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  #1  
Old 11-22-2018, 09:56 AM
jiklass jiklass is offline
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Default What makes a good drummer?

In my opinion, any answer to this question is subjective. That being said, I think good timing makes a good drummer. Thoughts?
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  #2  
Old 11-22-2018, 10:20 AM
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Default Re: What makes a good drummer?

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Originally Posted by jiklass View Post
In my opinion, any answer to this question is subjective. That being said, I think good timing makes a good drummer. Thoughts?
My thought is you're exactly right: it's all very subjective. If you're looking for flash, then a flashy drummer will be good. If you're looking for solid time, then a solid groover will be good.

If you put it in a money context, you could ask, what makes a good working drummer? Then that narrows it down to the solid groovers more then the flashy technique drummers. But then again, it just depends on who's paying and what it's for. I'm sure Terry Bozzio can groove, he just doesn't get called for that. I've heard Steve Jordan take some pretty interesting "outside" solos with guitarist Steve Khan, but he generally doesn't get called for that. You could say Meg White doesn't know how to play (and she'd probably agree with you), but she was perfect for the White Stripes.

But in my mind, drums are an accompanying instrument. You're there to play time for the rest of the musicians. To be the glue that holds it all together. So I lean towards solid groovers being good drummers - because they know how to play for the music and with the band. I guess you could say any drummer that fulfills the needs of the music is a good drummer. Whether or not you like that particular music is another story, though. This discussion could continue on in circles ;)
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  #3  
Old 11-22-2018, 10:35 AM
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Mighty_Joker Mighty_Joker is offline
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Default Re: What makes a good drummer?

Looking at it from a professional player's perspective, a good drummer to me (and the benchmark I set for myself as a minimum) is one that can do the job, whatever that may be.

If I'm called to do a jazz gig, can I do a good job? Likewise a country session, masterclass on linear playing, or a top 40 covers band. If the drummer in question can do a good job for whatever that job is, I'd be tempted to say they are a good drummer.

For me personally, I love drummers that are a little unique, have their own identity and sound, and push the boundaries. For this reason, I love players like Jack DeJohnette, Vinnie, and Tony Williams. Unique, revolutionary, identifiable.
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  #4  
Old 11-22-2018, 10:39 AM
Prawny Prawny is offline
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Default Re: What makes a good drummer?

1. Being able to understand what you need to play to serve the music

2. Being able to play that well.



I'm pretty good at number one, still working on number 2 :-)
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  #5  
Old 11-22-2018, 02:43 PM
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Default Re: What makes a good drummer?

A good musician makes a good drummer.
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  #6  
Old 11-22-2018, 02:58 PM
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Default Re: What makes a good drummer?

A good drummer is one who knows and plays what a song/tune needs. Peace and goodwill.
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  #7  
Old 11-22-2018, 03:00 PM
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Odd-Arne Oseberg Odd-Arne Oseberg is offline
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Default Re: What makes a good drummer?

Playing appropriate shit with good time makes a good musician who plays the drums.
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Last edited by Odd-Arne Oseberg; 11-22-2018 at 03:43 PM.
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  #8  
Old 11-22-2018, 03:22 PM
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AzHeat AzHeat is offline
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Default Re: What makes a good drummer?

I think this guy says it as clearly as it can be said:

https://youtu.be/9oQsKRyihEA?t=20
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  #9  
Old 11-22-2018, 03:36 PM
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Hollywood Jim Hollywood Jim is offline
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Default Re: What makes a good drummer?

The answer to your question is "practice".
Or did I misunderstand the question.


.
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  #10  
Old 11-22-2018, 05:14 PM
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larryace larryace is offline
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Default Re: What makes a good drummer?

I'll try and contribute:

Someone who can play musical time with confidence. (Great meter)

Someone who has a honed tempo sense.

Someone who understands the song form and doesn't get lost.

Someone who understands dynamics and knows how to use them effectively across many genres.

Someone who understands that drums are not a lead instrument 99% of the time.

Someone who listens to the lyrics and understands what the song is about, and matches the drum part to the mood.

Someone who doesn't introduce their own problems to the music or to the other musicians.

Someone who doesn't overplay while accompanying, and who also can really nail an ending. (guys that do the opposite irk me)

Someone who "helps" the soloist get where they want to go.

Someone who has exceptional listening skills, that can let others do their thing and just support. Someone who can leave space, and is comfortable with space. (while the time marches on)

Someone who understands why they subtracted their ego from their playing (hint: ego is a giant obstacle). They consciousnessly leave out their ego just as much as possible and play for the song/musicians.

And the 5 MOST important things...the gear, the threads, the performance, the groove and the vocal :)
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  #11  
Old 11-22-2018, 05:31 PM
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alparrott alparrott is offline
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Default Re: What makes a good drummer?

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Originally Posted by larryace View Post
And the 5 MOST important things...the gear, the threads, the performance, the groove and the vocal :)
Coffee spit take for the win Lar...

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  #12  
Old 11-22-2018, 05:50 PM
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larryace larryace is offline
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Default Re: What makes a good drummer?

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Originally Posted by alparrott View Post
Coffee spit take for the win Lar...


I figured you guys knew what I was referring to, no need to qualify it. You guys are quick on the uptake.
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  #13  
Old 11-22-2018, 06:27 PM
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Merlin5 Merlin5 is offline
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Default Re: What makes a good drummer?

All good answers, particularly larry's.

I will just add, being at the gig in good time is another aspect of being a good drummer. A humorous quote with perhaps some element of truth from the legendary Chuck Silverman goes like this,

"If you're 10 minutes early, you're on time.
If you're 5 minutes early, you're late.
If you're on time, you're fired."

:D
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  #14  
Old 11-22-2018, 08:01 PM
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T_Weaves T_Weaves is offline
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Default Re: What makes a good drummer?

1) Feel
2) Dynamics
3) Technique
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  #15  
Old 11-24-2018, 02:15 AM
Florida Drum Dude Florida Drum Dude is offline
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Default Re: What makes a good drummer?

Good time, playing for the song, the ability to create and release musical tension through dynamics and chops. One who does their homework and shows up prepared.
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  #16  
Old 11-24-2018, 02:52 AM
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Anon La Ply Anon La Ply is offline
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Default Re: What makes a good drummer?

A good drummer's parents.
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  #17  
Old 11-24-2018, 05:02 AM
Gottliver Gottliver is offline
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Default Re: What makes a good drummer?

Rudiments and a metronome?
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  #18  
Old 11-24-2018, 05:27 AM
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larryace larryace is offline
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Default Re: What makes a good drummer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by alparrott View Post

How many cymbals can you count on his set?

What does he carry them in?

Does he have a Wailin Smash truck?

Is there even a hi hat?
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  #19  
Old 11-24-2018, 05:59 AM
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Default Re: What makes a good drummer?

There is no way he doesn't drive a 70s van with teardrop porthole windows, and a painting of him riding a unicorn and wielding sticks like battle axes. I only assume that the unicorn has a stack of cymbals on its unihorn.
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  #20  
Old 11-24-2018, 09:11 PM
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Default Re: What makes a good drummer?

.............................. GOD ....................................
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  #21  
Old 11-24-2018, 09:59 PM
WallyY WallyY is offline
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Default Re: What makes a good drummer?

It is better to be a likable good drummer than it is to be a better good drummer.
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  #22  
Old 12-06-2018, 09:57 PM
Otto Otto is offline
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Default Re: What makes a good drummer?

I think a good drummer is not defined by the drummer but by the listener.

A little circular as the drummer is also listening...but I believe it is up to the audience to define a good drummer vrs a bad drummer...as they are the end target...not even the guy who is paying you...unless you are more interested in $ than in the song(as opposed to allowing the $ to follow the music)...and in that case, go away!

e.g. - it is reported Sting didn't get along with Vinnie...and he might rank Vinnie lower than other drummers...but who cares what anyone says except the paying/listening audience.

Yes, that means Meg is as valid as Buddy!...if not more so to many with modern day music consumer ears.(that is, normal people)

'Good' is relative to the evaluating scale...and there is no objective scaling when it comes to music no matter what judges/executives say(no, not even sales...that's a measure of how much you pay for marketing and distribution)...there are ways to evaluate specific skills..but that is like rating the pleasure a particular horse gives when going for a scenic ride by evaluating the horses ability to win races....purely moronic in terms of music.

If you mark yourself as a good or bad drummer, remember that your opinion in relation to the reality of music is only a percentage of the truth...I would put it at about 0-20%. The music tells all and maybe not to you as the musician...but maybe so for those musicians who take the effort to shave their ego and be 'o.k.' with their playing...perceived warts and all.

Have a look at an anime called 'Forest Of Piano'...a great illustration of the idea....or listen to Mikala Jade from this years 'Australian Voice' TV Show..catch both her audition song and her original called Yellow Rose...all on You Tube.(unless The Voice is really being crafty with deception and Mikala is playing along...something that this industry would do and not leave me surprised).

Last edited by Otto; 12-06-2018 at 10:19 PM.
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  #23  
Old 12-06-2018, 10:00 PM
Gottliver Gottliver is offline
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Default Re: What makes a good drummer?

Well said Otto. Eloquent.
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  #24  
Old 12-06-2018, 10:05 PM
Otto Otto is offline
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Default Re: What makes a good drummer?

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Originally Posted by Gottliver View Post
Well said Otto. Eloquent.
You are too kind...thank you for those words!
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  #25  
Old 12-06-2018, 11:00 PM
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Ben Tama Ben Tama is offline
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Default Re: What makes a good drummer?

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Originally Posted by Anon La Ply View Post
A good drummer's parents.
This x 1000. Not joking.
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  #26  
Old 12-11-2018, 08:02 PM
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Bruce M. Thomson Bruce M. Thomson is offline
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Default Re: What makes a good drummer?

Here are 2 links that answer the question-they are not long and are informative. I highly recommend them.

https://youtu.be/9oQsKRyihEA


https://youtu.be/csexneGuMUg
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  #27  
Old 12-11-2018, 08:31 PM
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trickg trickg is offline
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Default Re: What makes a good drummer?

Hal Blaine
Bernard Purdie
Josh Freese
Matt Chamberlain
Russell Kunkle
Lonnie Wilson
Tony Williams
Max Roach
Ed Shaughnessy
Etc.

Go listen to them, and you'll know everything you need to know about what it is that makes a good drummer.
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