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Old 02-17-2010, 08:57 PM
TheGroceryman TheGroceryman is offline
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Default what does being "good" mean?

I had a little conversation with a drummer buddy of mine about what actually constitutes being "good" at an instrument. it stemmed from yet another conversation about who we thought were more competent musicians: classical musicians or jazz/improvisational musicians. We both agreed that greats like hancock, rollins and coltrane got more respect from us than the greatest classical musicians because we believe improvisation is at a higher "musical level" than reading pre-written music.

Then we thought that being prominent at your instrument is not really being able to play beethoven's 9th symphony on cello or whatever, but its the ability to create music without pre-conceived thought. that is, creating music automatically.

Im interested to see what you guys think of this.
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Old 02-17-2010, 10:40 PM
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Default Re: what does being "good" mean?

If someone's playing captures my attention and admiration, then I consider them good. I don't try to apply anyone else's criteria to it. I can't nail it down any better than that.

I think when you're comparing jazz playing with classical playing, you're really comparing apples to oranges. Classical is deliberately composed (by the composer) and played by others that may not even include the composer, while in improvisational jazz, the "compositions" are coming on the fly from the players.

You'd first have to decide if you're comparing the compositions, or the players' abilities. I think it's like comparing architecture to semi-synchronized kite flying.

Last edited by MikeM; 02-17-2010 at 11:25 PM.
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Old 02-17-2010, 11:32 PM
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larryace larryace is online now
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Default Re: what does being "good" mean?

You don't have to be great at your instrument to be a good musician. You don't have to have a great voice to be a good singer. It's deeper than that, it's how well you communicate your thoughts/feelings through the instrument of your choice. In other words it's not the proficiency of the instrument, it's the level of musicianship.
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Old 02-17-2010, 11:42 PM
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Default Re: what does being "good" mean?

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Originally Posted by larryace View Post
You don't have to be great at your instrument to be a good musician. You don't have to have a great voice to be a good singer. It's deeper than that, it's how well you communicate your thoughts/feelings through the instrument of your choice. In other words it's not the proficiency of the instrument, it's the level of musicianship.
Thank you Larry - you made me realize how glad I am that John Lennon wasn't a trained opera singer!
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Old 02-17-2010, 11:49 PM
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Ian Williams Ian Williams is offline
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Default Re: what does being "good" mean?

The drummer that can make good music out of trash bin.
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Old 02-18-2010, 12:12 AM
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Default Re: what does being "good" mean?

Was Bob Dylan good? His voice is terrible but he sure could communicate his message to the world. Good is too subjective to define, as are great and wonderful.
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  #7  
Old 02-18-2010, 03:58 PM
Orko111 Orko111 is offline
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Default Re: what does being "good" mean?

If I like it then itīs good. If I really like it, itīs great.

I donīt think there is much point in arguing that much further....

Last edited by Orko111; 02-18-2010 at 03:58 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 02-18-2010, 10:47 PM
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Default Re: what does being "good" mean?

Yes, wow that is a loaded question. Do other musicians think I am good or just the public? HHMMMM? Which one matters more? I have played gigs and members of the audience though it was great and the bass player wanted to strangle me, so that is just a tough question. An Alex Van halen type drum solo will wow the crowd and bore the purists but a perfect buzz role will bore the crowd. I try to do well and keep em all happy if possible! If you keep on getting gigs, you must be good.
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Old 02-18-2010, 11:15 PM
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Default Re: what does being "good" mean?

As people here have said, "good" is how well you present yourself and, thus, how you are perceived. Granted, someone who is very proficient at the technical aspects of their instruments of choice have an easier time making themselves look "good".

Beyond mere technical ability, there is heart and there is creativity. Those people who can perform at a decent level of technical ability but put a lot of heart and thought into their playing shine through more readily.
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Old 02-18-2010, 11:43 PM
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Default Re: what does being "good" mean?

If being a classical musician only meant reading the notes someone else wrote then Julliard wouldn't be the special place that it is and anyone could play with the New York Phil or Boston Symphony.
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  #11  
Old 02-18-2010, 11:51 PM
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Default Re: what does being "good" mean?

The best ideas are the simple ones, IMO. I simply see being "good" as having solid command of the instrument and the ability to express yourself creatively. A great orator can express his thoughts and feelings through words eloquently and with ease. A great musician can do the same with an instrument.
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Old 02-19-2010, 03:13 AM
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Pollyanna Pollyanna is offline
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Default Re: what does being "good" mean?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Orko111 View Post
If I like it then itīs good. If I really like it, itīs great.
Ditto

Everyone's vision is 20/20 in hindsight
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  #13  
Old 02-19-2010, 04:48 AM
brownie1969 brownie1969 is offline
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Default Re: what does being "good" mean?

Good?.... Obscure.........Bad.... obvious.
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  #14  
Old 02-19-2010, 05:01 AM
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Default Re: what does being "good" mean?

I think it's all about how you express your creativity and whether that comes across to touch others. If you asked me to sit down and play the piano or perform with my keyboard on a gig, well that's just not me. I get an idea and go with it like a writer would - letting it build, and then the additional layers usually just come on their own. I'm talking about keyboard at this point. I wish I could perform as well as I can compose, but at least I've got that with the keys.

Being a drummer is a different thing, but I think the idea is the same. The guys I see here that really impress me do it in a musical way. I'm in another group, at least as a drummer anyway - got to work harder at it to make it sound good. I've got pretty good time but it's all the other stuff that makes the whole package as a drummer elusive and challenging. Like someone already said here, you know it when you hear it and there is no doubt that it's good.

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Old 02-19-2010, 07:46 AM
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Default Re: what does being "good" mean?

Good... bad...


There are only those with more to learn than others. Being good probably means you realise how much you have to learn!
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  #16  
Old 02-19-2010, 07:54 AM
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Default Re: what does being "good" mean?

Quote:
Originally Posted by zambizzi View Post
I simply see being "good" as having solid command of the instrument and the ability to express yourself creatively. A great orator can express his thoughts and feelings through words eloquently and with ease. A great musician can do the same with an instrument.
My favorite response so far.
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Old 02-19-2010, 05:42 PM
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alparrott alparrott is offline
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Default Re: what does being "good" mean?

I would also like to throw in one more concept as we develop (redevelop? Seems this is similar to another recent thread) the concept of the "good" drummer.

He may not be the most flashy, technically proficient, or even best educated drummer, but his playing takes the song to a place it could not have reached without his interpretation.

Even the most simple of beats, played without conviction, can be screwed up; and a very technically proficient drummer can end up overplaying on what needed to be an open, spacious, feel-filled part.
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Old 02-20-2010, 05:51 AM
ccsimms ccsimms is offline
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Default Re: what does being "good" mean?

for drummers good technique and time and playing appropriately.
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  #19  
Old 02-20-2010, 06:06 AM
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Fishnmusicn Fishnmusicn is offline
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Default Re: what does being "good" mean?

Quote:
Originally Posted by alparrott View Post
I would also like to throw in one more concept as we develop (redevelop? Seems this is similar to another recent thread) the concept of the "good" drummer.

He may not be the most flashy, technically proficient, or even best educated drummer, but his playing takes the song to a place it could not have reached without his interpretation.

Even the most simple of beats, played without conviction, can be screwed up; and a very technically proficient drummer can end up overplaying on what needed to be an open, spacious, feel-filled part.
You're right - it's all about feel. When you feel it you'll put everything in the right place and it will fit.
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