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  #1  
Old 02-01-2017, 08:03 AM
Matt Bo Eder
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Default 28th GC Drum Off Winner!

I must admit, I'm not into drum competitions. But since we had a discussion about GC no longer allowing people using Octapads, I wanted to see who won this year.

This guy is pretty impressive. And the cool thing is most of it is done in time. It sounds great, he has great chops, but it looks like he knows how to tone down and groove a bit. It's also cool he lives in my city. Check it out:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wAhEMZsepxY

I wish the guy a fruitful career if he doesn't already have one.
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Old 02-01-2017, 03:50 PM
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Default Re: 28th GC Drum Off Winner!

Don't see finesse at drum-offs that often. Very nicely done.
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Old 02-01-2017, 06:13 PM
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Default Re: 28th GC Drum Off Winner!

I have to disagree, fellas. I don't care for this at all. I don't think it's musical and I think it actually sounds bad. Congratulations to Mr. Pacpaco, though. He obviously impressed a lot of judges along the way.
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Old 02-01-2017, 06:22 PM
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Default Re: 28th GC Drum Off Winner!

I don't know what it says about me that I can't get excited about showcase drum solos anymore. I love solos in the right context of a musical performance, especially trading bars with another instrumentalist. But a drummer up on stage by herself, just playing drums unaccompanied, almost never moves me at all. Jaded, I guess.
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Old 02-01-2017, 06:28 PM
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Default Re: 28th GC Drum Off Winner!

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Originally Posted by 8Mile View Post
I don't know what it says about me that I can't get excited about showcase drum solos anymore. I love solos in the right context of a musical performance, especially trading bars with another instrumentalist. But a drummer up on stage by herself, just playing drums unaccompanied, almost never moves me at all. Jaded, I guess.
I wouldn't say you're jaded. Moby Dick and Ginger Baker's solo on Do What You Like are the only solos I'll listen to. Trading with another instrument is a different thing entirely and it can be very cool and interesting with the right players.
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Old 02-01-2017, 06:37 PM
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Default Re: 28th GC Drum Off Winner!

The guy is certainly talented, can play lots of notes fast, and looks like the has the ability to keep a groove -- he'll probably make some band very happy -- but I got through about 80 seconds of it and I was full.

As I mentioned in the other post, I'd like to see something other than chopsfest drum solos graded for the Drum-Off, with more of a focus on musicianship than flash.

But I guess they've made the contest what it is for a reason. I guess it sells. Just not to me.
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Old 02-01-2017, 07:17 PM
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Default Re: 28th GC Drum Off Winner!

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Originally Posted by alparrott View Post
The guy is certainly talented, can play lots of notes fast, and looks like the has the ability to keep a groove -- he'll probably make some band very happy -- but I got through about 80 seconds of it and I was full.

As I mentioned in the other post, I'd like to see something other than chopsfest drum solos graded for the Drum-Off, with more of a focus on musicianship than flash.

But I guess they've made the contest what it is for a reason. I guess it sells. Just not to me.
Me too, I watched a minute or two, said "wow, that kid has some chops" then closed the video.

Chops and flash are much easier to grade in a competition with a live audience. I suppose this is the logical conclusion to the old competitions of the Big Band days.

I had a buddy that tried to talk me into participating in a local competition very similar to the CG drum-off. I told him several times that I don't have those flashy chops that fly at these kind of things. Later he was complaining that all the winners were all chops and no substance. Told you.
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Old 02-01-2017, 07:18 PM
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Default Re: 28th GC Drum Off Winner!

I don't get it. I love drumming and listening to good drummers but solos ALWAYS put me to sleep...literally. I actually fall asleep within 30 seconds. weird
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Old 02-01-2017, 08:25 PM
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Default Re: 28th GC Drum Off Winner!

He sounds more like a very good stand up percussionist to me. Which isn't a bad thing.
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Old 02-01-2017, 08:53 PM
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Default Re: 28th GC Drum Off Winner!

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Originally Posted by Xeno View Post
I don't get it. I love drumming and listening to good drummers but solos ALWAYS put me to sleep...literally. I actually fall asleep within 30 seconds. weird
Not weird at all. I only watched, because Matt said it was actually good, so I had to give it a go. For the most part drum solos are annoying and I avoid them saving the headache for life's unavoidables. This guy at least knows enough to take control, slow things down and be methodical. That's not the norm for most things I've seen. I don't practice solos! It's really tough to put together a good solo, if you can't even stand your own noise!
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Old 02-01-2017, 08:58 PM
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Default Re: 28th GC Drum Off Winner!

It's a good thing I wasn't one of the adjudicators.

If someone is going to enter a contest with a skill-set they feel is worthy enough of applause, then sit down and let's hear something good, something that separates oneself from the rest, otherwise, mixing mediocre talent with majorette stick twirling fails to earn my praise.
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Old 02-01-2017, 09:19 PM
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Default Re: 28th GC Drum Off Winner!

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It's a good thing I wasn't one of the adjudicators.

If someone is going to enter a contest with a skill-set they feel is worthy enough of applause, then sit down and let's hear something good, something that separates oneself from the rest, otherwise, mixing mediocre talent with majorette stick twirling fails to earn my praise.
The first time through I listened to it, I didn't actually watch the video. I knew the stick twirling and goofy faces would immediately make me hate anything he played. I wanted to judge it by playing alone.
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Old 02-01-2017, 09:27 PM
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Default Re: 28th GC Drum Off Winner!

Back in the day, there used to be points for showmanship as well as time, chops, etc. if I close my eyes, it would sound like any other.....crash boom bang...that's it. Marching bands and drum corps are generally better with eyes open too. At least for me.
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Old 02-01-2017, 10:42 PM
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Default Re: 28th GC Drum Off Winner!

All about flash and speed , nothing about independance he started a grove around the 1 min mark then the left foot comes in with the hat/tambourine chick. The lick gets more complicated and the left foot disappears and timing is gone. That's what bothers me the most.
If you do a drum solo "time based" , keep on keeping the time with whatever you chose (in this case the left foot). That's how the other band members figure out where you are.

So when you practice those licks and the left foot goes away :STOP. And work on that.

The problem is that "working on that" isuch harder then doing some linear stuff.
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Old 02-01-2017, 10:58 PM
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Default Re: 28th GC Drum Off Winner!

Dang tough crowd. He's just lucky I wasn't in the competition I'd be schoolin' him-like NOT! I thought he did a great job. He controls the time in a solo-he can do whatever he wants if others are any measure of the mark.
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Old 02-02-2017, 12:10 AM
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Default Re: 28th GC Drum Off Winner!

I love that the digital pads are banned.

I think they could have picked a winner who was a bit more musical though. None of the solo he played made sense other than from a "play a groove, few fills, move on to new groove, repeat".

The solos I really listen to are the truly musical ones that evolve and have a theme and point.

I also think they should make everyone use the same basic setup or even better, allow them to choose, but limit the number of playable kit parts in total.
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Old 02-02-2017, 12:58 AM
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Default Re: 28th GC Drum Off Winner!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Menace View Post
I had a buddy that tried to talk me into participating in a local competition very similar to the CG drum-off. I told him several times that I don't have those flashy chops that fly at these kind of things. Later he was complaining that all the winners were all chops and no substance. Told you.
HA! Too funny. My buddy (probably the same buddy as yours) talked me into entering that same competition. I did not want to do it for the same reason as you. But I entered it anyway. The first round I gave them tons of substance. And I ended up almost in last place. So for the second round I whipped out my chops and ended up in fifth place.
At least I won a bunch of free drum heads.........

.
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Old 02-02-2017, 01:03 AM
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Default Re: 28th GC Drum Off Winner!

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Originally Posted by Dr_Watso View Post
I love that the digital pads are banned.

I think they could have picked a winner who was a bit more musical though. None of the solo he played made sense other than from a "play a groove, few fills, move on to new groove, repeat".

The solos I really listen to are the truly musical ones that evolve and have a theme and point.

I also think they should make everyone use the same basic setup or even better, allow them to choose, but limit the number of playable kit parts in total.
Have you ever been to a GC drum-off live? Trust me, you'd give the first drummer that didn't horrendously suck the prize just to make it stop. I would have to assume the judges, while the contestants were all "the best" gave the prize to the one that hurt them least or at a minimum, stayed somewhat on time and did something just a bit different than the norm.
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Old 02-02-2017, 02:11 AM
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Default Re: 28th GC Drum Off Winner!

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Originally Posted by TheElectricCompany View Post
The first time through I listened to it, I didn't actually watch the video. I knew the stick twirling and goofy faces would immediately make me hate anything he played. I wanted to judge it by playing alone.
Listening to the solo without watching does make it more palatable.
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  #20  
Old 02-02-2017, 02:21 AM
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Default Re: 28th GC Drum Off Winner!

You guys are a tough crowd. That's ok. I just thought it was refreshing from what I've seen at these things before. And I wanted to note I was impressed with the lack of stick twirling and shenanigans, although he did twirl a little.

Of course, whether or not he can just sit down and make like Levon Helm for a band will determine if he has a long career of playing music for others, but let's remember how everyone here reacted to Hannah Ford and people like her. Keep it un-ugly, ok?
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  #21  
Old 02-02-2017, 02:28 AM
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Default Re: 28th GC Drum Off Winner!

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Originally Posted by AzHeat View Post
Have you ever been to a GC drum-off live? Trust me, you'd give the first drummer that didn't horrendously suck the prize just to make it stop. I would have to assume the judges, while the contestants were all "the best" gave the prize to the one that hurt them least or at a minimum, stayed somewhat on time and did something just a bit different than the norm.
No, I have not. The only way I would is if I somehow stumbled on it at a free venue, I might stop in to take a look. Random drum solos aren't my thing.

I'm weary of even going to something like NAMM because I know it will sound like a guitar center on a Saturday times a million.
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Old 02-02-2017, 02:59 AM
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Default Re: 28th GC Drum Off Winner!

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No, I have not. The only way I would is if I somehow stumbled on it at a free venue, I might stop in to take a look. Random drum solos aren't my thing.

I'm weary of even going to something like NAMM because I know it will sound like a guitar center on a Saturday times a million.
I once thought that was a great idea....a single attendance was all it took. :D
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Old 02-02-2017, 05:50 AM
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Default Re: 28th GC Drum Off Winner!

I've seen piano and other musical instruments play off but drummers must take the cake for a fanatically competitive nature with extreme speed drumming, drum offs, Hit like a Girl, Spit like a man lol, etc. It reminds me of that cooking show "Chopped". It's crazy. I think everybody has really good days and some really bad days too.
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Old 02-02-2017, 06:48 PM
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Default Re: 28th GC Drum Off Winner!

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Originally Posted by 8Mile View Post
I don't know what it says about me that I can't get excited about showcase drum solos anymore. I love solos in the right context of a musical performance, especially trading bars with another instrumentalist. But a drummer up on stage by herself, just playing drums unaccompanied, almost never moves me at all. Jaded, I guess.
For me jaded is not the word, but bored. I applaud any GC Drum-Off champion for getting where they got with determination, ambition, and focus.. but pretty much a majority of their solos I'll watch one time and move along.

Now... Terry Bozzio, Benny Greb, Dave Weckl, and folks of similar caliber.. I'll watch their videos over and over and over again because of their musicality and conceptual drumming behind the drums. That stuff excites me!
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Old 02-03-2017, 03:00 PM
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Default Re: 28th GC Drum Off Winner!

I'm not a fan of this weird modern divide between musical drumming, and "sport" drumming that is just chops and speed and soloing. Especially this whole "gospel chops" thing. I guess it's just the groove vs chops battle moving further apart, or I'm having a "get off my lawn" moment now that I'm old and jaded. heh.

Nothing puts me to sleep faster than a drum solo. And having seen more than my share of stadium metal and hard rock acts in the 80's, it always seemed to me that the crowd never gets into a solo, until the drummer starts a groove that they can clap to.
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Old 02-03-2017, 03:21 PM
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Default Re: 28th GC Drum Off Winner!

Man that kick sound was killin me...in a bad way.

All around, I didn't not think he was as good as a lot of past winners. A lot of mistakes, some spots were just straight up not clean. I enjoyed his toned down grooves more than anything flashy he did.
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Old 02-03-2017, 05:18 PM
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Default Re: 28th GC Drum Off Winner!

For 'stunt' drumming it was pretty awesome.

I'd like to see how he plays in a band- almost all of the stuff he played wouldn't fly in most groups.
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Old 02-03-2017, 06:57 PM
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Default Re: 28th GC Drum Off Winner!

Mark Pacpaco? Awesome. A drummer's name if I've ever heard one. It had all the hallmarks of a good drum solo; a little too long, not quite enough groove, more crazy chops than you could shake a stick at. I liked it! Good for him, he was badass. To have that level of poise in the spot light I would venture to say he would know enough to groove when needed.
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Old 02-03-2017, 07:05 PM
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Default Re: 28th GC Drum Off Winner!

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Originally Posted by TheElectricCompany View Post
I have to disagree, fellas. I don't care for this at all. I don't think it's musical and I think it actually sounds bad.
As a judge for maybe 20 of the drum-offs in L.A., hopefully I can add a little perspective about what it is, and isn't.

It IS a drum-off... a contest... a chops fest. And the more extreme the chops, as long as they're executed well, the better the chances of coming out on top.

The drum-off is NOT an audition. It does NOT purport to be rooted in musicality in the way that 99% of drummers must function in order to work with other musicians. And it is NOT a path to a career as a drummer, although a few of the contestants have found some success (which they certainly would have found anyway) because they understood the difference between the drum-off and real life.

As a judge since about 1990, I learned early-on to apply a different set of standards to the contestants, vs what I'd personally want to hear from a drummer in a band. It became much easier to assess their playing and technical skills, once I accepted the concept: it's a contest, and the most technically skilled and extreme drummers deserve to win.

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Old 02-03-2017, 07:18 PM
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Default Re: 28th GC Drum Off Winner!

I watched the video, and absolutely would have rated him with scores of 9.5 and 10.

Excellent technique and dynamics, he's having a good time (comes under the category of Showmanship) and it was very musical solo, as solos go. I've seen several hundred drummers in the competition, and he's in the very top tier.

I get a sense that he understands the difference between the contest, and real life drumming, he threw in just enough mainstream playing to let us know that he knows. I think he has a bright future if he stays focused on the realistic stuff, and keeps the fireworks in check until needed.

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Old 02-03-2017, 08:46 PM
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Default Re: 28th GC Drum Off Winner!

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As a judge for maybe 20 of the drum-offs in L.A., hopefully I can add a little perspective about what it is, and isn't.

It IS a drum-off... a contest... a chops fest. And the more extreme the chops, as long as they're executed well, the better the chances of coming out on top.

The drum-off is NOT an audition. It does NOT purport to be rooted in musicality in the way that 99% of drummers must function in order to work with other musicians. And it is NOT a path to a career as a drummer, although a few of the contestants have found some success (which they certainly would have found anyway) because they understood the difference between the drum-off and real life.
Well put Mr Schwatz. I don't why some people get all worked up over these matters. Like kids playing drum solos affects them personally.
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Old 02-04-2017, 01:25 AM
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Default Re: 28th GC Drum Off Winner!

I need to not read comment sections on anything..

SO many arm chair judges and drummers calling him out saying how bad it was. I want to tell every one of them to go play a 5 minute solo and put it on YouTube today and I can judge them compared to this guy.

I thought his solo was good. One guy even commented that he shouldn't have won due to a stick click and missing the bell once. So I guess in your challenge video I better not see the same. haha

If you click on it you should already know what a GC solo is.. Your not in a coffee shop with a Jazz band trying to be quiet and musical in the middle of a song. It's 5 minutes to impress judges and fans. I thought his solo had dynamics, creativity, his independence is great too. Plus the yelling every little bit was an awesome touch to get the people into it.

All I know is I don't have those chops, speed, or independence. He beat me.
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Old 02-04-2017, 01:45 AM
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One guy even commented that he shouldn't have won due to a stick click and missing the bell once.
Every contestant makes a small gaff, or two, or three. Every one. Every stinking one. The contestants and finalists place by highest score. If a stick click means that the guy gets a 9.5 instead of a 10 in the technique category, that's still pretty high, and usually not a dealbreaker. I have never given a contestant 10s in each of the 5 categories. There's always something that keeps them from getting a perfect score of 50. I would have to scrutinize the video again - as I would if judging - and would take into account the obvious stick click and kick flub, and any other things that stood out. He'd probably still get an overall 48 or 49, which is a higher-than-average score coming from me. It was rare that anyone got more than 46 or 47. If a drummer was really good, he may have earned 45 points, which was typically enough to win on a given night.

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Old 02-04-2017, 01:52 AM
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Default Re: 28th GC Drum Off Winner!

Awesome the perspective of a past judge-I like that. Do judges conflict and are some judges "stick"lers (hee,hee) against certain trends-like gospel chops or do people stick to defined objective categories or criteria -that you can be subjective about ? How do you compare players who are single vs double pedal-it's like comparing apples and oranges isn't it?
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Old 02-04-2017, 02:09 AM
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Default Re: 28th GC Drum Off Winner!

Geez, overly critical audience here. I don't understand all the negativity.
Its billed as a chops contest so thats whats called for, and thats what he did. He aced it in every respect, including dynamics.
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Old 02-04-2017, 02:12 AM
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Default Re: 28th GC Drum Off Winner!

Glad someone finally spoke up. I was starting to think I should ditch everything for a snare, base and hats, and either learn how to make that sound like a 13 piece with 27 cymbals or quit altogether! Thanks Bermuda. :)
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Old 02-04-2017, 02:39 AM
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Default Re: 28th GC Drum Off Winner!

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But since we had a discussion about GC no longer allowing people using Octapads, I wanted to see who won this year.
I see what you did there :)
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Old 02-04-2017, 02:47 AM
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Default Re: 28th GC Drum Off Winner!

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Originally Posted by GetAgrippa View Post
Awesome the perspective of a past judge-I like that. Do judges conflict and are some judges "stick"lers (hee,hee) against certain trends-like gospel chops or do people stick to defined objective categories or criteria -that you can be subjective about ? How do you compare players who are single vs double pedal-it's like comparing apples and oranges isn't it?
In the prelims, there were typically 3 judges, each with their own critical standard. I was very critical and typically handed out the lowest overall scores, but it was always relative. If there was an amazing player, the other judges might cough up near-perfect scores, while I would give a very generous 45. If the player was so-so - and there were many who had no business sitting behind the kit - they might get a 30 from me, while the others were more generous with a 40. But we would often compare notes after everyone had played and the scoring was complete, and we always did agree on the winner.

I personally didn't give special credit to someone who used a double-pedal, or not... the overall performance was what counted. I tried not to compare the players, which would have been technically impossible with the first contestant anyway. I scored each on their own. Only at the end of the night did I pay attention to where everyone had placed. There were occasionally ties among the 3 judges, and two contestants from that night would go to that store's finals.

Nor did I take away points when someone trotted out Fool In The Rain, and it happened a lot. As long as they did it well, I smiled through it... each and every time.

As long as what they were attempting to do was suitably interesting and technically challenging, and they did well, they got good scores in the technique category. Showmanship, originality, etc were more subjectively scored, but again, the judges all knew good from bad, and scored accordingly.

FYI, the only reason I haven't judged lately is that I've been on tour during consecutive Septembers. Last time I did was 2013 or 14.

Bermuda
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  #39  
Old 02-04-2017, 03:53 AM
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GetAgrippa GetAgrippa is offline
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Default Re: 28th GC Drum Off Winner!

Thanks for the insights Bermuda-I've often wondered how it all works-seem reasonably fair.
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Old 02-04-2017, 04:41 AM
Matt Bo Eder
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Default Re: 28th GC Drum Off Winner!

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Originally Posted by opentune View Post
Geez, overly critical audience here. I don't understand all the negativity.
Its billed as a chops contest so thats whats called for, and thats what he did. He aced it in every respect, including dynamics.
I brought it up because of an apparent lack of mind-bending chops as seen in past years, though. I thought it was a bit more musical and entertaining than what you would normally see, so I thought that was cool. Just the sheer love of playing seem to shine through with this guy.
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