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  #1  
Old 12-12-2015, 07:23 PM
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Default How do YOU approach playing drums?

It's a very vague, open ended question. I like to know why people do stuff, what are their reasons.

So what are your reasons?

Feel free to vent your spleen :)

Even pull our legs!
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  #2  
Old 12-12-2015, 07:27 PM
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Default Re: How do YOU approach playing drums?

I like the sound. I don't have to tune to the Key of C. I have always had rhythm. I love music. Pretty much it...
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Old 12-12-2015, 07:36 PM
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Default Re: How do YOU approach playing drums?

From the back side of the kit
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  #4  
Old 12-12-2015, 08:03 PM
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Default Re: How do YOU approach playing drums?

Ok I will bite.
I am very focussed on what works in a song. My goals are mostly after 'cool beats' that others in a band can play along to (think maybe Bernard Purdie) or say 'hey thats kinda neat'. I have no interest in solos or solo maneuvers, and no interest in 'speed' at all. I admire speed but that's just not me and I simply don't have the hands.
Another fave is to learn a 'pick up' that will start a song, or a cool approach to end a song. I will work on a rudiment(s) but mostly on a pad. I can't say they get inserted into my playing much, maybe after a year or so. So that is my approach - simple/straight.

oh the why? - i love rhythm, even when its understated, but there.
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  #5  
Old 12-12-2015, 08:39 PM
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Default Re: How do YOU approach playing drums?

Cool story bro. You're pulling my leg, right?

Actually I could have wrote that. I like being an accompanist.
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  #6  
Old 12-12-2015, 08:46 PM
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Default Re: How do YOU approach playing drums?

For me, I like to "feel" the music, as weird and zen as that sounds. Especially if we cover a song, il only listen to the target song once for song structure and then il play my own thing. I play how i feel it should be played with the guys im playing it with.
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  #7  
Old 12-12-2015, 09:24 PM
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Default Re: How do YOU approach playing drums?

Again, its the feel of a song. If it feels right it moves me, so I want to play it. I dont sweat over the minutia of the original drumming, I try to get the feel of the song right and go with that. If it feels right it is right.

I am another who hates drum solos, I am there to accompany the other musicians and to make the song live and breathe. Locking in with a good bass player and feeling the push and pull of a live band, there is nothing better.

Most of my limited chops come from happy mistakes while practicing, that way I feel they are unique to me. They are probably not, but no one taught me to play them, I found them through my own stumbling and experimentation. I love drumming, its a primal and compulsive passion.
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  #8  
Old 12-12-2015, 09:52 PM
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Default Re: How do YOU approach playing drums?

I usually peek at my drums while hiding, if she (yes drums in French are a feminine gender) doesn't see me, I tip toes across the room, making sure I'm as quiet as possible, I slide behind her, seat on the throne and hit her with all the love and passion in the world.
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  #9  
Old 12-12-2015, 10:07 PM
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Default Re: How do YOU approach playing drums?

I love music and making music. Used to listen all day and night - had music playing all time. As a kid, before I held my first pair of sticks, I was being punished by the nuns for tapping my #2 on the desk during math class. I couldn't stop, didn't want to either. I had rhythm, filled empty ice cream cartons with marbles and made my own music.

Have to agree with MikeL, a good connection with a bassist and a tight rhythm section really is like butter for me. Feeling the music. Flow with the song and staying connected with the band, I could play forever.
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  #10  
Old 12-12-2015, 10:25 PM
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Default Re: How do YOU approach playing drums?

Drummers have the power to make people feel good. To me, that's the carrot I chase. I like making people feel good. Good music really does heal, at least temporarily. When you see people getting "lost" momentarily while listening...yea that's what I'm taking about. Out of all the instruments, I feel the drums have the most control over the overall feel of the band/song.
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  #11  
Old 12-12-2015, 11:04 PM
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Default Re: How do YOU approach playing drums?

Please forgive me, I don’t mean to sound smug or arrogant. But I have no idea how I play the drums. It’s like me asking you ‘how do you approach walking.
I started at 5 years old, I stopped playing for 40 years and now it’s like I sit down at the drum set and the drum set plays all by itself.
When I play drums I go deep into another world, deep into another dimension, deep into the music.

There was a recent thread about burying the beater. Honestly, I have no idea what my right foot is doing when it’s playing on the bass drum.
When the band starts playing, I start playing. Simple as that.

Contrary to what you might think, this is not a good thing. Because it is very hard for me to work on improvements.
This is why Larry’s idea of recording yourself playing live has helped me so much.

The post from Thunder 42 reminded me about the most important part of knowing how to play the drums. It really has nothing to do with technique.
It has to do with how you listen to music. Specifically, how you listen to music when you are not playing the drums.
It has to do with what you hear when you listen to music. And your love of music.


.
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  #12  
Old 12-12-2015, 11:25 PM
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Default Re: How do YOU approach playing drums?

I'm kinda timid and shy with the kit at first until I got something good going in my head, but I never play too loud when I'm by myself. I like using weird accents everywhere, whether it's a tom hit, a bark with the hihats, or a couple quick splashes here and there. I like to practice weird, unorthodox fills and beats with lots of space in between. That's when I'm having the most fun.
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  #13  
Old 12-12-2015, 11:27 PM
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Default Re: How do YOU approach playing drums?

I like using a drum machine.

Other that, I respond to melody dynamics much more than rhythm section dynamics and support vocalists. If I have monitors, in the past I've always had as much vocals and rhythm guitar as possible - I tend to ignore bass players as a habit but that's because most of my early gigs were with a terrible bass player. The good bass players I'll happily have there too but the melody/vocals are my primary listen/response focus.
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  #14  
Old 12-13-2015, 12:09 AM
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Default Re: How do YOU approach playing drums?

With original songs, I try to underplay. I guess that works, because nobody's ever asked me to get busier.

With other bands' originals, I try to play the original parts that make the song worth playing in the first place. I guess that works too, because nobody's ever told me to 'make it your own'.

These approaches have worked for me for decades and, as a result, I maintain long-term band affiliations and make a nice living just playing drums.

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  #15  
Old 12-13-2015, 03:49 AM
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Default Re: How do YOU approach playing drums?

I play along with recordings a lot.
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  #16  
Old 12-13-2015, 03:50 AM
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Default Re: How do YOU approach playing drums?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hollywood Jim View Post

There was a recent thread about burying the beater.

.
I thought that what the kids were calling it these days.




In the olden days, I just took off the reso heads, hit the drums and tried to start and stop along with everyone else. I didn't give it much thought.

When I started playing again 4 years ago, I quickly (within a few months) started listening more and playing less.

If it's a cover song, my approach is first to do no harm. Then I listen to the kick pattern, something I honestly really never used to do. Next I will often take the time to closely replicate the small fills, even though no one will ever notice.

If it's someone else's original song, I tend to try something odd. If it's my own original, the drums usually don't get much beyond a tempo keeping scratch track.
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  #17  
Old 12-13-2015, 04:05 AM
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Default Re: How do YOU approach playing drums?

I like playing from the right side of my brain. It's like drawing. Start drawing and 90 minutes later you look at the clock and it feels like 5 minutes just passed. Totally absorbed yet not really knowing what transpired but everyone seems satisfied with your playing.
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  #18  
Old 12-13-2015, 05:43 AM
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Default Re: How do YOU approach playing drums?

I approach my drums like I approach my women. From the back and in a dimly lit bar.
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  #19  
Old 12-13-2015, 06:59 AM
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Default Re: How do YOU approach playing drums?

I've been practicing this technique:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wippooDL6WE
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  #20  
Old 12-13-2015, 01:46 PM
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Default Re: How do YOU approach playing drums?

With joy in my heart, because I know that no matter how crap I am, my drums will sound fantastic, even if I hit them at the wrong time :)

Seriously though, I know I go on and on about it all the time but it's true: the Gurus have totally transformed my playing, as well as my perception of myself. I absolutely LOVE to listen to them, so everything I do, is done with the specific objective of making them sound as good as I can get them to, and doing them justice insofar as I'm capable.
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  #21  
Old 12-13-2015, 01:58 PM
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Default Re: How do YOU approach playing drums?

Quote:
Originally Posted by opentune View Post
Ok I will bite.
I am very focussed on what works in a song. My goals are mostly after 'cool beats' that others in a band can play along to (think maybe Bernard Purdie) or say 'hey thats kinda neat'. I have no interest in solos or solo maneuvers, and no interest in 'speed' at all. I admire speed but that's just not me and I simply don't have the hands.
Another fave is to learn a 'pick up' that will start a song, or a cool approach to end a song. I will work on a rudiment(s) but mostly on a pad. I can't say they get inserted into my playing much, maybe after a year or so. So that is my approach - simple/straight.

oh the why? - i love rhythm, even when its understated, but there.
If you want to think like Purdie then you will start taking credit for everything Ringo ever did.
LOL!
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  #22  
Old 12-15-2015, 01:53 AM
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Default Re: How do YOU approach playing drums?

Funny you should ask at this particular time.
I JUST had an unprecedented gig where I played nothing but brushes on a snare whilst accompanying a friend on his acoustic guitar.
Just the two of us.
NO rehearsal.......just a cold start.

We played ANY and All requests all night. That was the gig. LOTS of fun.
I approached it by watching his hands like a hawk, and peripherally watching his overall body language. I had to adapt to every little nuance I could perceive on the spot and just fill in whatever made sense to me that would sound good, based on what I heard him play, as I didn't know 80% of the requests.

Again, like you said before...I like being an accompanist.

I don't get to play that much because of time constraints, but it was really nice to get a compliment from the guitarist after the gig about my playing.
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  #23  
Old 12-15-2015, 02:40 AM
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Default Re: How do YOU approach playing drums?

... as a sound financial investment.


Well, it's a nice thought at least.
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  #24  
Old 12-15-2015, 03:29 AM
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Default Re: How do YOU approach playing drums?

Drumming is a language and music is the conversation. I gotta figure out the general vibe of what's being said, say my piece when appropriate, but mostly enjoy the effortless back and forth of discussion. Sometimes you're arguing with an arch nemesis (looking at YOU, Larry...), and sometimes you're consoling a grieving family member. Sometimes wit and snark are what's needed, and sometimes it's best to listen and say little. Always have something to say, be supportive, and, first and foremost, keep the conversation interesting and appropriate for the setting.

...or, just play a part. Whatevs...
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Old 12-15-2015, 03:50 AM
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  #25  
Old 12-15-2015, 04:14 AM
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Default Re: How do YOU approach playing drums?

Quote:
Originally Posted by caddywumpus View Post
Drumming is a language and music is the conversation. I gotta figure out the general vibe of what's being said, say my piece when appropriate, but mostly enjoy the effortless back and forth of discussion. Sometimes you're arguing with an arch nemesis (looking at YOU, Larry...), and sometimes you're consoling a grieving family member. Sometimes wit and snark are what's needed, and sometimes it's best to listen and say little. Always have something to say, be supportive, and, first and foremost, keep the conversation interesting and appropriate for the setting.

...or, just play a part. Whatevs...
Good stuff. Anyone who writes something like this, I'd like to hear that person play. Like you take the playing from 3 dimensions to the 4th dimension. Or demention, whatever.

But why did it HAVE to be you that wrote this?

Look at us we have Caddy and DMC posting in the same day. Just like old times again :)
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  #26  
Old 12-15-2015, 04:49 AM
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Default Re: How do YOU approach playing drums?

With meditation and discipline.
Meditation allows imagination to flourish clearly.
Discipline structures it for others to perceive.
Ultimately, the music is played through you rather than you playing the music.
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  #27  
Old 12-15-2015, 04:55 AM
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Default Re: How do YOU approach playing drums?

I try to play the music I'd want to listen to.
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  #28  
Old 12-15-2015, 05:02 AM
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Default Re: How do YOU approach playing drums?

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Originally Posted by alparrott View Post
I try to play the music I'd want to listen to.
Me too!

So far, no dice. I take solace that occasionally other people want to listen, though!

Ah, well. I'll keep at it. Fun all the same.
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  #29  
Old 12-15-2015, 07:29 AM
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Default Re: How do YOU approach playing drums?

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Originally Posted by Ben Corbitt View Post
With medication and discipline.
I fixed your post. We're now in total agreement. ;)
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  #30  
Old 12-15-2015, 07:34 AM
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Default Re: How do YOU approach playing drums?

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Originally Posted by Dr_Watso View Post
I approach my drums like I approach my women. From the back and in a dimly lit bar.
I approach my drums like I approach a man. First thing in the morning, and right before bedtime.
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  #31  
Old 12-15-2015, 07:53 AM
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Default Re: How do YOU approach playing drums?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Magenta View Post
With joy in my heart, because I know that no matter how crap I am, my drums will sound fantastic, even if I hit them at the wrong time :)

Seriously though, I know I go on and on about it all the time but it's true: the Gurus have totally transformed my playing, as well as my perception of myself. I absolutely LOVE to listen to them, so everything I do, is done with the specific objective of making them sound as good as I can get them to, and doing them justice insofar as I'm capable.
This is a post worth quoting.

Just because.

I approach my drums like I approach my woman:

With unbridled enthusiasm, unabashed eagerness and scant regard for the consequences.
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Old 12-15-2015, 08:20 AM
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Default Re: How do YOU approach playing drums?

Quote:
Originally Posted by elle View Post
I approach my drums like I approach a man. First thing in the morning, and right before bedtime.
That's awesome. I'm a huge fan of the "right before bedtime" sandwich.
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  #33  
Old 12-15-2015, 10:12 AM
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Default Re: How do YOU approach playing drums?

Hand on heart I have to admit I just like knocking the hell out of the drums.

I smack them about. I crash my ride cymbal, ride my crash cymbals. I've got a mega noisy 24" ride cymbal which I play about as subtly as a steam train approaching and a really deep bass drum which just goes BOOOOM

I have no idea what I'm playing half the time. And I'm sure every time I play a song I play it differently than the time before. I've got no finesse. No technique.

Nothing puts me off more than a drummer pontificating about his drumming skills "yeah, I play around the music maaaaan and have a really cool syncopathic paraddidly cha cha with ghost notes on the 2 and 4 and a cool basso nova going on in the background.". Yeah. whatever.

I only ever wanted to learn drums to be able to play in a punk rock band which is what I currently do. If I stopped playing in a punk rock band I'd sell them as I simply wouldn't be able to see the point.

Industrial and one dimensional....hell yeah.
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Old 12-15-2015, 03:07 PM
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Default Re: How do YOU approach playing drums?

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Originally Posted by SquadLeader View Post
Hand on heart I have to admit I just like knocking the hell out of the drums.

I smack them about. I crash my ride cymbal, ride my crash cymbals. I've got a mega noisy 24" ride cymbal which I play about as subtly as a steam train approaching and a really deep bass drum which just goes BOOOOM

I have no idea what I'm playing half the time. And I'm sure every time I play a song I play it differently than the time before. I've got no finesse. No technique.

Nothing puts me off more than a drummer pontificating about his drumming skills "yeah, I play around the music maaaaan and have a really cool syncopathic paraddidly cha cha with ghost notes on the 2 and 4 and a cool basso nova going on in the background.". Yeah. whatever.

I only ever wanted to learn drums to be able to play in a punk rock band which is what I currently do. If I stopped playing in a punk rock band I'd sell them as I simply wouldn't be able to see the point.

Industrial and one dimensional....hell yeah.

Right On .....


.
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Old 12-15-2015, 09:04 PM
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Default Re: How do YOU approach playing drums?

Garage. My ears never left 1966 to 1975. It doesn't matter what I play - rock, pop, jazz, fusion, blues, MOR, you name it - I always bring a bit of the garage with me.

It's not like I bring a screwdriver to jams :) just that my garage rock roots are always there. I haven't listened to or played that style for eons and these days can only enjoy playing loud in short stretches before the noise pisses me off (get off my lawn!).

But I still always hear a bit of that garage looseness and goofiness in the playback, even when I thought I'd been playing silky smooth.
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Old 12-15-2015, 09:34 PM
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Default Re: How do YOU approach playing drums?

Today I like to think I approach them the right way, to make music sound better.To get out of the living room.That takes work and time,I seem to have more of that now, winter is here and I am semi retired.
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  #37  
Old 12-15-2015, 09:56 PM
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Default Re: How do YOU approach playing drums?

My whole philosophy revolves around showmanship. 5 facets in particular. The gear, the threads, the performance, the groove and the vocal.

:P
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  #38  
Old 12-15-2015, 10:10 PM
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Default Re: How do YOU approach playing drums?

Quote:
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My whole philosophy revolves around showmanship. 5 facets in particular. The gear, the threads, the performance, the groove and the vocal.

:P
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  #39  
Old 12-15-2015, 10:16 PM
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Default Re: How do YOU approach playing drums?

I'm seeing if anyone can pinpoint the source of that quote.

C'mon Al, you know who I'm talking about. You're pulling my leg!
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Old 12-15-2015, 10:25 PM
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Default Re: How do YOU approach playing drums?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SquadLeader View Post
Hand on heart I have to admit I just like knocking the hell out of the drums.

I smack them about. I crash my ride cymbal, ride my crash cymbals. I've got a mega noisy 24" ride cymbal which I play about as subtly as a steam train approaching and a really deep bass drum which just goes BOOOOM

... And I'm sure every time I play a song I play it differently than the time before.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anon La Ply View Post
Garage. ... I always bring a bit of the garage with me.

It's not like I bring a screwdriver to jams :) just that my garage rock roots are always there. ...

But I still always hear a bit of that garage looseness and goofiness in the playback, even when I thought I'd been playing silky smooth.
I'm pretty much the same way. Even when I think I'm laying back and sticking it simply, it still comes out a little more than that on playback.

I also try not to overthink it too much when in the throes of playing. Mostly I'm listening to the other players and putting some "English" on whatever it is they're doing, so I don't really set out to do anything in particular, instead letting my parts emerge more or less organically to fit in with what they're doing while trying to find a pulse everyone can hang their hat on.

But I have my particular ways of playing and thinking about music, so there's almost always a common thread to my playing whatever the music might be ... which gets into the interesting question over what a "rut" is or something done out of habit or laziness vs what can be attributed to the individual "style" of the player. It's probably both.

In my case, I like me some pretty gnarly rock action and like to play with a fair amount of attitude. My drummy choices trace back to Peter Erskine-era Weather Report with some over-the-top Dave Weckl / Keith Moon flavors.

Not that I'm good like those guys; they're just where some of my biggest drummy influences came from that are still present in my playing. There are tons of others in there as well, but if pressed hard enough, I'd have to say those guys.

If there was ever a jazz-punk crossover (Scratch Acid?), that'd be about where I approach the drums from.
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