I have named my style of play....mp3

New Tricks

Platinum Member
In a discussion with an engineer friend/music enthusiast, I learned a bit about mp3's.

Apparently, the mp3 format removes 90% of the full data and only uses what it deemed important. That is why you can fit 150+ songs on a CD as opposed to 20. The normal, average human ear can't tell the difference and the normal, average human still enjoys the music.

That my my approach to drumming.

Example: If I am playing a simple backing beat with 1/8 notes on the HH, the kick/snare on 1,5 and 3,7, the HH is almost irrelevant. To the perfectionist, or in some genres, the HH strokes would make all the difference in the world but to 90% of normal average people, they are insignificant data.

If I leave off a HH note by design or error, it doesn't matter to 90% of the people, including myself. In my observation, people are listening to the entire piece and they are only hearing the boom/crack of the kick/snare. If I bury the click with the kick/snare, my basic job is done and I can spend the rest of my energy on being creative or just listening and enjoying the show around me.

Am I lazy? Heh heh, you bet I am. That is why I worked hard and built a business that runs itself so I can dick around on the computer and play the drums all day :)
 
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StickIt

Senior Member
I don't really know what to say to that, but...."okay".

To each his own. For me, a lot (if not most) of the enjoyment I get out of playing the drums is my personal drive to improve and to play as solidly as possible whenever I get the chance.

The ultimate goal is for the crowd to enjoy the music, and if you think that nobody cares (or hears) your 8ths on the hat, and enjoys the music the same amount regardless....well, go for it I suppose. I guess you wouldn't be surprised if the band started looking around for someone who is more detail oriented?
 
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toddbishop

Platinum Member
Hackery is not really a new thing, though. People have been working that way in all fields for, well, millennia-- taking care only with things people are really going to notice, and doing everything else in the fastest, easiest way possible, with little or no regard to craft-- badly, in other words. It sort of works for a lot of people.
 

New Tricks

Platinum Member
At least there is no judgement here lol.

I think most drummers are kidding themselves when they think so highly of their skills.

I guess you wouldn't be surprised if the band started looking around for someone who is more detail oriented?
They are more concerned with their jobs and let me do mine. Any good partnership works that way.
 

StickIt

Senior Member
I didn't mean to pass judgement, and I am not highly skilled in the least.

I was bringing my opinion to the table...that trying to play as good as I can is important to me, and I hope that comes across to the other musicians, as well as to the crowd when I play. Mistakes are made, and sometimes I'm hoping that they go unnoticed, but I certainly try to single out the reason for my error in practice and not make the same mistakes in the future.

I apologize if I came across as crass.
 

New Tricks

Platinum Member
I didn't mean to pass judgement, and I am not highly skilled in the least.

I was bringing my opinion to the table...that trying to play as good as I can is important to me, and I hope that comes across to the other musicians, as well as to the crowd when I play. Mistakes are made, and sometimes I'm hoping that they go unnoticed, but I certainly try to single out the reason for my error in practice and not make the same mistakes in the future.

I apologize if I came across as crass.
No need to apologize to me Stick. Often, the things I say are meant to create controversy and open a discussion in order to explore different points of view. If everyone started agreeing with me, I'd have to find a new schtick.
 

toddbishop

Platinum Member
At least there is no judgement here lol.
What are you complaining about? You said you wanted to troll-- sorry, “create controversy.” You should be happy.

I think most drummers are kidding themselves when they think so highly of their skills.
Sure you do. You already made your point of view clear: you think there's no reason to do anything well so long is the punters don't know any better.
 

brady

Platinum Member
Am I understanding this correctly? You want to play only kick and snare at a a gig and no hi-hat? Just because most people won't listen to it?

Keep in mind that other members of the band will notice. The bass player in particular may want to key in to your hi-hat for timing. Keeping at least a strong 2 & 4 will help with that.

I hope I'm misunderstanding this because I can't imagine anyone that would want to play with someone that just wants to play 'boom' 'cack' 'boom' 'cack' all night long without any cymbals.
 

New Tricks

Platinum Member
What are you complaining about? You said you wanted to troll-- sorry, “create controversy.” You should be happy.

Sure you do. You already made your point of view clear: you think there's no reason to do anything well so long is the punters don't know any better.
Was I complaining? I am pretty sure the lol set the proper tone. Maybe you are new to the internet but, trolls create controversy simply to piss people off. I do it, as stated, for more intellectual reasons. The world isn't black and white.


You already made your point of view clear: you think there's no reason to do anything well so long is the punters don't know any better.
Obviously I didn't make my point clear to you and that, they say, is my responsibility. I had to Google punters and there are a few definitions so I'm still not sure what you are referring to. If you clear that up, I will be happy to explain my point in perhaps a more cognizant manner.


Am I understanding this correctly? You want to play only kick and snare at a a gig and no hi-hat? Just because most people won't listen to it?
No.

My point is that, if you get the boom/crack right, variations on the 1/8 notes are insignificant. Skip one, play 4 or 6 out of 8, change to the tambourine or ride and it generally doesn't matter to the piece.

When I listen to professionally recorded popular music, the intricacies are often buried. If I can't hear them when I am specifically listening for them, I'm sure that the general public is unaware of their existence. .
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
There's room for every approach. If it works for you, great. Sometimes explanations get a little fuzzy. I do have to disagree that just because you can't hear a note, it doesn't matter. Ghost notes are often not heard when the band is playing but they really change how the song feels. Leave them out and it doesn't feel the same.

You should post some playing examples so we all understand exactly what you are saying. Also so we can judge if only the "deemed important" stuff is enough.

Are you a gigging drummer? If so what kind of music do you do?
 

toddmc

Gold Member
Are you a gigging drummer? If so what kind of music do you do?
Those are the key questions right there. Just because I (and many other drummers) can't imagine not playing every note on the hi-hat doesn't mean you can't omit said notes if desired.
Maybe the style of music he plays actually calls for a lack of HH and sounds better because of it?
 

New Tricks

Platinum Member
If I posted my music, it would get ripped to shreds lol.

I am a mere amateur who only occasionally gigs. Last event was on NYE. If someone calls, we will play. IMO, it's not quite tight enough for me to look for real bookings. The band is just over a year old.

I have only recently started to record all rehearsals, just to sit back and get a good perspective and figure out what is good and what needs work. You (I) can't always hear the whole picture while playing.

We play 3 piece R&R/ pop/blues.

And, while you are here, can you define ghosts notes for me? I read the term but have'nt looked it up. I thought it was the sloppy snare hand dropping on the head when it wasn't supposed to be. I thought it was a bad thing :) WTF do I know? :)


Just because I (and many other drummers) can't imagine not playing every note on the hi-hat doesn't mean you can't omit said notes if desired.
When you see a drummer, could you close your eyes and tell exactly what he was doing on the HH at all times? I don't think I could, even if I were focused on it. I can't hear it on well recorded music so I assume more would be lost live.

Generally, I am hearing the vocals first and the instruments behind them. The HH is way down on the list in my ear. I would certainly notice it if it were missing completely or played off tempo.
 

keep it simple

Platinum Member
My point is that, if you get the boom/crack right, variations on the 1/8 notes are insignificant. Skip one, play 4 or 6 out of 8, change to the tambourine or ride and it generally doesn't matter to the piece.
I'm sorry, I mean you no disrespect, but this statement is the biggest load of bollocks I've read in a long time. It may apply to certain mass market "disposable" pop stuff, but to apply that principal universally is just so wide of the mark. Forget other players needs, the hat or ride pulse is critical to creation of movement in a groove. Try applying that to any shuffle. & are you serious when you say an audience can't appreciate the difference in feel between a ride cymbal & hats? They may not know what specific instrument they're listening to, or much care, but they sure pick up on the different mood that the ride or hats create.

If you're shooting for a one dimensional approach, then I'm glad it works for you.
 

New Tricks

Platinum Member

Anon La Ply

Renegade
That's a clever analogy, NT. As you can see from the replies, one person's meat is another's poison.

For some - maybe like you - applying labels and principles to themselves or their playing can help them get centered and to maintain direction and focus.

For others, labels and principles will feel limiting. There are quite a few pros and semi pros here who don't have the luxury of limiting themselves, which would mean turning down paid gigs and not paying bills.

Also, those who play out a lot are often keen to expand their skillsets ... if they don't improve and other drummers do then they miss out on gigs.

I've known players like this on the forum for years and my impression is many are drum and music tragics who are hungry to improve as much as possible, and any talk of deliberately limiting oneself goes against everything they love and believe in. For them, extra facility and the ability to nail not-heard-but-felt parts sounds better and combines better with the other musicians' grooves. This also opens up more gig opportunities, the chance to play with better musicians and to add variety to what they play. For those playing with several groups, doing fill ins and teaching variety can be important to them in retaining the passion and they'd prefer not to be t restricted to playing the same thing in the same way all the time.

Still, pros often need to rationalise what they play for practical reasons, like when those playing boomy stadiums strip nuances for those shows because extra nuances will not only be missed but will come across to listeners as clutter. Or when they are called to play country gigs ;-)

On the dark side, the commercial pop scene has been stripping out nuance and creativity for decades. The bean counters and compliant producers have been ruthlessly rationalising, tweezing out all "self indulgent" elements and only retaining what sells.

They want maximum "bang for the buck" for each musical element included and we are left with a catchy beat, lyrics that involve boy-meets/loves/screws/leaves/is dissed by-girl lyrics, hooks and looks, plus whatever elements may be in vogue at the time. A classic example would be Rebecca Black's "Friday" which appears to be almost entirely devoid of musical merit and was wildly popular. In this case, artistry can go take a running jump. One of these luxuries is flesh and blood drummers, and most people have zero care whether it's real drums or not.and can't tell the difference.

On the other hand, there are deliberate minimalists for artistic reasons, eg Eno, Velvet Underground, White Stripes / post rock, who make creative decisions to strip things back to the core to achieve an "essence" and clarity. This approach often involves the creative use of non-musicians and novice musicians, somewhat akin to the art brut / naive art movement.

This brings us to hobbyists (like moi) where can come a time of realisation where it's clear that you're not going to improve without an awful lot of demanding and tedious stick and foot control work - and the subsequent decision to try to make lemonade from lemons with the luxury of knowing there is no significant paying audience to please.

Am I getting close, NT? :)
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
This reminds me of the post a while back where one forum member, maybe a few, couldn't believe that some of us just play to play or for a hobby, and never play out or gig. To both of these ideas, I say, to each their own.
 
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