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Old 01-25-2018, 02:44 PM
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Traditional Grip Traditional Grip is offline
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Default Drumming related out of body experiences

I had an experience the other day that I wanted to share here and see if anybody could relate to it. Not quite sure what to make of it, so hopefully you guys can relate/help me!

I was playing at a jazz jam on Tuesday night. Band leader told me the set list and I thought I was going to play "Girl from Ipanema" first, simply backing up the talented flute player. I pull out my brushes, and then the band goes into "Billies Bounce." It's a pretty loud/fast song, so the brushes go out and I pull out my sticks. I'm jamming away on the ride and comping away on the snare. Soloist do their thing and it feels good. Then, all of a sudden, the music stops! "AHHHH" I think, a drum feature. They all know I hate drum features, but I had to go for it. I sincerely have no idea what I played! But I got through it and it was in time. Jamming away again on the ride, and it happens again! And then again, except for it was a whole 4 bars! Ahhhhhhh! I think a threw in a few whip cream rolls, some single stroke rolls and cymbal crashes. But yeah, I didn't feel so great for the rest of the song, having no idea how it sounded.
When the song ended a few audience members told me "I sounded good", but there was no time for feedback from the band. The rest of the set was an hour and by then I think everyone had forgotten about it. Except for me.

I still would like to know what I played and how it sounded. Not being a soloing guy, I just had to wing it and let me body take over my mind.

Has anyone else had a similar experience on stage? The set changes suddenly, you're put on the spot and just have to do or die? It's bizarre that it was a few days ago and I'm still feeling weird about it.

Thanks for making it through that long post. I look forward to hearing from you!
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Old 01-25-2018, 03:09 PM
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PorkPieGuy PorkPieGuy is offline
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Default Re: Drumming related out of body experiences

This is really cool.

Yes, I've been put in a lot of do-or-die situations...at church of all places. These days, I play at a church where we use a click track and backing tracks. In addition, we run three Sunday services, so the music and schedule are tight to say the least. However, the first church I got involved in playing drums, man, it was loosey-goosey all the time. We would practice one way, and I swear we would play another way. We would add verses, take away verses, slow down, speed up, etc....all without warning. It was a lot of just following what the leader was doing and do your best to just hang on. The head pastor never practiced with us, but he would always play with us on Sunday mornings and change EVERYTHING around. I'm not saying it was bad or good; I'm simply saying it was different.

If you want to hear a good story about playing on the fly, you should go watch "Hired Gun" on Netflix and listen to Kenny Arnoff about the solo in "Jack and Dianne."

Edit: Found it!!! - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mhnf7oTPtf4
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Old 01-25-2018, 03:39 PM
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8Mile 8Mile is online now
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Default Re: Drumming related out of body experiences

I can relate. And while there are usually mistakes, there is a certain magic to just winging it and seeing what happens. With a good bunch of musicians, it can be a lot of fun. I'm reminded of the "playing by fear" expression.
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Old 01-25-2018, 03:42 PM
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AzHeat AzHeat is offline
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Default Re: Drumming related out of body experiences

Quote:
Originally Posted by PorkPieGuy View Post
This is really cool.

Yes, I've been put in a lot of do-or-die situations...at church of all places. These days, I play at a church where we use a click track and backing tracks. In addition, we run three Sunday services, so the music and schedule are tight to say the least. However, the first church I got involved in playing drums, man, it was loosey-goosey all the time. We would practice one way, and I swear we would play another way. We would add verses, take away verses, slow down, speed up, etc....all without warning. It was a lot of just following what the leader was doing and do your best to just hang on. The head pastor never practiced with us, but he would always play with us on Sunday mornings and change EVERYTHING around. I'm not saying it was bad or good; I'm simply saying it was different.

If you want to hear a good story about playing on the fly, you should go watch "Hired Gun" on Netflix and listen to Kenny Arnoff about the solo in "Jack and Dianne."

Edit: Found it!!! - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mhnf7oTPtf4
I think we went to the same church! Probably the most challenging gig Iíve ever had and I grew a lot. Just like you, weíd suddenly get the look from the worship leader and knew it was all out the door from there. The cool thing though, we were always in lock step and things went really well. Probably the best musicians Iíve ever played with. Thankfully in this setting, there was no expectations for a solo, or the whole thing would have been a train wreck.

TG, I hear what youíre saying. In almost all scenarios at this church, there really wasnít any reason why it wasnít a train wreck. We would just lock in and pull it off. The songs were ALWAYS anything but easy. That was a huge contrast to the last cover band I played in. We could practice Takiní Care of Business a thousand times and if just one thing was out, it was a train wreck.
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Old 01-25-2018, 04:42 PM
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PorkPieGuy PorkPieGuy is offline
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Default Re: Drumming related out of body experiences

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Originally Posted by AzHeat View Post
The cool thing though, we were always in lock step and things went really well. Probably the best musicians Iíve ever played with.
It's really funny how things are so different now. At the church I'm at currently, I feel the musicians are really good; however, almost all of the singers only have experience singing in choirs, so it's always "big voice all the time" with more vibrato than I ever care to listen to. I guess if it "fits," but whatever.

As far as the musicianship at my old church, here's what we had (all at the same time mind you):

A piano player (playing an out-of-tune piano)
A keyboard player (or two)
2 electric players
Anywhere from 2-3 acoustic guitars
A mandolin
A trumpet
A saxophone
An electric bass
...and a slew of singers with mics in their hands.

All of this run through a Mackie 3204 and a crummy SoundTech PA. It was a freakin' wall 'o' sound, and all of this sound being spilled into a sanctuary that was packed at 120 people. I'm sure it was nothing but a hot mess out in the audience, but our church was a "big fish/little pond scenario." In other words, no one else was doing this.

I'm sort of in the same "big fish" scenario now in the church in which I play today, but it's much more organized and the sound, while still loud, is a little more tame and well-rounded. There is absolutely NO playing on the fly here. While things being "loose" years ago was fun, I'll have to say that I enjoy knowing where we are going musically these days.

With that said, things are a little more loose in the band I'm playing in (see signature). As a matter of fact, we recorded 10 songs in two days playing live in my living room over the MLK holiday. I can't wait get our music pushed out sooner than later!
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Old 01-25-2018, 06:08 PM
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Dr_Watso Dr_Watso is offline
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Default Re: Drumming related out of body experiences

That's kinda dirty of the band! It's the equivalent of handing someone a microphone without any warning in a full auditorium. Good job getting through it!

The only "out of body" experience related to drums I've had was sort of a weird one. Back when I was a kid. It was literally one of my very first shows that people were paying to get into and I was the band they were hearing.

Looking back on that time now with the experience I have, I can confidently say I wasn't very good as a drummer at the time. Adequate enough for this band of grade school friends who grew up playing together, but I digress. I wasn't "bad" at playing music, but I had no "tricks" in my bag. No fancy fills, or advanced techniques, just decent time and meat/potatoes style following the guitar and bass lines.

Anyhoo, we were playing along, night was going okay, dance floor was full, and basically, I forgot to end a song, when everyone else in the band did in fact end on time.

My split-second decision was to pretend I was supposed to do that. Being our first performance nobody in the audience is going to know a thing. I kept going with the beat, and after one bar, thought what the hell, and I started playing a sort of amateur solo around the beat of the song that just ended.

Dunno if it was nerves, or excitement, or what, but I killed it out of nowhere. I had a very disconnected feeling like I wasn't really in control and I was doing things that I could not do. I know how hokey it sounds, but I clearly remember my right hand doing some crazy perfectly-spaced 5 or 6 note one handed roll on the floor tom that I couldn't do even today on command, more than 15 years later. I looked over at my hand thinking "what the hell was that?!?" to me, it felt like and probably was an accident due to my poor technique, but it sounded amazing and was in perfect time to the beat.

To my shock, the crowd was going nuts. And of course, I felt like a damned king. I played that up like I meant to do all of it, shook lots of hands being showered with praise by the adoring crowd, and generally had a great rest of the night.

Since then I've had a few other experiences where things all of a sudden feel effortless and like you can't make a mistake. Being in "the zone" let's say... But nothing has matched up to that one experience. Very surreal looking down at my hand and wondering if that really just happened.
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Old 01-28-2018, 01:20 AM
eamesuser eamesuser is offline
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Default Re: Drumming related out of body experiences

I was in a very well rehearsed blues band,tight show,good dynamics,well scripted endings,seguewaysnever took more than 10 seconds between songs.Sometimes we would be having a great show and I would realize that I didn't remember playing the three previous songs,although I know we did.This happened on nights where we were killing it and had the audience in the palm of our hands.I guess the band and crowd were totally in the zone,great exchange of energy back and forth.
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Old 01-28-2018, 05:20 AM
williamsbclontz williamsbclontz is offline
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Default Re: Drumming related out of body experiences

That's jazz man! In the college jazz bands I've been apart of I used to always be really focused on reading the chart and planning solos, but after a few unexpected drum features I realized that I play better when I don't plan anything. Complete and pure improvisation. Trust yourself, because I always find myself playing stuff I never even thought I could do. And it's way less stressful when you can sit back relax and go with the flow of the music
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