Re: Jon "Bermuda" Schwartz here!
I'm not sure if I agree with you or not -because I think I may be misunderstanding what you are trying to say:
If you mean to say that anyone can learn the techniques being used by tony, vinne, ...etc with enough practice, then, I totally agree with that. And that, with enough practice, any of us could replicate note-for-note anything they've done, I'll agree with that ...sort of.
To me, the thing that makes most of the greats truly great is that, when they play, I don't hear just drums or just doubles and singles and various combinations of notes, I hear them and their conviction and attitude and fire and personality. …And I don’t feel this really has much to do with technique.
Take, say, elvin. I think that, even if I practiced and listened non-stop and got to the point where I could play all of his parts note-for-note (which I think any of us could do with enough effort and dedication -as you say) it still wouldn't sound like him. I mean, I could probably fool some people, but I don't think any amount of practice would let me sound just like him (even if I played all the notes in exactly the right places) because I'm not him and I don't know where he was coming from when he played the way he did.
Now, I imagine it's not always the case that your job is to sit behind the drums and be yourself if you're trying to make a living (I say 'I imagine' because I don't make my living playing and wouldn't presume to know much about being a session player), but, regardless, to me, that's what makes the greats the greats. And, while I'm not putting her on a pedestal comparable to Elvin Jones, that's why I think meg white is great no matter what people say.
Another way to say it is that I think if I were Genie from 'I dream of Genie' (which would be weird because I'm a 246lb man, which I'm sure would have hurt ratings terribly) and I could go back in time and wiggle my nose at Elvin and magically make him loose all of his technique down the most simple skills ...or, even better, take away his technique and replace it with Tony Williams' technique, I think elvin would still sound like elvin when he played ...even if he was playing totally different parts.
I guess this is along the same lines as what you’re saying when you said we may not be able to create like these other players, even if we learn to play like them, maybe? Practicing their parts to learn how they play is what my teacher would call 'learning from result rather than inspiration' -not to imply there's anything wrong with that, but, once we listen and understand a part, we already know what a drummer did when they got there, right? It doesn't tell me how he got there, or where he came from. I hope that makes sense…
Just my opinion anyhow. what an interesting discussion in this thread!
Last edited by Auger; 01-12-2007 at 10:17 PM.