DRUMMERWORLD OFFICIAL DISCUSSION FORUM   

Go Back   DRUMMERWORLD OFFICIAL DISCUSSION FORUM > General Discussion

General Discussion General discussion forum for all drum related topics. Use this forum to exchange ideas and information with your fellow drummers.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
  #1  
Old 10-11-2017, 09:14 AM
Superferrite Superferrite is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 16
Default And just like that, I'm a country drummer

An old friend called on me to play a gig with a sort of alt-country singer touring without her backup band.

Problem is, I haven't played country before and am only marginally a country fan at all (mostly just Hank, Merle, Cash, and Nesmith's National Band).

Now, it seems like I can play along to her recorded stuff alright, and it's not going to be too hard, but who are really the gods of country drumming so I can brush up on my feel for the genre?

I got 2 weeks.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 10-11-2017, 01:34 PM
larryace's Avatar
larryace larryace is offline
"Uncle Larry"
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: In beautiful Bucks County, PA
Posts: 19,638
Default Re: And just like that, I'm a country drummer

If it's traditional country, just keep time, get your stops clean, and don't rock out anywhere. Nothing flashy. You don't do showy stuff for traditional country. You play very tastefully, less is way more. Newer country to me is actually rock, with artificial country flavoring added. So for newer country, think light rock. If it's original stuff, then definitely listen to her stuff mainly. Country is heavy on time, light on fills, and not drummer-centric music, generally speaking.

I'd say forget the drummers, and just listen to the songs you will be doing. It's not real heavy lifting, but it is disciplined. The hardest part could be avoiding fills and just keeping good time, avoiding the temptation to fill where it's not wanted.

One tip I can pass on for feel...from my own experience...anything with a 2/4 beat, the downbeat on the kick drum is the slightly more accented than the backbeat, which is almost as loud, but not quite. It propels the song along quite nicely when the bass drum plays the leading role of that 2/4 beat instead of the snare being the sharper hit.
__________________
Sucking all the fun right out of life....
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 10-11-2017, 01:43 PM
whiteknightx's Avatar
whiteknightx whiteknightx is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 493
Default Re: And just like that, I'm a country drummer

Country drumming is funny. There are distinct eras of it that aren't really like the others. Modern stuff is more like pop music than anything. 90's new country was like 70's rock music, and before that it's all shuffles and cross sticks.

It seems like it's easy to play, and I was a rock drummer who started to play it in the 90's because that's where all the gigs were around here. But I used to get grief all the time from people saying I was a rock drummer, and wasn't playing it right. Always sounded fine to me. But I do get it now, there's a feel that the music has, that is really hard to describe. I can tell right away listening to a band if the guy is a rocker playing country.

I really think that's why a lot of country fans really really hate the new stuff. It doesn't feel like its country anymore. you can't just slap a fiddle or a steel guitar into a pop song and call it a country song.

There is a big difference between simple and easy. My best advice would be to always "Serve the Song". Without knowing what kind of country music your gig is, it's tough to give you listening material. Find out what era they are most influenced by and start listening to country from the same era. Maybe Shania Twain's greatest hits would be a good starting point. Most Female country is played a little more straight, not as many fills.

I hope this helps
__________________
Ayotte Drumsmith 6 pc, Sabian HHX Evolution cymbals
Yamaha DTX950K
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 10-11-2017, 02:25 PM
PorkPieGuy's Avatar
PorkPieGuy PorkPieGuy is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 1,821
Default Re: And just like that, I'm a country drummer

Yup, happened to me too. I went from playing rock and roll to playing to playing Americana which includes a lot of country and bluegrass. Here's what I've learned in the past few years.


1. I approach drumming now the same way I do when I run sound: It's a bad thing if you are noticed. The sound guy only gets chewed out when the sound is bad. If everything sounds good, no one notices. I approach drums the same way. Play what you are supposed to play.

2. To piggyback on #1, stay out of the way (musically speaking). You are in a supporting role, not in a lead role. I love just laying back and playing simply while the guitar players tear up the leads or the lead singer does his thing. It's a lot of fun, but just keep in mind that a little humility in your playing goes a long way.

3. The bass playing is usually pretty darn solid, so laying down a beat with the bass is easy.

4. Go ahead and spend the money and get some decent brushes and/or a set of rods for train beats. These days, I prefer Regal Tip non-retractable brushes because the brushes don't start sliding up in the handle in the middle of a song.

I've never played anything so simple and yet had more fun playing. Enjoy the gig! :) The link in my signature is the band I'm talking about.

Last edited by PorkPieGuy; 10-11-2017 at 03:33 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 10-11-2017, 03:13 PM
Mongrel's Avatar
Mongrel Mongrel is offline
Silver Member
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: South Jersey, USA
Posts: 658
Default Re: And just like that, I'm a country drummer

More "folk-indie-Americana" for me too but one thing I did\do is bought "The Essential Johnny Cash" and basically play it straight through with snare and brushes (just a wee bit of kick-very light).

Yea, it's basically an hour of "train beat" but I find that it gets me in a certain mindset that has helped me in supporting the duo I work with.

And as others have pointed out-it really is ALL about the song, and the lyric\vocals especially...
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 10-11-2017, 04:48 PM
Superferrite Superferrite is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 16
Default Re: And just like that, I'm a country drummer

Thanks for the responses! I think I'm already on the right (train) track!
As far as the kit goes, I'm leaning towards no toms or just one, and a hi hat/light ride I can crash. New Beats and anot old Paiste 404 will probably fit the bill.
Sound about right?
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 10-11-2017, 04:54 PM
whiteknightx's Avatar
whiteknightx whiteknightx is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 493
Default Re: And just like that, I'm a country drummer

I always take a 4 piece, and hats, 2 crashes and a nice ride. you want some stage presence too, unless you are setting up on a street corner. lol.
you never really defined the musical style, so I'd be ready for anything.
__________________
Ayotte Drumsmith 6 pc, Sabian HHX Evolution cymbals
Yamaha DTX950K
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 10-11-2017, 04:55 PM
opentune's Avatar
opentune opentune is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Posts: 5,803
Default Re: And just like that, I'm a country drummer

Quote:
Originally Posted by Superferrite View Post
Thanks for the responses! I think I'm already on the right (train) track!
As far as the kit goes, I'm leaning towards no toms or just one, and a hi hat/light ride I can crash. New Beats and anot old Paiste 404 will probably fit the bill.
Sound about right?
Totally great idea to downsize, keep it simple, less lifting! Maybe a floor tom.
__________________
Louis
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 10-11-2017, 04:56 PM
Superferrite Superferrite is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 16
Default Re: And just like that, I'm a country drummer

Quote:
Originally Posted by whiteknightx View Post
I always take a 4 piece, and hats, 2 crashes and a nice ride. you want some stage presence too, unless you are setting up on a street corner. lol.
you never really defined the musical style, so I'd be ready for anything.
I have a nice smallish Slingerland 4-piece that needs to get out more. And it'seems pretty rockin so a crash too.
Sold
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 10-11-2017, 08:19 PM
hefty hefty is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 10
Default Re: And just like that, I'm a country drummer

Happened to me too. After which I did it for a solid 2 years and still fill in sometimes. It's pretty fun, and the gigs pay better than anything else!

Agreed with staying out of the way. I didn't have any problem with that as I tend towards simplicity anyway and if anything when it would come time to actually *do* a fill I sometimes found it difficult. Almost like getting stuck in no-fills land, if that makes sense. I really struggled with that at times actually.

I focus on dancers quite a bit and in a sense play to them. If the dance floor is full I figure i'm doing ok. Agreed with the comment about the importance of a solid kick drum in regard to this.

I had to put in some work on country shuffles and train beats which were weaknesses, which may or may not be an issue for you. I saw my country gig coming a couple months ahead so had time to woodshed pretty hard on that stuff. By the time the gig came up I was decent and after two years those things are strengths (I think).
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 10-11-2017, 08:52 PM
BruceW BruceW is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 228
Default Re: And just like that, I'm a country drummer

I learned over this last year that while country music may sound "easy", doing it right is far from easy. At least for this old rock bar band hack. we started a side project with some friends and added a generous portion of modern female country stuff, and i really had to woodshed it, a lot more than picking up new rock material. Of course part of that is that it was a genre that I wasn't familiar with, but the songs have a lot of stuff going on, to do the right way.

I actually love it, now. My 20 year old self used to joke that I had a nightmare where someday I would wake up middle-aged, playing country music in a bottle club. Well, here I am middle-aged, playing in the local Eagles Club, so that's close enough :)

Angry chick songs. Fun stuff, played right.

Good luck with your project!
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 10-11-2017, 09:42 PM
Masheanhed's Avatar
Masheanhed Masheanhed is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Southern US
Posts: 432
Default Re: And just like that, I'm a country drummer

Buddy Harman was a big Nashville drummer. Might look at some of his stuff.

Shuffles are big too. Bone up on those.
__________________
Sonor Force 2001
Various other cheap drumsets
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 10-11-2017, 10:20 PM
8Mile's Avatar
8Mile 8Mile is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Detroit, MI
Posts: 3,734
Default Re: And just like that, I'm a country drummer

I found myself unexpectedly in a country band many years ago and it turned out to be a great learning experience. I thought it was beneath me and I was frustrated playing simple parts, but I realized I just wasn't very good at it. I really worked hard to improve at playing simple parts and I wish I could go back and play that gig with the lessons I learned.

Another thing I realized: Country music drum parts can be a challenge to learn! Although the song structures tend to be fairly simple, they tend to have a lot of stops you really have to nail. Those are the things that set each song apart, so they're not optional.

I do agree that country music today is basically what rock and roll was in the 70s and 80s. It's high-volume, requires super-solid playing and has a lot more room for creativity from a drummer than it did 30 or 40 years ago.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 10-12-2017, 01:34 AM
Ghostnote
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: And just like that, I'm a country drummer

That Buddy Harman guy was a monster. Amazing feel. It blows me away to hear him on old Patsy Cline songs. He made such simple playing sound so good.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 10-12-2017, 03:53 AM
Bo Eder's Avatar
Bo Eder Bo Eder is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Southern California
Posts: 12,591
Default Re: And just like that, I'm a country drummer

Leave the drumset with the exotic and wacky wood finish at home too. If you wear boots and a cowboy hat that helps with the overall vibe.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 10-12-2017, 04:12 AM
williamsbclontz williamsbclontz is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: East Texas area
Posts: 380
Default Re: And just like that, I'm a country drummer

Don Henley could play a few solid grooves that would fit in country. Steve Jordan too. Levon helm was also a master of the groove. The drummer who is playing drums with Sturgil Simpson is also really good at laying down country grooves, but I don't remember his name. These guys play stuff that would fit well with like easy listening country, traditional country, or eagles style of country.

Anyone who is playing with "stadium country" guys like Jason Andean, Kenny Chesney etc. This type of country is usually basic rock grooves and stuff like that. Paul Liem was a big studio and session drummer in the Texas and Nashville scene for a while and was big in the 80s stadium country stuff.

Buddy Miles was more of a blues drummer but a lot of his playing could be transferred to country, same with Bernard Purdy. Frank Beard from ZZ Top and Jai Johanny from the Allman Brothers. These guys play more of like southern rock and blues country stuff, a little faster paced usually and slightly more aggressive.

Mainly country drumming is all about groove. Solid time and "musical" fills are crucial. Shuffles are really important and just generally being able to feel the song and making the decision of what the song needs. A lot of the time you'll play a basic rock groove, or sometimes you'll play a real fast blues shuffle, and believe it or not reggae grooves actually pop up in country more often than you'd expect. People are right to say that in country drumming you'll usually play simple stuff, but also be ready to play something really uptempo and busy.

The point is, be ready for anything. One song you'll play something slow and half time, the next song you'll be playing something crazy fast and double time. You'll have a lot of fun though, and make sure to wear your boots!

Last edited by williamsbclontz; 10-12-2017 at 07:56 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 10-12-2017, 04:23 AM
lefty2's Avatar
lefty2 lefty2 is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: I live in near Wichita, Kansas U.S.A
Posts: 2,084
Default Re: And just like that, I'm a country drummer

I play in a country band. Went from rock to country in early 90s back to rock and metal and now country again. I agree with pretty much everything that was said on this thread, especially the feel part of it. It's a little different, but you just have to figure it out and make it feel like country. Have fun.
__________________
Tama SC performer 2003 5pc.
Yamaha PTC 1988 5pc.
Zildjian A, K
Sabian AA,AAX,HH,
Paiste Sig.
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 10-12-2017, 03:25 PM
dmacc dmacc is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 2,574
Default Re: And just like that, I'm a country drummer

You never know where roads will lead as long as you're willing to explore opportunities.

Approximately 1984 I was asked to join a local VERY popular Country Band. At first I was reluctant since up until that point, I had almost zero exposure to the style. Someone in the band heard me playing at an open jam jazz gig (of all things) and approached me with the offer. I took the opportunity and it ended up being one of the best musical decisions I ever made.

We worked 3-4 nights a week in really nice clubs (not the stereotypical local dives), had a huge following and got paid well for every gig. We played old traditional country as well Top 40 of the day (Reba, Judds, etc..)

Taking the opportunity allowed my first exposure to a recording studio. Making a 45 record at 18 years old was a big deal for me at the time not to mention all the live playing experience and learning how to deal with band situations, etc... I worked in the genre until about 1989 to explore other musical opportunities.

About 15 years later I ended up playing with country legend Chet Atkins for some local shows.

Good for you for exploring it and taking it seriously. Not just blowing it off. Many think capturing the feel is easy until they sit down to actually do it.
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are Off
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off




All times are GMT +2. The time now is 05:49 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.0
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Bernhard Castiglioni's DRUMMERWORLD.com