The MacGruder Method???

brittc89

Pioneer Member
I had this strange idea a while ago and I thought I would tell you about it. So I go to school and Im studying jazz music, a big part of it is learning vocabulary, then inevitably deconstructing that vocabulary, etc. So I thought, what if I personified the sounds of a drummer who did not physically exist, my ideal sounding player. So I did. And I named him Charles MacGruder. So heres what happened, I played and I was trying to just focus on copping Charles MacGruder's stuff, but in essence I was just playing purely was I was hearing, my ideal sound, I just needed to execute. It was all my influences and all my creativity wrapped into this one ideal. And I actually really like the results. Call me schizophrenic, call me a fool, call me Charles MacGruder, or maybe make up your own "cat" and try and steal their licks.
 

keep it simple

Platinum Member
Ha, I like that a lot. You're not completely crazy, a sort of character based self analysis, very cool. Any chance of hearing Charles's work?
 

Coldhardsteel

Gold Member
I like this method. It seems like a good physiological aspect of becoming a better drummer. However, do you think it would really work for anyone? I wonder if it's the most effective way to tapping into your true creativity.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
I've already done that, and took it too far. My name really isn't Larry. My avatar...not me. I searched for a pic of the handsomeset guy I could find and stole it. Any playing I posted, not me either. My real name is Barney Gottlieb and I'm actually a fairly sucessful loser. The persona I created here is the only thing keeping me tethered to the world of the sane....
 

Pollyanna

Platinum Member
I like it.

Britt, it would have taken a fair bit of thought to tease the aspects of those players into a whole that sounded cohesive to you? When I try to do it, it's a all a bit amorphous. I could be Meg-a-Gadda-da-Jordan for inspiration :)

Sometimes when I've been listening to a lot of one drummer I'll feel like I'm channeling him or her but that's as good as it gets. It would be good to have an uber-confident alter ego!

What prompted you to name him Charles McGruder? lol ... German/Irish heritage? A mix of people's names? Just something funny that popped up?

Do you mind saying which drummers make up CMcG? Understand if you don't want to talk him out.
 

bobdadruma

Platinum Member
I created the character of Bob Da Druma.
He is based on a man that I knew when I was growing up who was from the Bronx New York.
He was a man who was, funny and friendly with a heart of gold.
He had no inhibitions. He had street smarts and he always spoke his mind. Everyone liked him.
He wasn't afraid of anything!

I slip into that character whenever I play.
Bob Da druma plays things that I could never play.
 

brittc89

Pioneer Member
I like it.

Britt, it would have taken a fair bit of thought to tease the aspects of those players into a whole that sounded cohesive to you? When I try to do it, it's a all a bit amorphous. I could be Meg-a-Gadda-da-Jordan for inspiration :)

Sometimes when I've been listening to a lot of one drummer I'll feel like I'm channeling him or her but that's as good as it gets. It would be good to have an uber-confident alter ego!

What prompted you to name him Charles McGruder? lol ... German/Irish heritage? A mix of people's names? Just something funny that popped up?

Do you mind saying which drummers make up CMcG? Understand if you don't want to talk him out.
I dunno, Charles MacGruder just seemed right at the time, hahaha. But, I like to think CMacG is comprised of Tony Williams, Freddy Waits, BIlly Higgins, Ed Blackwell, Elvin Jones, Max Roach, Nasheet Waits, Whit Dickey, and Barry Altschul. Thats a lot of people, but in all actuality, its just what Im hearing in the moment that inspires him.
 

bobdadruma

Platinum Member
Is there a real life model for your Charles M character like my alter ego, whose real name was Tony by the way?
 

Pollyanna

Platinum Member
I dunno, Charles MacGruder just seemed right at the time, hahaha. But, I like to think CMacG is comprised of Tony Williams, Freddy Waits, BIlly Higgins, Ed Blackwell, Elvin Jones, Max Roach, Nasheet Waits, Whit Dickey, and Barry Altschul. Thats a lot of people, but in all actuality, its just what Im hearing in the moment that inspires him.
Charles McGruder lol ... chalk another one up for the weirdness of our subconscious mind :)

Quite a lineup there, Britt. Is there any room in there for Brian Blade and Leon Parker?

I really like your idea of building a character to get out of yourself, especially since I'm not a confident type. Meg-a-Gadda-da-Jordan will be completely chilled and focused!
 

brittc89

Pioneer Member
Charles McGruder lol ... chalk another one up for the weirdness of our subconscious mind :)

Quite a lineup there, Britt. Is there any room in there for Brian Blade and Leon Parker?

I really like your idea of building a character to get out of yourself, especially since I'm not a confident type. Meg-a-Gadda-da-Jordan will be completely chilled and focused!
Oh man, theres room for a ton of cats. As many as I can listen to thats the beauty. Our influences our identical, were thinking on musical parallels. Leon Parker is sick. My hi hat stand broke at school and I didnt have the cash for a replacement (its hard knock life, eh?), so I was checkin him out to see what he was doin to compensate, or rather not compensate and adapt and create, with the situation. A field MacGruder also studied extensively, hahaha. It just focuses me, brings me into the greatest sphere of musical influence, just the sounds Im hearing, but on a broader scale, no petty classifications, no impersonations, just the sound Ive developed personified in MacG.
 

aydee

Platinum Member
Britt, you are nuts, man!


....but in a good way. This is a very thought-provoking mind game to play with oneself.

I think as we grow musically and find our expression on our instrument, its often difficult to get out of ruts and plateaus. Anything that frees us from any kind of constraint and allows us to be more musical, or creative and reach for more, is great.

Whatever works.

I love Bobdadruma's stage character. He's talked about it before in earlier threads and it was very inspiring for me read, because thats what sitting on the drum throne really means, is if you get right down to it.

Freedom.

PS- I have a good feeling about Charles MacGruder.

...
 
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