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  #1  
Old 08-27-2009, 05:52 AM
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larryace larryace is offline
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Default A confession

As closed minded as this sounds, I don't really actively persue listening to other drummers on purpose. Naturally, like everyone, I passively absorb rhythms from the music I hear, but don't hold anyone as a guidepost. I have my own stuff in my head that I'm trying to play. When I practice, most of the time, I just play for like 2 hours streaming from one idea to the next. I have no idea where they come from, but to me the challenge is to "play it like you hear it". To be able to execute my own ideas effortlessly. I have no shortage of ideas. (how good they are is debateable) That's probably my main focus when I get some alone time with my babys. There. I said it. I'm closed minded and proud of it.

Then sometimes I doubt myself. I think if I spent some time really listening to and picking apart others, I would no doubt hear things in a way I may never have come up with on my own. But I don't.
I'm not recommending my views or anything, I'm just being honest. OK I'm done.
Thanks.
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Old 08-27-2009, 06:46 AM
aydee aydee is offline
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Default Re: A confession

I hear you completely, but I think there is a flip side to it.

It is one thing to emulate a drummer or a style, and quite another to absorb new, unfamiliar, interesting stuff, and allow your self to de code it, learn from it or be inspired by it.

I think at a fundamental level it is something that expands your horizons, which then if you choose to, you can completely reject.

The reason I keep myself open to trying to break down and trying to understand anything I like, be it jazz or rock, or world or Indian, moroccan whatever..and listening to as many good players, regardless of style, is because I know that eventually it allows me to do exactly what you are talking about...

...play the ideas in my head/execute the ideas in my head.

Big, big opens ears is my take on this...but thats it, just my take.. there IS no one way to look at anything.

...
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  #3  
Old 08-27-2009, 07:09 AM
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Default Re: A confession

Yea there's definite good reason to explore others. perhaps I should try. I'd most likely start with Latin rhythms, they do something to me. I have no idea what they are doing, but I know they will inspire me to learn how to impart that flavor....Metals out, not my style, jazz, and correct me if I'm ignorant here but...chicks can't dance to jazz too well, so what's the point (sorry Stan at al). I want to groove so chicks shake there asses. I love that, I feel like a pied piper in a way, They are hopefully enjoying what I'm hitting them with, and that fills me up inside.
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Old 08-27-2009, 07:19 AM
aydee aydee is offline
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Default Re: A confession

See, what I'm getting at, and I'm might be getting too esoteric for my own good is that just listening to some good latin drummers, or getting into clave as an exercise in curiosity and understanding can in turn, improve your blues/funk backbeat.

( Not to say that it needs any, Mr. Hoochie Cootchie man! )

ps-Not that Latin has any significant connection with the blues,musically but simply because it to teaches you look at space and time between notes in a more exacting way.
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Old 08-27-2009, 07:35 AM
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Default Re: A confession

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Originally Posted by larryace View Post
... jazz, and correct me if I'm ignorant here but...chicks can't dance to jazz too well, so what's the point (sorry Stan at al). I want to groove so chicks shake there asses. I love that, I feel like a pied piper in a way,
LOL! After hearing your band I'd say you'd have plenty to watch as you play.

I have learned something or other from heaps of drummers but only occasionally (consciously) put it into practice ... sometimes I'm like "think Ringo" or "think Jim Hodder" but that's when I'm not "on".

I "play it as I hear it" too but I'm sure I'm just ripping off all those drummers I've heard. It's like George writing "My Sweet Lord" and later being accused of ripping off "She's So Fine". There's so much stuff hiding in our heads just waiting for its chance to pop out.

Larry, whatever you're doing is working, so if it ain't broke ...
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  #6  
Old 08-27-2009, 03:53 PM
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Default Re: A confession

Polly, Abe, you guys are just wonderful. I do need to expand my scope. I'm by no means down in the dumps or anything, but to have this forum, with all it's caring members, why not make use of it to confront things inside ourselves that would largely go unspoken? I don't talk drums with anyone else except here. I don't hang with any drummers. (Too busy to "hang" with anybody) I wanted to see the kind of responses this attitude I have would elicit. If it ain't broke don't fix it. That which stops growing, dies. Two kinda contradicting statements. Again balance is the key. I shouldn't shun others, but at the same time I shouldn't idolize trying to be like any one person. So the middle ground is the destination. To have your own inique way of approaching the set, all the while learning from other's vision of rhythm. My goal is to tap into the universal rhythmic encyclopedia, for the purpose of the fairer gender (and the unfairer gender) to get out there dancing to keep the planet spinning. When my band members come in with a new song, and it's non danceable....I think what's the point? To get people to say Oooo Ahhh? That makes it more about the musicians than the audience. Which to me is backwards. I want more, I want to get to the point where I can play songs that are so compelling, that it's impossible to not move your bod. I don't want to be appreciated for how good I may be, I want to be appreciated for my ability to get people out there shaking it. They are the focus, not me. But I will make an effort to pry open my mind a little on this topic. Any good Latin recommendations, something that get's you dancing?
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  #7  
Old 08-27-2009, 04:13 PM
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Default Re: A confession

In the financial world, if you want to be successful, you do what other successful people are doing. That undoubtedly translates to other professions and activities, drumming included.

Does that mean you should play exactly what Steve Gadd or Vinnie plays? Well, perhaps not in every situation, and it's important to know that they are often called upon to lay down a simple beat. They don't actually play one way or the other - they do it all. Did either of them actually invent anything or do something groundbreaking? Apart from a few signature things, no. They do what other successful drummers - technicians and 2&4 guys - have been doing for years.

You may or may not want to do something different or groundbreaking, but you've got to know what's out there so you know the difference. Playing "outside of the box" means first having an intimate knowledge of what's inside that box.

So I think you should pay close attention to what other drummers do, even if it's to make sure you don't so the same thing, if that's your ultimate goal. But you also can't be too pre-occupied with sounding like another drummer... most players want a drummer who knows how to play obvious and sometimes obligatory parts. Is that boring? I don't know, maybe. I just love playing the drums, whether it's 2&4 or if I get to cut loose. My pleasure comes from just sitting behind the kit, not necessarily with the music I'm playing, or whether I'm doing something that's been done before.

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  #8  
Old 08-27-2009, 04:28 PM
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Default Re: A confession

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Originally Posted by larryace View Post
but to have this forum, with all it's caring members, why not make use of it to confront things inside ourselves that would largely go unspoken? I don't talk drums with anyone else except here. I don't hang with any drummers.
Me too! I've never hung out with drummers. I've been a bit friendly with a few but we never seemed to get to talk shop much. I've learnt more about drumming in my few months here as in the previous 34 years since I started on kit. It's inspiring.

Quote:
If it ain't broke don't fix it. That which stops growing, dies. Two kinda contradicting statements. Again balance is the key. I shouldn't shun others, but at the same time I shouldn't idolize trying to be like any one person. So the middle ground is the destination. To have your own inique way of approaching the set, all the while learning from other's vision of rhythm.
I had a weird thing at practice tonight. There were four things different to last week when I sucked.

1. I set up my kick and snare in the flat (a flat is an apartment in US-speak). I stuffed the kick entirely full with towels so I could re-acquant myself with footwork without intruding on my neighbours

2. I lowered the beater in the pedal so it would have a shorter swing cos I've had issues trying to feather the kick more playing laid back music. Also loosened the spring.

3. I kind of channelled this blues drummer I saw last night because I loved his style. It was a laid back blues band, a bit louder than us but not much and I noticed he kept his hands really low. After all my years of rockin' I'm used to having a good old swing, and so in this band I've previously been working my muscles against each other to keep the volume down, and that made me tense. A really duh! obvious thing to work out at this stage but there ya go

4. I took your advice to detach and get get too caught up in the sound, instead sacrificing my search for a buzz so I can better give that buzz to others.

What a difference! That's what we do ... tweak tweak tweak and every now and then a penny or two drop and you get over a hump. You want to build your technique so you can, expand your range and be more free. I'm kinda going the other way, trying to work inwards to improve my inner clock, groove and dynamics, having accepted that there'll always be a squillion things I'd like to be able to do and can't. Not saying that's better, just noticing that we're working on opposite things at the moment. Once I get my stuff mmore together I might start looking to expand too. I also might not and keep going "in" :)


Quote:
When my band members come in with a new song, and it's non danceable....I think what's the point? To get people to say Oooo Ahhh? That makes it more about the musicians than the audience. Which to me is backwards.
Not necessarily IMO. First it depends on the venue. If it's a dance joint, sure. If you play LOUD and not danceable, then you are forcing people to listen in which case you'd better be beautiful or profound or touching or interesting or exciting or something a bit out of the box. Otherwise it's a bit of a wank.

If you are in more sit-down venue and playing soft enough to let people socialise then I see no probs with non-dancey numbers. I like sitting down and just enjoying a band with a good sound and vibe.

What about your slow blues numbers? It gives people's ears a break, adds variety, and gives a chance to offer beauty rather than boogie. Too much of a good thing and all that ... so yeah, why not mix it up and pace the set so when people have had a few drinks they can do their mating dances etc, especially at the end of the last set. A lot of us here would pace our sets like that - start with a bang, settle it down, and then build towards the big climax. In that sense your gigs become a bit like ...............

It's miles from dance music clubs with nonstop and deafening doof doof so, if you're not dancing, it's a bore unless you enjoy conversation that's mostly "WHAAAAAT??", "SORRY, I MISSED THAT!!" and "LET'S GO SOMEWHERE WHERE WE CAN TALK!!" :)
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  #9  
Old 08-27-2009, 04:31 PM
aydee aydee is offline
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Default Re: A confession

Hey Hootch ( my new nickname for you..),

if there is one defining thing about latin music, its the fact that first and foremost, its all about dancing.

Before I come off sounding like some expert on latin, I clarify that I'm not.

But I do know that its all about the body grooving to the rhythms, move and groove- shake your tail feather kinda thing. As a matter of fact all these latin rhythms were actually dances ( sambas, mambos, etc etc..) before becoming playgrounds for drummers that use 18 foot pedals and saucepans mounted on tom holders to explore the intellectual frontiers of poly-rhythm.

So, ya. ( I totally hear you on the get the people on their feet thing )
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  #10  
Old 08-27-2009, 09:51 PM
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Default Re: A confession

Well, if you are listening to music, you are being influenced immensely, whether you want to be or not. Those things in your head didnt magically appear, they are an amalgamation of experiences, musical experiences as well as just living life. BUt they dont just spawn from your DNA. I think youre more influenced than you think.
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  #11  
Old 08-27-2009, 10:14 PM
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Default Re: A confession

I get inspiration from other players all the time but almost never copy them. I value my individuality but recognize I'll never re-invent the wheel. I love bum cha bum cha 4/4 grooves all day long and take pleasure in delivering standard stuff with panache but someone, somewhere has given me the nudge to get off my ass and make it happen. DW has influenced me greatly. Before DW, I'd never heard of Ray Luzier. I looked up his double bass fill video and liked what I saw. He displayed his 1,2,3,4, kick, kick, 1, kick, kick routine to great effect. I thought, I really like that. Went away and developed my own similar 1,2,3,4,5, kick, kick, 1, kick, kick routine. Just like ray's but with more flavour. Inspiration can come in many forms and doesn't necessarily mean copying another player. I'm still very much a learner and enjoying the journey.
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  #12  
Old 08-27-2009, 10:15 PM
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Default Re: A confession

I have my share of drumming hero's, and I spent my youth playing along to various albums, and learning specific beats or fills here and there.

But It never occurred to me to sit down and break down a player or a specific album to the point where I could duplicate every single beat & fill 100% exactly. So I'm always a bit surprised when I read in Modern Drummer about someone who spend hours upon transcribing a particular drummer and breaking down every nuance of so and so's playing. At the time, I never saw the point, I'd rather get the gist and move on to the next player/album. I didn't want to be known as a clone of anyone.

But looking back, maybe it was a mistake to not take it to the next level. Maybe I'd be a better player if I had. Certainly not be a clone, but to have a better understanding of what made some players tick. Or maybe I only think this because my career never quite ended up how I wanted it to, and it's easier to nit pick myself than look at the accomplishments.

Last edited by DrumEatDrum; 08-27-2009 at 11:22 PM.
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  #13  
Old 08-27-2009, 10:29 PM
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Default Re: A confession

I think britt sort of nailed what I was thinking myself. Do you actively *avoid* listening or focusing on other drummers? Or, do you just make a conscious effort to emulate what other drummers are doing? If you're listening to music regularly, you can't *not* be influenced by what you hear.

We're the sum of our influences. Our first experiences as musicians are that of a member of the listening audience. Everyone has made the same notes we have. We just put our creative force to work to combine those notes into some new (or maybe not-so-new) outcome.

I know for a fact that if I spend all day at work with my iPod on random, my playing is heavily influenced by what my subconscious absorbed throughout the day.
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  #14  
Old 08-28-2009, 12:52 AM
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Default Re: A confession

I tend to find that I'm much more inspired by a well-arranged piece of music than by a well-played drum track. As such, I try to find music which moves me, regardless of the percussion or rhythm parts. I find drummers can listen with far too much emphasis on the drums - with detriment to other skills. It frustrates me with other musicians too, particularly guitarists, but I really do find drummers to be the worst offenders.
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Old 08-28-2009, 01:02 AM
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Default Re: A confession

I have to admit to listening to many drummers growing up and many more of the swing jazz group than the rock group especially in the 70's. I never tried to copy them but liked that style of music so I'm sure the influence was there. During the 30 years that I was not behind the drums I listened to a lot of bass lines and bass sounds and techniques. I now find when I am playing that I tend to hum those bass lines to myself which helps me remember drum parts.
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  #16  
Old 08-28-2009, 01:37 AM
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larryace larryace is offline
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Default Re: A confession

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Originally Posted by zambizzi View Post
Do you actively *avoid* listening or focusing on other drummers? Or, do you just make a conscious effort to emulate what other drummers are doing? If you're listening to music regularly, you can't *not* be influenced by what you hear.
No, it's not like "Elvin Jones is playing, I gotta split!"
And I don't emulate other drummers complete style. I'll steal little nuances that I dig, like everyone, so I am influenced no doubt, but I'm too busy trying to forge my own way of approaching the instrument because I have my own vision I'm trying to clarify. For every thing I "steal" I have 50 or so grooves that I'm trying to bring to life. Now these grooves can only be the product of everything I've heard in my life, knitted together in a way that hopefully is mine alone.



Britt mentioned that I'm more influenced than I think. This is certain. When I hear Stewart do those tasty hi hat flourishes, I do try and cop some of that and use it when I think it might fit, when I hear Frank Beard barely touching his ride on La Grange, I try and make it sound like that too, But because I have so many of my own ideas (which really aren't "out of the box" they're just what I want to personally hear played), it's like I have plenty of work to do just developing my own sort of dialouge with the set, forget about trying to cop Garibaldis funk sensibilities (which is way too cool). I don't listen to a whole lot of music. I listen to the Blues channel mostly on satellite radio while driving. No over the top drumming there, but there's other stuff just as valuable, just a lot subtler. I spend a lot of my listening time with playbacks of gigs trying to think of ways to improve problem areas and nuances that need it. I'm like a sequestered jury, with very few purposely persued outside drumming influences. It's closed minded, I realize this, and I guess it's high time to maybe rethink that philosophy.
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Old 08-28-2009, 04:44 AM
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Default Re: A confession

I can see where Larry is coming from, a Tom Ze kind of "I do not want to hear other music, just mine so I stay original" kind of thing. Nothing wrong with that.

I find myself in a very different situation. I spend about 60 to 80 hours per week in a drum shop. I'm in one now! As a result I am constantly hearing new drummers. I'm really enjoying guys such as Chris Pennie, Thomas Haake, Joey Castillo, Gavin Harrison etc etc. What is different now is that I no longer analyse their playing. I can hear what they are doing. I'm not that interested in adding someone's style to my own. What I like is new rhythms and generally I don't get many for drums as I focus more upon percussion these days. Then I add the percussion knowledge to drumset.
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  #18  
Old 08-28-2009, 05:40 AM
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Default Re: A confession

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IWhat is different now is that I no longer analyse their playing. I can hear what they are doing. I'm not that interested in adding someone's style to my own.
It depends on where you're up to. From your posts I gather you're a well established musician so you can organically progress from there. Listening to Larry's stuff, he's well stablished in his style too.

I had a long layoff and am now playing some genres I'd rarely played before like jazz, mellow soul and RnB. So I've been pretty hungry for role models with that mix of sounding good but also doing stuff that's possible for people with a normal number of limbs.

I've found some good ones, especially the guy I saw playing the other night (and who has a Wed night residency within walking distance from home),so now it's a matter of applying the styles. Of course that will be affected by my goodies, my limitations and the band sound.
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Old 08-28-2009, 05:47 AM
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It depends on where you're up to. From your posts I gather you're a well established musician so you can organically progress from there. Listening to Larry's stuff, he's well stablished in his style too.

I had a long layoff and am now playing some genres I'd rarely played before like jazz, mellow soul and RnB. So I've been pretty hungry for role models with that mix of sounding good but also doing stuff that's possible for people with a normal number of limbs.

I've found some good ones, especially the guy I saw playing the other night (and who has a Wed night residency within walking distance from home),so now it's a matter of applying the styles. Of course that will be affected by my goodies, my limitations and the band sound.
Yeah I think we all go through stages where we listen out for different things. A few years ago I was out for a while due to serious illness and thought I'd never return. Then I came here to DW and was encouraged to get back to it. I am happy to say it worked out extremely well. Now I play drums and percussion and get paid for it 7 days a week.

The lay off may have changed how I listen to music. Before it I was constantly checking out as many guys as I could find. After the lay off that changed. Unsure why. I think during that period my perspective changed and I certainly became more interested in world music and percussion. We're all different. I have found a Brazilian drummer worth checking out named Pupillo. I know nothing about him at all. But he's very good.
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Old 08-28-2009, 07:01 AM
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Yeah I think we all go through stages where we listen out for different things. A few years ago I was out for a while due to serious illness and thought I'd never return. Then I came here to DW and was encouraged to get back to it. I am happy to say it worked out extremely well. Now I play drums and percussion and get paid for it 7 days a week.

The lay off may have changed how I listen to music. Before it I was constantly checking out as many guys as I could find. After the lay off that changed. Unsure why. I think during that period my perspective changed and I certainly became more interested in world music and percussion. We're all different. I have found a Brazilian drummer worth checking out named Pupillo. I know nothing about him at all. But he's very good.
Good that you got over the illness and back to playing. My long layoff started with sickness too and once I got healthy I just let it go. I find the forum motivating too.

Same here - the layoff changed my approach. I used to always focus on the drumming but years of just listening to overall music like everyone else gave me a different perspective. Arguably a more sane one :)

I'll have a look out for Pupillo tonight. I love world-style percussion too, but I go more for African rhythms.
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Old 08-28-2009, 07:08 AM
wy yung
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Good that you got over the illness and back to playing. My long layoff started with sickness too and once I got healthy I just let it go. I find the forum motivating too.

Same here - the layoff changed my approach. I used to always focus on the drumming but years of just listening to overall music like everyone else gave me a different perspective. Arguably a more sane one :)

I'll have a look out for Pupillo tonight. I love world-style percussion too, but I go more for African rhythms.


Thanks mate. Same to you.

Rhythms are interesting things. Recently in a lesson a pupil brought in a song by that Scottish band that had the "Walk 5000 miles" song. He wanted to learn a drum part from the album. So we went through it and I then showed him different ways of playing that rhythm. By the end of the class the rhythm had traveled across time and continents! We went from Europe to Africa, North America, South America, Cuba etc. The 40's, 90's and the turn of the 20th century.

Rhythm is amazing! Or, people are amazing. Both true really.
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Old 08-28-2009, 09:21 AM
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Default Re: A confession

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Originally Posted by wy yung View Post
Thanks mate. Same to you.

Rhythms are interesting things. Recently in a lesson a pupil brought in a song by that Scottish band that had the "Walk 5000 miles" song. He wanted to learn a drum part from the album. So we went through it and I then showed him different ways of playing that rhythm. By the end of the class the rhythm had traveled across time and continents! We went from Europe to Africa, North America, South America, Cuba etc. The 40's, 90's and the turn of the 20th century.

Rhythm is amazing! Or, people are amazing. Both true really.
5000 miles is like a basic march beat if I remember rightly. Not sure why anyone would want to play it *grin* ... kick on 1 and 3, and snare on 2 and 4. Good that you're working to fire up your students' imaginations and introducing them to different styles.

One thing I forgot to ask you before ... it seemed from your previous post that your playing flourished after your break. Do you feel the break ultimately improved your drumming or was it just that breaks happened to come your way at the time?
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Old 08-28-2009, 09:52 AM
wy yung
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5000 miles is like a basic march beat if I remember rightly. Not sure why anyone would want to play it *grin* ... kick on 1 and 3, and snare on 2 and 4. Good that you're working to fire up your students' imaginations and introducing them to different styles.

One thing I forgot to ask you before ... it seemed from your previous post that your playing flourished after your break. Do you feel the break ultimately improved your drumming or was it just that breaks happened to come your way at the time?
(Sorry Larry. This is about me and I do not wish to steal the thread so will add what I can so as to then leave it)


Mate I think it was just that I'd spent a great deal of time playing before my health broke down. I estimate I've spent 94,000+ hours on a pad alone. That's basically ten full years. So my chops kept up to date at least on the snare. While sick I spent time learning other smaller forms of percussion such as frame drums. Theses did not tax my body too much and I was able to learn more views on playing drums.

Even so I still felt my drumming life was over and it was terrible. I'd been such a devotee to lose it was painful. I was pretty depressed because my life was upside down. 2 weeks before losing my health I'd been robbed and lost everything while on tour. My insurance ran out the last week of the tour. I thought I'd settle it when back in town. Big mistake. Then my woman left me because she did not want to be around a guy who was sick.

Then I paid a visit to DW one night. I met some truly great people who told me I should give it another go and their encouragement has led me to this point. I just finished teaching for the day. I have a full day tomorrow and then play with a band on Sunday.

I was getting pretty down. It is not a stretch to say had I not visited DW I might even be dead now. At the time I was working myself to death and living on 3 hours sleep per day. This went on for a while. My depression was getting out of hand. DW saved my life. I was becoming suicidal.

Now I am one happy guy. My life is again about drums and drummers. I love teaching and seem to be very good at it. I adore my students. Bands love me. The last female singer told me, and I quote "When you started to play I wanted to throw my panties at you!"

Thank you Bernard and everyone else here. You have no idea what you mean to me.
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  #24  
Old 08-28-2009, 11:51 AM
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Pollyanna Pollyanna is offline
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Default Re: A confession

Oh sorry too, Larry, but that's an amazing tale, Wy Yung. Such a freakout when you get runs of bad luck like that. Great that you recovered so well! Not easy to dig yourself out of a deep pit like that.

Take a bow, DW :)
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Old 08-28-2009, 12:23 PM
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Pachikara-Tharakan Pachikara-Tharakan is offline
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Default Re: A confession

Quote:
Originally Posted by larryace View Post
As closed minded as this sounds, I don't really actively persue listening to other drummers on purpose. Naturally, like everyone, I passively absorb rhythms from the music I hear, but don't hold anyone as a guidepost. I have my own stuff in my head that I'm trying to play. When I practice, most of the time, I just play for like 2 hours streaming from one idea to the next. I have no idea where they come from, but to me the challenge is to "play it like you hear it". To be able to execute my own ideas effortlessly. I have no shortage of ideas. (how good they are is debateable) That's probably my main focus when I get some alone time with my babys. There. I said it. I'm closed minded and proud of it.

Then sometimes I doubt myself. I think if I spent some time really listening to and picking apart others, I would no doubt hear things in a way I may never have come up with on my own. But I don't.
I'm not recommending my views or anything, I'm just being honest. OK I'm done.
Thanks.
i think like u!... the difference is, you have seen it all and much more experienced than me. However.., my case is I am still a starting basement drummer having fun playing along the records and I already think the way u think ., (even though i dont have much ideas..but i just want to be different the way we play, still trying to figure out a unique way, and kind of bored the way everyone plays drums, (absolutely no disrespect to anyone , I may be missing something for sure!).,... almost every chopping drummer sounds the same and ofcourse great to me.

Last edited by Pachikara-Tharakan; 08-28-2009 at 08:05 PM.
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