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  #1  
Old 01-19-2013, 04:16 PM
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Default Drumming style

Is it better to be more playful with an unothodoxed approach, or be more precise and strightforward with your beats?

What I've noticed in the studio is that our guitarist, the more talented one, encourages me to be more playful with the beats. When I can really key into the music and block out all the distractions, my drumming can really inspire some amazing guitar playing when I step outside of a convention straightforward style. That, in turn, inspires my drum playing and pretty soon we are in a deep groove where the music practically invents itself. We're just going along for the ride. What a great feeling it is. When the song ends, we just all look at each other with a "wow, where did that come from?". Then we pound fists and go on to the next song.

Now, I've always heard less is more. Sometimes this really is the case, and precise, straightforward beats is all you need. This has been my approach to songwriting so far. Anything more than that is just unnecessary noise that actually takes away from the song, or so I thought. Like right now, I wrote a song with the band. We have an intro, 2 verses, a pre-chorus and a chorus. It's a simple song and everything sounds great with the song except the drumming. I'm having a helluva time trying to come up with the perfect beat and feel to this song. I almost feel like the drumming can make or break this song.

To be continued...
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Old 01-19-2013, 04:54 PM
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Default Re: Drumming style

This is an interesting topic, and something I've been interested in for a while.

I'm going to say the music will help dictate that, and your bandmates will let you know if they want more or less of one or the other. Sometimes it's important to have a really strong, solid pocket that doesn't move and helps set up a foundation for the rest of the band. On the other hand, playing to comp lead melodies and parts can make the music really interesting and really take it to the next level of playing.

They require two different types of focus, and I think it's important to try and balance the two. A trap that I fall into a lot is either listening to the other musicians so closely and trying to play something to match what they're playing that the groove severely suffers, or getting so into the groove that I loose where I am in the phrase or completely forget to play a fill or a part that does have to come up.

These are both a little on the extreme side, but it's what I've noticed when I focus too much on either. If you're lucky enough to have talented bandmates and you can see the song on paper or at least in some written/composed form, it can be easier to mark (or at least make a mental note of) where you may want to place punches or hits or kicks or crashes or push the time or lay back to really serve the music as best you can.

In terms of the song you wrote with your band, I'll say what's been said here a thousand times before; The music will dictate the drum groove/parts. Listen closely to the rhythmic structure of the bass line and the lead parts and even the vocals, and try to imagine rhythmically and even harmonically what will work where. Take your time with it, but also let what comes out naturally come out. Don't force a groove on top of it that won't work, or it will sound awful.

I'd also highly suggest listening to songs in that style (or other styles) with great drummers playing on it. They can really inspire you in developing grooves that fit the music. Look to see what studio greats (Gadd, Marotta, Chamberlain, etc.) do on songs, and then look to see what "band drummers" (Ringo, Bonham, Garibaldi, etc.) do on tracks.

Hope that helps..
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Old 01-19-2013, 05:33 PM
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Default Re: Drumming style

Quote:
Originally Posted by Midnite Zephyr View Post
Is it better to be more playful with an unothodoxed approach, or be more precise and straightforward with your beats?
What's an unorthodox approach? Anything different than your average money beat? a classic rock groove? If that's the case, it's not really an unorthodox approach, more like an inspired, creative way to create a pattern which is not a cliché beat.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Midnite Zephyr View Post
I almost feel like the drumming can make or break this song.
Yep, often the pattern you come up with makes all the difference, either way, fitting like a glove and innovative, or a complete disaster.
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Old 01-19-2013, 05:48 PM
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Default Re: Drumming style

I think we as drummers too often get locked into patterns...."beats" and "fills"

I like to think of my contribution to a tune as a current .

with risk of sounding too artsy fartsy .....I think of a river running over rocks and fallen trees and smoothly running over all these obstacles as if they were not even there ....forming around them and passing them by...

I truly feel that when we see in patterns...or beats...and fills....I think this kills the current ....the flow...

we need to just ride the music like a wave.....everyone in the room....just ride the same wave

the music will tell you what to play....and your instincts will allow you to edit what the music tells you it wants

my advice is to trust your instincts brother....and stop thinking in terms of "beats"

you are obviously a lover of music......I feel that vibe emanating from your posts

use that love ....seriously

just flow ...... and if that flow inspires you to voice around the kit....then you voice around the kit

but the current is of utmost importance

I have full faith that you will make the song.....not a chance you break it brother
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Old 01-19-2013, 08:43 PM
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Default Re: Drumming style

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Originally Posted by Midnite Zephyr View Post
Is it better to be more playful with an unothodoxed approach, or be more precise and strightforward with your beats?
You try to have a balance— the two enhance each other. Unorthodox is something other players say they like, but if it takes them too long to figure out how to play with you, they may be inclined to call somebody who is easier for them— I'm speaking from personal experience there. I think to have any kind of career as a weirdo like me, you have to also have a deep appreciation for simple playing, and be able to do it well.
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Old 01-19-2013, 09:02 PM
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Default Re: Drumming style

In studio I'm very straight forward with my playing, and do nothing at all for visual benefit. When I'm playing live, it's slightly more than zero percent, but I couldn't tell you exactly how much, because I don't know. I guess it's all a matter of what makes you comfortable.

Whatever I'm doing, there's typically straight fours or eights on the hats or ride. Usually I'll switch it up, and I might play fours on open hats, and then eights on the ride. But live I might play the eights with a side-to-side wipping motion for a bit more visual. I'll also hold my left handed stick up by my shoulder and play simple fills with my bass drum and right hand, or maybe even just something deep and powerful on the floor tom with my right hand by itself.

I thrive on playing something deep and groovey. I'm a pocket guy strictly. I tried to play with flair, and double bass but I was never good at it - there were times when I'd practice double bass for hours a day, and friends who could do it would tell me "It'll just click." but it never did.

Particularly when I'm playing live, fills are the last thing I think of - I never jam anything in just for the sake of putting it there because I think that makes a song sound rushed, or cluttered.
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Old 01-19-2013, 10:01 PM
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Default Re: Drumming style

Quote:
Originally Posted by Midnite Zephyr View Post
Is it better to be more playful with an unothodoxed approach, or be more precise and strightforward with your beats?
Yes.

There is always a "tried and true" approach to each song, and then there's a "that is so unexpectedly KILLER" approach. Nothing wrong with either... a lot depends on what you are trying to say with the song, what your band is really all about, and who your intended audience is.

If you're a three-piece punk band, throwing in a seven-over-four displacement will probably not be apropos even if it sounds killer. Unless you're tired of being a punk band =)
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Old 01-19-2013, 10:44 PM
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Default Re: Drumming style

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Originally Posted by alparrott View Post
If you're a three-piece punk band, throwing in a seven-over-four displacement will probably not be apropos even if it sounds killer. Unless you're tired of being a punk band =)
Where-as the way The Bad Plus does Tom Sawyer or Smells Like Teen Spirit is perfect..
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Old 01-19-2013, 11:25 PM
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Default Re: Drumming style

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Originally Posted by Anthony Amodeo View Post
I think we as drummers too often get locked into patterns...."beats" and "fills"

I like to think of my contribution to a tune as a current .

with risk of sounding too artsy fartsy .....I think of a river running over rocks and fallen trees and smoothly running over all these obstacles as if they were not even there ....forming around them and passing them by...

I truly feel that when we see in patterns...or beats...and fills....I think this kills the current ....the flow...

we need to just ride the music like a wave.....everyone in the room....just ride the same wave

the music will tell you what to play....and your instincts will allow you to edit what the music tells you it wants

my advice is to trust your instincts brother....and stop thinking in terms of "beats"
But that's jazz, Anthony. Most non-Moon rock drumming is too arranged to improvise and consists of beats and fills (like I'm telling you anything new here haha)

If I started winging it in my band's arrangements there'd be some disappointed musicians because my discipline is the ticket to their freedom. Most times I play a song I will do something a little differently in parts that aren't locked down but that's as far as it goes.
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Old 01-19-2013, 11:40 PM
Anthony Amodeo
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Default Re: Drumming style

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Originally Posted by Anon La Ply View Post
But that's jazz, Anthony. Most non-Moon rock drumming is too arranged to improvise and consists of beats and fills (like I'm telling you anything new here haha)

If I started winging it in my band's arrangements there'd be some disappointed musicians because my discipline is the ticket to their freedom. Most times I play a song I will do something a little differently in parts that aren't locked down but that's as far as it goes.
what I'm talking about is in no way specific to jazz

and i don't mean to improvise constantly.......

my point is as soon as you start thinking within the parameters of beats and fills you are already killing the flow.....

....ok here is my beat....and here is my fill....then back to my beat....

very unhealthy way of approaching music if you ask me


my point is to think of everything as one movement .....one flow ...and don't play beats and fills....play the song with a constant current

I'm sure this all sounds insane in type....but in my head all makes perfect beautiful sense

sure it's a jazz type approach ....but I use it for everything from thrash metal to hip hop
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Old 01-20-2013, 12:22 AM
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Default Re: Drumming style

It doesn't seem insane at all, Anthony. You're just talking about being natural and articulate. Adult expression on the drums. That's ideal.

A lot of musicians don't have the skills to do that - they are less articulate on their instrument. So, instead of flowing, they take a modular approach and put riffs, progressions, choruses, bridges and solos together in different ways.

I do this too. I like a song to have a theme rhythm - a 1, 2 or 4 bar pattern - and then I branch out from there as needed, which I think is a pretty common approach. I've been lucky to generally have at least one person in the band who is more musically articulate than I am so all I need to do is execute well, get some greasy feels going and basically back up. Every now and then the band will gvdadramasum :)
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Old 01-20-2013, 02:40 AM
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Default Re: Drumming style

I don't think that precision and creativeness are mutually exclusive. As a guitar player, I've had the fortune to play with some killer drummers. One of my favorites blurs the line between beat pattern and fill. He'll play some Stanton Moore thing as readily as a four on the floor, and often mix the two. What he almost never does is protracted fills of the same thing. If he does single strokes in a constant division for a quarter of a bar it's remarkable. What this means is that it's always musical and is a solid foundation to play over. Even if he does something based on some sub-division or goes over the bar, the pulse and groove are always still there and you don't have that standing on two bowling balls on a ice rink feeling of wondering where you are. This is where the precision comes in. He is being playful and finding little sub melodies and rhythmic counterpoints to what is going on, but it's done in time and with groove. Which takes incredible precision to put each note right where it needs to be.

We've had conversations about thinking and not thinking. And he admits that there is a certain amount of background thinking going on. That "the bass player likes to do triplet based walk ups into places like what's coming up so I'm going to be ready for that and hear it in my head while I do something complementary. I don't know what yet, it depends on what the guitar player is doing" and so on. The difference between thinking about what is going on and the flow it should take, or how you want to contribute to the flow. Vs. thinking about each stroke during the execution of something.

Yesterday, there was a live webcast with Steve Jordan. In some of the parts he was playing, you could see him improvising with the ghost notes he was playing on the snare. The basic pattern was the same, but he constantly changed it up a little depending on what the bass player was doing, or just for his own amusement. Putting a little improvisation in basic four on the floor backbeats.
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Old 01-20-2013, 05:30 AM
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Default Re: Drumming style

Quote:
Originally Posted by ?uesto View Post
Sometimes it's important to have a really strong, solid pocket that doesn't move and helps set up a foundation for the rest of the band. On the other hand, playing to comp lead melodies and parts can make the music really interesting and really take it to the next level of playing.

... Take your time with it, but also let what comes out naturally come out. Don't force a groove on top of it that won't work, or it will sound awful. ...

I'd also highly suggest listening to songs in that style (or other styles) with great drummers playing on it. They can really inspire you in developing grooves that fit the music.

Hope that helps..
The closest song I can think of that has the feel and beat I was thinking of playing for the song would be Cherub Rock by Smashing Pumpkins. Our song is more of a blues rock though. I tend to write blues rock songs.

I'm trying to have a natural approach and not force anything. I've been so focused on the singing part that I didn't even think about the drum part too much. We got the song down enough where the guitarist could take over the singing part and I could get back on the drums, but I haven't really played it on drums yet. Let's just say there's room for improvement.

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Originally Posted by Mad About Drums View Post
What's an unorthodox approach? Anything different than your average money beat? a classic rock groove? If that's the case, it's not really an unorthodox approach, more like an inspired, creative way to create a pattern which is not a cliché beat.

Yep, often the pattern you come up with makes all the difference, either way, fitting like a glove and innovative, or a complete disaster.
I'm no Keith Moon, but I'd say he has an unorthodoxed approach. It's something I can strive for. The Melvins drummer, IDK his name, has an unorthodoxed approach. I guess in today's context there is no "unorthodoxed" approach because everything has been done. Yep, if the glove don't fit, it'll sound like <insert expletive>.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthoy Amodeo View Post
I think we as drummers too often get locked into patterns...."beats" and "fills"

I like to think of my contribution to a tune as a current .

with risk of sounding too artsy fartsy .....I think of a river running over rocks and fallen trees and smoothly running over all these obstacles as if they were not even there ....forming around them and passing them by...

I truly feel that when we see in patterns...or beats...and fills....I think this kills the current ....the flow...

we need to just ride the music like a wave.....everyone in the room....just ride the same wave

the music will tell you what to play....and your instincts will allow you to edit what the music tells you it wants

my advice is to trust your instincts brother....and stop thinking in terms of "beats"

you are obviously a lover of music......I feel that vibe emanating from your posts

use that love ....seriously

just flow ...... and if that flow inspires you to voice around the kit....then you voice around the kit

but the current is of utmost importance

I have full faith that you will make the song.....not a chance you break it brother
I hear what you're saying about the flow like a river's current. When you can get it to that point, that's when the music truly sounds inspiring. That's what music does for people. We do a lot of improvising and that's when that flowing like a current and not thinking in terms of beats and fills comes into play because I don't really know where the song is going or where it will end up. But this song I wrote and I just wasn't feeling it the other night on that particular song because I'm still kicking it around in my head on what to do with it. Thanks for the vote of confidence. I'll fake it 'til I make it.

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Originally Posted by toddbishop View Post
You try to have a balance— the two enhance each other. Unorthodox is something other players say they like, but if it takes them too long to figure out how to play with you, they may be inclined to call somebody who is easier for them— I'm speaking from personal experience there. I think to have any kind of career as a weirdo like me, you have to also have a deep appreciation for simple playing, and be able to do it well.
Oh, I do appreciate a simple beat. My songs are simple with simple beats. I guess I just want to step away from that a little. This band has had ten drummers before me, who knows how many bass players and guitarists, and the bass player we had when I started was hard to play with because of his playing style. We all talked about it and decided to go with more of a pocket player who was less experienced, but more balanced with time management.

Quote:
Originally Posted by EarthRocker View Post
In studio I'm very straight forward with my playing, and do nothing at all for visual benefit. ...

Whatever I'm doing, there's typically straight fours or eights on the hats or ride. ...

I thrive on playing something deep and groovey. I'm a pocket guy strictly. I tried to play with flair, and double bass but I was never good at it - there were times when I'd practice double bass for hours a day, and friends who could do it would tell me "It'll just click." but it never did.
.
I've always been more of a straight forward player, but in this band I'm being pushed to be more melodic and not so much beat oriented. I might play straight fours and eights less than 50% of the time. Never been a double bass player myself so i'm trying to get as good as I can be on the hihat pedal doing accents, chicks and barks. I try to incorporate a lot of reggae feel and vibe into my beats too. That's stuff requires great control over the hihat pedal as well as just general timekeeping because of all the cool stuff you can do with those beats.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alparrott View Post
Yes.

There is always a "tried and true" approach to each song, and then there's a "that is so unexpectedly KILLER" approach. Nothing wrong with either... a lot depends on what you are trying to say with the song, what your band is really all about, and who your intended audience is.

If you're a three-piece punk band, throwing in a seven-over-four displacement will probably not be apropos even if it sounds killer. Unless you're tired of being a punk band =)
So, you saying a punk beat is not going to cut it if we're playing a blues song? Yes, you are right. I've been watching Neal Peart's Taking Center Stage video. He talks about how his drum parts were written and what inspired the different styles and beats that he played in all the popular songs, etc. So, it's right to say let the music tell me what to say on the drums, but it's nice to explore different beats and approaches because I'm not sure what this band is as far as being specific. But I guess this particular song is blues rock.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aeolian View Post
He is being playful and finding little sub melodies and rhythmic counterpoints to what is going on, but it's done in time and with groove. Which takes incredible precision to put each note right where it needs to be.

We've had conversations about thinking and not thinking. And he admits that there is a certain amount of background thinking going on. That "the bass player likes to do triplet based walk ups into places like what's coming up so I'm going to be ready for that and hear it in my head while I do something complementary. I don't know what yet, it depends on what the guitar player is doing" and so on. The difference between thinking about what is going on and the flow it should take, or how you want to contribute to the flow. Vs. thinking about each stroke during the execution of something.
.
Yes, this is exactly the kind of playing that we can all aspire to if we keep at it and keep jamming with the right people. Ya, if I had to think about every fill and stroke, I don't think I would be in this band. It is challenging for me and always pushes my abilities to the edge, but it's also very rewarding and the gains in execution and precision are coming along quicker.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anon La Ply View Post
A lot of musicians don't have the skills to do that - they are less articulate on their instrument. So, instead of flowing, they take a modular approach and put riffs, progressions, choruses, bridges and solos together in different ways.
True, and this was my approach until about a year ago. Mine eyes have been opened. Now, it's all about learning to flow with the current in a seamless rhythmic energy full of rhythmic counterpoints and finding sub melodies as Aeolian puts it.

Thanks everybody for your thought and ideas on this.
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Old 01-20-2013, 05:47 AM
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Default Re: Drumming style

MZ, I don't know what part of the Golden State you are in, but if you're ever in the bay area you should try to check this out. This is the guy I was talking about. This is a blues jam, but not your everyday shuffle in C, shuffle in A blues jam. Tomorrow Terry Haggerty (the original guitarist from the Sons of Champlain) will be playing at this. If you tend towards blues rock, or blues mixed with jazz, fusion, country and just plain playing, this is inspiring. http://youtu.be/Lnh10zr6oqU
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Old 01-20-2013, 08:12 AM
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Default Re: Drumming style

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Originally Posted by Aeolian View Post
We've had conversations about thinking and not thinking. And he admits that there is a certain amount of background thinking going on. That "the bass player likes to do triplet based walk ups into places like what's coming up so I'm going to be ready for that and hear it in my head while I do something complementary. I don't know what yet, it depends on what the guitar player is doing" and so on. The difference between thinking about what is going on and the flow it should take, or how you want to contribute to the flow. Vs. thinking about each stroke during the execution of something.
excellent!.. in my opinion the best "style" is the one that contributes to a piece of music instead of detracting from it. i think there is maybe a difference between someone who plays drums and someone who plays music.
p.s. great video that you posted.
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Old 01-20-2013, 03:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Aeolian View Post
MZ, I don't know what part of the Golden State you are in, but if you're ever in the bay area you should try to check this out. This is the guy I was talking about. This is a blues jam, but not your everyday shuffle in C, shuffle in A blues jam. Tomorrow Terry Haggerty (the original guitarist from the Sons of Champlain) will be playing at this. If you tend towards blues rock, or blues mixed with jazz, fusion, country and just plain playing, this is inspiring. http://youtu.be/Lnh10zr6oqU
Nice stuff. I was enjoying that drumming. Ya, that's exactly the stuff I'm trying to learn right now, and like I said, it's a great feeling when it all grooves like that. You can just see it in his body language how much he is enjoying the drumming. This video acts funny. The first time I opened it, I got 21 seconds. Second time, 1:21. Third time, 4:39...weird because the song is almost 9 minutes long.

Unfortunately, I live in OC. I know Steve Kimock will be playing in SF on the 28th of March. I might be making a road trip for that, maybe they will be playing that weekend too. I don't get up there as much these days with these gas prices.

Quote:
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excellent!.. in my opinion the best "style" is the one that contributes to a piece of music instead of detracting from it. i think there is maybe a difference between someone who plays drums and someone who plays music.
p.s. great video that you posted.
Plus one on that, man.
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Old 01-20-2013, 06:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Anthony Amodeo View Post
I'm sure this all sounds insane in type....but in my head all makes perfect beautiful sense ...
I'm happy for you Gvda :)



... seriously, you're right, the song generally dictate what to play, and the goal is to make it all flowing nicely and musically, but sometimes you want to have kinda "different" approach to what sounds and feels very obvious to play for a given piece of music, this is were the "unorthodox" approach is considered, as a choice, to create something that would sound different than what's been done over and over, and providing it's inspired and musical, it will fit.
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Old 01-20-2013, 08:17 PM
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I'm happy for you Gvda :)



... seriously, you're right, the song generally dictate what to play, and the goal is to make it all flowing nicely and musically, but sometimes you want to have kinda "different" approach to what sounds and feels very obvious to play for a given piece of music, this is were the "unorthodox" approach is considered, as a choice, to create something that would sound different than what's been done over and over, and providing it's inspired and musical, it will fit.

"unorthodox " is a subjective term though Henri

something that flows naturally out of me may be very unorthodox to you

if someone has to force being "unorthodox" and really go out of their way to achieve this sound.....in my opinion this will not flow at all and will take the current straight out of the music because it is ...in a way....forced ....

my whole theory lends directly to ones inspired creativity to apply all and any rhythmic options musically

there are many players I hear that are physically able to be " unorthodox"....but not nearly mentally ready ...which is evident by the choices they make

this is where the flow of the music is murdered

the ideal situation is when one is mentally equipped to perform an unorthodox contribution to a piece while allowing it to be transparent enough to not interrupt the flow of the overall outcome

that is unless interruption is desired......which is a whole different topic
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Old 01-20-2013, 08:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Anthony Amodeo View Post
the ideal situation is when one is mentally equipped to perform an unorthodox contribution to a piece while allowing it to be transparent enough to not interrupt the flow of the overall outcome
Agreed Anthony, I wasn't implying that an unorthodox approach or contribution would be at the detriment of the music, but just to create something different than usual, which can be so repetitive sometimes.

How does one comes mentally equipped to perform an unorthodox contribution to a piece other than trying something different? I think that's the whole thing Bon is trying to tell us, you cannot make an omelette without breaking some eggs, but it's not being unorthodox just for the sake of being different, it's deeper than that, and eventually it's not even an unorthodoxed approach at all, once you've mastered the "concept".

Many of the greats do this on a regular basis.
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Old 01-20-2013, 09:10 PM
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Agreed Anthony, I wasn't implying that an unorthodox approach or contribution would be at the detriment of the music, but just to create something different than usual, which can be so repetitive sometimes.

How does one comes mentally equipped to perform an unorthodox contribution to a piece other than trying something different?
repetitive is often unavoidable

trying something different is what I am all about

what I am trying to say is sometimes stepping out of bounds can derail the train if you are not mentally equipped

...in no way am I suggesting that Bon is not mentally equipped....I'm speaking very generally here

a basic example......if some cats are in a room trying to get "out" and the drummer does not have a complete and totally internalized understanding of the table of time.....the band will no doubt lose him

which goes back to my point....trying to expand on "unorthodox" ideas can get you in trouble quick if you are not mentally ready for it .......

trying something new is always great......but be very aware of what you are trying

I live for taking chances musically.......I very seldom actually enjoy musical situations that don't allow me to take them much anymore ......it is what excites me about playing today

but running a route without a full understanding of the route tree can be either dangerous or very unmusical

it is a whole lot less difficult to be "unorthodox " for someone with a complete understanding of all relating rhythms that pertain to your situation .......and when you have that full understanding these things are no longer "unorthodox"
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Old 01-20-2013, 09:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Anthony Amodeo View Post
repetitive is often unavoidable ...

....it is a whole lot less difficult to be "unorthodox " for someone with a complete understanding of all relating rhythms that pertain to your situation .......and when you have that full understanding these things are no longer "unorthodox"
It is a paradox, isn't it?

And I often run into this very situation that you describe by overthinking. That's where the derailment comes from. Luckily the band allows me to try and fail sometimes.
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Old 01-20-2013, 09:33 PM
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It is a paradox, isn't it?

And I often run into this very situation that you describe by overthinking. That's where the derailment comes from. Luckily the band allows me to try and fail sometimes.
keep taking those chances bro.

you will grow so much as a musician
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Old 01-20-2013, 09:35 PM
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Default Re: Drumming style

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But that's jazz, Anthony. Most non-Moon rock drumming is too arranged to improvise and consists of beats and fills
Not necessarily-- it seems like a lot of drummers do think they need play in a repetitive, highly arranged way— in the name of craft, I guess— but on many of the good records of the 70's, for example, there's much less of that kind of drumming than you'd think. Carly Simon's Anticipation and Black Sabbath's Iron Man are two examples that leap to mind at the moment. Neither of those are particularly drummy, Moon-like performances, but there's not much repetition-- they're not crafting a “perfect” rhythm track, they're playing to the song; I can't imagine that any two takes of those tunes would've been identical. I think we have more latitude to actually play than we give ourselves sometimes.
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Old 01-20-2013, 09:42 PM
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Not necessarily-- it seems like a lot of drummers do think they need play in a repetitive, highly arranged way— in the name of craft, I guess— but on many of the good records of the 70's, for example, there's much less of that kind of drumming than you'd think. Carly Simon's Anticipation and Black Sabbath's Iron Man are two examples that leap to mind at the moment. Neither of those are particularly drummy, Moon-like performances, but there's not much repetition-- they're not crafting a “perfect” rhythm track, they're playing to the song; I can't imagine that any two takes of those tunes would've been identical. I think we have more latitude to actually play than we give ourselves sometimes.

Todd
you always have a way of taking what I am trying to say in my long winded rambling posts and making it very easy to understand

:)
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Old 01-20-2013, 09:43 PM
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keep taking those chances bro.

you will grow so much as a musician
Will do, bro. Thanks.

Well, it's football time here in America. So, you all have a good one!
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Old 01-20-2013, 09:53 PM
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Will do, bro. Thanks.

Well, it's football time here in America. So, you all have a good one!
both games are gonna be killer bro.....enjoy

I'm off to feast on chinese food and watch the games as well

peace
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Old 01-20-2013, 10:04 PM
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Default Re: Drumming style

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I think we have more latitude to actually play than we give ourselves sometimes.
How very true. I do tend to box my playing in a bit. Thanks for the welcome kick up the arse ;)
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Old 01-20-2013, 10:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Anthony Amodeo View Post
I think we as drummers too often get locked into patterns...."beats" and "fills"

I like to think of my contribution to a tune as a current .

with risk of sounding too artsy fartsy .....I think of a river running over rocks and fallen trees and smoothly running over all these obstacles as if they were not even there ....forming around them and passing them by...

I truly feel that when we see in patterns...or beats...and fills....I think this kills the current ....the flow...

we need to just ride the music like a wave.....everyone in the room....just ride the same wave

the music will tell you what to play....and your instincts will allow you to edit what the music tells you it wants
It's amazing when you put my head into words without any prompting from myself. This is how I play. I make "landscapes" out of the various shapes/colors and textures I get from the music and I follow those however they make me feel... Sometimes it actually does take on a river form, other times, it's a tunnel, or a forest of spikes or lines, etc... Point is, most people look at me weird when I say stuff like this, and it's often refreshing when someone respected like yourself says it too.

This is also why I often say I "don't have any fills"... Because I always just do what I hear/see for the music. I anticipate what's coming up around the next bend in the river, and think about what I want to accompany that twist with.
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Old 01-20-2013, 11:18 PM
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Default Re: Drumming style

Thanks you guys! Here's one more thing that seems relevant-- Andy Newmark, who played on Anticipation, talking about watching Jim Keltner and Jim Gordon over several days of recording John Lennon:

Quote:
I couldn't have played the part they played with the conviction they played it with. I was still playing too busy. I thought, "I wouldn't have the nerve to just lay back for three-and-a-half minutes, like what I've just seen." I knew there would have been eight places in the record where I would have been playing a fill, or been too busy. I knew I didn't somehow have the maturity or the instincts to do what I was seeing being done in front of me. I guess it was good that I could recognize that. It was like regrooming my mind from what most drummers grow up learning- chops and technique.
That seems to take us full circle to playing less again, but this seems to be coming from a place more of high artistry than just of a blanket rule of “just play parts”, you know?
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Old 01-20-2013, 11:42 PM
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You know - most of the time what you guys discuss on here goes right over my head. But - band I played with a year or two ago, we were discussing one part of a song and they asked which particular section I was talking about and without thinking I said "the waterfall bit".

That particular number was my absolute favourite in the set and I always thought I played it brilliantly, although I was generally massively lacking in confidence. Perhaps I should rethink.
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Old 01-21-2013, 02:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Midnite Zephyr View Post
I almost feel like the drumming can make or break this song.

..
From the general audiences perspective, that doesn't happen often.


And....I didn't really understand the playful VS precise question. I think but I don't over think. I just hit the drums. Not too much, not too little. I'm simple like that.
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Old 01-21-2013, 03:03 AM
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Originally Posted by toddbishop View Post
Not necessarily-- it seems like a lot of drummers do think they need play in a repetitive, highly arranged way— in the name of craft, I guess— but on many of the good records of the 70's, for example, there's much less of that kind of drumming than you'd think. Carly Simon's Anticipation and Black Sabbath's Iron Man are two examples that leap to mind at the moment.
Risk management, Todd - for those without the finesse of Andy Newmark and the instincts of Bill Ward. I'm reminded of an article I read decades ago about a bassist that roughly went ... "on his good nights he tore it up and on his off nights he clung to his basic lines like a security blanket".

That's pretty well how I've tended to play - there's a low risk arrangement for recording and off days, but the better I feel the more I play by ear.


Quote:
Originally Posted by toddbishop View Post
I think we have more latitude to actually play than we give ourselves sometimes.
Universe grant me the serenity
to accept the arrangements I should not change;
the courage to change things up when needed;
and the wisdom to know the difference.

:)


Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony Amodeo View Post
Todd
you always have a way of taking what I am trying to say in my long winded rambling posts and making it very easy to understand
You made perfect sense. It was clear to me.
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Old 01-21-2013, 08:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Anthony Amodeo View Post
I think of a river running over rocks and fallen trees and smoothly running over all these obstacles as if they were not even there ....forming around them and passing them by...

I truly feel that when we see in patterns...or beats...and fills....I think this kills the current ....the flow...

we need to just ride the music like a wave.....everyone in the room....just ride the same wave

the music will tell you what to play....and your instincts will allow you to edit what the music tells you it wants
This is the stuff, right here. Anthony mentioned this same kinda idea in a post a while back. I've put it to good use -- really helps with my playing -- and I play 90s covers and original garage-rock tunes :)

One of my teachers also echoed the sentiment of "be like water" ... good stuff.

CV
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Old 01-21-2013, 09:25 PM
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  #34  
Old 01-23-2013, 10:52 AM
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MZ, I don't know what part of the Golden State you are in, but if you're ever in the bay area you should try to check this out. This is the guy I was talking about. This is a blues jam, but not your everyday shuffle in C, shuffle in A blues jam. Tomorrow Terry Haggerty (the original guitarist from the Sons of Champlain) will be playing at this. If you tend towards blues rock, or blues mixed with jazz, fusion, country and just plain playing, this is inspiring. http://youtu.be/Lnh10zr6oqU
I really enjoyed that drumming. Not flailing all over the drums, but lots of tasty syncopated beats around the kit. I do a bit of that sometimes, but maybe I might do a bit more of it in certain types of music.
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Old 01-23-2013, 10:11 PM
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I don't believe a drummers playing should or can be (sucessfully) dictated by the other musicians participating in making the music.

If what you are playing is your vision then it becomes the role the other musicians to decide if your playing is to their liking or not, minor accommodating adjustments aside.

The scale of the adjustment you are describing(playful unorthodox vrs stright forward) can be made but usually creates garbage sounding like top 10 currently sounds. -as an example, compare the radio release to the album release of Arms Wide Open by Creed - talk about butchering a drum part and reducing the quality of a song.

Feeling confident not only about your playing but about your composition is very important...otherwise every strong personality who thinks they are a producer will try to tune you like a machine...without being aware that skilled producers choose musicians for roles.

Last edited by Otto; 01-23-2013 at 10:22 PM.
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Old 01-24-2013, 04:50 AM
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I don't believe a drummers playing should or can be (sucessfully) dictated by the other musicians participating in making the music.

If what you are playing is your vision then it becomes the role the other musicians to decide if your playing is to their liking or not, minor accommodating adjustments aside.

The scale of the adjustment you are describing(playful unorthodox vrs stright forward) can be made but usually creates garbage sounding like top 10 currently sounds. -as an example, compare the radio release to the album release of Arms Wide Open by Creed - talk about butchering a drum part and reducing the quality of a song.

Feeling confident not only about your playing but about your composition is very important...otherwise every strong personality who thinks they are a producer will try to tune you like a machine...without being aware that skilled producers choose musicians for roles.
Yeah, it bothers me when my vision is being drawn into question, but I'm open to another persons ideas. Maybe it is better. Jamming is one thing, but with writing a song, I can take the time to get it right and consider a few angles. We'll see how it goes tonight. Maybe I can get my recorder working. But I'm not going to post anymore junk recordings anymore so it all depends.
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Old 01-24-2013, 05:09 AM
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I don't believe a drummers playing should or can be (sucessfully) dictated by the other musicians participating in making the music.

If what you are playing is your vision then it becomes the role the other musicians to decide if your playing is to their liking or not, minor accommodating adjustments aside.
I think a lot of the cliches about "playing for the song" (which, admittedly, I often say myself) gloss over the fact that what sounds good "for the song" was established by musicians who dared to express their own voices. And some of the things we've accepted as standard approaches today were once radical and invited scorn and ridicule towards those who went against the grain.

There's a quote attributed to Arthur Schopenhauer about the three phases that truth passes through:
  • First it is ridiculed.
  • Second it is fiercely and violently opposed.
  • Third, it becomes self-evident.
I think musical conventions go through the same phases. There are entire musical styles that wouldn't exist if not for the musicians who ignored the ridicule and kept on doing what they do.



Of course, not all of us have such grand visions or talents. For every musician who started a musical movement, there are probably thousands who played something nobody else wanted to hear and it just died on the vine.


But when I hear all the talk about playing what "fits," I think that's more about commerce than art, or at least more about playing it safe than really creating something special.
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Old 01-24-2013, 08:43 AM
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Default Re: Drumming style

Collaborative songwriting is a very difficult thing. Especially working out the details as opposed to the basic melody and rhythm. Which is why most arrangers work alone. Sometimes a creative drum pattern can be the signature of a song. But more often it is the icing on the cake. And needs to be integrated into the rest of the arrangement. The studio aces, the Blaines, Gadds, Pocaros and so forth "played for the song" in a way that complemented what the arrangers had created. Often fairly constrained by written out parts. Gadd's bits on Aja were taken from a study that Chuck Mangione had written out for him when Steve was a student of his at Eastman.
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