughts on it.

In John Riley's DVD "The Master Drummer" he divides the artistry of drumming into four basic elements as opposed to two: Groove, Technique, Musicality and Creativity. I think that for the purposes of this conversation groove and feel are interchangeable. Technique is essentially physical facility. Musicality is how you respond to music. Creativity is your musical imagination, the source of your original voice on the instrument.

Although Riley is obviously dealing with jazz specifically, I actually think that the same elements of drum artistry apply to any musical context. The advantage of breaking it down into four elements is that it is easier to pinpoint exactly what you are talking about. A lot of the arguments that I see in this conversation (at least as I am understanding them) come from miscommunications based on only having two categories of drum set artistry to compare.

Let me also weigh in on the basic debate about groove (feel) or technique being more important. Basically I think that which element of drum artistry is most important depends on the particular drummer and the particular musical setting. In other words I don't really think there is a simple, objective standard of one element being the most important all the time.

For example, if you are playing in a predominately out of time free jazz setting, creativity and musicality are probably more important than groove or technique. On the other hand, if you are playing in a top 40 band, groove might be the most essential.

That being said, it has been my experience that in almost all the musical contexts I have played in, none of the elements is more critical to the music working than groove. Groove is like the foundation for everything else to be built on, and without it most music just doesn't seem to work.

I certainly believe that technique can improve your groove, but if I was forced to narrow down which single element of drum set artistry has been the most important to my survival as a musician so far, groove would definitely be the one.

I have a longer discussion of the four elements of drum set artistry and their application in jazz music on my blog if you are interested. Here is a link:

http://haredrums.blogspot.com/2011/09/two-songs-of-jazz.html
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
I can't believe this danger thread has surfaced. Thank goodness I'm running off to band practice where I'll be using a lot more of one than the other ;) Just insert a few more key words (jazz, money beat, milk, seat belts, best) & I expect to return to a pool of molten plastic that once was my Mac!
 

Lunar Satellite Brian

Senior Member
You must have perfect technique to do exactly what you feel all of the time.
So technique first, then feel.

As far as importance, you can't have one without the other, that question is irrelevant.
 

Midnite Zephyr

Platinum Member
It took technique to get the feel of the drums originally. Years later, I finally feel comfortable enough to play what I want to play for the most part, but now that I can say that, I find that I really need to work on my technique a lot more (and read music better).
 

con struct

Platinum Member
Feel and technique are illusions. Do not be attached to material things. To play the drums you must be the drums.
 

Pollyanna

Platinum Member
I know that this conversation has been over for a while, but I wanted to bring up some new stuff to see if you guys had thoughts on it.

In John Riley's DVD "The Master Drummer" he divides the artistry of drumming into four basic elements as opposed to two: Groove, Technique, Musicality and Creativity. I think that for the purposes of this conversation groove and feel are interchangeable. Technique is essentially physical facility. Musicality is how you respond to music. Creativity is your musical imagination, the source of your original voice on the instrument.

Although Riley is obviously dealing with jazz specifically, I actually think that the same elements of drum artistry apply to any musical context. The advantage of breaking it down into four elements is that it is easier to pinpoint exactly what you are talking about. A lot of the arguments that I see in this conversation (at least as I am understanding them) come from miscommunications based on only having two categories of drum set artistry to compare.

Let me also weigh in on the basic debate about groove (feel) or technique being more important. Basically I think that which element of drum artistry is most important depends on the particular drummer and the particular musical setting. In other words I don't really think there is a simple, objective standard of one element being the most important all the time.

For example, if you are playing in a predominately out of time free jazz setting, creativity and musicality are probably more important than groove or technique. On the other hand, if you are playing in a top 40 band, groove might be the most essential.

That being said, it has been my experience that in almost all the musical contexts I have played in, none of the elements is more critical to the music working than groove. Groove is like the foundation for everything else to be built on, and without it most music just doesn't seem to work.

I certainly believe that technique can improve your groove, but if I was forced to narrow down which single element of drum set artistry has been the most important to my survival as a musician so far, groove would definitely be the one.

I have a longer discussion of the four elements of drum set artistry and their application in jazz music on my blog if you are interested. Here is a link:

http://haredrums.blogspot.com/2011/09/two-songs-of-jazz.html
I know we've been playing silly buggers since our old monster thread resurfaced but I think this is a very good response. Yes, comparing the two does create an artificial schism.

I have much more relaxed views on all this than I did when I first fell into this thread's vortex as a rusty old fogey trying to remember what I knew before quitting music for a decade ... ie. I don't really care now because it's not practical.

In the end, as Matt says, the important question is "Can you play?" ... I'd add "Who would enjoy playing music with you?". That's what matters to me.
 

JoeLackey

Senior Member
I think it's about 60-40. Though having a good technique is nice, you need to have a good sound going for you first. You get gigs by having a good sound and feel, not by your technique.
 

oldskoolsoul

Silver Member
..All these years later, all I can say is 'WOW!" A four month continuous war of words. Amazing!..

I havent read the thread, but when i saw the thread-title, i thought: yes, interesting question..

Then i see things like 'danger thread' and 'war of words', which maybe indicates that there are some members who allready will get a nervous breakdown when they even only notice that this thread is brought up again..lol..

I vote for 'feel' btw..
 

mattsmith

Platinum Member
I havent read the thread, but when i saw the thread-title, i thought: yes, interesting question..

Then i see things like 'danger thread' and 'war of words', which maybe indicates that there are some members who allready will get a nervous breakdown when they even only notice that this thread is brought up again..lol..

I vote for 'feel' btw..
Looking back, I suppose some of that was true. But, there was also great debate blended with the other stuff. For someone who spent years in forum discussions about technique vs. feel this was like opening a time capsule.
 
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