Originally Posted by Pollyanna
Ah, but maybe the beat doesn't need to be made more interesting? Maybe it requires pure ostinato with just one figure that lifts the tune in exactly the right spot?
I find there's much challenge in playing the same beat, keeping it alive and feeling good, ostensibly the same thing over and over but with almost invisible adjustments to timing, emphasis and accenting, always keep it gelling with the band sound and supporting the song. Doing a take like that and being satisfied that you got it right every moment without losing the vibe just a little is damn hard IMO. Much easier to zip around - a fill here, a crash there.
I used to only listen to music where the drummer's line could be entertaining in its own right. Now it's not unusual for me to enjoy a song and not have a clue what the drummer played. I'm not dissing cool drumming, of course, just that I want to pick all the good fruit from the music orchard rather than only going for the red ones :)
Shades of Steve Gadd, Jim Keltner and Jeff Pocarro to name a few, Pollyanna. And I also read a quote from Perer Erskine ( Weather Report notwithstanding) where he said " I've had a good career playing simple beats played well." (something like that)
I like the point you made Polly. You described a very important aspect of drumming.