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  #41  
Old 08-26-2011, 12:20 AM
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Default Re: My thought for today

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Originally Posted by Dr_Watso View Post
I think we have somewhat similar viewpoint on this stuff. While I'm in total agreement that overplaying is not a good thing, I think I'm a bit more sensitive than a lot of folks when it comes to underplaying. What can I say, boring drum parts tend to bore me. Is the programmed stuff in Britney spear's "music" "right" for the song? Because it bores the hell out of me, I have no interest in listening to drums that are only there to hold time. Every part of the band needs to contribute to making good music.

My job as a drummer isn't just to make sure nobody notices I'm there, and it's not to play as few notes as I possibly can. My "job" is the exact same as the "job" of every other member of the band. Make the music as awesome as it can be. Any 'crazy' drum part or wanking guitar solo has the ability to take away from or even destroy a piece of music, and everyone needs to acknowledge that, but at the same time, both those things can also really make a song.

I've never found the "drummers aren't musicians" jokes to be funny, either. Musicians who won't let the drums add to the song, and have the most strict view of what the drums are "supposed" to do, tend to make music that seems less dynamic and exciting to me.
I think we've all been saying the same thing as Dr W. and 8 mile.

I don't ever want to play "boring", but I do want to have as much fun playing something "simple" for a song as I do when I do doubles and triples on the bass drum in another song and do some fill I think is cool.

Laying back and putting the feel into a 2 &4 that people lean back for the ride, pump their fists in the air and go "F*%k YEAH!" through a song in front a crap load of people is awesome.

I get to do it again this Saturday when the band plays with Alice Cooper and Ace Frehley! (DTE 8mile, and my other Michigan forum friends! This will be my 4th time playing there).
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  #42  
Old 08-26-2011, 12:32 AM
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Default Re: My thought for today

I like to think of it as what I'm not doing. I love not hitting crash cymbals coming back out of the chorus. I love not playing a single note on the bass drum for a full measure.

I play like I season steaks: Under seasoning a steak (song) is not a big deal, as long as it's a good steak. But if you over-season a good steak, it doesn't turn out as well.

Now I'm hungry
-Kyle
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  #43  
Old 08-26-2011, 12:40 AM
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Re: Is Brittneys programmed drums right for the song...

Those drum parts would come to life if it was a real drummer on real drums who could groove I bet. Despite the song.

I do concur with everything the good Dr. and 8Mile are saying. Make the music as awesome as it can be, that's it in a sentence. And about playing boring...it's an illusion, a trap. Never, never think you are boring. I used to do that, but don't anymore. I learned that it was my own insecurities about just keeping a beat. I thought I HAD to do something to make it not boring. Which is just wrong. Losing the feel by changing something because I thought I was boring was always a bad playing decision. It's totally bad for your mental disposition to think you're boring. I believe that any live drummer playing a basic part for an entire night is not boring, as long as (s)he is playing that basic part with total conviction.

The most rocking times I can remember, where I'm really driving the band, is technically ultra stupid basic. Straight quarter notes played with both the kick and the ride, with a 2 and 4 backbeat on the snare, not even a hi hat chick. Uptempo tune, for sure, but as far as a drum part goes, it doesn't get much more basic than that. And I LOVE every juicy second of it because the other guys in the band are doing all the heavy lifting lol. And you just know it's magic. Sometimes you have to just get out of the way, don't add any resistance to the flow.
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  #44  
Old 08-26-2011, 02:03 AM
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Default Re: My thought for today

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For me it's a mission....I will play this groove and all the required nuances and elements necessary to make the song work, and try and stick to that until the last note.

What I'm getting at is total egoless-ness. To surrender to the song and forget any personal agenda, like trying to look cool, fitting a difficult pattern in, and a hundred other stupid egotistical things.

That's it in a nutshell, crystalized to it's purest form. Egoless-ness. To truly be subservient to the music. Who here can do that? I believe if you achieve real egoless-ness, you will have achieved the things that used to be on your list. Again, it's backwards.
Nicely put.

And I don't subscribe to the theory of it depends on the genre.

Even if Vinnie is playing fusion in 17/32 and blowing chops, he is playing appropriately for that style of music. You wouldn't do a Charlie Watts impression on a fusion gig anymore than you would play fusion chops over a Rolling Stones Cover. Serving the music is still at the heart of the matter.
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  #45  
Old 08-26-2011, 03:08 AM
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Yea, underplaying in music that requires more bothers me too. Solos are a different story, all bets are off. But within ensemble, you have to let the others have the floor until they're done. There's still plenty left to concentrate on... the transitions, dynamics, feel, smoothness, and ESPECIALLY listening to the solos or singer and playing to THEIR needs.

I'm ranting because at this open mic I do every week, it's loaded with drummers. Some nights there are 8 different drummers, all trying to impress instead of playing the song, and I am exposed to too much bad playing lol. I'm sorry lol.
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  #46  
Old 08-26-2011, 03:16 AM
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I like to think of it as what I'm not doing. I love not hitting crash cymbals coming back out of the chorus. I love not playing a single note on the bass drum for a full measure.

I play like I season steaks: Under seasoning a steak (song) is not a big deal, as long as it's a good steak. But if you over-season a good steak, it doesn't turn out as well.

Now I'm hungry
-Kyle
This is good. It's surprising the mood created when you don't do the expected crash. Space rocks sooo much. Good food analogy too. Analogies rock too. I want marinated ribeye now, mmmm.
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  #47  
Old 08-26-2011, 03:28 AM
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This is true only for some styles of music, though. And honestly, it's why I play jazz. I have a lot I want to say, musically, and I need an outlet for that. And I can find musicians and listeners who not only appreciate that kind of expression from me, but want to hear it. I'm currently playing in a rock/pop band and I'm loving it. But it's not enough for me. I need an outlet for the other side of my playing, too. If I didn't have that, I doubt I'd live and breathe this instrument.
This right here is exactly how I feel.
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  #48  
Old 08-26-2011, 03:37 AM
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Default Re: My thought for today

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Is the programmed stuff in Britney spear's "music" "right" for the song? Because it bores the hell out of me
I think this comes down to taste, Doc. On one level it's right because people are either totally focused on the vocals or dancing.

Say you decide to cover a Brittney song (haha) ... and you figure "There's not enough music going on. This song needs some spice". It's not going to work unless the bassist and others change their lines - not just note choice but the feel with which they play.

You can't just overlay a forest on a road ... it's a team effort, and the tastes of the band largely determine what you play.

Larry, it seems to me that, in essence, the main point of your post is that it's better to be a team player than a wanker ... but it depends on how good you are at wanking :)
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  #49  
Old 08-26-2011, 03:50 AM
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Yea Pol that's it. It irks me when they don't think past the drumset.
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  #50  
Old 08-26-2011, 03:55 AM
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Some guys just overplay because they are trying to impress people. Like there's nothing more important than the drum part. That's my target.
Larry,

Yeah, I get what you're saying, and I know exactly what you mean. In fact, as drummers, I believe we've all found ourselves doing that at some point.

There are times when you're stretching out and everyone in the band is feeling that energy and you're all meeting at that higher level where your chops come in handy. In that moment, I believe you're playing "for the music," so to speak. But then there are the times we all fall victim to where we're playing and we think, "I'm gonna show 'em that ratamacue lick I've been working on. I think I can fit it in as a fill going into the bridge. All the drummers in the audience are gonna freak!" And yeah, that's not necessarily about the music so much as ego.

It's an important distinction and I agree with your main point here.
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  #51  
Old 08-26-2011, 03:56 AM
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I get to do it again this Saturday when the band plays with Alice Cooper and Ace Frehley! (DTE 8mile, and my other Michigan forum friends! This will be my 4th time playing there).
Damn, Karl! That's pretty big time right there, mister. Lemme see what I can do about Saturday night. I'd love to check it out.
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  #52  
Old 08-26-2011, 04:02 AM
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The only reason I say this stuff is to raise awareness. I see too many guys who are out of touch and in their own world.

Yea man go see Karl! His bass drum sound alone is worth the price of admission.
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  #53  
Old 08-26-2011, 06:42 AM
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I get to do it again this Saturday when the band plays with Alice Cooper and Ace Frehley! (DTE 8mile, and my other Michigan forum friends! This will be my 4th time playing there).
Tell Glenn Sobel Ian said Hi!
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  #54  
Old 08-26-2011, 06:35 PM
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Default Re: My thought for today

...when I play with musicians, I keep it simple.

When I play with wankers, I am expected to wank.

Barry
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  #55  
Old 08-26-2011, 09:07 PM
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...when I play with musicians, I keep it simple.

When I play with wankers, I am expected to wank.

Barry
Funny, I usually think of it in reverse. The more that's "going on" in the music, the less I feel I might want to add something beyond the base beat. Working with good musicians who are serious about the structure and inflections of the music tends to give me more to work with on the creativity front.
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  #56  
Old 08-26-2011, 09:28 PM
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Funny, I usually think of it in reverse. The more that's "going on" in the music, the less I feel I might want to add something beyond the base beat. Working with good musicians who are serious about the structure and inflections of the music tends to give me more to work with on the creativity front.
I agree. I don't like adding to the clutter either. Somebody has to "stay home".

So, are you an actual card carrying doctor or do you just play one here? No disrespect intended, quite the contrary.
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  #57  
Old 08-26-2011, 09:41 PM
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I can't stand playing in bands that everyone playing for them selfs and not listening to whole picture. I just quit my band because of this, no dynamics no touch or feel singers jumping the gun and rushing. Now I am in a new band with great players. Playing great music is not about chops or speed its being mindful of everyone around you. As far as what to play and when to play will dictate itself in the music. Even bands that play progressive technical chops stuff still listen to each other and are mindful of what others are playing. Then on the other end you have the Beatles, what made them great was great song writing and great playing as well and they played out for almost 8 hours a day in their beginning. They simply played great together. I have had the pleasure of playing with some pro musicians, it is fantastic how it brings out the best in you and how just laying down a simple beat contributes so much to a song, and building into a chorus and feeling the tension building its a great feeling to experience.
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  #58  
Old 08-26-2011, 11:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Dr_Watso View Post
Funny, I usually think of it in reverse. The more that's "going on" in the music, the less I feel I might want to add something beyond the base beat. Working with good musicians who are serious about the structure and inflections of the music tends to give me more to work with on the creativity front.
...I am pretty much a 60s 70s classic pop/rock kind of guy.

When I am playing with like minded musicians, I play for the song. Two and four, standard fills, and minimal ride cymbal wankery will get me through ninety percent of the songs we do. I am not the most creative drummer, but I am as creative as I need to be for this.

Jamming and noodling is when I get my wank on. That is when I go a little nutty and try things that I would never try otherwise because in this case, it does not matter. If the train derails, we make fun of each other and keep on going.

I enjoy the wankfests as they allow me to unleash my inner "Moon". I find it odd however that I get bored a lot easier with the wankery than I do with the simplicity.

Go figure.

Barry
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  #59  
Old 08-27-2011, 12:24 AM
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I agree. I don't like adding to the clutter either. Somebody has to "stay home".

So, are you an actual card carrying doctor or do you just play one here? No disrespect intended, quite the contrary.
Unfortunately, I fix corporate computers for a living, and get referred to as the computer/network doctor quite often. Between that, the Sherlock Holmes novels, and with my last name being watson, I have a hard time not getting called "Dr Watson" by everyone I meet.(who all think they're being quite original and crafty) As well, my band mates usually drop the N at the end of my name when referring to me; so some time ago I gave up and embraced my given label. At my last office, they even had a white lab coat made for me as a gag that had "Dr Watson" embroidered on it.

Hey, I figure it's not so bad as far as nick-names go. Could be a lot worse!
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  #60  
Old 08-27-2011, 01:48 AM
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I enjoy the wankfests as they allow me to unleash my inner "Moon". I find it odd however that I get bored a lot easier with the wankery than I do with the simplicity.
Me too.

I love listening to prog/chops stuff like Rush, Dream Theater, Fates Warning and such.

But I don't much enjoy playing like that. Even when I do prog, I tend to stick to the groove.
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  #61  
Old 08-27-2011, 05:51 AM
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The only reason I say this stuff is to raise awareness. I see too many guys who are out of touch and in their own world.
You come across like a reformed smoker or an evangelical ... that one time in your dark, distant past that's how you approached things - all flash and treating the music as a vehicle to strut your stuff ... and then you turned from your wicked ways and found your musical life improve greatly. Now you want to spread the good news :)

Am I right?

I played the poser game for a while. I think the biggest turning point was being asked to join a band by a guitarist I greatly admired and I didn't want to take too many risks and not be tight. At that point my playing shifted from more guitar-oriented to bass-oriented.

Still, drums have a special primal charm. Every now and then you have to let it out.
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  #62  
Old 08-27-2011, 06:23 AM
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You are correct. I've been there, and been the "in his own world" a-hole. I am reformed. Trying to spread the good word, doing what I can to give back to the endeavor I love so much. I never had a website like this in my formative years that outlined real life examples of real drummers in real playing situations to refer to. I had Modern Drummer articles...they don't come close to what Bernhard has created here. At least new drummers these days can read about real life experiences of no name drummers like me and get a glimpse of what they will likely encounter on their journey.
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  #63  
Old 08-27-2011, 07:03 AM
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Yes, the resources for young musicians now are amazing. I relied on MD too ... but in hindsight it gave me a lot of high falutin ideas where I would have done better to read about drummers closer to my ability and musical world.

Unfortunately the change has also been accompanied by the decimation of the local live music scene in many places. I think there's a lot of young people now who'd absolutely love the live music scene of the 70s and 80s - lots of high quality local gigs and late night jazz clubs.
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  #64  
Old 08-27-2011, 07:15 AM
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Bang! right on the nail's head...good on ya Barry!

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...when I play with musicians, I keep it simple.

When I play with wankers, I am expected to wank.

Barry
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  #65  
Old 08-27-2011, 07:17 AM
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So you practice long and hard trying to be fast and you get to the gig and 95% of the time you are using just a fraction of what you are capable of. Meaning your are just keeping a beat most of the time. That's all OK because all that training helps your touch (hopefully) and your touch comes through in your playing. And that other 5% is important. Practicing is time well spent.

The hardest part is not using what you have. It takes a lot of maturity to not use that ability, unnecessarily.

But the second you succumb and use your ability because you want to, and you give in, chances are that it serves no purpose in the song. It clutters the song so the drummer can feel like he's being noticed, whoop-dee-do. I listen to some of the stuff I do and I see I'm missing the big picture sometimes. Meaning playing too many nuances as someone is singing for instance. Why can't I just keep it straight sometimes?


What I'm saying is that the larger purpose should be the focus, always. It's easy to get caught up in the drummer mindset, this fill, that crash... and not realize that the main focus....isn't about the drums at all. It's about the mood, or the lyric, and the "front" of the song so to speak. As much as I like and participate in the countless threads about micromanaging gear and chops, I need a break sometimes and need to talk about the real reason there are drums in songs. The musical options that we bring to the table. What options can you name?

Music is many things and conversation is a big one. Karl Crafton sent me some of his playing recently, (top notch btw) and one thing he is really great at...he's great at letting whoever has the "front" of the song....finish what they're saying, be it a lead, or a lyric, or whatever, before doing any drum thing. He listens to what they're saying and waits for their spaces. He never steps on anyone, he truly compliments them by waiting for and playing to their spaces. Karl has the higher purpose clearly in sight.

It's not this lofty place or anything, it is easy to get there, just an attitude adjustment, but it IS beyond gear and chops. I feel it should be talked about more here.
Great thought, Larry. And this is what it's all about. But as I mentioned in a previous thread about gear, I think the reason we all go there to the gear or chops place, is because it's easy to go there. It's a tangible. What Larry is talking about is so private and mature, and it's intangible. Everyone has to get there however they choose to get there.

Some guys have to get fired over and over to figure out that the groove is why you're there. Some guys always work and those of us with chops get so frustrated because you find out the guy can't even roll (big band drummer Davey Tough was like this. The man could not roll if his life depended on it!). I can be accused of being both people. I've been fired because of my apparent enthusiasm on the bandstand, and I've been kept because of the groove. I probably grooved my best when I had two wisdom teeth pulled in a day and then went to a gig. The pain killers kept me doped up enough to not care about anything but playing time, and I obviously couldn't sing with the band. The guys in the band suggested I always get a tooth pulled before a gig!

I know I've been talking alot about getting my gear to this nirvana level - I hope I didn't give anyone the impression that that's the only thing I'm about ;)

Good one, Larry!
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  #66  
Old 08-27-2011, 09:22 AM
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...when I play with musicians, I keep it simple.

When I play with wankers, I am expected to wank.

Barry
I therefore thank a higher authority that my lack of ability helps me avoid wankers. What a bonus! : ) : )
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