A Drummer's Most Important Quality

NouveauCliche

Senior Member
I'm pretty confident that every drummer on your list would refer to himself as a musician first and a drummer second. Likewise, every drummer on your list would maintain that a drummer's ultimate goal is to function as an integral component that blends with a unit, not as a standalone spectacle that begs for attention. When I state that a good drummer can be ignored, my point is that he's doing exactly what the music demands and doesn't draw inordinate attention to himself like a hapless egomaniac in a "please look at me" YouTube solo.
I picture this:

 

dale w miller

Silver Member
Make the songwriters happy. If they are not happy, you have no gig. Then it’s a matter of is your happiness or lack there of worth playing those songs.
 

Houndog1964

Member
I'm pretty confident that every drummer on your list would refer to himself as a musician first and a drummer second. Likewise, every drummer on your list would maintain that a drummer's ultimate goal is to function as an integral component that blends with a unit, not as a standalone spectacle that begs for attention. When I state that a good drummer can be ignored, my point is that he's doing exactly what the music demands and doesn't draw inordinate attention to himself like a hapless egomaniac in a "please look at me" YouTube solo.
You said completely ignore . That’s what I’m going from .
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
I can’t ignore
John Bonham
Kieth Moon
Neil Peart
Buddy Rich
Joe Morello
David Garibadl
Gavin Harrison
I could go forever ...
That's because you are a drummer. Ask your wife who Joe Morello is. Or better yet, ask any non drummer who any of those people are, and what band they are in. They dont know, they aren't drummers. It's just music to them, i.e. the drummer is just part of the song, or is ignorable. The singer is the only one most people care about.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
That's because you are a drummer. Ask your wife who Joe Morello is. Or better yet, ask any non drummer who any of those people are, and what band they are in. They dont know, they aren't drummers. It's just music to them, i.e. the drummer is just part of the song, or is ignorable. The singer is the only one most people care about.
Quite right. Auditory studies reveal that non-musicians don't break music into segregated units. Rather, they process music as a whole. Listening is mostly a right-brained activity for them. Guitar, drums, and bass somewhat bleed into a uniform mass. Under this paradigm, a drummer would stand out only if his playing deviated from the overarching character of a given composition. By most measures, that would be the definition of bad drumming.
 

Houndog1964

Member
Quite right. Auditory studies reveal that non-musicians don't break music into segregated units. Rather, they process music as a whole. Listening is mostly a right-brained activity for them. Guitar, drums, and bass somewhat bleed into a uniform mass. Under this paradigm, a drummer would stand out only if his playing deviated from the overarching character of a given composition. By most measures, that would be the definition of bad drumming.
So , the fact that Bonham and Peart stand out and are noticed by non musicians means they overplay ?
You guys shouldn’t be so quick to dismiss a non musicians understanding ...
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
So , the fact that Bonham and Peart stand out and are noticed by non musicians means they overplay ?
Nobody said that. What is implied by what was said is we as drummers are going to notice drummers and drumming more than the average listener. Just like sports nuts are gonna be all about the players stats, names, etc. I get that Barry Bonds was a good player. I have no idea who he played for or what position. Why? Because I dont care about baseball. It exists, I recognize names, that's already too much as far as I'm concerned. Most people are the same with drums, or any instrument for that matter. People today dont even know who the Beatles are. Why should they care about Bonham, Peart, Paice, Ulrich, Menza, Longstreth, or anyone else?

When the drummer plays for the song, its musical and he doesnt stick out like a sore thumb.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
When the drummer plays for the song, it's musical and he doesnt stick out like a sore thumb.
And it's really just as simple as that. Both Bonham and Peart, for example, were thoroughly supportive of their respective bands. Neither drummer imposed incongruous elements upon the music he accompanied. All drumming should be situationally tailored. Had Bonham and Peart traded bands, they would have adjusted their contributions accordingly. Doing what the moment calls for is the hallmark of a professional in any field. A good drummer strives to suit the music, not the other way around.
 

Yamaha Rider

Well-known member
That's because you are a drummer. Ask your wife who Joe Morello is. Or better yet, ask any non drummer who any of those people are, and what band they are in. They dont know, they aren't drummers. It's just music to them, i.e. the drummer is just part of the song, or is ignorable. The singer is the only one most people care about.
I certainly listen to the drumming - but even as a drummer (in a limited capacity) - I'm unlikely to be able to put a name to the drummer on any given song. But that doesn't imply that the drumming itself was 'anonymous' or 'invisible' at all.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
I certainly listen to the drumming - but even as a drummer (in a limited capacity) - I'm unlikely to be able to put a name to the drummer on any given song. But that doesn't imply that the drumming itself was 'anonymous' or 'invisible' at all.
If you were a guitarist would you notice all the drums? Or better yet, do you notice all the guitar?

By invisible it's not being said drums should be boring. They can be completely over the top and still fit the song. Fit the song is the key. You cant play the drums to Wont Get Fooled Again on top of Angie and not be noticed. By anyone. Its that ridiculous. But you can play the drums to Wont Get Fooled Again on top of Wont Get Fooled Again and not be noticed. That's the point. Only drummers care.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
I certainly listen to the drumming - but even as a drummer (in a limited capacity) - I'm unlikely to be able to put a name to the drummer on any given song. But that doesn't imply that the drumming itself was 'anonymous' or 'invisible' at all.
That's a fair point. I equate the phenomenon with the way a mechanic zeroes in on an engine. He's fascinated by its functions, whereas the average motorist just wants it to run. Similarly, we drummers tend to place drum parts beneath microscopes, which makes perfect sense for us, while most listeners just need a rhythm to be present so they can register the song. It's hard for us to adopt the latter frame of mind, as we can't stop being drummers. We're cursed in that regard.
 
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