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  #1  
Old 06-11-2011, 07:04 AM
chris_drb chris_drb is offline
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Default Drummer Mess Ups

Last night I was having an off night during my band's performace, messing up all night. So I was wondering any of you pro level drummers ever mess up with a huge crowd watching? Or have a video of pro level drummers messing up and how they recover?

Reason I am asking is because on shows that have live bands like American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance, you NEVER hear the band missing a beat! So they have to be PERFECT every night on LIVE TV! Even if the contestants are off beat or sound bad. Mainly as a drummer, last night I was missing all kinds of beats, hits, and sounded off.
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Old 06-11-2011, 08:06 AM
eliRYO eliRYO is offline
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Default Re: Drummer Mess Ups

While I think it is accurate to say that accomplished drummers don't mess-up so much as, say, a beginner, the more important question is how well one recovers, which you touched on. Take someone like Keith Carlock for example, he rarely messes up but that, in large part, is due to the fact that he so aware of pulse and his facility is such that he can make adjustments on the fly without any physical hindrance essentially masking many "quirks" is his playing. He may notice them while he is playing but to the observer they are almost indiscernible. Basically, he doesn't necessarily "mess-up" fewer times that other drummers it has more to do with his ability to recover and be aware of when he is losing it.

This video shows two obvious mistakes while on a reading gig with Oz Noy but the amazing thing is the recovery.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hdj25...el_video_title

Check out: @1:46, @2:00
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Old 06-11-2011, 08:11 AM
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Default Re: Drummer Mess Ups

I guess I'm not "pro level", but I've made a bit playing music for people... And I've also had my off nights, for sure. When things just aren't working right, I usually take the "easy" route and just play more simply. No sense going for a tough fill if I'm not in the right state of mind to pull it off.

Once heard a quote that I like... Something like this, anyway.

"if your options as a drummer for the night are simple and solid, or flashy and sloppy, it shouldn't be hard to choose an option."
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Old 06-11-2011, 09:29 AM
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Default Re: Drummer Mess Ups

Quote:
Originally Posted by eliRYO View Post
While I think it is accurate to say that accomplished drummers don't mess-up so much as, say, a beginner, the more important question is how well one recovers, which you touched on. Take someone like Keith Carlock for example, he rarely messes up but that, in large part, is due to the fact that he so aware of pulse and his facility is such that he can make adjustments on the fly without any physical hindrance essentially masking many "quirks" is his playing. He may notice them while he is playing but to the observer they are almost indiscernible. Basically, he doesn't necessarily "mess-up" fewer times that other drummers it has more to do with his ability to recover and be aware of when he is losing it.

This video shows two obvious mistakes while on a reading gig with Oz Noy but the amazing thing is the recovery.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hdj25...el_video_title

Check out: @1:46, @2:00
Hahaha, nice clip, but let's be honest, that level of playing would phase most of us. No way I could pull that off. Anyhow, much more important, look at the hot chicks reaction at the end. I think I'll be making mistakes more often, lol!
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Old 06-11-2011, 10:17 AM
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Default Re: Drummer Mess Ups

Dr Watso and eliRYO hit this absolutely on the head. I remember a saying when I was learning that I think comes from the classical music world: 'Amateurs practice till they get it right. Professionals practice till they can't get it wrong'. I used to think that that meant professionals had a greater degree of focus and dedication. It certainly does mean that but it also means they practice recovery. There are two elements to that. The first the straightforward mechanical element - just getting back to the groove or beat. That is what Keith Carlock does effortlessly in the clip. But you can bet he's practiced doing that. It's easy really. Our inclination when we make a mistake when practising is to stop and reset ourselves. DON'T. Instead try to recover - keep the metronome or the track going and get back to where you want to be whether you are playing rudiments or syncopation or grooves or whatever. In short incorporate practising recovery naturally into your practice regime.

The second element is mental and much harder to deal with. You make a mistake and keep thinking about it so you lose focus for the rest of the gig. Then you keep making mistakes. It sounds like that happened to you. If you make a mistake it is important then to focus on what you are playing NOW and yes keep things simple. Maybe just focus on your backbeat - or maybe cutting a clean groove with your hi-hat. Just keep you mind very solidly on what you are playing and NOT what you have just played.

You might want to read Barry Green's 'The Inner Game of Music'. Standard reading in most music Schools that aims to address the mental element of playing including recovering from mistakes.

This is my first post btw. Hope you find it helpful.
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  #6  
Old 06-11-2011, 12:17 PM
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Default Re: Drummer Mess Ups

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Originally Posted by Too Many Songs View Post
This is my first post btw. Hope you find it helpful.
Yes, very useful - thank you for this. great first post....let's keep them coming...

Bernhard
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  #7  
Old 06-12-2011, 04:04 PM
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Default Re: Drummer Mess Ups

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Rhew2wwntQ

This video is of Animals As Leaders drummer messing up. Makes me feel better as even amazing drummers mess up sometimes! They are a phenomenally complex band.

Its a very bad slip up though, he causes the whole song to start again!
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  #8  
Old 06-12-2011, 11:06 PM
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Default Re: Drummer Mess Ups

Todd Bishop's website posted a Roy Haynes solo in which he apparently dropped a beat.
Also, on Thelonius In Action (live), there's quite a little mess-up after Roy's solo on Blue Monk- I'm not sure who counted correctly and who didn't (sounds like Monk jumped in early!), but it's quite interesting since I don't hear too much of such mistakes.

Last edited by ikol; 06-12-2011 at 11:07 PM. Reason: just because
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  #9  
Old 06-13-2011, 12:57 AM
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Default Re: Drummer Mess Ups

If I learned anything from both those videos, it's that people don't really seem to care if you mess up. They still scream like crazy.
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Old 06-13-2011, 01:54 AM
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Default Re: Drummer Mess Ups

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Originally Posted by beefythedrummer View Post
If I learned anything from both those videos, it's that people don't really seem to care if you mess up. They still scream like crazy.
Only record companies and idealistic echelon-minded teens care about blunders. Everyone else operates on percentages. If 99% sounds great with one clanger it's better received than if 100% sounds reasonable but with no overt blunders.
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Old 06-13-2011, 04:36 PM
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Default Re: Drummer Mess Ups

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Originally Posted by beefythedrummer View Post
If I learned anything from both those videos, it's that people don't really seem to care if you mess up. They still scream like crazy.
so true! i've had nights where i've made what i would call severe mess ups and no one in the crowd or even the band notices. as long as you don't call attention to yourself (curse, make a face, etc.) and keep the beat going steady you can screw up pretty badly and most people won't notice.
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  #12  
Old 06-13-2011, 05:14 PM
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Default Re: Drummer Mess Ups

Quote:
Originally Posted by AtomicFlapjack View Post
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Rhew2wwntQ

This video is of Animals As Leaders drummer messing up. Makes me feel better as even amazing drummers mess up sometimes! They are a phenomenally complex band.

Its a very bad slip up though, he causes the whole song to start again!
you see? that's an example of something that was bad but recoverable. he shouldn't have stopped. did you see how the crowd got a bit hostile at that point? you should never stop.

having said that, a few months ago i got mixed up in the set list and started playing the wrong song while the rest of the band was playing the right song. i knew something was very wrong, but from my point of view i was playing great and everyone else was messing up like crazy. after a few bars of hopeless garbage, the lead singer stopped us, told me what song we were supposed to be playing and started us over again. that was really embarrassing!
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  #13  
Old 06-13-2011, 05:22 PM
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Default Re: Drummer Mess Ups

To be fair, I think he completely stopped to reset the click.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dairyairman View Post
you see? that's an example of something that was bad but recoverable. he shouldn't have stopped. did you see how the crowd got a bit hostile at that point? you should never stop.
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  #14  
Old 06-13-2011, 05:23 PM
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Default Re: Drummer Mess Ups

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Originally Posted by Ytsephill View Post
To be fair, I think he completely stopped to reset the click.
you could be right. i didn't think of that!
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Old 07-01-2011, 06:35 AM
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Default Re: Drummer Mess Ups

I definitely agree with eliRYO about recovery. I have off nights for sure dude and getting in the slums and thinking about it (especially while playing) only makes shit worse, sip your beer clear your head and power on dude enjoy yourself even if thinks aren't perfect as long as your playing with energy like you mean it and can recover, your covered.
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Old 07-01-2011, 07:13 AM
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Default Re: Drummer Mess Ups

Your limbs can mess up whatever figure you are playing....but the figure in your mind theoretically should keep going. It's just a matter of catching up and rejoining it with your limbs before anybody is the wiser. There's no good reason for your thoughts to mess up. Your hands, yes. Your thoughts, and the pulse, hopefully not. The bass player has to keep going though. If a little slip up on the drummers part derails the bass, then there's not much you can do.
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  #17  
Old 07-01-2011, 07:28 AM
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Default Re: Drummer Mess Ups

I think Keith got some some nice drummer loving that night!
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  #18  
Old 07-01-2011, 08:56 AM
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Default Re: Drummer Mess Ups

Quote:
Originally Posted by eliRYO View Post
This video shows two obvious mistakes while on a reading gig with Oz Noy but the amazing thing is the recovery.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hdj25...el_video_title

Check out: @1:46, @2:00
What would be the mistakes there? I think you could say the tempo transitions didn't
come out very organically, but if they hadn't practiced it's no surprise. But nobody lost
themselves, so I wouldn't really call that mistakes.
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Old 07-01-2011, 05:38 PM
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Default Re: Drummer Mess Ups

I'd say that all drummers make an audible gaff on occasion, and you'd normally only hear it in a live situation as opposed to a recording where they can do a fix, or another take.

But, I'm sure there are several studio recordings where they didn't fix an obvious mistake. Off the top of my head, I can think of two:

Going way back to 1962, in "Wild Weekend" by the Rockin' Rebels, towards the end of the song, the drummer reverses the beat, the band doesn't adjust to him, and then the track fades as if noone would notice! Shameful. It's impossible to believe that the producer, band, drummer or engineer didn't notice it immediately, or that budgets were so tight, they couldn't do another take. Unless of course that was the best take...

And going not quite so far back, c1980, on "Gangsters" by the Specials, the drummer kicks-off the bridge's double-time in a previous verse, starting on the 1 but catches it by '4' and then is back on. Most listeners might not think anything of it, just a quirky little snare thing, but any drummer would know he had come in a whole section early with it. But it was a cool mistake, and I occasionally use it to kick-up a verse somewhere in the middle of it.

Any other obvious recorded mistakes that could/should have been fixed before they were issued?

Bermuda
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Old 07-01-2011, 07:35 PM
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Default Re: Drummer Mess Ups

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Originally Posted by bermuda View Post
Any other obvious recorded mistakes that could/should have been fixed before they were issued?

Bermuda
I'm interested in this, I've never noticed any that I thought weren't done on purpose.
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Old 07-01-2011, 07:41 PM
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Default Re: Drummer Mess Ups

keith carlock messing up sounds better than most people playing normally
p.s. that girl has a dirty smile
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Old 07-01-2011, 07:55 PM
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Default Re: Drummer Mess Ups

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Originally Posted by bermuda View Post

Any other obvious recorded mistakes that could/should have been fixed before they were issued?

Bermuda
i few months ago i was learning "lady marmalade" for my band and i noticed what sounded like a mistake on the original studio recording. about two thirds of the way in, the drummer starts a chorus on the ride cymbal bell, plays about 3 hits, and then quickly shifts back to the hats. it sounded like he started in with the bell but suddenly realized it was too early in the song for that. in the next chorus he starts on the bell and stays on the bell for the rest of the song. it's pretty minor, but it sounds like a mistake and like something i've done before.
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Old 07-01-2011, 08:39 PM
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Default Re: Drummer Mess Ups

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ytsephill View Post
To be fair, I think he completely stopped to reset the click.
That's just one reason I don't like clicks live. Any screwup seems to be much worse, because you can't just adjust on the fly; everyone has to be on the click, or everyone will be confused by it.
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Old 07-01-2011, 08:54 PM
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Default Re: Drummer Mess Ups

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Originally Posted by bermuda View Post
Any other obvious recorded mistakes that could/should have been fixed before they were issued?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Qt_JoClwtA

This one isn't huge but the fact that it's there at all has stumped me since since it's Neil Peart on a studio recording. At about 1:20 right after this little triplet figure on a small tom, the bass drum lands noticeably early as it sounds like he'd fallen behind the click and was trying to catch back up to it.

I wonder why they didn't fix that, especially since they finished that record ahead of schedule. Maybe no one noticed??
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Old 07-01-2011, 09:37 PM
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Default Re: Drummer Mess Ups

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Originally Posted by bermuda View Post
Any other obvious recorded mistakes that could/should have been fixed before they were issued?
I've got one on a very famous song for you. (I think).

Guns n' Roses - "Sweet Child o' Mine" - From "Appetite for Destruction"

Listen: after the guitar intro, the drummer makes a straight double-note-eights fill on the floor tom/snare and starts the beat on the ride cymbal, right?

Well, listen carefully and you can hear how the first hit after the crash (the downbeat/snare hit) he makes it on the hihat instead of the ride, and instantly changes to it. ;)

(yeah, he could have made it on purpose... but really.. what are the chances?)

Who hasn't started a chorus or something and thought "Oh %/&%!! I should be on the ride!" and changed??? Well, I think that's what happened to Mr. Adler, got recorded and still became a classic. :D

Cheers.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=047jbfCE4p8 Listen carefully after the starting fill, around 0:27. (mistake is the hit at 0:31)
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Old 07-01-2011, 10:19 PM
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Default Re: Drummer Mess Ups

I can think of several but I can't connect to YouTube from where I am. I'll post them later when I get home.
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Old 07-02-2011, 01:04 AM
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  #27  
Old 07-02-2011, 01:10 AM
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Default Re: Drummer Mess Ups

Bruce Springsteen's "Prove it all Night" About 2:08 Max audibly slows down, not in a good way. Between 2:08 and 2:11


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2XG_iVvCKpY
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  #28  
Old 07-02-2011, 02:04 AM
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Default Re: Drummer Mess Ups

From about 1:55 to 2:00, similar to the aforementioned "hi-hat or ride?" moments, Moonie seems to get stuck and can't make up his mind what to do with his right hand for a bit. http://youtu.be/fi_rGnw_B9A

From about 2:07 to 2:09, Billy Cobham hits nothing but sticks and rims. http://youtu.be/l4Q_R-SGCiI

Between 2:27 and 2:29, the snare hits coming in after the break are way out of time. http://youtu.be/3OR6HkGS11c
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  #29  
Old 07-02-2011, 02:22 AM
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Default Re: Drummer Mess Ups

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bermuda
Going way back to 1962, in "Wild Weekend" by the Rockin' Rebels, towards the end of the song, the drummer reverses the beat, the band doesn't adjust to him, and then the track fades as if noone would notice! Shameful. It's impossible to believe that the producer, band, drummer or engineer didn't notice it immediately, or that budgets were so tight, they couldn't do another take. Unless of course that was the best take...
I've heard lots of jarring moments but, like, pkaneps I always give the drummer the benefit of the doubt ... but not that Rocking Rebels tune lol ... massive flubb. My guess is that the vibe of that take was a fair way better than the others and since it was near the end ...

I bet 90% (at least) of the people who bought the single either didn't notice or didn't care about it, and that most of those who did notice were musos :) I'm also pretty sure that the blunder didn't affect the song's sales.


Quote:
Originally Posted by dairyairman View Post
... i was learning "lady marmalade" for my band and i noticed what sounded like a mistake on the original studio recording. about two thirds of the way in, the drummer starts a chorus on the ride cymbal bell, plays about 3 hits, and then quickly shifts back to the hats. it sounded like he started in with the bell but suddenly realized it was too early in the song for that. in the next chorus he starts on the bell and stays on the bell for the rest of the song. it's pretty minor, but it sounds like a mistake and like something i've done before.
I've lost count of the number of times I've done that ... oops, not yet, back to the hats ...

Waaat?? A mistake?? Geddouddahere - I meant to do that! It's nice to toss something different in on the first bar of a passage to unsquare the song a little and freshen the listeners' ears ... right? :)

PS. You lucky dog, Dairyerre ... I always wanted to play Lady Marmalade!


Diego, I didn't hear any issue in the Guns n Roses track. I think he meant to play it that way.
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Old 07-02-2011, 02:52 AM
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Default Re: Drummer Mess Ups

Well, lesse'...there was this one time I'm doing a Santana number...and this HUGE black widow spider rolls down on top of me.

Last edited by Destroy1; 07-02-2011 at 11:32 AM.
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Old 07-02-2011, 02:59 AM
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Old 07-02-2011, 03:12 AM
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Well, lesse'...there was this one time I'm doing a Santana number...and this HUGE black widow spider rolls down on top of me.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JVHUyDxmi_Q

Yeah, I know - predictable :)
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Old 07-02-2011, 03:34 AM
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  #32  
Old 07-02-2011, 08:22 AM
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Default Re: Drummer Mess Ups

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u88ux72tuiQ

At about 0:06 (don't look at the video, it's the first version I found) Travis slows
down for a moment. It stumps me because it's the very beginning of the track,
and it's just single hihat notes. It would have been easy to rerecord.
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Old 07-03-2011, 12:58 AM
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Default Re: Drummer Mess Ups

Quote:
Originally Posted by Too Many Songs View Post
Our inclination when we make a mistake when practising is to stop and reset ourselves. DON'T. Instead try to recover - keep the metronome or the track going and get back to where you want to be whether you are playing rudiments or syncopation or grooves or whatever. In short incorporate practising recovery naturally into your practice regime.
Yes- this is a big deal- you want to be able to make mistakes without losing track of either the time or of your place in the measure.

Recorded mistakes: on Evidence on Thelonious Monk @ the Blackhawk, Billy Higgins apparently doesn't know the tune, because he shifts his time to move the & of 1 hits on the bridge onto beat 2- that's kind of a mess. Also in transcribing the drumming on the guitar solo (in 19/16) from Zappa's "Keep It Greasey", I discovered that Vinnie blew past one of the downbeats- he played a measure of 5/4 instead of 4/4+3/16 (a mistake we've all made a million times). It's difficult to catch unless you're going through the piece measure by measure, because he corrects it instantly- he probably heard that he put the downbeat on the e of 1 as soon as he played it.
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