Which Instrument or Instrumentation are the Drum Sets Master.

beatdat

Senior Member
Bass first, then rhythm guitar. Both, ideally. Piano can work, too. They lead, and I follow (in terms of what I play).

But never the singer. Never follow the singer. That's a good way to lose time.

Unless it's good ensemble playing, I can do without solo drums.
 

No Way Jose

Silver Member
Drums are # 1, everything else is built onto the drums. This may seem confusing especially if bass is playing ahead of time. But the bass is expecting the drum beat to be there.
 

WallyY

Platinum Member
At a Chester Thompson clinic many years ago, he stated 'rhythm dictates the melody'. If you listen to an interesting rhythm, the melody must adapt to the rhythm.

Drums following the melody is trope.
 

paradiddle pete

Platinum Member
Well, Is there an Instrument or set of Instrumentations that determine absolutely the role of the drum set in any typical setting or is the drum set or set of drums a complete entity on it's own that can be integrated into musical settings. The Question arose in my tiny brain as I was doing some home recording. I have been allowing the Rhythm patterns to determine the eventual arrangement rather than playing to a pre written theme. just curious as to how others see the role of the drum set or set of drums ie. ( Percussion ). I realise every setting is different according to what is being played but as a general observation I feel the drums are more integral to song production than generally acknowledged.
 

SYMBOLIC DEATH

Senior Member
That's an interesting question, and I think it depends on one's perspective. In a band setting, a "vertical" (guitarist or bassist) may come up with a riff, and then I will put a beat to it which supports the riff. If I were writing the riff/song I would probably come up with a rhythm/feel for a riff and then create it around that rhythm/feel, but that's because I don't play another instrument. Ultimately they both have to work together regardless of which perspective it's coming from.
 

mikyok

Platinum Member
None, it's the drummer and they can be disciplined masters when they play for the music or poor masters when they don't.

Bassists provide a useful guide if they do their job right.
 

mrfingers

Senior Member
Sounds like a “chicken vs egg” question to me...depends on the song writer’s background and the band member input.
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
In music that I enjoy playing and listening to the most, the drums and bass are the foundation. They are the block and mortar to it all. In a band setting, no amount of skill on the guitar, piano/keys, or singing can make up for bass and drum playing.

Once again, I preface this with music that I personally like playing and listening to. I'm sure there's "world" music out there where my opinion doesn't apply that folks on here enjoy. But for me, when the bass and the drums are working, they answer to no one if they are supporting the music well. YMMV.
 

HeavyDrums

Junior Member
As a bassist for many decades, I always followed the drums. My right hand and the drummer's right foot were a marriage.

Now, in song writing a guitarist or other lead instrument may come up with a main riff I would build off of, but I always allowed the drums to dictate the feel.

This is one of the reasons I am studying drums now, the power. Drums create the foundation for the rest of the instruments to lean on.
 

toddmc

Gold Member
That's an interesting question, and I think it depends on one's perspective. In a band setting, a "vertical" (guitarist or bassist) may come up with a riff, and then I will put a beat to it which supports the riff. If I were writing the riff/song I would probably come up with a rhythm/feel for a riff and then create it around that rhythm/feel, but that's because I don't play another instrument. Ultimately they both have to work together regardless of which perspective it's coming from.
I've never written a song in my life but from what I've seen/ read from band interviews over the years is that 9 times out of 10 the guitarist comes up with the riff first and everything else about the song evolves form there?
(Although sometimes the drummer comes up with a certain beat first and the song forms around that of course).

By that logic (and to answer the OP's question) I guess that makes the guitar the "master" over the drums in this scenario??
 
Depends ;)
As you look at big bands, the drummer is definitely more than "just the rhythm guy". You have to cue the whole band in order to stay together sometimes. In combination with bass, guitar and piano being the foundation of the groove, it's still the drummer who hits the snare loud to make sure the rest of the band gets the upcoming unisone in time. It can be like conducting the show sometimes.
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
Drums have always been around to communicate long distance, command armies or just get the troops riled or scare the hell out of the enemy, and finally found a home in music. But still it's communicating and commanding the situation. You can change the whole flavor of a song just with how you instrument the drums-like I've done that at church playing a country shuffle over a song during practice (everyone started dancing and the Music director told me to play it like that during the service ).
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
Shouldn't it be the song and not particular instruments? Don't they (the instruments) work together to achieve a common goal?

Granted in some styles it's a bit different. Metal for example. If a guitar player told me to play something fast, and i played a blast beat, that's wide open for interpretation. But if I kept straight time and played a rhythmic pattern of broken doubles, that might inspire something. Conversely, if they played me a riff, the interpretation is up to me. Then we all decide what works and what doesn't. At least that's how I've always done it.

I don't think instruments dictate, more like inspire.
 
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