Originally Posted by Pollyanna
From what you've said, you used to have your timing affected by "getting into it too much" (all the pwetty colours?) but you've since sorted out that issue by taking the "stone cold killer" approach
(Translation for those who didn't read that post, Larry said he how divorces his emotions from his playing so he can focus on getting it right, sacrificing some of his pleasure for the sake of the listeners' pleasure).
Thing is, if you refuse to get carried away by it, doesn't that kind of defeat the purpose of doing nameless things before playing?
It doesn't defeat the purpose for me. I don't recommend it for anyone else though. I can still divorce my emotions when I play. (the very best thing for my playing I ever did) I redirect that energy that used to go to being overly emotional....to my higher listening powers. Now, instead of "getting in to it" I become ultra aware of the other players parts and how my own part is fitting inside the big picture. The Big Picture is where my attention is focused most always. Global awareness of the net result of everyone's playing. Being relaxed helps that happen for me. Playback doesn't lie. I eliminate everything that messes up the playback. Looking at, and listening to everyone else takes most of my brainpower, and my playing is very reactionary as a result. I can usually hear where people are headed with their solos and I make sure I am right with them, be it building up to a peak or gently caressing a passage.
I said it before but I think it's a good analogy. I liken drumming to a college class where you use the majority of your brainpower looking and listening to the professor (the music) while your hands are busy scribbling notes (playing drums). My vision is focused on whoever is singing, or soloing, or the bass player, definitely not my drumset, my emotions are neutral, and I am listening hard.
When I relate these attitudes, I am mainly speaking as a drummer in an improvised setting where nothing is scripted. Which happens a few times a month for me. In my cover band, where everyone plays the same parts night in and night out, I don't have to be ultra aware (listening-wise) because I know exactly what's coming. I still listen to the big sonic picture to make sure I'm not too loud, with the right energy and sonic balance...but once I am dialed in for the room, I can relax and just sit back, play drums and watch the festivities. I know where the solos are going already. Totally different situation from an improvised scenario IMO.