Anger, dismay and confusion

Swiss Matthias

Platinum Member
As some mentioned, I find it a bit odd that you call it "just practice" - doesn't practicing
actually really come down to trying to sound good in the end?

Then again, I think it's the small and little things that divide the good from the great, and
I guess it only takes so much of a lack of concentration or whatever to destroy that greatness,
because it's the nuances really, isn't it?
 

8Mile

Platinum Member
As some mentioned, I find it a bit odd that you call it "just practice" - doesn't practicing
actually really come down to trying to sound good in the end?
Of course, but sometimes we're rehearsing a new song and we have to learn the parts, so it's not so much about feel and precision as just hitting the right notes and figuring out where the breaks are. I can hear my tentativeness showing through on some of the recorded material. Also, as MikeM alluded to, I try things I might not go for live, so there is some experimentation going on.
Then again, I think it's the small and little things that divide the good from the great, and
I guess it only takes so much of a lack of concentration or whatever to destroy that greatness,
because it's the nuances really, isn't it?
Yeah, this is really reinforced by what I heard. That focus of, "Here we go, this one's for real," has a tangible effect on the performance. I am resolved to focus harder next time, but after 3 1/2 hours of practice where we don't take any breaks, there are moments when we're not giving every take 100%.
 

Anon La Ply

Renegade
Lar, you are not someone I would think of as someone to be disappointed with your drumming! I remember something you said to me when I posted my playing and was self critical.

You said that if that playing was posted by someone else I would have been glowing with praise, or something to that effect. It's one of those times when you don't realise that a small thing you said could have such a big impact on someone else. Thanks - it was a confidence boost and reality check and it was was helpful. I'm sure I could say the same to you with those recordings. Sometimes we so critical about the minutiae that not even good musicians you're playing with notice.

Still, Matthias made a great point about the small things making a difference - every glitch is a break in the flow of the music, a slight loss of vibe and atmosphere.

However, striving for greatness is not ideal for a band practice (if ever for most of us, FFS :) Band practice is a time to get the arrangements sorted, iron out the kinks and get the music and muscle memory ingrained.

Also, as Mike said (liked your post BTW, Mike), you can try some things you might not dare to do at a gig but don't have the opportunity to do in other settings. So it looks like you lost perspective for a moment and allowed Pro Larry to judge Experimental Larry ... or maybe Pro Larry thought that Experimental Larry had ventured too far :)

Larry, I just want to ask if you experience this related issue ... you play both jazz and structured music. I do something equivalent - I do a lot of jamming and also play band arrangements. They are very different approaches.

Sometimes I find one approach leaks into the other - like if I'm not feeling centred I might find myself getting too slap happy within arrangements, or I might stay rooted on a backbeat pattern while jamming and miss opportunities. Don't know if that's just me or not.
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
Yea, I'm with Mike on this one. Practice is the place where I'm most likely to try something that might not work. I think that's fine. Better there than up on a stage.

A guitar player I used to work with would often record our practices on his iphone, and I was fine with that... The problem was he would sometimes upload them to youtube or something, and that kind of irked me a bit because I wasn't putting my best forward, I was developing and practicing the tunes!
 

8Mile

Platinum Member
Lar, you are not someone I would think of as someone to be disappointed with your drumming! I remember something you said to me when I posted my playing and was self critical.

You said that if that playing was posted by someone else I would have been glowing with praise, or something to that effect. It's one of those times when you don't realise that a small thing you said could have such a big impact on someone else. Thanks - it was a confidence boost and reality check and it was was helpful. I'm sure I could say the same to you with those recordings. Sometimes we so critical about the minutiae that not even good musicians you're playing with notice.

Still, Matthias made a great point about the small things making a difference - every glitch is a break in the flow of the music, a slight loss of vibe and atmosphere.

However, striving for greatness is not ideal for a band practice (if ever for most of us, FFS :) Band practice is a time to get the arrangements sorted, iron out the kinks and get the music and muscle memory ingrained.

Also, as Mike said (liked your post BTW, Mike), you can try some things you might not dare to do at a gig but don't have the opportunity to do in other settings. So it looks like you lost perspective for a moment and allowed Pro Larry to judge Experimental Larry ... or maybe Pro Larry thought that Experimental Larry had ventured too far :)

Larry, I just want to ask if you experience this related issue ... you play both jazz and structured music. I do something equivalent - I do a lot of jamming and also play band arrangements. They are very different approaches.

Sometimes I find one approach leaks into the other - like if I'm not feeling centred I might find myself getting too slap happy within arrangements, or I might stay rooted on a backbeat pattern while jamming and miss opportunities. Don't know if that's just me or not.
Haha. You got me, Grea! I should take my own advice, it's true.

Yes, I do experience what you're talking about when navigating different kinds of music.

I actually thought about starting a thread about that very subject. Because I hear great drummers talk in interviews about how they don't think in terms of styles, they just play. But I don't find it so simple. Playing music with and without backbeats, for instance, is a very different experience for me. I do have lots of overlap, obviously; I'm still me. But there are big differences in approach, volume, physicality, and just what works versus what doesn't.

When I had the privilege of chatting with Steve Gadd, I asked him about whether he approaches louder, amplified music with backbeats differently. He said he absolutely does. Which makes me feel a little better, I suppose.
 

8Mile

Platinum Member
A guitar player I used to work with would often record our practices on his iphone, and I was fine with that... The problem was he would sometimes upload them to youtube or something, and that kind of irked me a bit because I wasn't putting my best forward, I was developing and practicing the tunes!
I hate that. I would never upload someone else playing without vetting it through them first.
 

Swiss Matthias

Platinum Member
Of course, but sometimes we're rehearsing a new song and we have to learn the parts, so it's not so much about feel and precision as just hitting the right notes and figuring out where the breaks are. I can hear my tentativeness showing through on some of the recorded material. Also, as MikeM alluded to, I try things I might not go for live, so there is some experimentation going on.
Yeah, this is really reinforced by what I heard. That focus of, "Here we go, this one's for real," has a tangible effect on the performance. I am resolved to focus harder next time, but after 3 1/2 hours of practice where we don't take any breaks, there are moments when we're not giving every take 100%.
Ok, I know what you mean! Been there too!
 

Anon La Ply

Renegade
Haha. You got me, Grea! I should take my own advice, it's true.

Yes, I do experience what you're talking about when navigating different kinds of music.

I actually thought about starting a thread about that very subject. Because I hear great drummers talk in interviews about how they don't think in terms of styles, they just play. But I don't find it so simple. Playing music with and without backbeats, for instance, is a very different experience for me. I do have lots of overlap, obviously; I'm still me. But there are big differences in approach, volume, physicality, and just what works versus what doesn't.
Nicely articulated, Lar. Ideally we'd just follow our ears and genre would be irrelevant, but that doesn't account for genre-specific vocabulary and player expectations of a drummer. Harder than it looks! By the same token, we don't speak quite the same way at work, at home, out with friends, with parents, siblings, strangers, muggers, etc.

Funny example a few months ago when I played a straight 70s rock fill during a relaxed jam on All Blues with a friend (in my Soundcloud stream). Just a brain snap. During the playback Tim cracked up and said "rock on!" - complete with devil horns lol

On a positive note, it seems you are much less angry, dismayed and confused than before :)
 
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