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  #1  
Old 08-04-2016, 07:13 PM
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Default Drummers who "overplay" the music.

It seems like the general consensus around here is for the drummer to "play to the music" and not over play it with flashy fills or erratic ride/hat patterns where it is just not called for. Basically, you should be a musician and have your drumming compliment to enhance the music.

If this is the case around here, I figure we could have a pretty good discussion about what it means to overplay the music and provide examples for people. With that said, I'm wondering what drummers you think "overplay" the music. I'll start:

Carter Beauford - Dave Matthews Band

Dont get me wrong, Carter is a mind-bogglingly amazing drummer and percussionist, but holy hell is his drumming over-the-top for Dave Matthews Band. Carter could be one hell of a progressive rock drummer, but he plays in what I would deem a "Jam Band" and therefor completely overplays the music. I really enjoy his playing and would love to learn just what the hell he is doing behind the kit, but I often wonder how much more mellow and "jam-style" DMB's sound would be without Carter behind the kit.
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Old 08-04-2016, 07:22 PM
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Default Re: Drummers who "overplay" the music.

It's hard to generalize. In DMB, Carter is a big part of a identifiable sound.

Overplaying isn't just about how much. If it works and you can pull it off and with a suitable dynamic then it's usually ok.

If the playing is out of control, unintentionally messy and doesn't gel with the other micro rhythm things gong on then it might be a problem.

It's all about context, though.

Wondering how DMB would be without Carter. Well, maybe a it like Janice Joplin's band without Janice. Lol
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Old 08-04-2016, 07:30 PM
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Default Re: Drummers who "overplay" the music.

This could turn into a very mixed and confusing discussion. So many opinions, so many different tastes in music.
It is safe to say that when you listen to MOST popular music you don't hear a bunch of drum fills.
But you do hear steady consistent rhythms which might be considered somewhat boring for a drummer to play.


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Old 08-04-2016, 07:36 PM
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Default Re: Drummers who "overplay" the music.

One drummer that comes to mind and BTW one I love is Keith Moon. Most of the time it works for the Who's music, but sometime it seems "messy" to me.

As I age I am definitely falling into the "Less is Best" camp and lately have been working to that extent on "non-fills" by moving one or two beats of groove around - trying not to over do it.
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Old 08-04-2016, 07:37 PM
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Default Re: Drummers who "overplay" the music.

Matt Mingus from Dance Gavin Dance perfectly overplays. Once you realise what he's doing his parts are extremely creative. Very cool drummer.
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Old 08-04-2016, 07:58 PM
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Default Re: Drummers who "overplay" the music.

Simon Philips on the last Hiromi album. On one song he clearly abuses the tom and either rushes or lags at some point. But I still enjoy listening to it and he is a master !
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Old 08-04-2016, 08:00 PM
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Default Re: Drummers who "overplay" the music.

I think we can all agree that John Bonham was the worst over-player of all time followed by Travis Barker.
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Old 08-04-2016, 08:00 PM
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Default Re: Drummers who "overplay" the music.

One drummers overplaying is anothers genius...makes for a great spirited debate, but it generally doesn't go very far.

I always thought of Carter Beauford (sp?) is an excellent drummer AND plays the music well. Agree that DMB has a signature sound, easy to identify upon just one second of listening. It's hard to argue against any part of the formula.
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Old 08-04-2016, 09:05 PM
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Default Re: Drummers who "overplay" the music.

"Overplaying" can mean a number of things.

For beginning and intermediate drummers, it means getting all excited about the fills at the expense of the pocket. I sometimes cringe when I listen back to a fill I threw in that disrupted the song instead of enhancing it.

Hopefully pros can throw in whatever they want without messing up the flow of the song and/or stepping on the other guys' parts. If so, how much is too much? It's a matter of taste.

I'd say Neil Peart is an example of a drummer who inserts fills everywhere without detracting from the song. He's not subtle but he's exact.

As a rule, until we reach expert status, I think we oughta colour inside the lines.
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Old 08-04-2016, 09:10 PM
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Default Re: Drummers who "overplay" the music.

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Originally Posted by Dr_Watso View Post
I think we can all agree that John Bonham was the worst over-player of all time followed by Travis Barker.
LOL! Got me on that one!
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  #11  
Old 08-04-2016, 09:57 PM
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Default Re: Drummers who "overplay" the music.

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Originally Posted by Tommy_D View Post

Carter Beauford - Dave Matthews Band

Dont get me wrong, Carter is a mind-bogglingly amazing drummer and percussionist, but holy hell is his drumming over-the-top for Dave Matthews Band. Carter could be one hell of a progressive rock drummer, but he plays in what I would deem a "Jam Band" and therefor completely overplays the music. I really enjoy his playing and would love to learn just what the hell he is doing behind the kit, but I often wonder how much more mellow and "jam-style" DMB's sound would be without Carter behind the kit.
I sort of agree....although if Carter was not the drummer and their band was watered down by an average 1-2-3-4 guy, its quite possible the music would not be as well received? His playing just cuts through their music and to a certain extent, defines it.

Disclaimer....NOT a fan of DMB, although Carter is among my favorite drummers.
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  #12  
Old 08-04-2016, 11:52 PM
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Default Re: Drummers who "overplay" the music.

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Originally Posted by MoreBeer View Post
I sort of agree....although if Carter was not the drummer and their band was watered down by an average 1-2-3-4 guy, its quite possible the music would not be as well received? His playing just cuts through their music and to a certain extent, defines it.

Disclaimer....NOT a fan of DMB, although Carter is among my favorite drummers.
I'm not a huge DMB fan either, but I was listening to the Crash album today (which is beautifully mastered by the way) and it came to me that Carter's playing is so crazy. It's crazy good; I don't deny that, but its also just plain 'ole crazy.

I listen to the music and can easily strip out 80% of his playing and still keep a very similar feel to the music. As a drummer I enjoy listening to his playing, but to a layman is this something bothersome to them? Would it be the equivalent of a guitarist throwing in random solo during the verses of the songs only to put in a screeching solo during the chorus?
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  #13  
Old 08-05-2016, 12:18 AM
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Default Re: Drummers who "overplay" the music.

While we all espouse what we all espouse around here, we need guys who "overplay". That's not me but a guy like Carter who can make all those notes work...we need guys like that.
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  #14  
Old 08-05-2016, 12:35 AM
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Default Re: Drummers who "overplay" the music.

This is really sort of stupid. If a band writes original music, they can play it however they like. Does Joe Satriani "overplay"? The answer is no. He's not doing covers, he's writing his own music that's meant to be busy. Carter can't overplay something he wrote, he is a great drummer, and not only does he know what he's doing, I'd wager he has reasons for all the notes he put in.

I mean, really. Brings to mind:


So this probably boils down to one of two things. A) Jealousy of lower rung drummers trying to justify their own lack of ability to play busy, or B) Simply different people with different tastes.

Does dream-theater overplay? Do all the metal bands doing double bass 32nd notes at 300bpm overplay?

There's no point in comparing drummers to one another. Styles are different, tastes are different, the people consuming the music are different.

Don't worry about "overplaying" originals. Just listen to the music and play what truly sounds right to you.
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Old 08-05-2016, 01:14 AM
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Default Re: Drummers who "overplay" the music.

I guess it would all depend on what one considers "good musicianship"?
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  #16  
Old 08-05-2016, 02:08 AM
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Default Re: Drummers who "overplay" the music.

I kinda prefer to focus on the positives of any drummer, after all CB is a pro, and Matthews hired him to fit the bill.
I doubt any layperson notices his drumming as complex, if they notice the drumming at all.
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Old 08-05-2016, 02:27 AM
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Default Re: Drummers who "overplay" the music.

It depends. Every rock and pop group I've played in wants the drummer to contribute beyond straight grooving - to add a bit of flair at times as with all instruments.

Given that Dave Mathhews' music is as dull as dishwater *ducks for cover*, Carter B's flamboyant playing at least adds a little interest :) Ditto Kwon Soon Keun. Would his group have become a viral worldwide hit without his hammery? Ditto Steve Moore with that pedestrian casino band.
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  #18  
Old 08-05-2016, 07:23 AM
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Default Re: Drummers who "overplay" the music.

When listening to studio recordings, you will likely not hear any overplaying. It simply wouldn't be allowed by the artist or producer (and in the old days, the record labels who were concerned with selling product.) Whether the drumming is complicated or simpler, it's how the people involved wanted it.

But it's still a subjective concept. The way to test whether the drummer overplayed is to imagine the parts played simpler. If the song benefits as a result, then the drummer probably overplayed. When it's the Who, it should be readily apparent that it can't be any other way. Again, it's rare that you'd ever hear anything terribly inappropriate on a studio release. I can't think of any songs with complicated drum parts that didn't sound right as-is. Even a few songs* that I once thought were a little busier or more syncopated than they should be, turned out in hindsight to sound exactly right. Simpler drum parts would have been inadequate.

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* FYI, We Five's "You Were On My Mind" and Dylan's "Tangled Up In Blue" have deliciously syncopated drum parts that might normally be considered over the top. You Were On My Mind becomes almost a snare solo by the end of the song!
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Old 08-05-2016, 09:16 AM
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Default Re: Drummers who "overplay" the music.

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Originally Posted by Tommy_D View Post
It seems like the general consensus around here is for the drummer to "play to the music" and not over play it with flashy fills or erratic ride/hat patterns where it is just not called for. Basically, you should be a musician and have your drumming compliment to enhance the music.

If this is the case around here, I figure we could have a pretty good discussion about what it means to overplay the music and provide examples for people. With that said, I'm wondering what drummers you think "overplay" the music. I'll start:

Carter Beauford - Dave Matthews Band

Dont get me wrong, Carter is a mind-bogglingly amazing drummer and percussionist, but holy hell is his drumming over-the-top for Dave Matthews Band. Carter could be one hell of a progressive rock drummer, but he plays in what I would deem a "Jam Band" and therefor completely overplays the music. I really enjoy his playing and would love to learn just what the hell he is doing behind the kit, but I often wonder how much more mellow and "jam-style" DMB's sound would be without Carter behind the kit.
But one man's "overplaying" could be another woman's "This is perfect", no? And sometimes what I think is overplaying one year, becomes underplaying the next year. It's all art, it's all subjective. I like both the simple groove and the complicated groove, depends on my mood and the music they're playing. I don't think the DMB would be the DMB if they had anybody else that drum chair. I can't imagine anyone else in the Rolling Stones besides Charlie.
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Old 08-05-2016, 09:47 AM
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Default Re: Drummers who "overplay" the music.

Even if I like him a lot, even if the music style invoque overplaying , I sometimes feel that Mike Portnoy in DT shouldn't have changed his rhythm or do a fill every four bars. Some songs don't need so many rhythm shifts.
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  #21  
Old 08-05-2016, 05:33 PM
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Default Re: Drummers who "overplay" the music.

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But one man's "overplaying" could be another woman's "This is perfect", no? And sometimes what I think is overplaying one year, becomes underplaying the next year. It's all art, it's all subjective. I like both the simple groove and the complicated groove, depends on my mood and the music they're playing. I don't think the DMB would be the DMB if they had anybody else that drum chair. I can't imagine anyone else in the Rolling Stones besides Charlie.
Very true, and this is why everyone is going to have a differing opinion on the matter.

In my Carter Beauford example, I think about what Benny Greb might have done if he were the drummer for DMB. Benny can be more groove centric while throwing in different "textures" to vary the groove. Certainly, syncopated patterns and rhythms would happen, and fills would be there, but likely in a more subtle way. To me, it would seem to blend more with the relaxed, jam-style music that DMB plays.

As I mentioned in my original post, Carter would be a beast of a progressive rock drummer. It seems like that was his calling. I wouldnt consider his playing style out of place in a prog rock band setting. Speaking of Prog Rock, people have mentioned Dream Theater and Portnoy overplaying. A part of me understands how that can be seen (in a general drumming sense), however a larger part of me sees how the entire band plays at such a crazy elevated level with intentionally crazy time signatures, key changes, and general "epicness" that I found Portnoys playing very suited to the music. Now that DT has Mike Mangini on the skins, I look back at Portnoy as someone who helped ground the band and keep the music more on the heavy rock side of Prog Rock. I feel DT has gone off the rails since Portnoy's departure and they have moved in to some strange sci-fi fantacy style of Prog Rock that has lost most of its musicality. Mangini is a beast of a drummer, but he is doing nothing to help ground that band and bring rhythm and groove to the music. Its to the point now that I can barely listen to their music because it doesnt resonate with me. Its so far in to the realm of musical wankery that it has lost its soul. Which is unfortunate because I am/was a big dream theater fan.

Would I say Mangini overplays the music? No, but at the same time I feel like he is not doing a good job of being a drummer in a band. He is not grounding the music and giving it a pulse for people to follow. This is certainly by design and likely by the direction of John Petrucci. I cant blame Mangini for this as he seems like someone who is taking his musical direction from others and is creating parts that fit within that musical vision. I just wish someone else was at the helm of the ship to steer it back on course and get it out of the direction it is currently in.
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Last edited by Tommy_D; 08-05-2016 at 05:45 PM.
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Old 08-05-2016, 05:56 PM
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Default Re: Drummers who "overplay" the music.

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It's hard to generalize. In DMB, Carter is a big part of a identifiable sound.

Overplaying isn't just about how much. If it works and you can pull it off and with a suitable dynamic then it's usually ok.

If the playing is out of control, unintentionally messy and doesn't gel with the other micro rhythm things gong on then it might be a problem.

It's all about context, though.

Wondering how DMB would be without Carter. Well, maybe a it like Janice Joplin's band without Janice. Lol

Or Rush without Peart!
Never a dull moment with Carter or Peart but it works with the music.
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Old 08-05-2016, 06:05 PM
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Default Re: Drummers who "overplay" the music.

Overplaying, to me, is sort of like using a chainsaw to cut the Thanksgiving turkey. Technically, the chainsaw does cut the turkey; however, it's really messy, loud, and darn-right offensive in some respects. I consider over-playing the same way. The drummer is there to keep time and support. For example, I always make a point to watch the lead singer to see what he/she is doing and I play which best supports his/her actions.

I love what Carter Beauford does, and he used to be a huge inspiration to me when I first started playing. I feel like his drumming fits what Dave is doing. Just my $.02.
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Old 08-05-2016, 06:13 PM
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Default Re: Drummers who "overplay" the music.

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One drummer that comes to mind and BTW one I love is Keith Moon. Most of the time it works for the Who's music, but sometime it seems "messy" to me.

As I age I am definitely falling into the "Less is Best" camp and lately have been working to that extent on "non-fills" by moving one or two beats of groove around - trying not to over do it.
KM is at the top of my list for overplaying. But it is a subjective discussion. He may be the reason I am not a fan of the Who. I have seen some very good local players overplay too. I can be a fan of their talent but not their style.
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Old 08-05-2016, 06:17 PM
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Default Re: Drummers who "overplay" the music.

Music is art. Art is subjective. One person's over-playing is another person's treasure....wait a minute.....how does that go again?
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Old 08-05-2016, 06:40 PM
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Default Re: Drummers who "overplay" the music.

Look at Danny Seraphine on Chicago's up tempo songs like "Make Me Smile"---very "busy" but extremely musical and fitting for the style. But able to lay back on "Color my World" etc, when that was appropriate.
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Old 08-05-2016, 07:10 PM
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Default Re: Drummers who "overplay" the music.

Over playing might be subjective, but I think we all know when we see, er, hear it.

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Old 08-05-2016, 09:21 PM
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Default Re: Drummers who "overplay" the music.

I don't think you can over play original or adapted music.

I do think covers often get over played. In most rock pop stuff, there is a reason the drums aren't doing a lot in the verse/chorus. Over playing will step on the most important part of the song, the vocals.
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Old 08-06-2016, 01:49 AM
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Default Re: Drummers who "overplay" the music.

This thread can't be validated unless we start a thread about drummers who "underplay" the music.
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Old 08-06-2016, 02:03 AM
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Default Re: Drummers who "overplay" the music.

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Originally Posted by Tommy_D View Post
It seems like the general consensus around here is for the drummer to "play to the music" and not over play it with flashy fills or erratic ride/hat patterns where it is just not called for. Basically, you should be a musician and have your drumming compliment to enhance the music.

If this is the case around here, I figure we could have a pretty good discussion about what it means to overplay the music and provide examples for people. With that said, I'm wondering what drummers you think "overplay" the music. I'll start:

Carter Beauford - Dave Matthews Band

Dont get me wrong, Carter is a mind-bogglingly amazing drummer and percussionist, but holy hell is his drumming over-the-top for Dave Matthews Band. Carter could be one hell of a progressive rock drummer, but he plays in what I would deem a "Jam Band" and therefor completely overplays the music. I really enjoy his playing and would love to learn just what the hell he is doing behind the kit, but I often wonder how much more mellow and "jam-style" DMB's sound would be without Carter behind the kit.
Knew one of the guys who used to play in Billy Cobhams band and his take was BC in his early days was notorious for overplaying.

But ,hey ,it was his band...

He still has a tendency of too many notes at times,but that's what big egos are for.
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Old 08-06-2016, 04:25 AM
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Default Re: Drummers who "overplay" the music.

For starters, it all depends on the drummer. There are drummers that can sneak in head spinning fills and complexity that never loses the groove, and even adds to the music. Then there are drummers that completely lose the groove when they try to do the same. If you can pull it off musically and pick your spots, I wouldn't call it overplaying. When your drumming becomes a detriment to the vocal and other instruments, then you are playing too much.

Though, I think the term is overused, and sometimes thrown around incorrectly. Playing like Billy Cobham or Neil Peart in a pop/rock band or a country band wouldn't work, so if someone played like that, it could rightly be called overplaying if it was to the detriment of the music. But in a prog metal or fusion band, just playing straight two and four behind everything wouldn't work either. When drummers play lots of notes in contexts that demand it, people calling that overplaying is silly, because it assumes that drums should always be minimalist and ignores the context.

Basically, drummers should play as many or as few notes as necessary to make the music come alive and sound good. If the answer is to play lots of notes when the music demands it, that isn't overplaying, and thrown around too much, it just shows the bias of some drummers who think drums should stay in the background, regardless of if it's appropriate to be that bare bones.

I don't know whether that is because of jealousy of other drummers, the belief that drums should be a simple, background instrument, or internalizing some other musicians' expectations that drummers shouldn't be an equal part of the band, but I see the term overplaying used inappropriately quite a bit. That's my 2 cents any way.
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Old 08-06-2016, 06:20 AM
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Default Re: Drummers who "overplay" the music.

How about Jethro Tull, Barriemore Barlow? Did he overplay?
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  #33  
Old 08-06-2016, 08:38 AM
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Default Re: Drummers who "overplay" the music.

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How about Jethro Tull, Barriemore Barlow? Did he overplay?
He played a lot, but it was right for the music. Extremely well arranged drum parts. And he played sparsely when needed too.
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Old 08-06-2016, 08:43 AM
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Default Re: Drummers who "overplay" the music.

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He played a lot, but it was right for the music. Extremely well arranged drum parts. And he played sparsely when needed too.
I had to look up his quote, he said it was "busy and over-the-top". I always found that interesting because I did think of him as an over-player, at times.
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Old 08-06-2016, 09:13 AM
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Anon La Ply Anon La Ply is offline
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Default Re: Drummers who "overplay" the music.

Some love flamboyance. Some think it's a wank. Most like a bit of flash in the right places.
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Old 08-06-2016, 03:44 PM
chris J chris J is offline
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Default Re: Drummers who "overplay" the music.

Here's a thought:

Anyone heard the first Rush album with the late John Rutsey on drums?
Then compared it to "Fly By Night", the first Peart album?
I would argue that Rutsey's simplicity suited the first album's straight ahead rock vibe, whereas Peart's playing suited the second album's progressive rock vibe.

Personnally, I thought both drummers did a fine job on their respective albums. Mind you, John was no where near the technician Neil is.
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Old 08-06-2016, 04:02 PM
4815162342 4815162342 is offline
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Default Re: Drummers who "overplay" the music.

Carter has a deep pocket, though, and that can't be overlooked. He can weave all those crazy notes around a super-solid groove. I think that's why his "overplaying" works in that context. DMB does edge into progressive territory occasionally with odd times and polyrhythms, etc.
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Old 08-07-2016, 02:39 AM
SmoothOperator SmoothOperator is offline
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Default Re: Drummers who "overplay" the music.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Acidline303 View Post
This thread can't be validated unless we start a thread about drummers who "underplay" the music.
There is already a thread about UK drummers.
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Old 08-07-2016, 03:15 AM
KamaK KamaK is offline
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Default Re: Drummers who "overplay" the music.

My favorite conspicuous overplayer would probably be Greg Saunier
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Old 08-07-2016, 03:44 AM
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  #40  
Old 08-07-2016, 03:47 AM
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STXBob STXBob is offline
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Default Re: Drummers who "overplay" the music.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KamaK View Post
My favorite conspicuous overplayer would probably be Greg Saunier
I don't think that's overplayed at all. I really like that.
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