Re: Knowing your band's lyrics?
I sometimes mouth the lyrics of songs and, as Larry suggested, I think it looks goofy. Unfortunately, I can no more control my poise when I play drums than when playing tennis. I just do it and if it looks goofy, then too bad - that's the package, take it or leave it.
I don't think it's as important to know all the lyrics of a song than to understand the general thrust and message and the rises and falls ... you might not want to sound thrilled during the Thrill Is Gone or exuberant during You Don't Know What Love Is. Still, most times we take our emotional cues from the singer's accents and inflections without knowing the fine detail. When it comes to emoting songs, drums paint with a pretty broad brush.
Occasionally, it's fun to take a Zappaesque program music approach to lyrics, eg. I play "whooshy" cymbals in Wild Is the Wind, but you have to pick your mark carefully or it comes across as crass. About 30 years ago I used a trigger to do whooping sounds to mimic a police siren just after the line "They were broken up by the boys in blue" - it wasn't exactly fine art :) I knew the lyrics to that tune because I wrote them and at the time I was really into Zappa.
Last edited by Pollyanna; 12-12-2010 at 08:39 AM.