DRUMMERWORLD OFFICIAL DISCUSSION FORUM   

Go Back   DRUMMERWORLD OFFICIAL DISCUSSION FORUM > General Discussion

General Discussion General discussion forum for all drum related topics. Use this forum to exchange ideas and information with your fellow drummers.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
  #161  
Old 06-06-2009, 08:52 PM
raggletaggle raggletaggle is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 46
Default Re: Feel or Technique, importance?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Almeyda View Post

Musical performance has nothing to do with democracy.

Exactly. I'm so sick and tired of going concerts where the crowd is supposedly "enjoying" a performance without actually knowing the scientific concepts behind it. It smacks of typical leftist ideologies.
Reply With Quote
  #162  
Old 06-07-2009, 02:17 AM
donv donv is offline
Silver Member
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 545
Default Re: Feel or Technique, importance?

Seems that what's being implied is an audiance that has paid to see this or that group shouldn't have any expectations about what they are buying. If that intangible thing "groove" is what determines the value or quality of a show and the groove happening is determined by another intangible outside of technique know as "feel" which is determined by the emotional state of being of the musicians, then every show is a crap shoot. You don't know what is going to happen or "who" is going to turn up on any given day.

I don't believe that. There has to be something more to it. A professional should be able to leave their baggage at the door and deliver what's expected of them everyday\night.
Reply With Quote
  #163  
Old 06-07-2009, 02:41 AM
willieboy_sf's Avatar
willieboy_sf willieboy_sf is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 185
Default Re: Feel or Technique, importance?

[quote=raggletaggle;583366] It smacks of typical leftist ideologies.

How does appreciation of music have anything to do with political ideology? In any event, what is a "typical leftist ideology" in this context?
Reply With Quote
  #164  
Old 06-07-2009, 03:09 AM
con struct's Avatar
con struct con struct is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Lumpen post-industrial district
Posts: 2,063
Default Re: Feel or Technique, importance?

I've been reading this thread and I've come to a conclusion. I don't believe in feel. I don't believe in groove. I don't believe in something that can't be quanitified or proved in some way, and I certainly don't believe in the supernatural.
All I can count on is my ability to play what I can play, that's what I bring to the drums, whatever it is that I've got in the way of technique. Lots of drummers have more technique than I do and some have a lot less. But all the really good drummers have one thing in common, which is a love for playing.
Think about it. Have you ever seen a drummer who hates to play the drums? I can't recall that I ever have. Now I have seen drummers who love to play but are just lousy musicians, but those don't even count in this or any other discussion about playing the drums.
Is it possible to love to play a musical instrument without loving music? I guess it is, but that's pretty weird.
Whatever groove and feel mean, then, is probably just a result of loving what you're doing while you bring all the technique you have to bear on the music you're playing.
I can't play sports at all, so I would never try to play sports. If I was in a position to have to try I sure wouldn't be very happy because I'd suck at it. But I can play the drums, so whatever feel or groove I get going is the direct result of me enjoying my technique. If I didn't have any technique there's no way I could have a good time trying to play the drums, and so there wouldn't be any feel or groove at all.
Does this make any sense at all?
__________________
Call me J
Reply With Quote
  #165  
Old 06-07-2009, 03:16 AM
Pollyanna's Avatar
Pollyanna Pollyanna is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Cyberspace, Sydney connection
Posts: 9,971
Default Re: Feel or Technique, importance?

Just clear something up before moving on:

Quote:
Respectfully, I'm just a little surprised that you and others feel the need to continually lecture about an epiphany usually attained by most people who are serious.
Matt, I have done nothing of the sort. I've shared experiences, asked questions, made observations and, mostly, soaked up people's knowledge. I really wish there was a forum like this when I was playing around the traps in my youth.

I admit to lecturing on this thread about the pointlessness of people imposing status in the arts, which should be the most egalitarian of pastimes. I detest competitiveness in the arts and remember the disappointment when being told bands I was in were entered into competitions - turning music into sport. And before I'm accused of sour grapes we either won or or were places in nearly all of them. All it meant is that some people liked what we did more than the other bands and some money/gigs. I love playing and listening to music and I don't care what about anyone's opinion is of my playing but those of my band mates and audiences. I enjoy constructive criticism but put downs are bad form in my books.

Is the motivation to encourage drummers who think they are taking short cuts that they are taking the long route? Or is this about trying to establish an informal status ranking on the site with the formally trained players at the top?

Normally I'd let this stuff ride but I think some of the words on this thread would be discouraging and suck people's energy rather than inspiring them.

I agree with RaggleTaggle. There is an undercurrent of politics in this - conservatism vs liberalism. I see two major poles in conservatism - those who simply want progress to be made a a slow and orderly manner and those are so intent on achieving this that they resent the breaking of rules which lies at the heart of innovative breakthroughs.

One lone self-taught pounder probably won't change anything much (unless he's called Keith Moon) but a whole lot of them whose stance is "Rules? I just do what I do things that I like" end up creating new genres. For example punk, which spawned new wave and hugely altered the face of rock music. As a "boring old fart" myself I prefer the "boring old fart" bands they decried, but it's all valid because the music touches a lot of people. Blues and jazz and rock'n'roll also stemmed from renegades who didn't do things "properly". My grandmother was disgusted by what she saw as the crudeness of the waltz, when it came in.

As I said, one allegedly inadequate self-taught musician won't change much, but if there's a lot of them, then new things happen.

Jazz appears to have become an elitist art from - the classical music of the 20th century - where a number of its proponents will look down their noses at those making "folk music" (in the sense of "music for the people") and discourage those seeking out new approaches without "earning their stripes" (like Brian Eno, Moe Tucker and Keith Moon).

I don't think this stern judgmentalism is such a great thing, given the jolly rebellious spirit of old jazz. I watch Gene Krupa whacking away at his kit and it seems light years away from the stern jazzers who look down their noses at the musical plebs. Thankfully, some jazzers are comfortable enough in their own skin to focus more on their joy than the alleged inadequacies of others.

Now THAT was a lecture ... lol

PS. Conrad, yes, it makes sense :)

Last edited by Pollyanna; 06-07-2009 at 08:32 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #166  
Old 06-07-2009, 03:35 AM
brittc89's Avatar
brittc89 brittc89 is offline
Pioneer Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Colorado
Posts: 1,489
Default Re: Feel or Technique, importance?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pollyanna View Post
As I said, one allegedly inadequate self-taught musician won't change much, but if there's a lot of them, then new things happen.
I dont agree with this. Listen to John Coltrane play on Giant Steps. Then listen to Ascension. This was a man who learned the rules, and then he absolutely shattered them. And thats why it isnt just sqeuaks and squonks on vinyl, because he knew what he was doing, via his knowledge of harmony, to give substance to his music. Im a proponent of learning the rules before you decide you can just break them (many people dont even make that decision, they just try and pass off BS as something because they dont know what theyre doing. Sadly, sometimes it catches on).
Reply With Quote
  #167  
Old 06-07-2009, 03:47 AM
Pollyanna's Avatar
Pollyanna Pollyanna is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Cyberspace, Sydney connection
Posts: 9,971
Default Re: Feel or Technique, importance?

From the article, What Coltrane Wanted (emphasis is mine) http://www.theatlantic.com/unbound/jazz/strickla.htm :
... "Alabama," a riveting elegy for the victims of the infamous Sunday-morning church bombing in Birmingham in 1963. Here, as in the early version of his most famous ballad, "Naima," Coltrane is as spare in phrasing as he is bleak in tone. That tone, criticized by many as hard-edged and emotionally impoverished, is inseparable from Coltrane's achievement, conveying as it does a sense of absolute purity through the abnegation of sentimentality.

Sonny Rollins, the contemporary tenor most admired by Coltrane, always had a richer tone, and Coltrane himself said of the mellifluous Stan Getz, "Let's face it--we'd all sound like that if we could." Despite these frequent and generous tributes, Coltrane's aim was different ...
Necessity is the mother of invention. If he could have played like Stan Getz hard bop may look a bit different today.

Last edited by Pollyanna; 06-07-2009 at 08:23 AM.
Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2009, 03:53 AM
brittc89
This message has been deleted by brittc89.
  #168  
Old 06-07-2009, 03:53 AM
Steamer's Avatar
Steamer Steamer is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Vancouver B.C. Canada
Posts: 3,755
Default Re: Feel or Technique, importance?

Quote:
Originally Posted by brittc89 View Post
I dont agree with this. Listen to John Coltrane play on Giant Steps. Then listen to Ascension. This was a man who learned the rules, and then he absolutely shattered them. And thats why it isnt just sqeuaks and squonks on vinyl, because he knew what he was doing, via his knowledge of harmony, to give substance to his music. Im a proponent of learning the rules before you decide you can just break them (many people dont even make that decision, they just try and pass off BS as something because they dont know what theyre doing. Sadly, sometimes it catches on).
Yes indeed Britt and NOTHING comes out of a vacuum especially anything of lasting quality musically speaking as time has already shown us and the drumming element contained in it. The creative art of playing music is a constant act in motion always changing/evolving never sitting still as you go along when one put one's soul, heart, love of doing it, concept into the "feel' or feeling in the music that one wants to deliver with one's personal "technique" of playing the instrument at hand.

You have to learn to walk before you run..... this applies too to all the rebels and rule breakers in all forms of what makes up music as history has also shown us.
__________________
Stan

ISTANBUL AGOP CYMBALS
PEACE DRUMS

www.myspace.com/setstan
Reply With Quote
  #169  
Old 06-07-2009, 04:03 AM
con struct's Avatar
con struct con struct is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Lumpen post-industrial district
Posts: 2,063
Default Re: Feel or Technique, importance?

Technique we all understand, obviously. How many times do you see the books "Stick Control" or "The Art of Bebop Drumming," among many others, being mentioned here?
But feel, groove, now that are those? Perhaps it would be better for us to say what it means to us, personally, rather than try to say that these things represent some kind of universal standard, a standard that is to be applied across the board in the same way as a drummer's ability to play, say, a very fast and clean single stroke roll.
Does the WFD have a "feel" competition? Of course not, at least I sure hope it doesn't.
__________________
Call me J
Reply With Quote
  #170  
Old 06-07-2009, 04:21 AM
Deltadrummer's Avatar
Deltadrummer Deltadrummer is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Long Island NY
Posts: 2,681
Default Re: Feel or Technique, importance?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steamer View Post
I remember back in 79 this very question coming up at a drum clinic in Seattle hosted by the great Louie Bellson. Louie's response was clear and to the point when the question of technique/feel came up to all those in attendance. You need to decide how much "technique" you need to get across your musical "point of view" and ideas on the drums and especially in regards to the context of playing ensemble music with others. After that the subject of stand alone technique/chops only becomes a case of "diminishing returns" according to Louie. In his case as a jazz musician he stated "if it aint got the swing it don't mean a thing" as a practical example of personal wisdom on the subject.

Everyone is different as are all snowflakes so as with what we want to get across musically speaking. So we each have to decide how to crack this personal equation and find a good balance point on what we truly need and have to say regarding this timeless debated subject of technique and feel.
Hi Stan,

It’s always great to read your posts.

One of the things that I've been struggling with and have shared with you both personally and on the forum, is really getting my group to groove. I read in The Jazz Drummer's Workshop where John said that many of the great rhythm sections did not play in sync. The bass was behind the drummer or vice versa. He said, “As long as the relationship between the bass player’s placement of the beat and the drummer’s placement of the beat is consistent, it will groove.” I read Peter Erskine saying something similar in Drumhead magazine. He says, “The role of the rhythm section is not to play in unison but to provide contrast.”

When he first joined Weather Report, he had a heard time with keeping the band together. One day when the band lost the downbeat he struggled to get it back on track. Joe Zawinul had a fit after the show and said he should just let the time happen with a lot of %^&^ #%%$, so it was important to him.

I've learned, the hard way that you have to allow the guys to do what they want to do, and as long as you are focused, it will come in to place, (and if not you can just roll!) I remember some one told me that once. You know I’ve been putting your great advise into action.

Knowing how to give players what they need is really the art form, and now when I listen back to my band, I am happy that we are able to groove.

Thanks Stan
__________________
Ken Marino Drum Teacher "It's not worth keeping score. You win some. You lose some, you let it go"
Reply With Quote
  #171  
Old 06-07-2009, 04:32 AM
Steamer's Avatar
Steamer Steamer is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Vancouver B.C. Canada
Posts: 3,755
Default Re: Feel or Technique, importance?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deltadrummer View Post
Hi Stan,

It’s always great to read your posts.

One of the things that I've been struggling with and have shared with you both personally and on the forum, is really getting my group to groove. I read in The Jazz Drummer's Workshop where John said that many of the great rhythm sections did not play in sync. The bass was behind the drummer or vice versa. He said, “As long as the relationship between the bass player’s placement of the beat and the drummer’s placement of the beat is consistent, it will groove.” I read Peter Erskine saying something similar in Drumhead magazine. He says, “The role of the rhythm section is not to play in unison but to provide contrast.”

When he first joined Weather Report, he had a heard time with keeping the band together. One day when the band lost the downbeat he struggled to get it back on track. Joe Zawinul had a fit after the show and said he should just let the time happen with a lot of %^&^ #%%$, so it was important to him.

I've learned, the hard way that you have to allow the guys to do what they want to do, and as long as you are focused, it will come in to place, (and if not you can just roll!) I remember some one told me that once. You know I’ve been putting your great advise into action.

Knowing how to give players what they need is really the art form, and now when I listen back to my band, I am happy that we are able to groove.

Thanks Stan
You are most welcome Ken and the learning curve for ALL of us regardless of experience and age is a creative learning process always in constant motion and flex directly related to our feel/technique/concept which all change and become fined tuned as time goes on.

Nice to hear where your personal musical journey, "drum wisdom" as Bob Moses calls it {has} is taking you Ken.
__________________
Stan

ISTANBUL AGOP CYMBALS
PEACE DRUMS

www.myspace.com/setstan
Reply With Quote
  #172  
Old 06-07-2009, 08:52 AM
mattsmith's Avatar
mattsmith mattsmith is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Most Everywhere
Posts: 1,915
Default Re: Feel or Technique, importance?

Quote:
Originally Posted by raggletaggle View Post
Actually Matt, they're grapes, and preferably not the sour kind.
So, is your contribution here to make snide comments when someone believes your cynicism is pointless? I mean, all you ever seem to do on posts is say something unsubstantiated and cocky, wait for the response, then make a comment like the one above if the other guy dares appear more clever. This is actually a pretty good thread. I'm also a big boy who can take it. Why not talk nice and you'll get better responses.

Later.

Polly,

I really do appreciate the depth of your responses and yes I agree with the whole political thing. But I will say this and as someone who has been doing the forum thing for awhile, it really is the truth. Guys like Jeff and I are usually minding our own business when yet another presents a thread like this, essentially reading as a manifesto against practice, in hopes that some extra dimensional spirituality premise will eliminate enough work to make a beginner sound professional. Believe me on these forums, that is the hope and dream of most, excluding those like yourself and others who actually take the time to think. As for competition, I don't like it either. But if you're not up for it, I wish you the best. But the competitor will still get the gig. After all, if you don't compete for the spot, then you're doing nothing, and all the readings of Effortless Mastery won't change that.
__________________
I endorse Zildjian sticks because I like them.
Reply With Quote
  #173  
Old 06-07-2009, 09:30 AM
aydee aydee is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 7,413
Default Re: Feel or Technique, importance?

...

As a personal challenge to understand the word 'technique' in the context of this thread, I scoured Google and came across an interesting perspective that I thought some of us might enjoy reading ( Stylus Magazine ):



"You have to divide expressions of technique into 2 camps: demonstrative and non-demonstrative.

The former is much easier to recognize, because it’s technique applied primarily toward the revelation of itself.

Long, unscripted solos, mind-scrambling compound time signatures, any execution of an excessively challenging part: These are examples of demonstrative technique.
If a musician is considered to have “chops,” chances are he’s expressed demonstrative technique in some form or another.

Non-demonstrative technique covers just about everything else.

There’s non-demonstrative technique at work in every song, ever.

A sloppy performance of some middle schooler’s three-chord ABAB sketch won’t express a lot of technique, but it will express technique, as will any performance that serves the pretension of form or even just intends the sounds it produces.
Most of what we consider to be great performances feature at least some demonstrative technique, but few—few in rock anyway—feature only that.

Jimi Hendrix’s “Voodoo Child” solo at Woodstock, for instance, is more than just the testimony of one of the most technically gifted rock guitarists; it’s also an attempt to make a statement about the significance of a moment, an effort to rise to an impossibly huge platform. Not only can technique be marshaled to perform larger-than-music feats, sometimes it’s required.

Popular music routinely produces great bands whose collective grasp of technique falls short of expert.

The low-tech masterpieces of immortals like the Velvet Underground or Bob Dylan are no argument for why technique is trivial; if anything, they only encourage shoptalk because they stand as exceptions among exceptions.

You don’t wind up a great musician by ignoring your rudiments unless you’re some kind of genius who can rig up a whole anti-technique technique around your gaps.
And critics don’t nurture great musicians by setting technique low on the agenda, or omitting it altogether.


...

Last edited by aydee; 06-07-2009 at 09:50 AM.
Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2009, 09:31 AM
aydee
This message has been deleted by aydee. Reason: duplicate
  #174  
Old 06-07-2009, 11:32 AM
Pollyanna's Avatar
Pollyanna Pollyanna is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Cyberspace, Sydney connection
Posts: 9,971
Default Re: Feel or Technique, importance?

Matt, yeah, this is a good thread, although not everyone likes it. It covers a lot of angles.

I guess it could be seen as a manifesto against practice. It doesn't have to be, though. The Louie Bellson comment in one of Steamer's posts put it well:

Quote:
You need to decide how much "technique" you need to get across your musical "point of view" and ideas on the drums and especially in regards to the context of playing ensemble music with others. After that the subject of stand alone technique/chops only becomes a case of "diminishing returns" ...
Agree with aydee in that not practising much is generally poor career move, but I don't think genius is necessary to succeed with a simple technique. It's more about finding a fit with a band with idiosyncratic appeal.

Brian Eno was quoted as saying that his favourite musicians were those with either consummate technical skill or no technical skill because they were the ones who were most expressive; ie. technique is not an issue with them.

Ringo wasn't some genius with a vision to approach drumming with great musicality. He was simply down-to-earth and put the song ahead of his drumming, and he had a good imagination. He doesn't strike me as one who'd look for an opportunity to throw in his latest cool chops. It was as though he wasn't a drummer as such, more a listener who happened to play drums well enough to work in a few genres.

Still, I don't advocate anything over another in drumming; we all just follow our noses. No drama. I enjoy drummers who bring something a bit different to the table, who can bring distinctive and appealing "signature" patterns that capture the particular mood of a song - or create it, often by using space effectively. Maybe some drummers would benefit from including John Cage's 3'33" on their regular practice song list? :)

As for competitiveness, I guess if money and/or prestige is involved then it's always there. Fair point.
Reply With Quote
  #175  
Old 06-07-2009, 11:54 AM
drumbandit's Avatar
drumbandit drumbandit is offline
Silver Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: LONDON, ENGLAND
Posts: 801
Default Re: Feel or Technique, importance?

I think for a drummer to spend a lot of time getting their technique right, they must enjoy playing the drums so much that feel must be a part of their drumming in some way.

Drummers which have both are clearly the end to any debate over which is more important e.g. Benny Greb, technique and feel.

Tom
__________________
Hayman drums, K customs, Brady snares. My Band - http://www.myspace.com/theblackheartsengland
Reply With Quote
  #176  
Old 06-07-2009, 12:22 PM
aydee aydee is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 7,413
Default Re: Feel or Technique, importance?

..

I hear you Pollyanna, but with a small caveat.

I agree that in essence we are talking about the utilization of musical space with verve and imagination and one need not necessarily approach in a a very systematic or pre-ordained manner. That in fact really is the very definition of creativity.

My submission quite simply is that being equipped with 'technique' is something that enhances that rather than takes away from anything.
If I work on the "Art of Bop Drumming" by Riley, I wont become him or even play like him. I might understand why he does certain things and some new concepts might open up in my mind's eye. Which again I might or might not ever use.. or use in a completely different way. All good.

It makes 'you' a potentially more potent 'YOU', if that makes sense. And with all your idiosyncrasies intact. It could only help even if you choose discard it.

I do hear a drummer with technique and practice when I hear Glen Kotche pulling metal springs out of his drum head.

Agree & well said on 'expressiveness'.

Ringo's groove for 'Ticket to Ride' might have been somewhat different if he was a better schooled drummer, but it would have still been Ringo and it would have still been special.

For raw musicians to be remarkably expressive without some technique and rigor only means that they have imbibed it in some other way that isn't obvious or formal, thats all. Or they are prodigies.

Trouble is that this discussion is expanding to define artistic expression which then incorporates way too many other esoterical things like life, culture, politics, religion, etc etc .. as well in addition to feel & technique.

We will go around in circles.


....

Last edited by aydee; 06-07-2009 at 01:00 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #177  
Old 06-07-2009, 12:25 PM
brittc89's Avatar
brittc89 brittc89 is offline
Pioneer Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Colorado
Posts: 1,489
Default Re: Feel or Technique, importance?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pollyanna View Post
Brian Eno was quoted as saying that his favourite musicians were those with either consummate technical skill or no technical skill because they were the ones who were most expressive; ie. technique is not an issue with them.
I agree that technique is not an issue with someone having consummate skill, but having no technique makes technique an issue, unless your creative vision involves only things that involve no technique. I guess Im just reiterating the point that technique is a means to an ends, having a massive amount can never hurt if you know how to use it correctly, but having none can hurt even those with a high amount of musical sensibility. I just cant see why you wouldnt want a large amount of technique. How can it be detrimental. Its like someone who has a huge revolver in a holster, but they never shoot it unless they absolutely have to, but its always there and people can always see it so they never have to use it. Its when people get trigger happy that we have a problem.
Reply With Quote
  #178  
Old 06-07-2009, 01:28 PM
Boomka Boomka is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 2,329
Default Re: Feel or Technique, importance?

Quote:
Originally Posted by raggletaggle View Post
Exactly. I'm so sick and tired of going concerts where the crowd is supposedly "enjoying" a performance without actually knowing the scientific concepts behind it. It smacks of typical leftist ideologies.
Care to expand on that? Leftist ideologies are characterised by a lack of scientific understanding? Huh?

Last edited by Boomka; 06-07-2009 at 01:43 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #179  
Old 06-07-2009, 03:26 PM
Pollyanna's Avatar
Pollyanna Pollyanna is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Cyberspace, Sydney connection
Posts: 9,971
Default Re: Feel or Technique, importance?

Interesting points being made here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by drumbandit View Post
I think for a drummer to spend a lot of time getting their technique right, they must enjoy playing the drums so much that feel must be a part of their drumming in some way.
Hmm, that depends, Tom. What is the player's primary focus - their drumming or the songs? Does the drummer use his or her skills for good or for evil? :)

Quote:
Originally Posted by aydee View Post
... It makes 'you' a potentially more potent 'YOU', if that makes sense. And with all your idiosyncrasies intact. It could only help even if you choose discard it.

... Ringo's groove for 'Ticket to Ride' might have been somewhat different if he was a better schooled drummer, but it would have still been Ringo and it would have still been special.

... Trouble is that this discussion is expanding to define artistic expression which then incorporates way too many other esoterical things like life, culture, politics, religion, etc etc .. as well in addition to feel & technique.
Yes Aydee, but, as per my reply to Tom's post, will our powers be used for good or will we turn to the Dark Side of Darth Dream Theater? :)

Would Ringo be the same drummer with extra "power" to do cool things? You know what they say about power ... power corrupts ... temptation and all that. He might have tried something a it slicker, something cool that his teacher showed him. If John Coltrane had been able to achieve Stan Getz's purity, would he have thrilled the jazz world to the same extent? Maybe ... but maybe not.

Limitations are not so bad as long as you are realistic about your abilities. There's nothing wrong with technique if it's not annoyingly self-indulgent.

It's like the Big Kits vs Small Kits discussion. Small kit players felt they needed to be more resourceful to create variety rather than just choosing which tom to play. The large kit players said yeah, but we can do all that and we have all these other potentials. However, most large kits players I've seen (with notable exceptions) don't squeeze the variety of sounds out of the instruments in their kit the way I've seen many small kit players do. The decisions for large kit players tend to be what combinations they use.

Neither approach is better or worse. One works inward and one works outward and it's all good. It's ironic that in these discussions jazzers tend to favour small kits and big chops while more rockers tend go the other way. Which way do we work inwardly or outwardly? Doesn't matter - if it works, it good. So most of us see that there can be value in our limitations. Lemons and lemonade and all that ...

Life, culture, politics, religion ... all grist for the musical mill, even if as drummers our role in a song's expression is so often just as a support. So yeah, bring on the non-musical stuff, I say :)

When I was young I was obsessed with music and, in particular, drums drums drums. If I wasn't listening to drummers I was playing to records or tapping on the pad. Eight years away from music and I listen to the tapes of my bands in the mid 80s and my musical expressiveness was simply not there. But I heard lots of the chops and tricks I'd been practising.

So I think there's something to be said for "fresh ears" that come from a healthy dose of the extramusical. Before you say it, yes, if your ears are fresh and you can't play in time or control your volume ...


Quote:
Originally Posted by brittc89 View Post
... having no technique makes technique an issue, unless your creative vision involves only things that involve no technique.
Britt, perhaps it's not a matter of creative vision that involves no technique but a vision that barely even thinks about technical aspects?

Ok, a reason for not seeking a great technique. I'm no spring chicken and work full-time so I don't have time to do marching drum exercises starting with singles at 40 bpm to rebuild my grip and stroke from scratch for years on end. I hate rudiments too - LOL. I think to be a technical master you've got to love your rudiments. All the masters never seem to stop doing the darn things because then thei chops might slide. A lifetime of rudiments! EEEEK! It's not my preferred method of meditation.

Practising beats, fills and transitions is less efficient but it's more fun, and it at least allows me to say what I'd like to say. I like clarity and simplicity. I like it in speech too; it's how I like to speak when my head's screwed on right. Mum was a writer and I know LOTS of big words, but I never use a big word if I can think of a more down-to-earth alternative.

Or should I say, "My mother was an author and I have consequently been endowed with the innate characteristics required to facilitate the attainment of an extensive vocabulary. However, I eschew prolix and protracted language on occasions when a rather less grandiose alternative presents itself"?

There ya go. Feel and technique! Good grief, I've written so much on this thread that I should collate it all into a book and call it The Art of Effective Crap Drumming :)

Last edited by Pollyanna; 06-07-2009 at 05:27 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #180  
Old 06-07-2009, 03:37 PM
larryace's Avatar
larryace larryace is online now
"Uncle Larry"
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: In beautiful Bucks County, PA
Posts: 21,241
Default Re: Feel or Technique, importance?

I've been following this thread with amazement over the sheer intellectuality of the various contributers. While a lot of this is just way above my head, the main point I've taken from this is that technique and feel are 2 sides of the same coin, interrelated, like time and space...

Also I thought it would be a great help to this discussion if we could all point to certain famous drummers that can be "labeled" as predominately a technique drummer or predominantly a feel drummer. I just want to see if it is easy for everyone participating to essentially agree that famous drummer X plays with predominantly a technical approach and famous drummer Y plays with a predominantly feel approach. Of course there are many drummers who have both, but for the purposes of this discussion I would like to black and white it a little and name drummers who are mostly one and not the other.

I guess I'll start.

Ringo - feel
Portnoy - technique

First off does anyone disagree with this?
Can anyone name any other famous drummers who fit in one category but not the other?
I'm curious to the opinions of the members as to which drummer is labeled as what.
I hope this doesn't drop a lead weight on this high soaring balloon of a discussion.
Reply With Quote
  #181  
Old 06-07-2009, 04:35 PM
donv donv is offline
Silver Member
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 545
Default Re: Feel or Technique, importance?

Larry,

From what I've seen written here concerning Thomas Lang, "he's nothing but an emotionless machine," he'd be a good canidate.

I was thinking along the same lines last night, but a little broader. If you stick to just 2 drummers you have to ignore, or reject from the get go the idea that maybe "feel" or "groove" has nothing to do with drumming let alone technique. Maybe it's a predispostion people have to varying degrees. We may even be born with it.

I orginally minimized "groove" to people enjoying what they are doing and, "getting into it," and the resulting joy they felt. To me "groove" was an internal intangible that people were trying to transfer to the external. Is the added charge from "groove" something an average audiance could or would pick up on? If so, is it fair to an audiance to hope that they get to catch those fleeting nights when the "groove" is on?

With so many here, so adamant that "groove" is much more then my orginal assumptions, the emphirical evidence suggests I'm wrong.

Anway, with the number of drummers here, at all the differing skill levels and some in and some out of the music business, it seems there should be enough information available to actually organize emphirical data for some possible answers. Just have to figure out what the right questions are.
Reply With Quote
  #182  
Old 06-07-2009, 04:39 PM
Pollyanna's Avatar
Pollyanna Pollyanna is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Cyberspace, Sydney connection
Posts: 9,971
Default Re: Feel or Technique, importance?

Hi Larry

Of course it's intellectual - we're drummers! Peepol only say whe're dum cos their jealus

I agree with Ringo and Mike Portnoy but I keep thinking Bernard Purdie, who has been schooled in drumming but when I see his vids he looks like an ultra-gifted novice, as though he just walked onto a kit and said, "Hey, I can do that. Whee! This is fun!".

This video of his is the most enjoyable and inspiring tutorial I have ever seen http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WGXGpa458Ig. I'm not sure I'd like to play the music that suits his style but it would be great to be able to tap out those gorgeous little beats with my fingers and hands so naturally and with such a sense of fun ... that man has stuff that you can't teach, only refine, as per Don wondering if people are born with it. Atitudes vary.

Maybe that means we have more categories - mostly about technicality, mostly feel, and mostly about da grooove. Do we include compositional sense in "feel"? I think my head's done in :)
Reply With Quote
  #183  
Old 06-07-2009, 05:09 PM
raggletaggle raggletaggle is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 46
Default Re: Feel or Technique, importance?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mattsmith View Post
So, is your contribution here to make snide comments when someone believes your cynicism is pointless? I mean, all you ever seem to do on posts is say something unsubstantiated and cocky, wait for the response, then make a comment like the one above if the other guy dares appear more clever. This is actually a pretty good thread. I'm also a big boy who can take it. Why not talk nice and you'll get better responses.

Later.

.

Hmm. Interesting response. I believe you blanketed my original post in the thread as "labeling" and "lecturing" -- notwithstanding the general content of your own, where you proceeded to describe "groove cops" and delve into your own perceived drummer character archetypes --hence why I felt no need to address it. Have you noticed how many people on here you seem to get into arguments with (to the point of a thread locks, bans and the sort? ) Is it possible you may need to heed your own advice as pertains to "talk nice?" Is that why the first response in this thread is about a "Matt Smith" eagle swooping down on its unsuspecting victim? I know this will probably precipitate another caustic response, and I couldn't have an ounce more sincerity when I say you're more than welcome to it. :)
Reply With Quote
  #184  
Old 06-07-2009, 05:21 PM
mattsmith's Avatar
mattsmith mattsmith is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Most Everywhere
Posts: 1,915
Default Re: Feel or Technique, importance?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pollyanna View Post
Matt, yeah, this is a good thread, although not everyone likes it. It covers a lot of angles.
No it's much simpler than that. There are always a handful who are often the coolest on their block, and have a series of catchphrases they pull out around the Pepsi machine at music school or in a club. This is usually followed by the 6 dimwits at the same table laughing at the catchphrase without a clue of understanding what he meant. Then when that same guy babbles that nonsense around a lot of faceless people at a forum and people don't laugh like the dimwits, then he gets frustrated and goes negative. I don't mean this of everyone, but it is common.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pollyanna View Post
I guess it could be seen as a manifesto against practice. It doesn't have to be, though. The Louie Bellson comment in one of Steamer's posts put it well:
I knew Louie Bellson pretty well Polly, and he practiced like a madman until the day he died. He especially amped it up 10 years ago when he was diagnosed with parkinsons. I saw him last 3 years ago, and although he couldn't remember anyone's name or keep his hands from shaking like crazy, he could still play on a very high professional level. There was only one reason for that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pollyanna View Post
Agree with aydee in that not practising much is generally poor career move, but I don't think genius is necessary to succeed with a simple technique. It's more about finding a fit with a band with idiosyncratic appeal. Brian Eno was quoted as saying that his favourite musicians were those with either consummate technical skill or no technical skill because they were the ones who were most expressive; ie. technique is not an issue with them.
That's funny though, in that Eno always surrounded himself with learned, technique grounded musicians. Sounds more like a cool quote for Rolling Stone.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pollyanna View Post
Ringo wasn't some genius with a vision to approach drumming with great musicality. He was simply down-to-earth and put the song ahead of his drumming, and he had a good imagination. He doesn't strike me as one who'd look for an opportunity to throw in his latest cool chops. It was as though he wasn't a drummer as such, more a listener who happened to play drums well enough to work in a few genres.
But he had trained technique, and I think that's been established on this forum many times before. I've never bought the existential organic angle with Ringo.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pollyanna View Post
Still, I don't advocate anything over another in drumming; we all just follow our noses. No drama. I enjoy drummers who bring something a bit different to the table, who can bring distinctive and appealing "signature" patterns that capture the particular mood of a song - or create it, often by using space effectively. Maybe some drummers would benefit from including John Cage's 3'33" on their regular practice song list? :)
But let's agree that thoughtful practicing drummers do all the things you advocate. Besides even you would have to admit that Cage's use of space on that piece was even more than groove priests would advocate. Besides I could be wrong, but wasn't it 4.33?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pollyanna View Post
As for competitiveness, I guess if money and/or prestige is involved then it's always there. Fair point.
Polly, prestige equals money. It's not about ego or false status, it's about making a living, so a musician can do all the things you advocate, right?.
__________________
I endorse Zildjian sticks because I like them.
Reply With Quote
  #185  
Old 06-07-2009, 05:25 PM
Deltadrummer's Avatar
Deltadrummer Deltadrummer is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Long Island NY
Posts: 2,681
Default Re: Feel or Technique, importance?

Quote:
Originally Posted by donv View Post
Larry,

From what I've seen written here concerning Thomas Lang, "he's nothing but an emotionless machine," he'd be a good canidate.

I was thinking along the same lines last night, but a little broader. If you stick to just 2 drummers you have to ignore, or reject from the get go the idea that maybe "feel" or "groove" has nothing to do with drumming let alone technique. Maybe it's a predispostion people have to varying degrees. We may even be born with it.

I orginally minimized "groove" to people enjoying what they are doing and, "getting into it," and the resulting joy they felt. To me "groove" was an internal intangible that people were trying to transfer to the external. Is the added charge from "groove" something an average audiance could or would pick up on? If so, is it fair to an audiance to hope that they get to catch those fleeting nights when the "groove" is on?

With so many here, so adamant that "groove" is much more then my orginal assumptions, the emphirical evidence suggests I'm wrong.

Anway, with the number of drummers here, at all the differing skill levels and some in and some out of the music business, it seems there should be enough information available to actually organize emphirical data for some possible answers. Just have to figure out what the right questions are.
Just to play devil's advocate. Even as such, as much as Tommy is a technician, I wouldn't call it totally emotionless. But why does music have to be about emotion?I would add Lars Ulrich and Carl Palmer and maybe even Weckl to that list.

Much 'music' is not about music. it is about a host of other things. Many people today do look to jazz as a pure expression of music. and it can be couched in these very elitist terms But many of the players struggle to make ends meet, and they do it for the love. If Motley Crue had to play the jazz clubs of the lower west side, how long do you think they would last?

When you listen to the great jazz guys mentioned here, it is all about the music. Rock music is not always all about the music. Pop music a rarely about the music. I remember reading an article about how Brittany Spears listener were not all teenage girls but there was a large contingent of middle aged men who listened to her. Then when I left he library and got gas, there was this middle aged man blasting Brittany in his beamer. I don't know what he was getting from Brittany but it probably had more to do with wood than music.

I wanted to add to what Polly and Matt said about music being a competition. When I was a teenager, a local bar had a air guitar contest with Fender Strat as the prize. I wanted that guitar so I practiced for weeks and got every nuance of The Song Remains the Same with some Pete Townsend windmill moves and the like. It was really good. Some girl got up with a tennis racket and did Hotel California and started to take off her clothes. Who do you think won? That was my first lesson about competition, and it was a good one.
__________________
Ken Marino Drum Teacher "It's not worth keeping score. You win some. You lose some, you let it go"
Reply With Quote
  #186  
Old 06-07-2009, 06:11 PM
donv donv is offline
Silver Member
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 545
Default Re: Feel or Technique, importance?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deltadrummer View Post
Just to play devil's advocate. Even as such, as much as Tommy is a technician, I wouldn't call it totally emotionless. But why does music have to be about emotion?I would add Lars Ulrich and Carl Palmer and maybe even Weckl to that list.

Much 'music' is not about music. it is about a host of other things. Many people today do look to jazz as a pure expression of music. and it can be couched in these very elitist terms But many of the players struggle to make ends meet, and they do it for the love. If Motley Crue had to play the jazz clubs of the lower west side, how long do you think they would last?

When you listen to the great jazz guys mentioned here, it is all about the music. Rock music is not always all about the music. Pop music a rarely about the music. I remember reading an article about how Brittany Spears listener were not all teenage girls but there was a large contingent of middle aged men who listened to her. Then when I left he library and got gas, there was this middle aged man blasting Brittany in his beamer. I don't know what he was getting from Brittany but it probably had more to do with wood than music.

I wanted to add to what Polly and Matt said about music being a competition. When I was a teenager, a local bar had a air guitar contest with Fender Strat as the prize. I wanted that guitar so I practiced for weeks and got every nuance of The Song Remains the Same with some Pete Townsend windmill moves and the like. It was really good. Some girl got up with a tennis racket and did Hotel California and started to take off her clothes. Who do you think won? That was my first lesson about competition, and it was a good one.
Ken,

I don't agree with what's been written about Lang either. I've just read it a lot here about him being emotionless. I will say though that his DVD is the first I drumming DVD I bought. There were parts of it I found disturbing. Some of what he can do seems unnatural. But, there is nothing wrong with being disturbed. It can be eye opening. Also, 2 years ago while in Virginia Beach by coincedence I met Lang while he was there for a clinic. He's an extrememly polite and sincere man. I think if his talent was something he could pull out of his pocket and hand out, he would.

It is odd concerning who likes what in music. My nephew is a very successful death/prog metal drummer and keyboard player who trashes everything that's not metal for being boring. That is except for Queen. In his eyes there has never been a better band. Go figure.

Your point on the air guitar goes with mine about what an audiance is hearing or perceiving compared to what the musicians might think they are. Obviously your experience is a little more base line, but is an audiance getting out of a performance the same result the performers imagine or hope they are? Or is a different dynamic going on?
Reply With Quote
  #187  
Old 06-07-2009, 06:17 PM
Pollyanna's Avatar
Pollyanna Pollyanna is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Cyberspace, Sydney connection
Posts: 9,971
Default Re: Feel or Technique, importance?

Matt, re: Louis Bellson. He might have been a consummate technician but he wasn't saying that was necessary, just necessary for him in his genre. On a far less grand arena, many years ago an uncle said, "Oh, so you're a drummer, eh? I used to be a marching drummer. Get me a pair of sticks". So I brought out sticks and pad and he was abysmal. He'd lost it all. I promised that I'd never let my drumming go to that extent; it was a big motivator.

Quote:
Eno always surrounded himself with learned, technique grounded musicians
Yes, and they accepted him - a self-profession non-musician - into the fold. A special case, admittedly. I love Michael Cotton's snyth work with The Tubes on their early albums. No beat, no melody. Just great sounds and textures that always added to the songs' sensations.

Quote:
wasn't it 4.33
LOL! Touché (if we're being competitive *grin*). An ex partner would have dealt me out for that blooper! He probably wants to deal me out anyway :) Yeah, it's a tad long for any groovers but John just wanted people to stop and appreciate the qualities of ambient sound.


Quote:
Much 'music' is not about music. it is about a host of other things. Many people today do look to jazz as a pure expression of music
Exactly Ken, and that's why it's a minority interest. My best guess is that music started because some people were hanging out and started singing and banging on rocks etc. Then some women started dancing with various body parts wobbling around enticingly for the boys. There was no "band" and "audience". It was just one big pow-wow - a community event where the musos just had a specialised role. Now we have "gods" onstage.

There are rewards for acquiring sophisticated taste, but it's not so popular. So you have all these talented musos having to keep their chops under wraps to make a living, frustrated that they can't make money through musically expressing themselves but no doubt pragmatically looking for the most fun parts in the commercial music they play. Often they look for side projects so they can stretch out.

Quote:
Some girl got up with a tennis racket and did Hotel California and started to take off her clothes. Who do you think won?
There. You learnt that more people want to be touched than impressed and guys like jiggly things more than guitar impressions. Attitude ... the confidence to let go in front of an audience ... is huge when it comes to popularity. Many years ago I was bemused when we supported the Hard Ons at a pub. We were refined and eclectic compared to their thrashy bombardment while wearing monster masks - but guess which band got the punters going? We could all these things that we knew they wouldn't be able to do but, in hindsight, they really rocked and we were staid by comparison. They made it big in Europe and we went nowhere. We had no attitude; we were just musicians.

Music is one of the joys of life, but only one of them. Tick the extra boxes and you win the Strat :) You might have spent some of that time practising buffing up at the gym beforehand, done a slightly less commanding air guitar performance AND taken off your clothes. If you threw packs of salted nuts into the audience you would have been home and hosed :)

As for the list, I was thinking about Bill Bruford as a techy but I think his main attribute was imagination. Alphonse Mouzon for the tech camp and Nigel Olsen for feel? Where does Paul Cook from the Sex Pistols fit in? Surely not "feel"! Maybe we can have an "attitude" camp as well? Keith Moon would fit well there too.
Reply With Quote
  #188  
Old 06-07-2009, 06:36 PM
Deltadrummer's Avatar
Deltadrummer Deltadrummer is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Long Island NY
Posts: 2,681
Default Re: Feel or Technique, importance?

Attitude is an important component. and in popular music is might actually be the important component. For Bertolt Brecht it was the most important actually. He thought that's what popular expressions, not art, not even expressions were all about. And I think he was right.For Brecht, aesthetics was just elitist nonsense. There's always another way to look at things; but he is still one of the greats if not the great playwright of the twentieth century. He was certainly prophetic in that regard.

I think the drummer who invented feel was Art Blakey, and of course Elvin. They at least took it to a whole new depth. You have to regard all those great NO drummers Earl Palmer, Herlin Riley, John Vidocovich, Zigaboo Modeliste and Stanton Moore as the masters of feel.
__________________
Ken Marino Drum Teacher "It's not worth keeping score. You win some. You lose some, you let it go"
Reply With Quote
  #189  
Old 06-07-2009, 08:00 PM
brittc89's Avatar
brittc89 brittc89 is offline
Pioneer Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Colorado
Posts: 1,489
Default Re: Feel or Technique, importance?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deltadrummer View Post
Much 'music' is not about music. it is about a host of other things. Many people today do look to jazz as a pure expression of music. and it can be couched in these very elitist terms But many of the players struggle to make ends meet, and they do it for the love. If Motley Crue had to play the jazz clubs of the lower west side, how long do you think they would last?
I think you might be idealizing jazz a little bit. Its not as black and white as you make it, for the love of the music. Yes, there are plenty of players who play for the love of the art and thats when its the best. But there is also ego involved for some people. Go to a NY "cutting" session and tell me its about the love of the music. There are plenty of jerks out there who could care less about "music" and are only trying to get their rocks off and have people worship them on-stage. Its what gives jazz the bad name it has today.
Reply With Quote
  #190  
Old 06-07-2009, 09:13 PM
Deltadrummer's Avatar
Deltadrummer Deltadrummer is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Long Island NY
Posts: 2,681
Default Re: Feel or Technique, importance?

Moi, idealistic about jazz? I'm idealistic about everything. I am not going to suggest that every jazz musician is more sincere and a better musician than every rock or punk musician. I am stating that there are a lot of people who look to jazz for musical expression and it is a good place to look. You can go down to the Village Vanguard just about any night of the week, and be impressed at what is happening there. I used to see Billy Higgins and Jack De Johnette there back in the day.

For me, technique is not playing fast or doing so much that your the guy being heard. For me, like I've stated before, technique is about sound. What John Riley talks about a lot, and he can speak for himself, it is about the interaction. He talks about the drummers job being able to support the guys in the band. He talks about knowing the tradition and understanding the players that your players are emulating so that when they go there, you know where they are and you can help them to realize their vision. I think that is helpful in any group experience.
__________________
Ken Marino Drum Teacher "It's not worth keeping score. You win some. You lose some, you let it go"

Last edited by Deltadrummer; 06-07-2009 at 11:21 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #191  
Old 06-08-2009, 01:51 AM
VedranS VedranS is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 180
Default Re: Feel or Technique, importance?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mattsmith View Post

But I will say this and as someone who has been doing the forum thing for awhile, it really is the truth. Guys like Jeff and I are usually minding our own business when yet another presents a thread like this, essentially reading as a manifesto against practice, in hopes that some extra dimensional spirituality premise will eliminate enough work to make a beginner sound professional.
Holy crap Matt, I swear to god you're reading things into this that are either not there or that you're placing more weight in than they deserve. I don't know about everyone, but I do know that it was never my intention to write off the value of practicing. I'm pretty sure that Pollyanna, Ian, and others have also not meant for this. I'm simply hoping for there to be some kind of room or space to discuss ideas and abstract things. Right now it seems like whenever you bring up "feel", the topic gets squashed by you and others immediately, as if you feel like trying to bring up abstract concepts is going to cause everyone to forget rudiments. I'm just saying, I brought up a couple of ideas I had, a couple of people responded with interesting posts of their own. Then, like the figurative raptor, people suddenly descended in the defense of practicing. However, I don't know what you saw, but I didn't notice any kind of anti-practice mentality rising up before a big deal was made out of defending its virtue.
Reply With Quote
  #192  
Old 06-08-2009, 01:59 AM
VedranS VedranS is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 180
Default Re: Feel or Technique, importance?

Quote:
Originally Posted by aydee View Post
..


My submission quite simply is that being equipped with 'technique' is something that enhances that rather than takes away from anything.


....
Beautiful point Aydee! I completely agree, and yes I can empathize with Matt about this. There are drummers around here (Iowa), one in particular that I can think of, that say that practicing or lessons will somehow cramp their style or something, take away from their "creativity". It's utter insecure ego crap, I know. I understand the value of practice, and that a technical foundation can never take away from your ideas, individuality, or expressiveness.

The only point I've been trying to make, however, is that that technique should be in service of your creative ideas, or what I would call "feel", though that's a personal definition. I'm simply interested in trying to discuss some of these things that make up these ideas, this feel, this expressiveness, you know? Whatever, it's like I'm surrounded by mechanics...
Reply With Quote
  #193  
Old 06-08-2009, 02:21 AM
con struct's Avatar
con struct con struct is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Lumpen post-industrial district
Posts: 2,063
Default Re: Feel or Technique, importance?

Quote:
Originally Posted by VedranS View Post
Holy crap Matt, I swear to god you're reading things into this that are either not there or that you're placing more weight in than they deserve. I don't know about everyone, but I do know that it was never my intention to write off the value of practicing. I'm pretty sure that Pollyanna, Ian, and others have also not meant for this. I'm simply hoping for there to be some kind of room or space to discuss ideas and abstract things. Right now it seems like whenever you bring up "feel", the topic gets squashed by you and others immediately, as if you feel like trying to bring up abstract concepts is going to cause everyone to forget rudiments. I'm just saying, I brought up a couple of ideas I had, a couple of people responded with interesting posts of their own. Then, like the figurative raptor, people suddenly descended in the defense of practicing. However, I don't know what you saw, but I didn't notice any kind of anti-practice mentality rising up before a big deal was made out of defending its virtue.
Yes, I agree that I don't see anyone here extolling the virtues of not practicing. But let's face it, you can take lessons from the greatest teachers in the world and practice for ten hours a day, but that alone is not going to make you a "musician," I'm sorry but it just isn't. I'm not going to say that some have it and some don't, but there is a "something else," a motivation, a desire, a hunger, something, that has to come into it somewhere, I think.
__________________
Call me J
Reply With Quote
  #194  
Old 06-08-2009, 02:51 AM
VedranS VedranS is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 180
Default Re: Feel or Technique, importance?

Quote:
Originally Posted by con struct View Post
Yes, I agree that I don't see anyone here extolling the virtues of not practicing. But let's face it, you can take lessons from the greatest teachers in the world and practice for ten hours a day, but that alone is not going to make you a "musician," I'm sorry but it just isn't. I'm not going to say that some have it and some don't, but there is a "something else," a motivation, a desire, a hunger, something, that has to come into it somewhere, I think.
That's what I'm saying mang, there's some affinity for abstraction, some empathatic thing that, at least to me, is what really makes me notice a musician. So, what is that? What's "musicality"? What's "feel"?

To me, an understanding, or "feel" for tension and release are a large part of what make me notice a musician. The way that Gadd sets up his solos, for example, really gets me. He places his chops in a context. He creates a picture or universe, using sensitive dynamics and a sense of space that makes any chops he plays seem so much more significant. For example, his crazy army solos always have a sense of buildup where I can almost see a large military body advancing on me. Then, when it breaks into something else, it's like battle has exploded. When he plays a shuffle, on the other hand, there's a heaviness and a mean kind of drive to it that I don't hear in other players. I know, it can be broken down to technical specifics, but it arises from a sensitivity and empathetic feel for musical communication and expression.
Reply With Quote
  #195  
Old 06-08-2009, 03:04 AM
Pollyanna's Avatar
Pollyanna Pollyanna is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Cyberspace, Sydney connection
Posts: 9,971
Default Re: Feel or Technique, importance?

I saw a lot of good bands around the Sydney jazz club scene in the late 70s and early 80s because my older sister was going out with one of our top jazzers at the time. I came to divide them into two camps in my mind - those who "spoke" to you and those who didn't.

Jazz drumming at it's best has the most fantastic feel, with many subtle variations of sound just between snare and ride, the gradations of ride-to-crash sounds that come out of the ride; on the snare you have all those gradations of ghost notes and accents when comping etc, never mind the various things they pull out of the mounted tom and hats. Warren Daly was maybe the outstanding big band and combo drummer in Australia at the time. He swung like mad and basically had it all.

Jazz drumming at its worst is cluttered and self-indulgent. The cool little tonal variations are still there but without the instinct to put them in spots where they harmonise. One time, Steve Hopes, a rock session player picked up a fill-in on one of those gigs at the last minute and you could tell his playing had fewer dimensions - less sounds - than the real jazzers, but the music still sounded great because he played cleanly and crisply, which subtly moved the emphasis more to tenor/alto and the piano.

Vedran, I know what you're saying but, as I said, with power comes temptation. IMO technique without taste, musical maturity and instinct = clutter.

As for the extra-musical aspects of rock, it's a huge range. At one end you'll have a band like King Crimson, who were intensely music-oriented and at the other you'd have the Sex Pistols, who were all about protest, having fun and working through their neuroses.

So Ken, I'd just like to add that there's a lot of rock out there where the music is more important than the extra-musical. How about The Tubes before they went commercial? They didn't just have a stage act; it was a full production, but the music and musicianship were first class. Frank Zappa, Led Zeppelin, The Police, Tool, Roxy Music, Fleetwood Mac, Pink Floyd, The Stranglers ... lots of fine rock bands with a great sound and/or high skill levels - and with plenty of extra-musical content.

I get bored listening to bands with a strong emphasis on the lyrics when either they don't have the vocals up high enough in the mix (duh!) or the singer has poor diction (double duh!) or, in the case of rap, only young people seem capable of working out what they are saying. Easily my favourite rap video is here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R6H0i1RAdHk - go on, click the link, I promise you'll enjoy it :)

Jazz and its, um, offspring can also incorporate the extra-musical. Steely Dan's Babylon Sisters, for example, has it all - beautiful music with a brilliant lyric. Look in YouTube for Joni Mitchell playing Goodbye Pork Pie Hat. It's my very favourite recorded jazz performance - fine lyrics (rather than the usual blues Dear Dell approach to lyrics), wonderful singing, top-drawer musicianship and the tastiest band I've ever heard in a jazz band.

When you marry the musical and the extra-musical it generally means the music must be less complex because the focus shifts somewhat. That's where taste and judgement come in.

Technical shortfalls need not be fatal. A major clanger is no big deal if the rest of the performance is performed with heart and inspiration - and the player has the attitude to carry off their blunder as though they meant to do it (that's a knack I want to develop LOL). John Cale does a wonderful version of Heartbreak Hotel here (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=73Bn0Kq7rls) despite singing a hideous out-of-tune note during the first chorus. He sure makes up for it afterwards.

John Cale might have a classical training in viola but he sure as hell isn't trained as a vocalist. So what are the elements that he has that makes up for his vocal technical shortfalls? It seems to me he just "gets it" and I think that "getting it" - understanding what the song is about and having a creative vision for a song - is a HUGE aspect of effective musicianship, but not often talked about.

Last edited by Pollyanna; 06-08-2009 at 09:54 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #196  
Old 06-08-2009, 03:35 AM
Ian Williams's Avatar
Ian Williams Ian Williams is offline
Rebel
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 3,184
Default Re: Feel or Technique, importance?

I agree with VedranS, Pollyanna and many others. Feel and Technique are the main topics to be discussed, Practise/Practice which is a very important contributing factor in drumming, is out of the question.

Best Regards,
__________________
Another day, Another challenge...
Reply With Quote
  #197  
Old 06-08-2009, 03:56 AM
con struct's Avatar
con struct con struct is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Lumpen post-industrial district
Posts: 2,063
Default Re: Feel or Technique, importance?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian Williams View Post
I agree with VedranS, Pollyanna and many others. Feel and Technique are the main topics to be discussed, Practise/Practice which is a very important contributing factor in drumming, is out of the question.

Best Regards,
Practice, what to practice, how to practice, these are things that are discussed in great detail on other threads here.
It is naturally assumed that all musicians practice their instruments.
This thread is about something other than practicing.
Hope that clears things up!
__________________
Call me J
Reply With Quote
  #198  
Old 06-08-2009, 04:07 AM
Deltadrummer's Avatar
Deltadrummer Deltadrummer is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Long Island NY
Posts: 2,681
Default Re: Feel or Technique, importance?

You're talking to somebody who just spent the last two hours playing an hour of jazz and then watching The Dave Matthews Band while turning to Luciano Pavarotti during the commercials and then back during the pledge breaks. There's a lot of music out there. You seem to be framing me as somebody who wouldn't have those Steely Dan and Joni Mitchell records on vinyl. I do. My band is doing a jazz salute to Steely Dan. I am someone who understands that jazz was a popular music and however esoteric and wonderful it can get in the hands of a Bill Evans, Miles Davis or Mingus, I still love Ella, Johnny Hartman, Glenn Miller, Harry James and Benny Goodman. If I remember, there were some great drummers in those bands. Joe Morello says, "If it weren't for Gene Krupa, none of us would be here."

Perhaps what people are asking about is imagination. Imagination is the ability to create and evoke images, image-making. Some people have the imagination to make a song work, others just never will. There's also charisma. I met Pavarotti at Tower Records many years ago. He was the most charismatic man I have ever met in my life. You could feel his presence from afar and up close he just sucked you in. On stage he was a magnet and he dwarfed most everybody as far as talent goes. But he also had flawless technique. Elvin always said John Coltrane was an amazing 'presence.'.

There's also a certain connection to the music that great musicians have. I always think of Max Roach when I say that. I first saw him as a teenager and for me he exemplified 'the musician as artist.' As Vedran has brought up several times, we can imitate Max, we can imitate Art, Bonham or Steve Gadd. But they are the inventors. They are the creative forces behind the music. The have the technical ability and then take it to a new level of expression. Sometimes it seems so obvious you think, why didn't I think of that. Some call them a node that the tradition passes through. There are always going to be those stars. Beethoven of all of the composer writing at the times, revolutionized music. Many rock drummers look back to Bonham as a starting point. Punk drummers look back to The Pistols. (They should look back to Moe and The Velvets.)

I think you need to practice creatively. First sit with a basic groove for five minutes and make it something for the complete time. Then use basic ideas and creatively work them around the drums as new beats or fill ideas. Always be challenging yourself creatively. The greats have that spark that suggest to them that they do just that.

I had this wonderful little boy student years ago. I gave him a basic beat for the first lesson I walked in and he said to me, look what I did with it. He created a two beat phrase bring in eighth notes on the bass drum. He was eight. He has it. He can take an idea and just run with it. He could hear the implication of what the beat was saying. You can also exercise that by listening to others. I asked Steve Gadd if he could elucidate his creative process and he told me that he can think about how other great drummers would approach the music and then work off that. Perhaps I could add that he working at many levels simultaneously, and 'he' is the least important thing going on at the time.
__________________
Ken Marino Drum Teacher "It's not worth keeping score. You win some. You lose some, you let it go"
Reply With Quote
  #199  
Old 06-08-2009, 04:16 AM
Pollyanna's Avatar
Pollyanna Pollyanna is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Cyberspace, Sydney connection
Posts: 9,971
Default Re: Feel or Technique, importance?

Ken, I going out now but just a quickie to clear up one thing. I never intended to frame you as someone who wouldn't enjoy those groups; I was just expanding on what you and others had said. I really enjoyed your post.

'later
Reply With Quote
  #200  
Old 06-08-2009, 04:27 AM
donv donv is offline
Silver Member
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 545
Default Re: Feel or Technique, importance?

Quote:
Originally Posted by VedranS View Post
That's what I'm saying mang, there's some affinity for abstraction, some empathatic thing that, at least to me, is what really makes me notice a musician. So, what is that? What's "musicality"? What's "feel"?

To me, an understanding, or "feel" for tension and release are a large part of what make me notice a musician. The way that Gadd sets up his solos, for example, really gets me. He places his chops in a context. He creates a picture or universe, using sensitive dynamics and a sense of space that makes any chops he plays seem so much more significant. For example, his crazy army solos always have a sense of buildup where I can almost see a large military body advancing on me. Then, when it breaks into something else, it's like battle has exploded. When he plays a shuffle, on the other hand, there's a heaviness and a mean kind of drive to it that I don't hear in other players. I know, it can be broken down to technical specifics, but it arises from a sensitivity and empathetic feel for musical communication and expression.
The conductor looks to the snares and says, "Your staccato is suppose to be marching boots on a cobblestone street and I'm hearing a lay up in an Air Jordan commercial I know. Can you give me boots on cobblestone?" He then turns to the tympanis and says, "You're suppose to be with the woodwinds. These eight bars for you and the woodwinds do nothing but create anticipation for the next movement, but it's understated to the chaos everyone is giving us. Can you do that?" Next he turns to VedranS and says, "Thank you! I asked for an advancing army, and you delivered an advancing army." VedranS says to himself, "Thank you Mr. Gadd." Others were thinking about how much they were groovin. The conductor is wondering just how much "feel" do they have for their instrument.

I don't think anyone should answer this, but how much feel do you(generic) really have for your instrument? Can you put your "feel" aside and give someone else the "feel" they are demanding of you? Is someone who plays without "feel" so they can do their job, reach into their bag of tricks and pull out the "feel" someone else is asking for a non-musician or a selfless musician?

VedranS, I think you are the first person to bring up music being able to take them to someplace out side of themself. I can only speak for myself, but that's what music is for me.

Last edited by donv; 06-08-2009 at 04:39 AM.
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are Off
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off




All times are GMT +2. The time now is 03:09 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.0
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Bernhard Castiglioni's DRUMMERWORLD.com