Originally Posted by Steamer
This is the point I try to get across to students and a common trap with no musical end/purpose as I see it Ken. If we all focus more on how the things we choose to learn/play fit and make sense in an actual musical application/setting/concept we would all be better off in my view. Seperate monster chop fest/clinics and drum playing but with no clear purpose or understanding of how to apply any of it in "real life" musical situations is not doing any developing young player any good in my view in the long run. Just my opinion as as a "musical" drummer and working professional in acoustic jazz music situations.
Case in point:
Last night I had my first rehearsal with a new Big Band I just joined. Nothing that took place in the evening on the bandstand last night had anything to do with pure "all about the drums" killer drum chops per se but had everything to do with the challenge of interpreting and reading each chart and knowing just what to play as a drummer on the spot to best fit with the music and other musicians for each given chart on stage. This is what is important to me and requires some concentration and hard work and a sense of developing musical "ears" from the drummer that goes for me something far beyond seperate from actual performance killer chops at the end of the day but focused on how to use "chops" for setting the way for skills in the actual performance and context of a real band/musical situation.
Well, you noticed I change my post after I wrote it. I don't want to say that working on obtuse coordination has no value. But if you don't know chart reading, you need to be working on chart reading. A lot of that superfluous stuff is superfluous stuff; but it can help your drumming, though not if you haven't concentrated on the task at hand.
One of the things that I've been working on over the last year is playing something over and over trying to finder deeper nuances to make it meaningful. I can see this with my students. I know exactly when "Elvis has left the building." And I call them on it. I notice that this attention to detail has helped my playing. I can always tell the exact moment when a musician is thinking about "picking up his laundry." It's a basic premise in life. If you aren't enjoying it in the moment when it is happening, then when are you enjoying it? :)
People often see technique as chops, i.e. how fast you can play. I know we've talked about this before; but in my view, technique encompasses everything you do as a musician. I was teaching one of my students the Soca. He asked, "How do you get that consistent sound out of the snare drum part." I said, "Watch what I am doing; What is it?" He looked and said, "It is Moeller," and a light went on. I know that it too formalistic for some people; but it works for me.