Just keeping the beat

Pollyanna

Platinum Member
Boomka said:
... the most evil groove
Drumolater said:
Do not think of it as "keeping the beat" but rather as "owning the groove."
I really like these idea - it really helps if you tend to get paranoid about not doing enough. Great attitude ... lemons and lemonade.


Aydee said:
Usually what I'm doing in those situations is singing the verse ( or chorus ) in my head. This forces me play to the song and not think of it a a straight beat as you say. There are subtle changes in accents and placements of things due to this approach, which I find greatly relieves that long lonely ride down the non scenic route.
I really like this, too. It sounds like a good way to keep playing music rather than just drumming ..
 

kallium

Junior Member
my band have a song where i do not very much on the drum kit for most of the song.
but it works and sounds great and i get to stand up when playing which is always good when bored.
i'll give a link for the song, so you can understand just how bored i can get.
also dont research what the name of the song means, its just horrible.

http://soundcloud.com/arthousetheband/sacramento-sweater
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
I guess this topic was mainly inspired by not so great soloists that take long leads. When the solo is hot, it's not boring because the soloist knows how to build a solo. It's when guys are just wanking off selfishly for extended periods do I get that feeling.
But after reading some responses here, particularly from Boomka (about laying down the most evil groove, brilliant) I realized I need an attitude adjustment at those times. Believe me if there is a good soloist who I can work with to bring the solo to a nice build and climax...I live for that. I'm real good at seeing/hearing where a soloist is going, if they are good. Not every soloist understands that. Some guys are just impossible to follow. Since I host an open mic jam almost every Sunday, I have to back up a lot of wankers who don't get it yet. The only thing I can do is to KIS and lay down a solid beat, while they selfishly show off with what they think is good soloing work.
 

Drumolator

Platinum Member
Do not think of it as "keeping the beat" but rather as "owning the groove." I sometimes really enjoy making the groove really deep. I suppose it took me a long time to learn that. Peace and goodwill.
 

Deathmetalconga

Platinum Member
Sometimes, I do get bored after a long time of other people wanking. So? Music isn't always exciting. Excitement can only exist relative to boredom. If there is no boredom, there can be no excitement. I have learned to enjoy the feeling of being bored, actually, and just focus on the moment.
 

aydee

Platinum Member
but first I want to see if this perception is a common one.
Yes, it is for me.

But I think it might have a lot to the kind of music one plays. I guess the jazz and improv environment is constantly reactive so if its a long boring solo, you are as much a part of it as the soloist. In your case, primarily being a Blues/Rock player, I guess it can challenge the creative cells beyond a point.

Usually what I'm doing in those situations is singing the verse ( or chorus ) in my head. This forces me play to the song and not think of it a a straight beat as you say. There are subtle changes in accents and placements of things due to this approach, which I find greatly relieves that long lonely ride down the non scenic route.


....
 

Pollyanna

Platinum Member
However, there is no rule ...
That's the bottom line. What's everyone playing - not just the soloist but the other accompanists. If any of the others are busy I'll be staying at home more. It also depends on whether the song is a flatliner or has distinct peaks and troughs.

So Jimi didn't want Mitch M to stay at home, neither did Pete T need Moonie to play it safe but The Edge wants steady rhythm from Larry Mullen.

It also depends on how strong each players' time is. The stronger everyone's time, the more options there are (including straight groove). I have to keep things very straight-up in my band or things get woolly fast.

Most times, extra members in a band means fewer spaces available for the drummer to fill. Drummers often need to make extra noise in 3-piece guitar bands during solos to make up for the lack of rhythm guitar.
 

JT1

Silver Member
I was wondering...You know when there is more than one soloist taking back to back solos? Or there is just one soloist who is taking a really long solo? And you have to just keep the beat going for what seems like a really long time to support them? Does anyone here think that when they have to do that, the drum part feels boring to them?

I have more to say on the matter but first I want to see if this perception is a common one.
I have to agree with this Larry.

Usually when the guitar solo starts, the drums are stripped to the bare minimum and I enforce this rule. Yes it does feel boring.

However, there is no rule saying that you can't spice things up a bit without stealing the limelight.

When the solo starts, I tend to lock in to my bass player and rhythm guitarist (as they play similar stuff together) and if I hear some accent or strange pattern going on, I think of ways to echo that with the drums. I think this just helps to keep the rhythm in the picture so it doesn't get forgotten during a solo. Everything is heard together but the solo is still the dominant part.

One thing that always makes a simple beat feel better for the drummer is to show you're having a good time. If I'm laying down a simple rock 4 groove over a solo I just bang my head like mad and it usually gets the crowd doing the same =)
 

Russtopher

Junior Member
I always try and just keep the soloist grounded, let them know where the tempo is while they do their thing. When I was younger I tried to pull off a Dream Theater type thing, trying to match solo runs with big tom fills and whatnot - every time I listened to a recording of the set it just sounded horrible, and I felt like I was taking away from the solo.

Like many others have said, you can switch back and forth from hats to ride, maybe lightly accent different hits to compliment the solo, but when someone is taking their spot, it's best to sit back and hold down the fort. Nothing boring about knowing you're giving the soloist and the rest of the band the backbeat to hold it all together.
 

Late Bloomer

Senior Member
I reckon if you start to get bored while they are doing a long solo, just break out into a full on solo over the top of them. LOL, only kidding. In all seriousness, I always believe the drummers job is to do his best to enhance and even inspire the soloists with a solid groove. You can always vary every 8 or 12 bars etc between hi hat and ride cymbal to change the sound without messing the groove.
 

RevWrona

Senior Member
A bunch of my musician friends took an informal poll, I believe on facebook, with the question being "what is your favorite type of drummer?" Almost without exception, they wanted someone who didn't get bored laying down a groove and staying in the pocket, even for extended periods.
I believe that, band mates feed off of each other, if one is not in the zone it can throw off everyone else,
 

RevWrona

Senior Member
I took the original question meaning that the solo was in fact boring and not that the drummer was bored following the solo. That might make my previous post make more sense.
 

IDDrummer

Platinum Member
A bunch of my musician friends took an informal poll, I believe on facebook, with the question being "what is your favorite type of drummer?" Almost without exception, they wanted someone who didn't get bored laying down a groove and staying in the pocket, even for extended periods.
 

Coldhardsteel

Gold Member
I believe that in many things, there is a happy medium. A certain mixture of certain things makes for very good whatever you're making.

I have to admit, I've felt like I've played boring stuff before, but then I have times where I practice simple stuff over and over again, adding the slightest dashes of spice to keep me from drifting off to sleep. Doing so allows me to fit into phrasing and noodles my keyboardist throws out there and any guitarist at an open mic jam likes to toss out onto the band, and I don't have to get fancy to make a simple beat interesting.

If Steve Gadd can make a three minute money beat groove, why shouldn't I try for that?
 

RevWrona

Senior Member
I think, if the solo is dragging on or is a bad solo then it should be up to the leader of the band to get them to wrap it up, put some fire in their pants or other wise control the situation. As the drummer we can help push the solo along when it is costing and trying to help build up the momentum or we can pull the plug and let it come down.
If it is set number of measures and you know the rest of group can't change on the fly AND they want you to play exactly the same thing every time then yea, we need to suck it up and play the boring beat. I guess it is all situational.
 

Pollyanna

Platinum Member
I think most drummers have been bored by ostinato at some time or another. My band only has a couple of long solos and in each of those songs the recordings tell me that less from the drums is more.

Still, even when what I play is ostensibly the same beat I'll still be shifting ghost notes or dynamics here and there. I'm just trying to fit in and it's not something I really think about.

In the words of Donald Fagan - "don't you know by now that it's just a spasm ..."
 

dairyairman

Platinum Member
Dairyairman, I kind of expect todays Top 40 to be programmed monotonous pseudo drums. I don't like to compare the music I play in my bands to that. Hopefully my bands music is infinitely more interesting to listen to than Lady Gaga's latest dance number.
i'm sure it is! i'm just saying that a lot of songs, especially modern pop songs, have very simple, monotonous drum beats and huge numbers of people like them.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Yea, it's a security thing. You have to know that what you're doing, even if it seems mindless, is really not mindless at all. It's way better than it seems. Second guessing yourself is disastrous. Generally speaking, you cannot go wrong by just keeping the beat.

Dairyairman, I kind of expect todays Top 40 to be programmed monotonous pseudo drums. I don't like to compare the music I play in my bands to that. Hopefully my bands music is infinitely more interesting to listen to than Lady Gaga's latest dance number.

That stuff is great for dancing, you have to give that to them. But to listen to? Bleck.
 
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