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  #1  
Old 06-20-2010, 01:43 PM
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Default A Little bit of Theory

I think I have too much theory.

Have you ever come across a drummer that feels unappreciated by his band members how play smaller instruments or the singer that doesn't lug anything around? Or that they're practically ignored on-stage?

Well, here's my beef:

The psychology of a good show(let's say a heavy modern rock show) is that the audience doesn't feel alienated by the band. They want to have fun, which is getting involved in a way. This can be achieved the best by people they can see the faces of, or by those who move to the music, do crazy sh*t, all that jazz.

As drummers, we're kind of limited in terms of movement a little, but we can still act crazy. I mean, c'mon, we're the guy hitting stuff.

But, there is an important factor that many fellow metal drummers fail to understand. They neglect the "face-time" that they need to get with the crowd. Kind of hard to do that with a china completely blocking out your face.

Thoughts, brethren?
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Old 06-20-2010, 02:09 PM
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Default Re: A Little bit of Theory

I think it's a team effort. Everyone has a role in music but we may or may not have a role with the show. At the very least you'd want your vocalist to be connecting with audiences.
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Old 06-20-2010, 02:52 PM
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Default Re: A Little bit of Theory

In my case, "face time" isn't a positive thing for the band show.
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Old 06-20-2010, 02:58 PM
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Default Re: A Little bit of Theory

Move the china, and I too have been told I have a great face for radio.
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Old 06-20-2010, 03:56 PM
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Default Re: A Little bit of Theory

I'm not a metal drummer but I learned a long time ago that People hear what they see.

I always try to make contact with the audience.
I will acknowledge people from the throne as I play.

The key is to just make a one or two-second contact with the person that you are looking at and then move on to the next target.
Then go back to looking down or something for a while until it is time to look up and do the contact thing again.

Sometimes if I make eye contact with someone while I'm smashing a cymbal I can see their head move back as I strike the pie. it's amazing when that happens!
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Last edited by bobdadruma; 06-20-2010 at 09:27 PM.
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  #6  
Old 06-20-2010, 08:29 PM
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Default Re: A Little bit of Theory

CHS, the only thing you can do is to make the best of what you do have.
Like Bob said, you can connect w/ the audience w/ eye contact.
Granted we are way more hidden, but you do what you can.
As far as feeling underappreciated, best to just drop it. No good can come from that, it would probably be viewed as whiney.

I would say that it's the front peoples primary responsibility (more than the drummer) to get the crowd involved. Too many front guys just stare at their necks thinking how cool they think they are. How boring. I want to see people's eyes, I want to see them be a part of things, reacting to the others, not, "look at me look at my instrument".
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Old 06-20-2010, 10:04 PM
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Default Re: A Little bit of Theory

Alright, just to clear some thing up:
  • I am not the person I am referring to in my original post.
  • Larry, "CHS" doesn't read well for me. Am I allowed to request a new abreviation?

At any rate, I personally set up specifically so I can get a good look at whoever I might play for. It also feels a bit more comfortable to have a bunch of cymbals to my left and right and not in front of me. Just a preference.

Is it generally agreed that arrogant guitarists get on our nerves?
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Old 06-20-2010, 10:26 PM
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Default Re: A Little bit of Theory

What abbreviation would you prefer aside from CHS?
Larry didn't mean anything by his acronym. We do this kind of thing all the time around here.
You should see what he calls me sometimes.

From your post, I also got the impression that it was you that was searching for ways to communicate with the audience.

I also thought that your band mates wouldn't listen to you. Get used to that! There is no answer for that question.
The reason that drums are so loud is because no one ever hears the drummer while he speaks!
I thank God for that everyday! I don't get mad, I get even!
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Old 06-20-2010, 10:30 PM
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Default Re: A Little bit of Theory

In rock music, there needs to be points in the songs where the drummer connects with the audience through signature fills . . .

I went to see Styx last night. If you listen to the the intro to the pre-chorus of Come Sail Away and the last verse of Lady, you will see what I mean. People were air drumming:

Come Sail Away 2:26 or 4:30

Lady esp 3:01 (One of the earliest, if not the first power ballad.)

totally Old School . . . that's why people still love classic rock . .

or how about this . . .

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_5ddZU5Ipqg
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Old 06-20-2010, 10:38 PM
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Default Re: A Little bit of Theory

Hey Ken, Did you know that Styx's music had Satanical messages in it?
Remember that rumor from the 80's?
I loved that band!
Yes, Classic Rock attention getter fill techniques,
Good Answer!
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  #11  
Old 06-20-2010, 11:36 PM
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Default Re: A Little bit of Theory

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobdadruma View Post
Hey Ken, Did you know that Styx's music had Satanical messages in it?
Remember that rumor from the 80's?
I loved that band!
Yes, Classic Rock attention getter fill techniques,
Good Answer!
remember it? That was the defense at my trial . . .

They are a great band. Isn't the river Styx that which leads to Hades? Maybe they weren't rumors.
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Old 06-21-2010, 12:09 AM
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Default Re: A Little bit of Theory

I set everything low and I sit real tall with my head above everything so I can see out and people can see in.

They are there to SEE me. If they just wanted to HEAR me, they'd be playing me out of a set of speakers. I just try to deliver what people want to see, because that is what playing live is about. Meeting others through the aid of a musical instrument to speak your personality.
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  #13  
Old 06-21-2010, 12:14 AM
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Default Re: A Little bit of Theory

Sorry Coldhardsteel, no disrespect intended, quite the contrary. Anyway I agree with your observation that the audience should not feel alienated by the band. I see that way more (audience being alienated) than the reverse. And I though that your OP was referring to you because of the words "here's my beef". OK so now I'm straight.

The one thing you said that I found surprising was that you said you set up speciffically so you can get a good look at whoever you might play for. I would love that too but I'm always getting crammed as far back as possible, 24/7. Must be nice to have that much freedom in setting up.

However, it doesn't serve us well as a group to publicly agree that certain types of guitarists get on our collective nerves. Some things are better left unsaid. If you felt that way chances are others do too, nuff said. Another valid POV could be that without those people, some of the greatest music in the world may have never happened.
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Old 06-21-2010, 12:33 AM
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Default Re: A Little bit of Theory

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Originally Posted by Deltadrummer View Post
remember it? That was the defense at my trial . . .

They are a great band. Isn't the river Styx that which leads to Hades? Maybe they weren't rumors.
According to mythology, EVERYONE who perished had to cross the Styx to get to the land of the dead. This myth predates the concept of Satan. Since everybody had to cross the river Styx, the concept made no judgments of good or evil. You just had to remember to give some silver to Charon the boatman to ensure your safe crossing.

Good thing that idea is just a myth right? I've never heard of any soul taking money with them into the afterlife....
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Old 06-21-2010, 12:53 AM
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Default Re: A Little bit of Theory

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Sorry Coldhardsteel, no disrespect intended, quite the contrary. Anyway I agree with your observation that the audience should not feel alienated by the band. I see that way more (audience being alienated) than the reverse. And I though that your OP was referring to you because of the words "here's my beef". OK so now I'm straight.

The one thing you said that I found surprising was that you said you set up speciffically so you can get a good look at whoever you might play for. I would love that too but I'm always getting crammed as far back as possible, 24/7. Must be nice to have that much freedom in setting up.

However, it doesn't serve us well as a group to publicly agree that certain types of guitarists get on our collective nerves. Some things are better left unsaid. If you felt that way chances are others do too, nuff said. Another valid POV could be that without those people, some of the greatest music in the world may have never happened.
Oh, I didn't take any disrespect at all, I should be the one apologizing for coming off as defensive. Just call me Steels, man.

Yeah, it's a battle of psychology. Next time you're gigging, try to check that out, see if I'm right or wrong.

Well, when I say set up, I mean my kit is set in a certain configuration. There's not much we drummers can do about being pushed to the back of the stage, we have a big instrument.

Yes, yes, I know, don't want to be offensive to guitarists. I personally love my guitarist, but the guitarist for the power-metal group I drum for is... A power-metal guitarist. Hope that's not too ambiguous.
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  #16  
Old 06-21-2010, 12:59 AM
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Default Re: A Little bit of Theory

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Originally Posted by bobdadruma View Post
Did you know that Styx's music had Satanical messages in it?
I didn't Bob...but now that I do, that's just the sort of thing that will prompt me to buy an album.

Coldie (fwiw that's what we call beer in Oz....mmmm...beer. Coldhardsteel just takes waaaay too long to type, so i hope it's preferable to CHS),

1. We don't choose our nicknames, they are chosen for us. If we did, I wouldn't have a good mate called MARILYN!! :-)
2. Back on topic, I've always loved the fact that I could skulk around at the back of the stage and leave the others to their general front-of-house wankery. I can still entertain without stage dives and leaping off tall speaker cabinets in a single bound. I don't feel limited nor do I feel out of the action.

Seated back there hidden by a cymbal or two..........I'm right where I wanna be.
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Old 06-21-2010, 01:02 AM
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Default Re: A Little bit of Theory

I can definitely relate with you. When I see a band live, one of the things I love most about it is seeing them enjoy performing. Especially if we're talking about a loud rock band as opposed to an acoustic guitarist or a smal jazz group (although Thelonious Monk was a notoriously good dancer...)

As far as the difference between the band members, it can be tough to seem involved when we're confined to our drum throne. But I definitely hate to see drummers hiding behind their kit, totally indifferent to the music or the audience. Like pollyanna said, at least the frontman/woman should feel the need to engage the audience more. I think it naturally adds so much energy and feeling to the music. I've played a gig as a guitarist/singer before, and I felt that moving my body with the music and making eye contact with the audience helped me get into the music more easily.

This thread reminds me of a video...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ItZyaOlrb7E
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Old 06-21-2010, 02:14 AM
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Default Re: A Little bit of Theory

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According to mythology, EVERYONE who perished had to cross the Styx to get to the land of the dead. This myth predates the concept of Satan. Since everybody had to cross the river Styx, the concept made no judgments of good or evil. You just had to remember to give some silver to Charon the boatman to ensure your safe crossing.

Good thing that idea is just a myth right? I've never heard of any soul taking money with them into the afterlife....
Sounds right . . see how that Christian Mythology creeps in even when you least expect it.

It is funny people thought that because Styx has got to be one of the most wholesome of American rock bands. I would bet that today they find it an honor to have been nominated by the insanity known as the PMRC.
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Old 06-21-2010, 02:24 AM
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Default Re: A Little bit of Theory

That's what the song "Come Sail Away" was about, Sailing across the Styx River with Charon.
LOL!
I remember LAMO back when that report came out. It actually made the network news!
Not Just FOX! Real Network News!
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Old 06-21-2010, 02:34 AM
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Default Re: A Little bit of Theory

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That's what the song "Come Sail Away" was about, Sailing across the Styx River with Charon.
LOL!
I remember LAMO back when that report came out. It actually made the network news!
Not Just FOX! Real Network News!
It's LMAO. Catch up, old-timer.

And the quip about FOX pretty much made my day.
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Old 06-21-2010, 02:42 AM
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Default Re: A Little bit of Theory

It was just a typing error.
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Old 06-21-2010, 05:33 AM
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Default Re: A Little bit of Theory

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That's what the song "Come Sail Away" was about, Sailing across the Styx River with Charon.
LOL!
I remember LMAO back when that report came out. It actually made the network news!
Not Just FOX! Real Network News!

I remember seeing Dee Snider from Twisted Sister on one of those docs. He was saying that one of his songs that it was about getting an operation, I think the name was "Going Under the Blade," and they said it was about Sado-masochism. He told the committee that he couldn't help it if Tipper Gore had a dirty mind. He lives right near me, and I see him now and again. He is another one who when you see him on stage he can scare the daylights out of you; but up close he's one of the nicest guys.

Yeah, I mean Styx, where's the white bread and corn. When I first saw them they were a fright though, with all the hair, and they were dressed in space suits like everyone did: Bowie, Reed, P Funk, EWF, Sun Ra. They were five Ziggys. But that was the first time I had seen it, and the androgyny thing was so weird. It freaked me out. But then they sang Lady, which I liked, and I thought these guys are good. Up until then, I listened to a lot of BTO, The Eagles, Skynyrd, and Doobie Bros. Floyd, Zep, Aerosmith and The Stones, were about as outlandish as I got. You know, man's music. I think Styx was one of the earliest bands to be able to bridge the gap between arena rock and pop, the way Queen did big time, and opened the door for Journey, Kansas and Rainbow to make a lot of money.

The bottom line is that when people talk about showmanship, the1970s really had it. Metal had in in the '80s. But that was the thing Grunge lacked, and that is the thing music is often lacking today, esp in the alt rock genre.

I used to go see Twisted Sister in the clubs because I dated a girl who was the head of their fan club. They really knew how to put on a show. Everybody had to get into it or risk getting their butt kicked. I guess it is hard to shock people these days, the way a lot of that music did, esp punk, and it may be hard for people in retrospect to see how it did that. You can take the Yukio Mishima route. Wait! No, Cobain already did that.
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  #23  
Old 06-21-2010, 07:28 AM
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Default Re: A Little bit of Theory

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Originally Posted by bobdadruma View Post
Hey Ken, Did you know that Styx's music had Satanical messages in it?
Remember that rumor from the 80's?
I loved that band!
Yes, Classic Rock attention getter fill techniques,
Good Answer!
Oh man, it seemed like when I was in Jr High every band in the world had a so called satanic tie.

KISS was supposed to stand for Knight in Satan's Service.

Rush was supposed to stand for Rest Upon Satan's Head.

The Rolling Stones worshiped Satan as proven by the song "Sympathy for the Devil".

Stories were going around that Ozzy threw live puppies and kitten into the audience and informed the fans to kill them or he wouldn't perform.

It seemed like kids had a made-up story for every band, and this was years before the internet was invented!

Funny that now so much "extreme" music is now considered "classic rock."
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Old 06-21-2010, 07:35 AM
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Default Re: A Little bit of Theory

Anyhow, to the original post,

Yeah, I get what your saying, in hard rock and metal, the audience participation is such a key element of the genres. I think many guys got into the stick flips and exagerated arm movements to make up for that fact so many of them had huge rack toms in front of them, and the audience couldn't see the drummer.

But overall, it extends in to all music. I remember seeing a certain fusion band a few times, the the drummer had two huge ride cymbals, one on the right and one on the left, plus several crashes right at his face level. Overall, you couldn't see the drummer behind his wall of drums and cymbals. It was a bit of a turn off.

Gene, Buddy, Louise, Papp Jo Jones, and all the big band greats knew the visual aspect was important as evidence by all the great clips on youtube.
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Old 06-21-2010, 04:09 PM
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Default Re: A Little bit of Theory

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...The bottom line is that when people talk about showmanship, the1970s really had it. Metal had in in the '80s. But that was the thing Grunge lacked, and that is the thing music is often lacking today, esp in the alt rock genre...

...No, Cobain already did that.
Hey, Cobain was apparently quite the showman. Falling halfway off the stage like he was being knocked out by whatever while soloing seems pretty hardcore to me.

But yes, that is a pattern I've seen with modern alt. rock and modern rock groups, they seem a bit more physical reserved, in a way. Music can have energy, but the group needs to show it for it to be effective.
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Old 06-22-2010, 05:15 PM
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Default Re: A Little bit of Theory

I'm curious what you guys think when you see a musically crummy band that puts on a big show? I get rather annoyed. Kind of a 'learn to play first...then jump around' mentality, but then maybe I'm just getting old and bitter and should move to South Africa.
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Old 06-23-2010, 12:49 AM
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I'm curious what you guys think when you see a musically crummy band that puts on a big show? I get rather annoyed. Kind of a 'learn to play first...then jump around' mentality, but then maybe I'm just getting old and bitter and should move to South Africa.
+1.

My only problem with stick tricks etc, is that they are so often used by guys (especially younger guys here in Oz), to mask the fact that they can't play. I've seen too many new bands with drummers twirling away, guitarists bent over backwards til their head hits the floor, bass players climbing all over FOH speakers, lead singers stage diving etc etc......and their playing is absolutely dreadful. So I wholeheartedly support your "learn to play first...then jump around" theory.

Me, I'd rather be dazzled by brilliance (or perhaps even competance)......than baffled by BS.

Then again, maybe I'm just getting older and grumpier too.....better book two seats on that flight, Jon.
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Old 06-23-2010, 01:20 AM
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Default Re: A Little bit of Theory

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I'm curious what you guys think when you see a musically crummy band that puts on a big show? I get rather annoyed. Kind of a 'learn to play first...then jump around' mentality, but then maybe I'm just getting old and bitter and should move to South Africa.
Well of course.

But I don't think the was the OP's point. The discussion was about taking it the next level.

I don't get how every discussion on "show" gets dismissed as "learn to play first". Krupa and Pape Jo Jones were big on the visual tricks, but no one said they couldn't play. Clearly, many drummers/musicians DO learn to play first, and then incorporate the "show" aspect to take their career to the next level.
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Old 06-23-2010, 01:53 AM
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Default Re: A Little bit of Theory

To DED and DD, I hope that you guys don't mind that I acronym your names! Just kidding!
Yes, those 70s bands of our youth were the good old days for us!
I used to see Twisted Sister all the time in Brewster New York. I saw Styx twice.
The Chicks! The Illegal Substances, What fun!
It was a trip man! Literally and figuratively!
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Old 06-23-2010, 02:39 AM
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Default Re: A Little bit of Theory

I remember the hooplah about subliminal messages and backwards masking and etc about rock music. The fundies kept finding Satan in all kinds of music.

I find this especially amusing because we all find what we are looking for in music. Some of those people are experts at finding satan, because that is what they want to find. They searched out darkness and it found them, then they tried to share it with the rest of us who were only looking for light.

Good thing they failed. Light always triumphs.
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Old 06-23-2010, 02:42 AM
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Default Re: A Little bit of Theory

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Well of course.

But I don't think the was the OP's point. The discussion was about taking it the next level.

I don't get how every discussion on "show" gets dismissed as "learn to play first". Krupa and Pape Jo Jones were big on the visual tricks, but no one said they couldn't play. Clearly, many drummers/musicians DO learn to play first, and then incorporate the "show" aspect to take their career to the next level.

The question I was trying to ask is more, 'Does a band/drummer need to have a certain level of skill before they engage in showmanship?' Does it bother you if they aren't technically very good, but try to put on a big show and engage the audience?

The OP talked about engaging the audience so they don't feel isolated. I'm not trying to dismiss showmanship, and I think it's a valid question, but maybe you've been through this before.
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Old 06-23-2010, 02:49 AM
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Originally Posted by jon e rotten View Post
The question I was trying to ask is more, 'Does a band/drummer need to have a certain level of skill before they engage in showmanship?' Does it bother you if they aren't technically very good, but try to put on a big show and engage the audience?

The OP talked about engaging the audience so they don't feel isolated. I'm not trying to dismiss showmanship, and I think it's a valid question, but maybe you've been through this before.
In many cases, the music doesn't even matter. Take Lady Gaga for example. It is about the show. For her/his 'music', it is about chanting two words 1000 times until you buy his/her record while youwatch his/her video so you can figure out if it is a he or a she.

My Adam's Apple is too big, otherwise I'd have done it too.
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Old 06-23-2010, 03:01 AM
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Default Re: A Little bit of Theory

I would like to add a bit more to this thread.
A few months ago I was playing a show at a large club.
It came time for me to solo.
There were many people dancing on the floor.

When I started my solo I simply followed the groove of the people that I could see that were dancing.
I looked out into the crowd and I played a groove to the dancers.
I then began to go to my toms and snare while keeping aware of the audience at all times.
I let them tell me what to play. I played to what they were doing! That was the first time ever that I had done this! This was the first time that I had the audience in my hands so to speak. They were controlling what I played as I controlled what they did!

It was magic! A magic that I had never felt before or since. The moment was right I guess.

I hope that I explained that so all could understand what I mean? I wasn't imagining it, It was real.
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Old 06-23-2010, 03:07 AM
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Default Re: A Little bit of Theory

Quote:
Originally Posted by jon e rotten View Post
The question I was trying to ask is more, 'Does a band/drummer need to have a certain level of skill before they engage in showmanship?' Does it bother you if they aren't technically very good, but try to put on a big show and engage the audience?

The OP talked about engaging the audience so they don't feel isolated. I'm not trying to dismiss showmanship, and I think it's a valid question, but maybe you've been through this before.
Well, I think the answer should be a resounding yes (even if we see kids not follow this all the time).

And then the next step, at least in hard rock/metal, is yes, to engage the audience. It's a part of why kids pay their money to see a band, because they want to see the band in person.

Sure, a dinner time piano trio is supposed to blend into the back ground and ambiance of the venue, but few people want to go see a rock band to have them stand there and not look at the audience.
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Old 06-23-2010, 03:22 AM
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Default Re: A Little bit of Theory

I'd like to say something very important about the "Learn First then Show Off" theory:

The choice to be flashy is yours, completely.

Anyone can choose to be flashy, stick tricks, crazy stage dives, whatever. But there is a tendency for certain types of people in certain bands in certain places to do the latter(Flashy) before the former(Skill).

But what I'm sure every single one of you will agree with me about is that the wise ones are the people who don't even think about the tricks until they have to face the reality of a show.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobdadruma View Post
I would like to add a bit more to this thread.
A few months ago I was playing a show at a large club.
It came time for me to solo.
There were many people dancing on the floor.

When I started my solo I simply followed the groove of the people that I could see that were dancing.
I looked out into the crowd and I played a groove to the dancers.
I then began to go to my toms and snare while keeping aware of the audience at all times.
I let them tell me what to play. I played to what they were doing! That was the first time ever that I had done this! This was the first time that I had the audience in my hands so to speak. They were controlling what I played as I controlled what they did!

It was magic! A magic that I had never felt before or since. The moment was right I guess.

I hope that I explained that so all could understand what I mean? I wasn't imagining it, It was real.
Yes, That's precisely what I'd love to see and/or experience!

That is the total immersion into the music that I am aiming to get my crowds to experience, a musical "high"!

You said it felt wonderful, I'm sure it would feel wonderful to be in that situation.

Everyone, act jealous of Bob!
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Old 06-23-2010, 03:41 AM
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Default Re: A Little bit of Theory

I'm jealous Bob. I would love to have something like that happen, but unfortunatly I have the stage presence of a comatose sloth. I try to relax and engage the audience, but I don't seem to have it in me. I always feel like I'm trying to hard.
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Old 06-23-2010, 05:14 AM
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Default Re: A Little bit of Theory

Someone started a thread about the drum solo from the classic Iron Butterfly "In-A-Gada-Da-Vida" album. This was last year sometime.

They said that they saw no great technical merits in the famous drum epic. Amoung other things.

Many board members posted and said basically this.

Everyone agreed that the solo wasn't about showing off great drumming technique.
We all agreed that what the solo did have was, "Feeling"
Feeling for the music that led up to the solo. Feeling for the context of the arrangement of the song, and feeling that fit the time in history that the album was tracked in.

That is an example of a drummer playing something from the heart that people could relate to at the time.
Some younger people that listen to the song now laugh at it because they do not understand it.

Music and drumming is a reflection of the moment in time that it was performed in.
It doesn't have to be the best music or drumming in the world to be considered great by the listener.
It just has to connect with the listener and his frame of mind at the time that he is hearing it.

Links to part 1 and part 2 on youtube
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fvs8t...eature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ks8WP...eature=related
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Old 06-23-2010, 06:50 PM
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Default Re: A Little bit of Theory

One of the things I've found is that it is often difficult to pull off drum solos or classic tunes with solos. I feel like I am satirizing the music. It's hard to pull something off authentically, and too much technique really gets in the way of that. I remember Morello saying that you could always tell when a drummer runs out of ideas. He starts playing his single stoke roll.

We do this tune with my band that is very much like you said. We went into this Latin thing one night (my idea, drummer never gets credit.) We still play it like that, but once it's done, it's hard to get back to that original point of spontaneity. That night it peaked, and it may never be there again.
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Old 06-23-2010, 09:13 PM
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Default Re: A Little bit of Theory

Quote:
Originally Posted by jon e rotten View Post
...but then maybe I'm just getting old and bitter and should move to South Africa.
You'll need to become a rock icon first to pay for your horses.

And I submit the nickname:

Coldhardsteel
Call Me Steeley Dan
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Old 06-24-2010, 01:27 AM
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Default Re: A Little bit of Theory

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Originally Posted by motojt View Post
You'll need to become a rock icon first to pay for your horses.

And I submit the nickname:

Coldhardsteel
Call Me Steeley Dan
I must say, I like that nickname.
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