Musicial drumming?

reDrum

Senior Member
Hi guys , i dont have much experience about musicial drumming, can you recommend me some ideas ?
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Listen and play off what the others are playing. During their solos, support (means give them a solid beat to rely on) and compliment them. Listen for their spaces and play little stuff in their spaces. Little tasteful stuff, nothing over the top. More like under the radar. Don't hog the spotlight at all unless you're doing a drum solo. The drums are so powerful, there's no denying their presence, even without the spotlight. Listen and react, don't go in with an agenda of things you want to do no matter what.

Listen and react. The quarter note pulse is your bestest friend in the world. Provide that for everyone to latch onto and you will be very popular indeed. The other guys are thinking, FINALLY, a guy who understands what the rest of the band NEEDS. Any fancy stuff is great if it still contains the quarter note pulse. To me, dropping the QNP is like dropping the ball. It's what everyone wants from the drummer. QNP. You can do whatever you want as long as that's there like air.

There's a million variables, and it's not a A + B = C thing. Mostly you have to find musicality yourself, through trial and error, by playing thousands of hours live with other musicians. If you use your volume (dynamics) in interesting ways, right there that's musical.

I cannot recommend recording your playing highly enough. If you really want to move forward quickly in a real way, it's ESSENTIAL that you know what you sound like in the audience. If you've never done it before you're in for a rude awakening I'll wager. What you THINK is going on onstage usually isn't what is going on in the audience, in a big way. It's crucial you know how you are blending especially. The proper volume for the room and the song can be a dealbreaker in the audiences mind, if you are too loud. Too soft is better than too loud everyday with drums. And we're not even getting to WHAT you play. So musicality...is like asking an old man, say how do you get those wrinkles? You have to live it and find it for yourself.
 
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oob360

Junior Member
Musicality comes with experience from hearing music played and actually going out to play in jam sessions with other artists that you don't know. I've experienced the biggest growths in my playing by sounding really bad and learning my weaknesses. For me, playing with absolute strangers is the scariest thing I can imagine doing musically, but it has increased my confidence on the set immensely. Plus it's really fun and you meet new people to play with!

Basically just play a lot and hear a lot of music. It'll come with experience.
 

reDrum

Senior Member
Listen and play off what the others are playing. During their solos, support (means give them a solid beat to rely on) and compliment them. Listen for their spaces and play little stuff in their spaces. Little tasteful stuff, nothing over the top. More like under the radar. Don't hog the spotlight at all unless you're doing a drum solo. Listen and react, don't go in with an agenda of things you want to do no matter what.

Listen and react. The quarter note pulse is your bestest friend in the world.
Thank you , i writing down notes to page the songs that i like. You know what bass players syncopation what bass player doin and drummer doin that kind stuff im working on and absolutely every kind music i wanna know why hi-hat doin quarter or eight on a song you know WHY :D im just new about drumming thanks again :D
 

reDrum

Senior Member
Musicality comes with experience from hearing music played and actually going out to play in jam sessions with other artists that you don't know. I've experienced the biggest growths in my playing by sounding really bad and learning my weaknesses. For me, playing with absolute strangers is the scariest thing I can imagine doing musically, but it has increased my confidence on the set immensely. Plus it's really fun and you meet new people to play with!

Basically just play a lot and hear a lot of music. It'll come with experience.
Absolutely, different minds.. different dynamics.. different syncope thank you.
 

mandrew

Gold Member
Listen to the great ones, like Joe Morello, Gadd, and others, not for the solo stuff so much, but how they ride along with their groups. Less is more in many cases. Rock solid steady beat, just enough embellishments, ghost notes, slight variation to make it interesting, but not enough to showboat.
 

tamadrm

Platinum Member
I'd like to add Gene Krupa, Max Roach,Jack DeJonette and Papa Jo Jones to that list of musical players.It wasn't about showing off your chops,but their skill with the instrument,helped facilitate their playing with a band or doing those amazing musical solos.

Listen to some of those guys and how they express their musical ideas,and you'll be on your way of a better understanding of just how musical, a drum set can be.

Steve B
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
Hi guys , i dont have much experience about musicial drumming, can you recommend me some ideas ?
One question I'd like to ask is where you came at drumming from. If you picked up the sticks because of listening to popular music and you are starting out on your own, chances are you are approaching playing drums from a more mechanical standpoint, i.e. I hit the hi-hats two times, on the third one I also hit the snare, then the hi-hat three times, etc. To some extent there is a physical, muscle memory component to playing drums -- probably more than any other instrument -- but without the headspace behind what you're doing, it can be hard to introduce musicality.

I lucked into musicality because I came to drums by way of several other instruments, a strong music program with a series of excellent teachers who emphasized reading and music theory skills, and taught us how to listen to music -- all kinds of music. Not everyone gets this sort of opportunity nowadays, especially since music programs in schools have often been targets of budget cutting here in the US. But it was great to come from a melodic instrument role into drums, because I had the "background knowledge" with me. If this is not your background, there are other paths to it. I'm also not saying you have to be formally trained and read music to be musical -- it helps, but it can be done without. (I do suggest investigating it at some point, though, especially if you want to work for hire some day.)

One of the most constant comments I get on my playing is that I play well to the song, or that I have "great ears". While I do listen to the whole song as I play, my job is made easier by the fact that I have listened to an awful lot of music over the years from all sorts of genres and I understand a lot of the basic song structures that prevail in those genres. For example, one of the reasons blues jams are so popular and prevalent is because that style of music conforms to a couple of common structures in about 95% of songs, which allows for an experienced set of players to almost read each others' minds, as they know where the I, IV, and V are going to be based on the very first runthrough in the song intro. They then get to play with dynamics, tension, transitions, extended solos, and even call-and-answer segments.

I recommend looking deeper into the music you listen to and hear, and becoming familiar with at least the basics of song structure and music theory (especially rhythm -- learning to divide the beat into quarter notes and beyond, as Larry mentioned).

Another part of musicality comes from getting the best sound out of your instrument. Learning to tune correctly, how to adjust tuning for rooms, how to get a good miked sound, how to correctly hit a drum to get the best sound, how to select good-sounding cymbals and play them with full tone and response -- these are critical things that will make you sound professional from the first beat you drop.

Finally, listen and adjust based on the other parts of the band. Sometimes you need to crank it up - or down - based on the other players. Support the soloist, the vocalist, and everyone else. You don't need to do a fill every four beats. The bass player might have something cool he's supposed to do that your fill walks all over. The guitarist might have a signature lick for that song he can't fit in if you're rolling down the toms. When you can hear and listen to what everyone else is doing, you stop being a bunch of individuals and become a team, mutually supporting each other. After all, there will be moments you get to shine too.
 

Otto

Platinum Member
I'm sure its obvious...but...

One persons "musical drumming" is others "annoying blather".

I think the real value in the idea is helping YOU define what this means...as you will find few that totally agree on the subject.

This way of thinking serves in many aspects of 'being a musician'. I suggest keeping it in mind as you progress.
 

reDrum

Senior Member
One question I'd like to ask is where you came at drumming from. If you picked up the sticks because of listening to popular music and you are starting out on your own, chances are you are approaching playing drums from a more mechanical standpoint, i.e. I hit the hi-hats two times, on the third one I also hit the snare, then the hi-hat three times, etc. To some extent there is a physical, muscle memory component to playing drums -- probably more than any other instrument -- but without the headspace behind what you're doing, it can be hard to introduce musicality.

I lucked into musicality because I came to drums by way of several other instruments, a strong music program with a series of excellent teachers who emphasized reading and music theory skills, and taught us how to listen to music -- all kinds of music. Not everyone gets this sort of opportunity nowadays, especially since music programs in schools have often been targets of budget cutting here in the US. But it was great to come from a melodic instrument role into drums, because I had the "background knowledge" with me. If this is not your background, there are other paths to it. I'm also not saying you have to be formally trained and read music to be musical -- it helps, but it can be done without. (I do suggest investigating it at some point, though, especially if you want to work for hire some day.)

One of the most constant comments I get on my playing is that I play well to the song, or that I have "great ears". While I do listen to the whole song as I play, my job is made easier by the fact that I have listened to an awful lot of music over the years from all sorts of genres and I understand a lot of the basic song structures that prevail in those genres. For example, one of the reasons blues jams are so popular and prevalent is because that style of music conforms to a couple of common structures in about 95% of songs, which allows for an experienced set of players to almost read each others' minds, as they know where the I, IV, and V are going to be based on the very first runthrough in the song intro. They then get to play with dynamics, tension, transitions, extended solos, and even call-and-answer segments.

I recommend looking deeper into the music you listen to and hear, and becoming familiar with at least the basics of song structure and music theory (especially rhythm -- learning to divide the beat into quarter notes and beyond, as Larry mentioned).

Another part of musicality comes from getting the best sound out of your instrument. Learning to tune correctly, how to adjust tuning for rooms, how to get a good miked sound, how to correctly hit a drum to get the best sound, how to select good-sounding cymbals and play them with full tone and response -- these are critical things that will make you sound professional from the first beat you drop.

Finally, listen and adjust based on the other parts of the band. Sometimes you need to crank it up - or down - based on the other players. Support the soloist, the vocalist, and everyone else. You don't need to do a fill every four beats. The bass player might have something cool he's supposed to do that your fill walks all over. The guitarist might have a signature lick for that song he can't fit in if you're rolling down the toms. When you can hear and listen to what everyone else is doing, you stop being a bunch of individuals and become a team, mutually supporting each other. After all, there will be moments you get to shine too.
My first start is.. im just curious about drumming when im 16 years old . First my friend help me to learning drums (he is the guitarist btw :) ) and in this years i listen punk,metal,rock bands and i really like them like bon jovi , deep purple , sex pistols kind stuff.İn these years we make a rock,metal band for 3 years.This is how i start.

I open that thread because I WANNA KNOW whats happening :D For ex. that you talking about supporting, when vocalist is singing piano i play piano and its feel great music is hearing, clear sound, just great. :) that kind stuff i wanna learn.

And one of my problem is about being a team :) and that wants "the band experience" thank you for that GREAT information.
 

Shiny McShine

Junior Member
Regarding the OP...

Just be sure to be singing the tune/song in your head while you play and it happens automatically.
 

Anon La Ply

Renegade
As a self taught player I can offer a recent, non-technical insight that has helped me, even though I've played on and off for almost 40 years.

My drums are a feature in my lounge room like someone might have a piano. A couple of months ago I sat down at the drums and started playing a few beats and licks ... and it struck me that I was just making a bloody din, a kind of ugly din too. Then I imagined someone with a piano at home sitting at the instrument and immediately just making a sustained racket - maybe whacking down some ff chords with aimless licks.

When most piano players sit down at their instrument they actually play music. So that's what I'm trying to do on drums (within the instrument's context of course).
 
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