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  #1  
Old 04-08-2009, 03:50 PM
spirit spirit is offline
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Default Drummers who play too much!

So I went to see a band the other week and had to say I came across this drummer who to put it simply just would not listen to the tune the band was playing and in the main just wanted to be the center of attraction..he would fill far too much and be louder than required with no thought for dynamics.
I hate this and see it sometimes from people who have been playing a while.

I had a student who came to me from another teacher- this kid liked to hit hard and play fast all the time, he would chatter to me about drum set ups and other stuff,shownmanship etc- always had an opinion......It took months b4 he calmed down.
His Dad came to me after 3 months and told me he likes how his son is getting on since he joined me.
How did I change him- well I gave him lighter sticks for a start and taught him to listen to the space between beats, told him to play loud and then louder and louder...in the end he could not play louder and I explained the importance of control and having the ability to serve the song...I made him play to music at really low levels listening to the levels of other players in the tune and showed him that being loud, brash and stick twerling never made him a better drummer but listening and playing with understanding does!
In time he left me having his grade 8 guild hall under his belt and now plays in several busy circuit bands. We meet now and then for a pint! He tells me of his exploits- we laugh- been there done that had the penicillin also! LOl
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Old 04-08-2009, 07:57 PM
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Default Re: Drummers who play too much!

I find this to be true of a lot of drummers (especially around my age). I wonder what it is that makes so many drummers play as though music is a free for all.
I think a lot of guys get wrapped up in trying to impress any drummers that may be in the audience. I've seen plenty of drummers who could blow me out of the water when it comes to chops but they use their chops really distastefully. It's my opinion that trying to be a musician is more important than trying to be a drummer. I don't know how to really express what I just said very well; hopefully my meaning is salvageable.
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Old 04-08-2009, 08:32 PM
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Default Re: Drummers who play too much!

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Originally Posted by Pretzel Logic View Post
It's my opinion that trying to be a musician is more important than trying to be a drummer.
My opinion is that there should be no difference between the two. One should not have to feel like he/she is constantly holding back when just laying down a tight groove. Admittedly it took me a while to learn to play like that.
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Old 04-08-2009, 09:06 PM
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Default Re: Drummers who play too much!

Elvin Jones overplayed, and we love him for it...
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Old 04-08-2009, 10:05 PM
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Default Re: Drummers who play too much!

I can admit I play to much. I hate playing simple beats, and I don't like to be the "boring" one on stage. I play fast and I play loud, I twirl and juggle my sticks, but it makes me happy. I find enjoyment in it.

But I also have been taking drum lessons for 14 years (I was 5), so I at least know how to do everything else correctly.
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Old 04-08-2009, 10:15 PM
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Default Re: Drummers who play too much!

Do you think there's a difference between playing a lot of notes, typically referred to as "overplaying"...and just being a bad drummer?

It sounds like the guy you saw was just a bad drummer - especially for not observing dynamics at all.

Like Caddy said...Elvin played a lot of notes, but since it fit for the music he's considered one of the best, ever.
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Old 04-08-2009, 10:47 PM
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Default Re: Drummers who play too much!

there is a time and a place for laying back and a place and a time for being out front. This is something that seems to come with experience.
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  #8  
Old 04-08-2009, 11:01 PM
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Default Re: Drummers who play too much!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pretzel Logic View Post
I find this to be true of a lot of drummers (especially around my age). I wonder what it is that makes so many drummers play as though music is a free for all.
I think a lot of guys get wrapped up in trying to impress any drummers that may be in the audience. I've seen plenty of drummers who could blow me out of the water when it comes to chops but they use their chops really distastefully. It's my opinion that trying to be a musician is more important than trying to be a drummer. I don't know how to really express what I just said very well; hopefully my meaning is salvageable.
I think you said it perfectly. I have friends that everyone thinks are "great drummers" because they can solo like mad fools. Put them with a band and ask for dynamics & they look at you like you have two heads. I would much rather be able to lay down a solid groove, stay in the pocket & play tastefully above being a 'soloist' drummer. No one really appreciates overplaying except the one doing the overplaying imo.
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Old 04-08-2009, 11:26 PM
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Default Re: Drummers who play too much!

I've got a habit of overplaying. I tend to get away with it since I play in an instrumental 3 piece band. We've all got to throw some flash in the mix to keep things interesting. Plus 95% of the time we're playing for our own enjoyment anyways. We've got nothing to prove. I know it's wrong but if there's going to be an extended guitar solo in each of our songs, I may as well throw in an unnessisarily elaborate fill or two just to keep things fair :)

That said, next serious gig I stumble upon I will do things much differently. There's nothing like the feeling of locking into a rock solid beat and simply groovin' it out while the band does their thing. See Brad Wilk
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Old 04-09-2009, 12:26 AM
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Default Re: Drummers who play too much!

Finesse is as impressive as speed and power as you age. OTHER MUSICIANS especially appreciate someone who can contain their energy until an appropriate moment. I always have appreciated Dennis Chambers' playing with John Scofield, as he could strike a cymbal so lightly,it was as if a hummingbird flew by.If you want to play with yourself in your room,by all means have at it. (And maybe you do.) If you want to play professionally however,unless Lamb of God suddenly holds rehearsals,you will need to learn to listen.
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Old 04-09-2009, 12:53 AM
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Default Re: Drummers who play too much!

Well I never expected so many posts on the subject! Thanks for chipping in- I have just come back from practice and we worked on -Spooky- what a track! I love that track- its a fine example of haviing to hold back and keep it tight and also allows expression for a drummer. Find it on you Tube and have a listen- now as a warning...........younger guys may not dig it but bear with me and let it play- listen to the space and imagine! If you use headphones- swap left for right and you will hear from the drummers point of view and be able to trace the beat around the drums.

Thats how my guys learn and how I did- it works when you are working up a number.

The mark of a man is to know when your wrong- to have the courage to admit it and to make it right!
(just a thought I pass on to my pupils).
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Old 04-09-2009, 01:51 AM
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Default Re: Drummers who play too much!

OP:
I used to fall into this category and I sometimes still get carried away with things. It just depends on the situation, energy of the band at the time etc. By and large I make a conscious effort to underplay. I will increase the complexity and dynamic of what I am playing if the situation warrants it (a rip roaring guitar solo) but I back way the heck off most of the rest of the time. I've found that it is all about listening to what the other guys are doing and building and resolving tension. And, BTW, I can and do solo my arse off, so this isn't a Copeland wannabe bashing people who play drum solos. I love to play drum solos and I save that stuff for when it is appropriate.

I used to play a lot more jazz but now I am playing mostly rock and blues. The jazz background really helped me with listening to the other musicians and with dynamic. BTW - lighter sticks was a smart idea. Another thing that would likely help him is if you made him go through the stick control book play the exercises at really soft volumes over all tempo ranges. I saw an extremely talented drummer a couple weeks ago playing with a great band. They came out the first song and he was doing absolutely everything all at once at top volume. Where do you go from there? How do you help the guitarist build his solo if you are playing your butt off all the time? Anyway something to think about. Great topic.
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  #13  
Old 04-09-2009, 02:00 AM
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Default Re: Drummers who play too much!

Yup its true, if you start playing loud- where do you go from there?
Good to know that other players have the same thoughts...In short I tell my guys to listen, not once but a few times- if they are learning a song- I say learn the words, then you know when a chorus is coming, a break, an axe solo or what ever and can react as you should, not be taken buy surprise!

Anyway off to bed now- night all!
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  #14  
Old 04-09-2009, 02:12 PM
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Default Re: Drummers who play too much!

Quote:
Originally Posted by spirit View Post
So I went to see a band the other week and had to say I came across this drummer who to put it simply just would not listen to the tune the band was playing and in the main just wanted to be the center of attraction..he would fill far too much and be louder than required with no thought for dynamics.
I hate this and see it sometimes from people who have been playing a while.

I had a student who came to me from another teacher- this kid liked to hit hard and play fast all the time, he would chatter to me about drum set ups and other stuff,shownmanship etc- always had an opinion......It took months b4 he calmed down.
His Dad came to me after 3 months and told me he likes how his son is getting on since he joined me.
How did I change him- well I gave him lighter sticks for a start and taught him to listen to the space between beats, told him to play loud and then louder and louder...in the end he could not play louder and I explained the importance of control and having the ability to serve the song...I made him play to music at really low levels listening to the levels of other players in the tune and showed him that being loud, brash and stick twerling never made him a better drummer but listening and playing with understanding does!
In time he left me having his grade 8 guild hall under his belt and now plays in several busy circuit bands. We meet now and then for a pint! He tells me of his exploits- we laugh- been there done that had the penicillin also! LOl
sounds like musical maturity vs immaturity to me.

nice job on putting him on the right path.
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Old 04-09-2009, 07:22 PM
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Default Re: Drummers who play too much!

Quote:
Originally Posted by rmandelbaum View Post
there is a time and a place for laying back and a place and a time for being out front. This is something that seems to come with experience.
Right on, brother....
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Old 04-09-2009, 07:48 PM
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Default Re: Drummers who play too much!

I like "playing for the song" 97% of the time. The other 3% of the time I like to pull a Stewart Copeland and throw some obnoxious-ness in there just to remind everyone that I'm still there ;)
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Old 04-09-2009, 09:53 PM
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Default Re: Drummers who play too much!

Its nice to burn some wood on the kit- but I have had to calm down since I started playing as I play with three bands who all play very differant music- I learn the songs and add mark with subtle accents on the hi hat and ride when I can. The flash stuff is for solos and I get to bang a few out now and then.

The thing I think about is the axe man may want to shred a SRV style thang on every song....Good he does not. The bass man may want to do a Jamerson on every number and so on....If we all did that it would be a mess....So discretion and control, accuracy and good timing count for a good performance for all concerned when you play out for a living.
But its really something you learn in time. Most of my young drummers play metal and all want to know about BPM etc- to be honest I dont have a clue how many BPM I copuld play on the bass drum or any drum infact- all that counts is- does it fit, will it sound good and can I to hell, PULL it off!!
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Old 04-09-2009, 09:59 PM
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Default Re: Drummers who play too much!

Quote:
Originally Posted by spirit View Post
Its nice to burn some wood on the kit- but I have had to calm down since I started playing as I play with three bands who all play very differant music- I learn the songs and add mark with subtle accents on the hi hat and ride when I can. The flash stuff is for solos and I get to bang a few out now and then.

The thing I think about is the axe man may want to shred a SRV style thang on every song....Good he does not. The bass man may want to do a Jamerson on every number and so on....If we all did that it would be a mess....So discretion and control, accuracy and good timing count for a good performance for all concerned when you play out for a living.
But its really something you learn in time. Most of my young drummers play metal and all want to know about BPM etc- to be honest I dont have a clue how many BPM I copuld play on the bass drum or any drum infact- all that counts is- does it fit, will it sound good and can I to hell, PULL it off!!

Yeah, as a metal drummer, I know that.
Tell them that blast beats aren't necessary ALL the time. Straight blast beats gets boring. Also, if you ever teach them about it, teach them how to mix it up, cut & chop them up and personalize them. Triplet blasts, gravity blasts...

I don't want to be contradicting the way you teach, I'm not even implying anything actually. I'm just saying that if they want to learn blast beats, teach them as much about it as their little mind they can handle.

They might think it's not fun to play it slow now, but trust me, they'll be back praising you for it later.
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Old 04-10-2009, 12:53 AM
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Default Re: Drummers who play too much!

It is all about context. If playing a ballad and filling it with blast beats is your thing, chances are you wont work much. On the other hand if the music calls for it, no problem.

I play with many drummers and can attest to the fact that the comfort level of the band is entirely in the drummer's hands. And that word "comfort", is what is uppermost in the other musicians minds. Most could not care less about a drummer's chops. In fact they probably don't even know what color the kit is! I am not kidding. All they care about is their comfort level so that they can feel secure. Then they can get on with the business of grooving, as opposed to the business of not knowing where they are standing.

Recently I produced a recording with two drummers. 1 drummer wanted to be busy and chop out. The other was concerned with making the band sound good. The chopper went first and I literally had to tell him to leave the Neil Peart and Mike Portnoy BS at the door! In no uncertain terms. Only then could we get a decent take.

Part 2: In walks the mature, thinking drummer. He laid down cut after cut. All but one first takes. The first drummer got a great lesson.

There's a time and place for everything.
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Old 04-10-2009, 03:11 AM
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Default Re: Drummers who play too much!

Someone once asked Neil Peart to explain the technique that set him apart from other drummers. Neil said, "Its simple, I overplay!" I can't remember where I read that interview but I always liked his reply to that question.
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Old 04-10-2009, 07:16 AM
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Default Re: Drummers who play too much!

Quote:
Originally Posted by caddywumpus View Post
Elvin Jones overplayed, and we love him for it...
Well there's overplaying and then there's overplaying. Someone like Elvin or Keith Moon played a lot, but it was always perfect for the music and the players they played with. And they could both lay totally back when it was called for. Then there's the guy with no sensitivity or taste that's just blowin' 100% of the time. That's bulls*** and just plain tiresome.
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Old 04-10-2009, 07:35 AM
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Default Re: Drummers who play too much!

Caddy's comment says it all. ( yet again- he's been popping wisdom pills lately...)

Its not how much but how you use it, thang.

For me, in my musical journey tho, I went through the whole learning curve bit , overplaying my butt off as a younger player, learning to control the urge to overplay as I got older, listening to more the just what I was playing, to appreciating the spaces between the notes, to listening to everything as one piece of music, and then maybe overplaying again...

There's good overplaying & bad just as there's good underplaying & bad.

Was it Buddy who said there's 2 kinds of music. Good & bad?

Last edited by aydee; 04-10-2009 at 10:51 AM.
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Old 04-10-2009, 08:50 AM
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Default Re: Drummers who play too much!

This is a really good topic to brought up in my opinion, especially to the aspiring drummers.

Don't get me wrong for targetting the novice drummers. I myself am still a beginner, in terms of musical "maturity" and I've learnt a lot from this thread as well.

I overplay a lot. I did a drum battle in my high school jazz band. I was pounding tons of notes, going nuts around the kit, hitting my head and yell "Dope!' as if it's a trigger pad, while he played "spacious" tom rythms, and simple cymbal works, not to mention he has 7 years more experience, and two years younger than me. Some of the audience met me on the hall ways and asked me if I have been playing drums my whole life, and I told them I've only been playing for 3 years. Most people cannot tell what is a "good" player. They will assume those with amazing chops to be good.

I'd say playing what fits is more important than "underplay". Like Caddywumpus said, Elvin overplayed and we love him for it. He knows how to fit complexity into the the music. He did it so well that we didn't think it's "playing too much". Same goes for Max Roach, Art Blakey, and Buddy himself. Another example I would give would be Joey jordison from Slipknot. Like some of you were saying how young drummers tend to play loud and "overfill". Joey does that all the time, but it's amazing to hear how he blends it well with the band. His overplaying make him one of the most popular metal drummers.

On the other hand, I really think that the musical style of a person is based on his/her personality. There's more to just musical knowledge and interpersonal maturity to this. Again going back to Jordison on this, he's known to be very talkative and hyper, and co-incidently that's his playing style!
I'm not sure if I'm bringing up something new on this, or am I just stating something very obvious that I just found out, but there you go(don't want to sway off topic).
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Old 04-10-2009, 10:26 AM
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Default Re: Drummers who play too much!

I see what you mean- I can only comment on Buddy Rich really as I have seen him live many many times.
Listen to Big swing face- my fav tracks if youget a chance. When the brass section stabs he taps it out on the snare- and would also use ghost notes all the time on the snare, his cymbal and bass drum use and hi hat was great, the way he would accent various beats in say, a typical jazz ride groove to change the feel and sex it up a little. When you really listen with headphones swapped L to R you can imagine standing behind him as the sound pans...Lovely!
sound cool in that context.

So I guess it has its place but NOT to be confused with playing to get noticed- hog the airplay! First comes good skill with understanding and last showmanship. When all are combined with confidence...its unbeatable- that should be the goal.

I have always had immense admiration for the man for his skills, control, precision and for the inspiration he gave many many drummers worldwide.
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Old 04-10-2009, 11:08 AM
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Default Re: Drummers who play too much!

Quote:
I've got a habit of overplaying. I tend to get away with it since I play in an instrumental 3 piece band. We've all got to throw some flash in the mix to keep things interesting. Plus 95% of the time we're playing for our own enjoyment anyways. We've got nothing to prove. I know it's wrong but if there's going to be an extended guitar solo in each of our songs, I may as well throw in an unnessisarily elaborate fill or two just to keep things fair :)

That said, next serious gig I stumble upon I will do things much differently. There's nothing like the feeling of locking into a rock solid beat and simply groovin' it out while the band does their thing. See Brad Wilk
I play with two friends as well, on instruments, but to call it a three piece instrumental band may be a stretch, haha. I feel like a lot of the time what i play isn't corresponding with whats happening, and it's like i get trapped in thinking about what would be fitting to play, rather than just listen the way you would to music. Other times when we just have a jam it comes out much better, right away notice there's no confusion, everybody's feeling the tune, i think that's what somebody described as comfort? Coincidentally (or maybe not so), this always happens when my playing is really basic and it gives me space to focus on the groove and dynamics. But then when we play it again i often try to make more of it, almost as if i need to do something clever lol. Overplaying=overthinking?
We have only been playing together for about four months so it's probably a matter practice, but this thread's helped already! I have played for several years, on and off with a teacher as well, but i never practiced and thought i would be forever stuck in beginner mode. Now i practice everyday it's like learning a new language!
edit: maybe post videos in this thread? examples of over/underplaying:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N-ANKxsSZRs

Last edited by Wars Van; 04-10-2009 at 12:06 PM.
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Old 04-10-2009, 05:45 PM
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Default Re: Drummers who play too much!

I agree that many drummers, especially amateur or novice drummers, overplay. It's a sign of maturity as a musician to be able to stay in the pocket and just groove, whether it be swing, shuffle, rock or even a blast beat, there needs to be an understanding of when and where a drum fill is appropriate.

Stay in the pocket
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Old 04-11-2009, 04:16 PM
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Default Re: Drummers who play too much!

Quote:
Originally Posted by spirit View Post
Well I never expected so many posts on the subject! Thanks for chipping in- I have just come back from practice and we worked on -Spooky- what a track! I love that track- its a fine example of haviing to hold back and keep it tight and also allows expression for a drummer. Find it on you Tube and have a listen- now as a warning...........younger guys may not dig it but bear with me and let it play- listen to the space and imagine! If you use headphones- swap left for right and you will hear from the drummers point of view and be able to trace the beat around the drums.

Thats how my guys learn and how I did- it works when you are working up a number.

The mark of a man is to know when your wrong- to have the courage to admit it and to make it right!
(just a thought I pass on to my pupils).

Sounds to me like you are a great teacher! Jamie Muir of King Crimson gave a 23 year old Bill Bruford his greatest drum lesson when he told him, "You exist for the music. The music does not exist for YOU."

As a kid, I loved fast (Palmer, Cobham, Mitchell, Seraphine) and LOUD (Bonham, Moon, Baker). It wasn't until I became much older when I began to appreciate the styles of Bruford, Gadd, Blaine and Weckl.

When I gre up and learned to appreciate serving and enhancing the music, rather than childishly calling attention to myself, I grew as a drummer by leaps and bounds.

Quote:
On the other hand, I really think that the musical style of a person is based on his/her personality. There's more to just musical knowledge and interpersonal maturity to this. Again going back to Jordison on this, he's known to be very talkative and hyper, and co-incidently that's his playing style!
Man, you just nailed it! Carl Palmer is extremely hyper, saying he makes coffee nervous. We all know about the hyperactivity of Keith Moon. Others that appear to have the laconic personality (Ringo comes readily to mind) tend to reflect that in their drumming, while those who are inquisitive or restless tend to experiment, try different things, odd time signatures, ployrhythms, etc.
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Old 04-11-2009, 10:07 PM
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Default Re: Drummers who play too much!

Thanks mate, I just take pride in passing on what I know and hoping to inspire- for I want my guys and gals to be better than me....Hell one or two are giving me a fair run now!
What it is you see is my drum teacher was just that way with me- sadly he is dead now, but since he died I have realised that at 44 years old ,having survived this long- the chances are reducing as time goes by that I will be drumming in to me 100th year- LOl
So with that in mind and knowing what I do- why not share it-who knows, it would be nice if some of my lot thought of me when I am at the pearly gates and felt the same way I do about what I have taught them.

"Leave something behind that changed a life for the better",.......thats a good way to think I believe.
My teacher did that for me- Good old Mickey Greaves
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Old 04-14-2009, 09:47 PM
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Default Re: Drummers who play too much!

It's nice to show off every now and then, but not constantly. My opinion is, if you're good, you'll come out as being good no matter how in the pocket you play. When young drummers ask me for advice, I always tell them the same three things (1) master the basics, (2) tune your drums correctly, and (3) hit very hard.
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Old 04-14-2009, 11:49 PM
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Default Re: Drummers who play too much!

I agree with some of what you say but,why do you say hit very hard?
They come by default like that in my experiance--I find taming them down is the way for me as I teach them the whole range from rock,blues.jazz, latin, rnb and reggae..Cant hit hard with much of that much of the time-least not in a band situation.

Plus they learn to read music and watch the dynamics in the score- crucial to observe that or the first reading gig would be the last.
Only do it that way as it was the way I was taught and well it works.
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Old 04-18-2009, 03:37 AM
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Default Re: Drummers who play too much!

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Originally Posted by rmandelbaum View Post
there is a time and a place for laying back and a place and a time for being out front. This is something that seems to come with experience.
Very true. I've noticed some drummers failing to step forward and take the song to a new level when offered the chance - when the band needed them to do it. That just foundered and couldn't keep up with the other band members. That's not as bad as overplaying (which just destroys songs) but failure to take control and show off when called for is a sign of mediocrity.
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Old 04-18-2009, 04:51 AM
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Default Re: Drummers who play too much!

Elvin overplayed? Absolutely not. Any of those great 60's recordings he's on with *anyone* - he's playing *great* because his contributions lift the music - so the word "overplay" is totally wrong wrong wrong.

I am constantly seeing drummers UNDERPLAY. See a great band-except-drummer and think "They need a new drummer...not there yet" I see that WAY more than an overplaying drummer but maybe that's LA where everyone wants pocket and most drummers could be interchanged and the only thing you'd notice is "That guy doesn't have the same hair/clothes as the others in the band"
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Old 04-18-2009, 02:02 PM
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Elvin overplayed? Absolutely not. Any of those great 60's recordings he's on with *anyone* - he's playing *great* because his contributions lift the music - so the word "overplay" is totally wrong wrong wrong.

I am constantly seeing drummers UNDERPLAY. See a great band-except-drummer and think "They need a new drummer...not there yet" I see that WAY more than an overplaying drummer but maybe that's LA where everyone wants pocket and most drummers could be interchanged and the only thing you'd notice is "That guy doesn't have the same hair/clothes as the others in the band"
I think a good drummer wont be changed too much- as he is seving the gig on any night- I dont think its possible to underplay- I have myself seen drummers and thought- well I could have done that better, may be added a few more crashes to accent or whatever- but- its not my call- I was not behind that kit- I dont know if the band told him to hold back, just play straight- keep it simple....a drummers direction on the night may not be down to him!
As a working drummer there are time you have to listen to whats being said about dynamics and the path of a song for expression reasons- if I was told to keep it simple by the guy who will pay me at the end of the night...guess what I will do!? I have come across that often- for example in the West End- theater land- if you have a pit job- you have to play what your told, the way your told- consistancy is everything in a show that goes out every night for years- also if you are reading the score you simply have to observe the dynamics in the parts- simply if you dont, its over you wont work again anyplace near that field as word spreads and the fixers can bomb you big time for life!

Me...I keep it tight, simple and honest...I cant afford to loose work for not playing the way thats called for in any job.

Pub gigs and jam sessions with rick bands are a differant ball game as in the main its not where the real money is- its fine to nail it dead like you want to often, show off, twirl some wood and let rip with some flash fills etc....go for it have fun.

I am all for drummers giving it large- but sadly sometimes- when you earn money from it and it pays the bills etc- a large part of what you do is considered a job!
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Old 04-18-2009, 02:12 PM
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Default Re: Drummers who play too much!

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Originally Posted by natureboy View Post
It's nice to show off every now and then, but not constantly. My opinion is, if you're good, you'll come out as being good no matter how in the pocket you play. When young drummers ask me for advice, I always tell them the same three things (1) master the basics, (2) tune your drums correctly, and (3) hit very hard.
I'll go with numbers one and two. No need to hit the drums very hard, IMO. That leads to loss of control. I'd replace "hard" with "confident." Make sure your strokes are confident and sure. They need not be stuck hard.
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Old 04-18-2009, 05:06 PM
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Default Re: Drummers who play too much!

Less is more.

I learned that many years ago.

Dan
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Old 04-18-2009, 07:47 PM
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Default Re: Drummers who play too much!

I tell you one place you will find a wealth of information- I like this site for the factual info, lack of rubbish like--tom angles, how fast can I play etc.

This site is the bees knees as far as drum truth goes and I tell my pupils to look over this site often as just about everything you could want t oknow is covered very well!
Enjoy my fellow drummers!


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Old 04-18-2009, 09:32 PM
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  #37  
Old 04-18-2009, 09:39 PM
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Default Re: Drummers who play too much!

Ok cool- I dont have a problem with speed in training, or in practice- maybe its just a thing people like talking about!

Its good to have someone address in a positive way a subject that has evoked some emotion!

Like reading your posts also mate

Take care and Keep drumming well,always reaching for the next level.
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Old 04-19-2009, 12:04 AM
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Default Re: Drummers who play too much!

every drummer should record himself and listen, REALLY LISTEN!...i have thought i played great stuff many a time, but afterwards i realised that i was playing on the off beat too much ( i do that alot!)......it's a great tool
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Old 04-19-2009, 12:29 AM
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Default Re: Drummers who play too much!

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I think a good drummer wont be changed too much- as he is seving the gig on any night- I dont think its possible to underplay- I have myself seen drummers and thought- well I could have done that better, may be added a few more crashes to accent or whatever- but- its not my call- I was not behind that kit- I dont know if the band told him to hold back, just play straight- keep it simple....a drummers direction on the night may not be down to him!
As a working drummer there are time you have to listen to whats being said about dynamics and the path of a song for expression reasons- if I was told to keep it simple by the guy who will pay me at the end of the night...guess what I will do!? I have come across that often- for example in the West End- theater land- if you have a pit job- you have to play what your told, the way your told- consistancy is everything in a show that goes out every night for years- also if you are reading the score you simply have to observe the dynamics in the parts- simply if you dont, its over you wont work again anyplace near that field as word spreads and the fixers can bomb you big time for life!

Me...I keep it tight, simple and honest...I cant afford to loose work for not playing the way thats called for in any job.

Pub gigs and jam sessions with rick bands are a differant ball game as in the main its not where the real money is- its fine to nail it dead like you want to often, show off, twirl some wood and let rip with some flash fills etc....go for it have fun.

I am all for drummers giving it large- but sadly sometimes- when you earn money from it and it pays the bills etc- a large part of what you do is considered a job!

Ah, I was talking about music in the creative realm, not the working realm. Of course if someone is paying you good $ to play the chart and not overstep the actors' lines (or not play like Keith Moon trying to take attention away from the bride) that's a different story.

I was responding to something about Elvin, which I still feel is a giant misconception about him. The man was *music*. People used to call Coltrane's stuff "sheets of sound" and in the beginning he was criticized for "too many notes" (thanks, Amadeus) but that stuff is beautiful beautiful music. I wouldn't want a single one cut out - and when you hear Elvin's playing, could you imagine taking out anything? Or anything out of Roy's or Max's recordings?

Nothing those guys ever played made me think "Hmm...they should tone down a bit" - even Jones' bombastic Jazz Machine stuff - which was an effort to carry on Art Blakey's Messengers, essentially. And when the horn player wasn't killing it, you had Art smashing even more to make the musicians rise to the occassion - I wouldn't call that "overplaying" - I would call that "immediate band-leader evaluation and remedy" - 'cause if the horn player wasn't bringing it, Art didn't want the band to stay in that malaise...What audience is gonna want to hear a going-through-the-motions-jazz-band? Not me - which is why I don't attend weddings for the jazz.

And there are rock shows other than "pub gigs" and "jam sessions" and when I go check out the band (now that I think about it - I never go to rock shows now to "check out the drummer") - I like seeing the whole package - what makes them work, and if the drummer does something really great like 'interesting parts' or 'cool sound sources' or 'holy-crap-look-at-that-guy/girl-go' then that's a bonus.

And sometimes the band will be great - lots of energy - good stage presence - really great songs, etc - but something is lacking... Sometimes is might be that lead guitar player noodling just enough to detract from the song's strength, but sometimes it's the drummer not bringing enough of a contribution to the performance. Maybe that's all they got, or maybe the band asked them to play like that (because that's all they got) or maybe because they just aren't the right fit for the band.

I've seen a few bands here in LA and thought "cool band" - no biggie - and then see them again a year or two later (with new drummers in tow) and thought "Hells yeah - these guys are awesome" - and those drummers have lifted the band to a new level. Not from just "playing more notes" - but all sorts of things: better parts (stronger creativity!), more dynamic (stronger listening skills!), more solid (stronger practice routine!), etc.

And those bands that are playing venues *are* working. [edit: this is getting into something different, but I just went with it] They want to put on a great show - get more people into them - get more people to buy a CD and tell a friend - get more gig offers - better market their band/brand - etc. Just 'cause it's not paying much or anything that night doesn't mean it's not going to help them out in the long run - and if the drummer were to think:

"Pub gigs and jam sessions with rick[sic] bands are a differant
ball game as in the main its not where the real money is-
its fine to nail it dead like you want to often, show off, twirl
some wood and let rip with some flash fills etc"

then maybe they'd just go in and screw off - it's not where the real money is, right? why bother? Go play single stroke rolls till you're good and tired buddy - we're just here drinking and tolerating! You never know who's in the audience, and a great show is a great show - for 4 people or 400 or 4000. Every band I've had play here at my spot has given their all, which says something about them - even on the few off nights where we had 25 people instead of our 200 - and I say "that was awesome [here's some $] let's get you back in here on a night we are packed [and are able to pay you more $ than this time] 'cause I want a ton of people to see you guys" - If they saw the smaller crowd and just phoned it in or everyone starts "overplaying" and just having a toss, I wouldn't be bringin' 'em back

Back to overplaying specifically

Does anyone here think Keith Moon "overplayed" with The Who? Sure, his bandmates might joke that "yes" would be the appropriate answer, but they weren't going anywhere with their old drummer (read "Moon" - his biography - great read!). The Who was the perfect situation for him. And he found it. (he actually hounded them about it). I wouldn't take a single note out of his performance. And had it not been for his "overplaying" we probably wouldn't know who The Who were (Who?). So I wouldn't call that "overplaying" - I'd call that a perfect musical (and it *was* musical) situation.

First time I heard Nasheet Waits, I was in college and I got so excited I rushed down to the place in the music building where everyone hung out and popped Marc Cary's "Trillium" in the player. The drummer I *could*not*stand* came into the room, listened for a while and then finally said "This guy is too busy man. See, it's all about pocket" and I shot back "Are you kidding me?! This is a *musical statement*! This is *art*! If he were playing 'pocket' [what he thought of as pocket in a jazz scenerio, I guess, not 2 & 4] this album would be BORING!" (This just further cemented my dislike for him musically) So I popped in Jason Moran's "Facing Left" - now totally bewildered that people couldn't just *listen*and say "wow that was exactly what the music needed!"

The guy listens and again: "Just too busy man. I like a guy who can get a good groove in there with his time" - then we went into a long argument where I told him that everything Nasheet was playing had a groove - the other guy just didn't get it and/or want to get it - and wondered aloud if the other guy was being stubborn just to make some point (it was "funk/groove guy" vs "weird jazz guy" all the time with us - even though *all* of his playing was mediocre and repetitive and *boring*! Ah, happy memories)

Of course, 6 months later when Nasheet was cropping up all over the place, I later heard the same drummer going off about how great Nasheet was and I had to shove my bass drum case down my throat to avoid going off on him.


Jeez - I digress!

Overplaying/Underplaying
Artistic Statement/Work Gig

Ah, the timeless debates...
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  #40  
Old 04-21-2009, 08:51 PM
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Default Re: Drummers who play too much!

Really nice posts on this subject! Some great things to talk about also- cheers guys!

Keep em coming!
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