Good drumming to the audience

Witterings

Silver Member
Couple of other things I thought worth adding, when I've been to open mic nights and heard what I know aren't great drummers playing (these are other musicians comments not just my opinion, one of thems commonly nicknamed one beat Pete) and yet I've still sat and thought some of it sounds great.
I think how you hear it from behing the kit and how it's heard from the front are very different and always sounds better from the front.
I also think if you asked a general audience to listen to "Vinnie's" reknowned fill at 3.15 in Nik Kershaw's "Don't Ask Me" and to listen to the drum intro of "In The Air Tonight" I'll put money on it virtually every none drummer says the "In The Air Tonight" intro is better drumming.
 

Pollyanna

Platinum Member
Couple of other things I thought worth adding, when I've been to open mic nights and heard what I know aren't great drummers playing (these are other musicians comments not just my opinion, one of thems commonly nicknamed one beat Pete) and yet I've still sat and thought some of it sounds great.
Was One Beat Pete's beat the money beat? :)
 

yesdog

Silver Member
In general non musicians have no clue what the drummer does or plays. I sign of a good drummer is the band sounds great and people are dancing.
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
Was One Beat Pete's beat the money beat? :)
Don't be silly Pol, everyone knows the money beat is only for uber advanced players (he says whilst doing a Denis Chambers 16's shuffle with one hand and drinking a glass of wine with the other)!
 

brady

Platinum Member
If audience members had to pick a show that has:

1. Great music, but no real entertainment...or
2. So so music and a great engaging, entertaining show..

They'll pick #2 everytime.

What's in it for them? That's the bottom line. 4 way coordination? They couldn't care less, was it fun for them?
The audience, like girls, just wanna have fun. It's simple. Show them a good time, whatever that means. The music is secondary, the show is what they are looking for.
Exactly. I think most non-drummer audience members appreciate a show much better than a musically tight band on stage. Look at most popular music; there isn't much to think about, it's mostly about show.
Another example is look at how many non-drummers got excited about the 'drummer at the wrong gig' guy. Not to knock his talent, but there are many more talented drummers that aren't even on a non-drummer's radar. Who is your average non-drummer more familiar with? Steve Gadd or 'that sparkly yellow jacket guy'?
 

JT1

Silver Member
You know this question has bugged me a lot and I think I can make a generalisation but not a certain response. I would say most of it doesn't come down to what you play but how you play it.

I will say that two huge factors are tightness and confidence. If the drummer is tight with the band and glues everyone together, you are half way there.

Showing confidence is the other strength kind of like how 'chicks dig confidence'. If you can make something look easy (even if it is easy) most people will think it is neat. A lot of it is about the vibe you give off when drumming.

Unfortunately I can say that a lot of unconfident drummers that I have seen don't really get compliments from the audience because they just look like they are struggling all of the time even if they play fine.

Enjoying yourself is one way to show your confidence and once that sets in, it transfers to the audience too.
 

bob2loud

Member
For the non-musician audience, a drummer's showmanship is definitely the key. Years ago I set my kit set up so it required a lot of unnecessary, dramatic jumping, flailing, and swivelling, like Shawn Pelton or Animal on the Muppets. I overplayed most everything and when people complimented me I went even further over the top.

Over the years my time, chops, and dynamics, have all improved, I've learned what NOT to play, and have cut my kit down to a more compact size. Even though I feel that I do a much better job now, I get fewer compliments on my own playing, but more people tell me how much they enjoyed the band. I guess that's what really matters.
 

funkytomtom

Senior Member
This is a great topic. I started college out as a music major but found other interests soon thereafter. Many of my friends stayed in the jazz program and I play with them often to this day. They're always working on their chops, a different time signature, transcribing solos and other such things. This has truly done wonders for their technical ability, but they are not taught showmanship (nor do I think anyone can "teach" you art in a literal sense, but that's for another thread).

When it comes down to it, who cares what the hell you're playing if you look bored as hell on stage. When you look bored, I guarantee your audience WILL BE bored; no matter what you're playing.

I've been getting a lot of compliments (and interest from the lady-folk) lately because of two things I have been working on; time and showmanship. The audience will know if you A) look un-confident behind the kit, B) drop the time, or C) look bored. Thusly, I spend time with my metronome, look like I know what the hell I'm doing behind the kit (which is an illusion), and get really really into it. At the end of some songs when I do the obligatory cymbals flourishes I'll stick my tongue out and shake my head back and forth. It sounds weird, but I saw Derek Trucks's drummer do it, and, in the moment it really adds excitement. Smile, groove, move your torso! It's the little things like that combined with confidence and perfect time. Look at AC/DC's drummer; no technical masterpiece, but no one who isn't a drummer would know that.
 

aydee

Platinum Member
I know what most drummers consider good drumming (I know there are a wide variety of opinions about groove and chops) but what does the audience (non-musicians) consider good drumming?
You speak of the audience as if its a single group of people but I'm assuming you mean non-musician music lovers. I think they largely have a tendency to view music as a whole and not in pieces or a sum of the parts, unlike us who like to break down things and consider them from a micro point of view.

The audience mostly is looking for things that move them. Emotionally and/ or physically. The spectrum can go from nodding your head to head banging or from make you feeling good to making you feeling suicidal.

Powerful thing, this musc stuff.

From a drumming standpoint that can come from as many directions as there are drummers and styles of drumming, but whatever makes that music elicit a physical or emotional response is what the listeners connect with.

No rules as such, though I suspect 'honesty' has a tendency to work with audiences more often than not.

PS- ( on second thoughts, I'll add another attribute to the honesty bit - heavy marketing and promotion )

...
 

Pollyanna

Platinum Member
Well said, Abe!

The hard part in creating rather than consuming music (food or art or wine or whatever) is we have to focus on the aspects that make the story congruent - getting the song to sit right. For the audience, all that dedicated behind-the-scenes work is a given.

They're just on the lookout for all the cool stuff you can add on top, usually by the singer or soloist. All they seem to want from us drummers is to be tight, responsive to what's going on, and to hit them with that primal drum vibe that we all love.
 
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BrewBillfold

Silver Member
The audience mostly is looking for things that move them. Emotionally and/ or physically. The spectrum can go from nodding your head to head banging or from make you feeling good to making you feeling suicidal.
Yeah, most folks who aren't musicians that I know well would say that the best drummer(s) is whoever is playing for their favorite musical artists. So answers for particular people, friends and family, I'm thinking of would be "Charlie Watts", "Ringo Starr", "Max Weinberg","Lars Ulrich", "Graeme Edge", "Brandon Barnes", etc. It's just whoever plays for their favorite band. Part of it is surely thinking, "That's the music that sounds best to me, and that's the drummer for that music, so that person must have a lot to do with making that music sound so good". I agree that non-musicians I do not know do not tend to separate what they're hearing into "the guitarist is doing that, and the keyboardist is doing that and the drummer is doing that". They only tend to single out what particular musicians are doing if they're playing a solo, as in "No one else is on stage".
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
And here we come back to the Joey Jordison winning the best drummer of the last 25 years contest. Whether he is or not, he is the most popular and has the most fans who felt compelled to vote for him, whether because they like Slipknot or because they like his showmanship or because they really believe he is the best drummer. So that right there points out a lot of what the "audience" is looking for, in my mind.
 

Pkaneps

Senior Member
It kinda makes me sad to think that the world is looking for more Travis Barkers and Joey Jordisons.
 
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