Originally Posted by Pollyanna
Thaard, none of us make it easy for each other - that's the point :)
Sometimes staying out of the way is the right contribution. The more we do, the more it takes attention from other instruments. If someone else in the group is doing something very cool, sometimes more notes from the drummer can lessen its impact. In my band, the vocalist is the outstanding member. No one wants to hear me fiddling around while he's pouring his heart out. It's great to hear the drums do cool things, but it doesn't have to be every song.
I used to always play fills in transitions - often 16ths fills, which are a neat way of saying "Hey look! I really can play!" but often says little else. Larry turned me on to this, the idea of just grooving straight through to a transition without fills or crashes and letting the change in the music just happen. What that does is get you wondering about other spots that could do with variation. It opens up interesting musical possibilities that don't have that standard squared off 4, 8 or 16 bar sequence
Verse: beat-beat-beat-16ths fill-crash
Chorus: beat-beat-beat-16ths fill-crash
Derek, I agree. It's something I'm gradually turning on to and getting clear in my head through this forum and conversations with band members and my drum mentor. In structured music I really like to get organised.
Still, what those guys call a simple beat and what I think of as a simple beat are a bit different :) Has Jim Keltner ever lost the groove, even a tiny bit?
I see what you're saying, but in for example a fusion band or prog-band, it wouldnt fit if you played just a straight-beat with no crashes. If theres a crescendo for example, there would be no exclamation point. Syncopation is also something I like, and unisons.
Play what the song requires. Maybe thats what you're trying to tell me, and I cant get through my thick jazz/fusion/dave weckl-head :P.
I watched this Gavin Harrison vid on youtube, and he said the best way to play an odd-meter part, is to have something that the non-musicians can tap their head to. Like holding 8ths on the hihat, while the other limbs play 7/8 etc. It's really down to who you make the music for, yourself, the listeners, other musicians? I dunno, when I play the drums, I play them the way I want them to be, but I always ask before I do it nowadays, especially when I'm playing someone elses stuff. Thankfully, the band I'm in now, let's everyone make their part as they want, as long as it doesnt ruin the song.
I'm drifting out, but I still dont like "Last christmas" with Wham ;)