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  #1  
Old 04-06-2017, 06:05 PM
DrummerCA35 DrummerCA35 is offline
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Default Drummers with Chops who don't Play on the Beat, play fills at wrong time, etc.

Have you ever encountered a drummer with chops, maybe even an instructor, who cannot seem to play on the beat? I've seen this before, where he, throughout a song, will randomly hit the snare just slightly behind the beat enough to where it sounds like a mistake. Or, same with a fill...does a fill and yet the cymbal hit is slightly off. To the point where I see the guitar player turning around and glaring at the drummer, and to the point where the guitar player refuses to play with the drummer. Or, perhaps the drummer is playing fills in the wrong places, adding cymbal crashes where they don't belong, and so forth. I've seen this recently, and am left wondering what's going on as this person is an instructor, with drum students, and obviously has chops. I've also seen this sometimes when watching bands...same kind of thing. Drummer is slightly off the beat, and the lead singer is turning around and glaring. And yet...the drummer has chops! I'm in no way suggesting that drummers with chops do this, it just strikes me as odd, when I've witnessed this. And I know some people have a style of laying back on the beat, but what I saw goes beyond this.
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Old 04-06-2017, 06:15 PM
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Default Re: Drummers with Chops who don't Play on the Beat, play fills at wrong time, etc.

Some teachers don't have the time or opportunity to play that much with others.

I'm mainly a teacher, I more around a lot, usually work in small towns with no scene at all. There are times when I don't have the time to keep certain types of ensemble skllls happening.

If it was a regular gig I'd make the right priorities, but if it's a one-off with some young students in the audience I'd show off a little bit even if it wasn't totally clean.

Not saying this is the case with your guy. There many types of people and sometimes we are just not on. We're tired, unfocused, can't hear stuff, not jiving with the bass player etc...
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Old 04-06-2017, 06:22 PM
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Default Re: Drummers with Chops who don't Play on the Beat, play fills at wrong time, etc.

IMO it's all ego related. They play what they think is cool instead of just playing what's best for the song. If they only played what's best for the song, they will get what they are trying to get when they're "being cool". It's so commomplace that when you do hear someone who "gets it", it's the exception not the rule.

I heard a really good local drummer last night and he was tasteful. Knowing what NOT to do is as important as knowing WHAT to do.
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Old 04-06-2017, 06:22 PM
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Default Re: Drummers with Chops who don't Play on the Beat, play fills at wrong time, etc.

These are the people who do a lot of wood shedding, but have not enough practical experience playing with a band. It's like a bird needs two wings to fly.
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Old 04-06-2017, 06:31 PM
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Default Re: Drummers with Chops who don't Play on the Beat, play fills at wrong time, etc.

Not to mention that chops and rhythm are two different things. I've seen it too, and certainly the modern trend of "perfecting" chops in isolation makes it more common. Especially when most/all of your practice is solitary rudiments and playing along to recordings, following someone else's beat. Driving a band is a different skill set. Yet solo drummers attract admiration for their chops and are sometimes completely unaware that the essential skill of drumming in a band, driving a band, will never be learned at home.
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Old 04-06-2017, 06:33 PM
DrummerCA35 DrummerCA35 is offline
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Default Re: Drummers with Chops who don't Play on the Beat, play fills at wrong time, etc.

Guys, I would add that the music I saw them performing is straight-ahead R&B, funk, rock, etc. Mostly groove music.
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  #7  
Old 04-06-2017, 06:46 PM
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Default Re: Drummers with Chops who don't Play on the Beat, play fills at wrong time, etc.

This is all my opinion and it only applies to me.

The word chops itself conjures images of the woodshedding drummer who plays as if the drums were the only important thing in the song.

Me, I just don't think in terms of chops. In my mind that's so tunnel-visioned.

Imagine if you approached the drumset and you couldn't chop or you'd lose your job.

That's my SOP. It works...actually very well...in my world.

I'm not against chops. Well actually, I am. When they're distasteful. Which is most of the time with the guys I see who shoehorn them in. They distract.

It's like the frame of the car rising up and saying LOOK AT ME!

It really all comes down to personality and personal taste in drumming and music.

I saw a black drummer last night. Now I expect black drummers to have more soul than a white drummer, but I've come to learn that I shouldn't expect things like that.

My point is he played like a white rock drummer at a blues jam, not comfortable with spaces or keeping things simple. No soul. Couldn't go 2 bars without stinking the place up.

Why is that?
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Old 04-06-2017, 07:47 PM
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Default Re: Drummers with Chops who don't Play on the Beat, play fills at wrong time, etc.

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Originally Posted by DrummerCA35 View Post
Have you ever encountered a drummer with chops, maybe even an instructor, who cannot seem to play on the beat? I've seen this before, where he, throughout a song, will randomly hit the snare just slightly behind the beat enough to where it sounds like a mistake. Or, same with a fill...does a fill and yet the cymbal hit is slightly off. To the point where I see the guitar player turning around and glaring at the drummer, and to the point where the guitar player refuses to play with the drummer.
Outside of 'bad' drummers, I've only ever seen this type of issue occur when the guitarist perceives a song in 4's and the drummer perceives it in 3's. Turning 4/4 into a half time shuffle can blow a guitarist's mind sometimes, because their intuition on the right hand is challenged.

I'd love to hear a recording of what was going on.
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Old 04-06-2017, 07:58 PM
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Default Re: Drummers with Chops who don't Play on the Beat, play fills at wrong time, etc.

I would like to think that maybe there can be difference between chops and flash. Chops can be at all levels and if controlled then they are the skills that separate some drummers from others. Flash on the other hand, to me, is an uncontrolled effort to show off without regard to the band or the music. Chops , when not controlled , become flash. When you ask someone to show you their chops they could actually show you their skill level and be very much in control. As Uncle said, this is my opinion.
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Old 04-06-2017, 08:12 PM
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Default Re: Drummers with Chops who don't Play on the Beat, play fills at wrong time, etc.

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Originally Posted by GRUNTERSDAD View Post
I would like to think that maybe there can be difference between chops and flash. Chops can be at all levels and if controlled then they are the skills that separate some drummers from others. Flash on the other hand, to me, is an uncontrolled effort to show off without regard to the band or the music. Chops , when not controlled , become flash. When you ask someone to show you their chops they could actually show you their skill level and be very much in control. As Uncle said, this is my opinion.
A perfect example of this would be Dave Weckl. The guy is a beast, but his playing is seemingly understated. It could be that he has developed such a touch to his playing that even the extremely difficult is played so effortlessly by him that it just falls in to the background. If you watch him play, he isn't breaking a sweat, he isn't gritting his teeth, he doesn't swing the sticks around like a monkey swinging a club smashing every drum and cymbal as hard and as fast as possible. It's all completely in control and fluid. On the beat, off the beat, subdividing the beat, whatever. Total control over everything.

Crazy good player, I just wish the music he played with was a bit more... accessible.
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Old 04-06-2017, 08:15 PM
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Default Re: Drummers with Chops who don't Play on the Beat, play fills at wrong time, etc.

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Originally Posted by GRUNTERSDAD View Post
I would like to think that maybe there can be difference between chops and flash. Chops can be at all levels and if controlled then they are the skills that separate some drummers from others. Flash on the other hand, to me, is an uncontrolled effort to show off without regard to the band or the music. Chops , when not controlled , become flash. When you ask someone to show you their chops they could actually show you their skill level and be very much in control. As Uncle said, this is my opinion.
THIS ^^^

There was a time that "chops" just meant "ability". Having "chops" meant you had an ability to execute your skills on the instrument. It was, if I recall, a positive thing. i.e. "Hey man, you got some chops on the kit..."

Somewhere along the line chops became synonymous with a "bad" thing or "flashy" players.

I prefer Gruntersdad's explanation of it. There are "true" chops-which is ability under control, and then there is just plain old "flashy". It may be a generational thing I think. Back "in the day" (the over 50 guys may better relate to this), stuff construed as bragging was frowned upon. You may have "had it" but you didn't need to flaunt it-unless you wanted to be called out on it. People just didn't really dig the cats who were show offs, and preferred the "cool" approach....

Nowadays? Everybody and their brother (sister?) who can do ANYTHING (even POORLY lol) brags to the whole world about it. "Social media" is full of this stuff. "My son just graduated kindergarten!!! We are having a catered party to celebrate this momentous achievement!!" It's funny, but also it's pretty sad in a way I think.

Part of being "good" was having a sense of humility about it. No one seems to remember humility anymore...*sigh*...

Where was I? OH, yea...chops are fine, FLASHY suks!
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Old 04-06-2017, 08:28 PM
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Default Re: Drummers with Chops who don't Play on the Beat, play fills at wrong time, etc.

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Nowadays? Everybody and their brother (sister?) who can do ANYTHING (even POORLY lol) brags to the whole world about it. "Social media" is full of this stuff. "My son just graduated kindergarten!!! We are having a catered party to celebrate this momentous achievement!!" It's funny, but also it's pretty sad in a way I think.
Aye! In the 'old days' the adults would have other adults over for cocktails for a job promo or any valid adult reason not to do with kids. AND they told the kids to stay the hell out of the way in the basement, or go play in the neighbourhood for the night. How cool was that for both sides!

I agree with you about humility. It and loss of ego is a great advantage in music, and many other pursuits in life.
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Old 04-06-2017, 08:35 PM
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Default Re: Drummers with Chops who don't Play on the Beat, play fills at wrong time, etc.

Youtube, and those drummers and other musicians , who only play for the exposure is part of the, I need instant gratification, syndrome. There is no sense in posting something that everyone else can do so let's add some flash and prove to everyone, especially my ego, that I am better than the other posters. Most posters in my opinion are not posters, but posers.
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  #14  
Old 04-06-2017, 08:40 PM
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Default Re: Drummers with Chops who don't Play on the Beat, play fills at wrong time, etc.

This might be heresy but, I remember buying some of Weckl's early stuff and feeling like "that drummer is really gifted, but this music sucks".......

"Overplaying" is one of those things that is hard to say exactly what it is but I'll know it when I hear it. Chops and musicality are two very different things as everyone has said. Some drummers have one or the other and some have both. When I was younger I found myself listening to certain bands and albums specifically because the drummer was supposedly a god and super technical and a 1%er when it came to chops......and then I figured out that none of my non-drumming friends thought it was remotely palatable to listen to.

At some point it dawns on someone, do we want to have the 1 other drummer in the club appreciate your gnarly odd time signature polyrhythm complete with syncopated 32nds on your 12" remote hihats or do you want all 150 people on the dance floor or head bobbing to a dance worthy set of solid grooves and tastful fills where they expect them?

To each their own......whatever blows your hair back......I don't think Weckl is hurting for an audience per se so WTF do I know, but he has also evolved as well.
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Old 04-07-2017, 03:27 AM
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Default Re: Drummers with Chops who don't Play on the Beat, play fills at wrong time, etc.

I feel this thread may be implying an admonition of spirited dynamic coordination by overvaluing standard rhythm.

Sometimes people play a little bit sloppy. Nobody should be thought of as being the end-all just because they are a teacher with nice fills.

If the drummer was off the rhythm, there's no reason to dwell on it. It happens sometimes.
If the band was really perturbed by the drummer, I imagine they would find someone else that has the goods.

There's a few youtube videos out there of famous drummers sounding like crap.

Not everybody sounds awesome all the time.
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  #16  
Old 04-07-2017, 03:40 AM
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Default Re: Drummers with Chops who don't Play on the Beat, play fills at wrong time, etc.

What's that saying?

"You're only as good as your worst day"

Well it's not really a saying but it should be.

Some people are so good, that their bad days sound killer.
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Old 04-07-2017, 04:03 AM
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Default Re: Drummers with Chops who don't Play on the Beat, play fills at wrong time, etc.

I'm sure their bad days don't sound killer to them.

It brings up a certain point, though.

If you are the type of player that just goes for it with a free open spirit every time, you are probably not gonna change your style and play it safe if it usually works just because you had an off day.
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Old 04-07-2017, 08:19 AM
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Default Re: Drummers with Chops who don't Play on the Beat, play fills at wrong time, etc.

I see lots of younger drummers sneaking their gospel chops into other styles of music. Its usually a disaster even if the fill is perfectly executed.
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Old 04-07-2017, 11:31 AM
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Default Re: Drummers with Chops who don't Play on the Beat, play fills at wrong time, etc.

I draw everyone's attention to the recent thread posted by Matt titled "Truth".

The other side of the same coin in which the merits of a quote taken from something Buddy Rich said about the only way to get better being to join a band was discussed.

Many of the opinions expressed here support that thread.
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Old 04-07-2017, 11:57 AM
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Default Re: Drummers with Chops who don't Play on the Beat, play fills at wrong time, etc.

My chops aren't the best, basically because I mostly practice whilst playing along to music, or in my band, hence I focus on the musicality rather than the choppiness.

I'd like to think I'm pretty good at dynamics, playing for the music and song structure. But chops-wise I don't really have anything to show off that would be better (more likely worse) than any other drummer could do, so I don't.

Keeps the ego in check, keeps the focus in the right area in the song.

It also helps that when i write songs, my guitar/bass/piano playing is limited, meaning I can't get too, erm, w@nky on the drums.
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  #21  
Old 04-07-2017, 06:45 PM
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Default Re: Drummers with Chops who don't Play on the Beat, play fills at wrong time, etc.

The first chops vs groove thread of 2017.

It's time. We went over 4 months at least without a new one.

What were we thinking?
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Old 04-07-2017, 06:56 PM
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Default Re: Drummers with Chops who don't Play on the Beat, play fills at wrong time, etc.

I prefer my chops with applesauce. :)
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Old 04-07-2017, 07:09 PM
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Default Re: Drummers with Chops who don't Play on the Beat, play fills at wrong time, etc.

I was JUST talking about this to a friend yesterday.

I said that Neal Peart seemed like he would slow down during his IMPRESSIVE drum fills on some EARLY LPs.

Was it just me....or did anyone else notice that?

Of course he doesn't do that NOW!!
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Old 04-07-2017, 07:21 PM
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Default Re: Drummers with Chops who don't Play on the Beat, play fills at wrong time, etc.

"You maniacs! Damn you all to hell!"

Oh well. I don't see a lot of what the OP is talking about in real life-- it's hard for me to remember instances of seeing many gross errors/lapses in taste at live shows, except a few times at jam sessions. Something I've noticed in people's drum covers and demos posted on line is that the playing gets very stereotyped-- like everyone is watching the same videos and learning the same few fusion licks, and then putting them on their records. So there's this weird hot spot in the middle of a pop song where the drummer takes you out of the moment peeling off this amazing canned fusion lick. A hazard of accumulating a lot of chops is that it starts to sound normal, and you forget that to normal people it sounds hyperactive. It happens to some jazz musicians-- they get so involved with their abilities they lose the thread.
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Old 04-08-2017, 12:59 AM
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Default Re: Drummers with Chops who don't Play on the Beat, play fills at wrong time, etc.

Having chops has nothing to do with musical taste. I've known drummers with incredible chops who played very rhythmic, but not at all melodic.

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Old 04-08-2017, 01:11 AM
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Default Re: Drummers with Chops who don't Play on the Beat, play fills at wrong time, etc.

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I prefer my chops with applesauce. :)
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Old 04-08-2017, 03:38 AM
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Default Re: Drummers with Chops who don't Play on the Beat, play fills at wrong time, etc.

We sometimes get kids at school auditioning for stage band who have only learnt blast beats. Can play incredibly fast bass drum 16ths, but couldn't play a medium swing or a bossa if their life depended on it.
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Old 04-08-2017, 06:26 PM
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Default Re: Drummers with Chops who don't Play on the Beat, play fills at wrong time, etc.

I often record myself and do discover one bass drum beat in a song pulled back, not in the same pocket, yet I don't hear it while I am actually doing it. The rest of the song is tight as nails and in the pocket. I usually chalk it up to a distraction during the song or a mind fart where my concentration freezes up for a millisecond.
Then last week in the studio we recorded bed tracks with a click and the bass and rhythm guitars. Again one kick hit sounded lazy. When the producer pulled it out, he thought the rhythm players rushed the spot and the drum hit actually met the mark. He digitally fixed the spot, which is so cool.
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Old 04-08-2017, 06:50 PM
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Default Re: Drummers with Chops who don't Play on the Beat, play fills at wrong time, etc.

As a once and future prog player, I don't mind chops playing when the nature of the song clearly demands it. But it's got to work for the song and have a rhythmic plan of some kind for me to fully embrace it.

I'm currently deep into groove playing. Last night, I rehearsed a bunch of covers with a band who's booked for a three-hour seniors dance. All those songs have got to groove, not much place for chops playing. It doesn't work for the song.

When I feel like hearing some chops playing, I know where to go and who to listen to. There's any number of great players out there. What I don't tend to watch, is the drum solo or look-at-me shred videos with a million notes per minute with no real musical framework, just hitting anything within arm's reach. That to me is not music so much as athleticism, and it misses the point for me. Our instrument has a lot of artistic potential; it shouldn't always be a speed or flash game. Those things have their place and value, but it gets tedious.
Speaking of tedious: I am pretty much done with any "solos" that are just repetitive sixteenth-note patterns. That's just a long fill. There's more rhythmic patterns to life.
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Old 04-08-2017, 07:33 PM
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Default Re: Drummers with Chops who don't Play on the Beat, play fills at wrong time, etc.

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We sometimes get kids at school auditioning for stage band who have only learnt blast beats. Can play incredibly fast bass drum 16ths, but couldn't play a medium swing or a bossa if their life depended on it.
Like Neal Peart?
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Old 04-08-2017, 08:59 PM
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Default Re: Drummers with Chops who don't Play on the Beat, play fills at wrong time, etc.

If your chops are out of time, are they really chops?
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Old 04-09-2017, 08:25 AM
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Default Re: Drummers with Chops who don't Play on the Beat, play fills at wrong time, etc.

I think it entirely depends on a person's ears, how they are hearing the music.
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Old 04-09-2017, 12:21 PM
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Default Re: Drummers with Chops who don't Play on the Beat, play fills at wrong time, etc.

Surely playing out of time and finishing a fill in the wrong place is simply bad drumming. I suppose it is possible to be a drummer who can play every "Chop" at any speed, but not have an innate sense of time. You can improve timing with practice but some people dont have the inbuilt feel for the 1, and know, always, where it is when playing with others.
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Old 04-10-2017, 01:44 PM
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Default Re: Drummers with Chops who don't Play on the Beat, play fills at wrong time, etc.

Some genres allow a drummer to play all the chops they want, but for most songs there are limited 'slots' available for a musical fill. Maybe the guitarist (bass, vocals etc) will play a tasteful lick, but where the drummer tries to fill all those slots, for every song, then they need to put away their sticks for a month and listen to their iPod and remember what their role is.
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Old 04-10-2017, 06:30 PM
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Default Re: Drummers with Chops who don't Play on the Beat, play fills at wrong time, etc.

I'm sure others have made this point before - but I think that learning to play another instrument is a very important perspective with regards to this groove vs. chops thing.

I have even gone so far as learning all the songs I normally play on the kit, on both guitar and bass. It's eye opening. Even better - play those same songs with somebody else playing drums. Then you get a really keen sense of what other musicians need/expect from a drummer.

Every style is different. Some styles I play a little busier than others. I try to always always play for the song and groove, and to play tastefully. I am perhaps on the busier side of that more often than I should.
Funny thing is, playing musically and tastefully - it's not about physical ability, is it? It's just about listening and thinking.
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  #36  
Old 04-10-2017, 07:23 PM
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TripleStroke TripleStroke is offline
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Default Re: Drummers with Chops who don't Play on the Beat, play fills at wrong time, etc.

Unless youre referring to some implied metric modulation drumming technique, i dont understand why anyone would consider playing that way unless they were under the influence of alcohol or drugs
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Old 04-10-2017, 10:20 PM
mpungercar mpungercar is offline
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Default Re: Drummers with Chops who don't Play on the Beat, play fills at wrong time, etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by drumdevil9 View Post
If your chops are out of time, are they really chops?
Exactly!

A "lick" that can't be played in a musical context is just a trick.
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Old 04-11-2017, 12:19 AM
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mrfingers mrfingers is offline
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Default Re: Drummers with Chops who don't Play on the Beat, play fills at wrong time, etc.

Play chops for every song and both my bass player and lead guitar would lose the beat for sure! Can't be doing that....on the other hand, I'd like to see Weckl play Aerosmith's "Sweet Emotion" or any other real 70's song.
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Old 04-11-2017, 08:11 PM
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evilg99 evilg99 is offline
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Default Re: Drummers with Chops who don't Play on the Beat, play fills at wrong time, etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrfingers View Post
Play chops for every song and both my bass player and lead guitar would lose the beat for sure! Can't be doing that....on the other hand, I'd like to see Weckl play Aerosmith's "Sweet Emotion" or any other real 70's song.
Are you suggesting that Weckl couldn't play a simple 70's rock groove ?

Or you're just says by you'd like to hear how he would approach that ?
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Old 04-12-2017, 12:09 AM
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mrfingers mrfingers is offline
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Default Re: Drummers with Chops who don't Play on the Beat, play fills at wrong time, etc.

His approach would be what i'm after...I'm sure he could play it!
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