“Playing with albums is the only thing you ever need to practice”

Joffry

Active Member

Came across this video a while back and it was an interesting take to hear.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. As drummers it seems we have a tendency to get bogged down with practicing “drum stuff” when we really should just be listening to the music we want to play and working to emulate it closely.

Something that Marcus Gilmore said in a modern drummer interview comes to mind:
“There are certain tools you can use to get to the music, but often people get caught up in the tools and they don’t get to the actual music”

What are y’all’s thoughts on this opinion?
 

toddbishop

Platinum Member
Not watching a video to have a conversation, but I agree with everything you said.

“Playing with albums is the only thing you ever need to practice”​


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To do what?

I'd beware of basing too much of what you do on video headlines. Like I guarantee he did more than that.

Playing along with music is really good, playing music with people is the whole point of all of it, so that's really good, there are also other things to do to be a knowledgeable, well rounded musician.

I think file this with the guy who said you never need to play a flam. It must be a youtube thing to turn OK advice into crappy advice by making it all or nothing.
 

GetAgrippa

Diamond Member
When you listen to speech or music beside sensory pathway activation in your brain you also activate the primary motor cortex pathways -though no movement is produced. They aren't sure why so in music but speech when you listen to speech there is a somatotopic representations of speech articulators in motor cortex. So you activate the same pathways that would produce the speech. I think (hypothesize) it's same with music and why listening to music so helpful because subconsciously you are learning what to play-even activating the pathways to emulate it with no action (making critical listening and focusing on your instrument so important). That said listening and playing music is just one aspect-because there is transcription and reading music which activates other sensory/motor pathways so expands your brain horizons in music comprehension and playing (because bringing more brain power to bear). When I started with jazz so many forum members told me to listen to the music-which initially I was like OK. But after reading these studies it became so much clearer why it works.
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
As far as building a usable 'library' of parts and fills, I'd agree that recordings are an excellent source for parts that producers and artists have deemed to be 'right' before releasing the tracks.

As for practicing along with recordings, it certainly doesn't hurt. But it's not a substitute for playing with live players. There's a dynamic between musicians playing together that doesn't exist when playing to a recording. For a drummer in particular, playing with other musicians is the goal, so practicing with other musicians is the way to achieve that.
 

JimmyM

Platinum Member
As far as building a usable 'library' of parts and fills, I'd agree that recordings are an excellent source for parts that producers and artists have deemed to be 'right' before releasing the tracks.

As for practicing along with recordings, it certainly doesn't hurt. But it's not a substitute for playing with live players. There's a dynamic between musicians playing together that doesn't exist when playing to a recording. For a drummer in particular, playing with other musicians is the goal, so practicing with other musicians is the way to achieve that.
Right, big difference between playing with a drummer on a record and being the drummer.
 

jda

Gold Member
exception being it's not "1974" anymore as far as dances and (physical) chances to play..anymore.
Imagine starting out. In 2022.
 

jda

Gold Member
Live music? that's what "your grandpap" used to do..
Imagine starting out. In 2020.
 

lefty2

Platinum Member
I grew up playing along with records that's all we had. (1970s)Now when I'm playing with a click track sometimes I have to focus on the click very purposefully because at times it seems I follow the band instead of the metronome. I wonder if that tendency comes from following records rather than being the leader like a real band requires. It's hard to play along with the click if some of your band mates are slightly behind it and naturally you want the band to be together so I unconsciously start to slow down. Lately I try to focus on the click more when that happens so I don't slow down and make them responsible for following me. This is probably natural but I can't help but wonder if following records instead of leading may have made it worse.
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
No.

If there's no foundation there will be issues sooner or later. Either you'll hurt yourself or simply don't have the chops to do what you want to do.,

As for playing with people and just getting out doing it, that's definitely a good chunk of the ideal situation, but that's not so easy to be able to do as it was. I have my own ideas there as I don't really blame much but bad teachers, but well, it takes a bit more than just snapping your fingers to fix that situation and sadly most are contributing to the issue instead of helping.

You are very lucky indeed if succeed and can say you pretty much learned it on the job. I'm sure there still are some bluegrass players, the Wooten family etc..., but it's rare.
 

Bozozoid

Platinum Member
Damn! I love reading all of the responses here
So much food for thought and knowledge. Getting inside your minds is a wonderful experience. Carry on! Drummers!.
 

jda

Gold Member
I SO wish it wasn't so jda. 😥
I played a solid 10/12 years steady with 2,3, 4 others that were from the WW2 generation playing for an audience of WW2 generation jitterbugging dancers. A couple would come up to me and say " We used go see Duke Ellington play at Scheleny Park skating ring Saturday night dances". Lot of those Dance tunes were Jazz tunes that carried over into bebop situations I found myself in. Even to today.
Sometimes we'd play so low I could hear their feet swish across the floor as they danced
 
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Bozozoid

Platinum Member
I played a solid 10/12 years steady with 2,3, 4 others that were from the WW2 generation playing for an audience of WW2 generation jitterbugging dancers. A couple would come up to me and say " We used go see Duke Ellington play at Scheleny Park skating ring Saturday night dances". Lot of those Dance tunes were Jazz tunes that carried over into bebop situations I found myself in. Even to today.
Sometimes we'd play so low I could hear their feet swish across the floor as they danced
What a memory to have!..i can see it in my minds eye. Wow!. 😃.
 

jda

Gold Member
Gonna take a Sentimental Journey. But Not for me.
Those were the tunes. September In The Rain was killer swing.
prior to that I was rock- and where all the 45s and AM radio propelled. Then Albums.
But after awhile I went with the WW2 guys. So as now I can go multi directions.
Swing base with the Rock head lol
Dexter Gordon or Frank Zappa.
 
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opentune

Platinum Member
A big no. I am a case in point.
I am a self-learner who started out playing only to recordings. Over and over, for years. It gave me a good grounding, good sense of time, some taste for fills, and good enough to start with a band, but then I topped out because I couldn't get my hands to do certain things.... I needed to condition my hands with some basic rudiments.
As an example, I heard how a 'motown pickup ' started many Motown songs, but couldn't work through many of them properly without knowing a decent six stroke roll.

'the only thing" is such an absolute and it doesn't exist in many pursuits.
 

jda

Gold Member
I started out on a practice pad with a Teacher and Rudiments and sight reading.
Then I got the drum set and listening to records. Then a Band.
 
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