Any songs where you can play the notes, but getting the feel is still difficult?

Fool in the rain is a pretty straight forward shuffle with some tricky parts thrown in. The first part i had difficulty with was the opening of the hh on the the last beat of first triplet and closing it on the second triplet and placing the ghost note right behind it. The hh part wasnt bad but that ghost note right after it took me awhile to smooth out. I practiced that little part over and over again very slowly. The chorus section groove throws a polyrhythmic challenge, a 3 over 2 thing with 1/4 note triplets over the same groove with hh keeping 1/4 note time. This section for me needs work. I can mechanically do it but the feel is not there. Guess what im working on tomorrow?
 

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If you don't mind, could you say what that work looked like? What did you do? What did you find to be most helpful and effective?
To answer your question, i made sure i was comfortable with each layer, the shuffle on the hh. Then working out the bass drum pattern and just 2-4 with the other hand, no ghost notes or opening hh, yet. The trick is to play loosely. If thats all you do, it still sounds cool. I was already pretty comfortable with 1/2 time shuffles, but this has a few things i had/have to work out. When something stumps me, i isolate it and focus just on that one thing. Tomorrow i will start by playing 1/4 note triplets on cymbal with 1/4 hh to get my 3 over 2 bearings. Then start with simplified groove, bd 1-3, s 2-4 and work my way up to full groove. Hope that helps!
 
For me it’s currently this one:


The transitions between the different parts sound off & I’m taking full responsibility! 😀

Killer tune though, and we’ll keep trying.

🙂
 
If you don't mind, could you say what that work looked like? What did you do? What did you find to be most helpful and effective?

Oh man, how much time do you have? :cool:

Here's what I had to work on going from rock to a country drummer:

Hi-hats: This may sound stupid, but if you're gonna play country, be sure you get a nice set of hi-hats that you absolutely love the sound of because you're going to be playing them 90% of the time. I had to stop myself from going to the ride cymbal of every chorus like what happens in most of the rock songs I played. My suggestion is to get something low-pitched and nothing smaller than a 15. Smaller hats are fun and all, but after you've been playing the darn things for 2 straight hours at a gig, the sound can get tinny and can start to get on your nerves.

As far as playing the hats goes, no more chunking and not a ton of sloshing like in rock music. You have to keep that swinging pulse on the hats like a freakin' clock. It doesn't sound good to me to really lay into the hats playing country.

I've had to learn a balance of being relaxed, confident, and solid without being too loud. There's a weird "relaxed control" that needs to happen, even on fast songs.

As far as the rest of it, the best way I've come up with to describe it is this: In rock music, you need speed. In country music, you need torque.
 
Cold Shot is the toughest shuffle I can think of. I think I've nailed it all of twice in my life, and that was also partly due to the bassist laying it down right where Tommy Shannon did.

But my first thought was the Black Crowes version of Hard to Handle. Steve Gorman's backbeat is SO far back.
Totally!! There's a live version of Hard to Handle out there that's quite a bit slower than the record, and Steve is swinging it a little more. The backbeat feels even farther back on that one. Such a pocket!! One of my favorite drummers!
 
Oh man, how much time do you have? :cool:

Here's what I had to work on going from rock to a country drummer:

Hi-hats: This may sound stupid, but if you're gonna play country, be sure you get a nice set of hi-hats that you absolutely love the sound of because you're going to be playing them 90% of the time. I had to stop myself from going to the ride cymbal of every chorus like what happens in most of the rock songs I played. My suggestion is to get something low-pitched and nothing smaller than a 15. Smaller hats are fun and all, but after you've been playing the darn things for 2 straight hours at a gig, the sound can get tinny and can start to get on your nerves.

As far as playing the hats goes, no more chunking and not a ton of sloshing like in rock music. You have to keep that swinging pulse on the hats like a freakin' clock. It doesn't sound good to me to really lay into the hats playing country.

I've had to learn a balance of being relaxed, confident, and solid without being too loud. There's a weird "relaxed control" that needs to happen, even on fast songs.

As far as the rest of it, the best way I've come up with to describe it is this: In rock music, you need speed. In country music, you need torque.
Thats way i like playing the older stuff, more dynamics and 14” hats are fine. There is a lot of swing in the old stuff allowing me to play jazzier fills, buzz rolls, cool triplet stuff.
 
I find it challenging to play this simple groove and sound like I'm part of the music instead of playing to the music.

 
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I find it challenging to play this simple groove and sound like I'm part of the music instead of playing to the music.

I listened to a lot of those guys. Joey did a great job with them. Frank beard of zz top did some cool grooves on earlier albums like waiting for the bus which segues into jesus just left chicago. Also manic mechanic. That intro is an independence exercise playing doubles between snare/bass with cow bell, cool stuff
 
This one gave me some trouble recently. The "swing" is all in the left hand ghost notes. Simple 1 & 3 kick drum with 2 & 4 snare. Seems simple, but in reality not so easy.
 
50 ways is another brain teaser. I usually resort to the rick latham transcription from many years ago but steve being steve used his left foot with his left hand. I have learned the proper way but usually resort to the former, using lft hand for hh parts
 
Country:
hi-hats that you absolutely love the sound of because you're going to be playing them 90% of the time
SO true. To me, it also seems like hi-hats are steady but quieter in the mix. You definately don't want them out front of the mix. It's all about the kick & snare.
 
There was a period of time in popular country music where the hats (usually 8th notes) were buried by an acoustic guitar part
 
Oh man, how much time do you have? :cool:
I've got as much time as you need to share your experience brother! I get really interested in the ways people make changes in their lives for the better, including the ways people figure out to improve their musical experiences.
Here's what I had to work on going from rock to a country drummer:

Hi-hats: This may sound stupid, but if you're gonna play country, be sure you get a nice set of hi-hats that you absolutely love the sound of because you're going to be playing them 90% of the time. I had to stop myself from going to the ride cymbal of every chorus like what happens in most of the rock songs I played. My suggestion is to get something low-pitched and nothing smaller than a 15. Smaller hats are fun and all, but after you've been playing the darn things for 2 straight hours at a gig, the sound can get tinny and can start to get on your nerves.
So you really get on a first name basis with your hi hats and you want to make sure they are instruments you like spending a lot of time with. Do you find the lower pitch also works better with the music you play?
As far as playing the hats goes, no more chunking and not a ton of sloshing like in rock music. You have to keep that swinging pulse on the hats like a freakin' clock. It doesn't sound good to me to really lay into the hats playing country.
So it sounds like there's just less variation in general with the way you play hi hats. You mentioned the "swinging pulse." Is that specifically for shuffle-type grooves or do you do a lot of "loping" with straight grooves?
I've had to learn a balance of being relaxed, confident, and solid without being too loud. There's a weird "relaxed control" that needs to happen, even on fast songs.

As far as the rest of it, the best way I've come up with to describe it is this: In rock music, you need speed. In country music, you need torque.
I like the "torque" metaphor. To my mind, it evokes a steady flow but with a lot of power behind it.

Curious, did you figure these things out by listening to music with a similar style? Like, did you have a reference that informed your ears with what fits and sounds good?
 
I've got as much time as you need to share your experience brother! I get really interested in the ways people make changes in their lives for the better, including the ways people figure out to improve their musical experiences.

So you really get on a first name basis with your hi hats and you want to make sure they are instruments you like spending a lot of time with. Do you find the lower pitch also works better with the music you play?

I think my lower pitch hi-hats work better for me all the way around, no matter what music I'm playing. I think it's come with both my tastes changing in addition to my age, but I'm no longer a fan of the glassy-splashy sound of cymbals in general. All my cymbals I have are lower-pitch, big, and thin. I really enjoy them being able to open up without having to hit them so hard. With these cymbals, I really feel like my drums are one instrument and not just "drums and cymbals." Overall, I believe that the people I share the stage with appreciate them as well because they aren't deafening loud. My cymbals no longer "hurt."

So it sounds like there's just less variation in general with the way you play hi hats. You mentioned the "swinging pulse." Is that specifically for shuffle-type grooves or do you do a lot of "loping" with straight grooves?

I'm not sure what loping is, but yes there is a ton of swing. It's easy to play a swing, but it takes time to make it not sound forced if your aren't used to playing it. A relaxed shuffle beat is nice, sort like a smiling ballerina as opposed to one grunting and making faces at every jump and spin.

I like the "torque" metaphor. To my mind, it evokes a steady flow but with a lot of power behind it.

Absolutely. I think of "pulling power." No matter what's happening, I'm pulling the band along.

Curious, did you figure these things out by listening to music with a similar style?

I figured all of this out when I moved from playing in a rock band to a classic country band. This "new country" stuff, well, you can be whatever kind of drummer you want with the chops for days, swinging around, whatever. Classic country really is its own thing. I had a sound in my head that I wanted to sound like, and over time I'm making it happen little by little. I've been playing country for 3 years now, and I don't really plan on stopping anytime soon.

Like, did you have a reference that informed your ears with what fits and sounds good?

At this point, this is the playing I want to emulate. I have this live performance on vinyl, and it's perfect.



Like I said early, I don't think the notes are hard to play, but getting that "feel" right is something I'm always working on.
 
Even if you spend a bit of time on hh’s, you can do subtle variations like playing the top with tip of stick and/or playing with shank on edges for more intensity. Also foot pressure changes pitch. I disagree with 14” being inappropriate. 15’s are great but not an absolute
 
I think my lower pitch hi-hats work better for me all the way around, no matter what music I'm playing. I think it's come with both my tastes changing in addition to my age, but I'm no longer a fan of the glassy-splashy sound of cymbals in general. All my cymbals I have are lower-pitch, big, and thin. I really enjoy them being able to open up without having to hit them so hard. With these cymbals, I really feel like my drums are one instrument and not just "drums and cymbals." Overall, I believe that the people I share the stage with appreciate them as well because they aren't deafening loud. My cymbals no longer "hurt."



I'm not sure what loping is, but yes there is a ton of swing. It's easy to play a swing, but it takes time to make it not sound forced if your aren't used to playing it. A relaxed shuffle beat is nice, sort like a smiling ballerina as opposed to one grunting and making faces at every jump and spin.



Absolutely. I think of "pulling power." No matter what's happening, I'm pulling the band along.



I figured all of this out when I moved from playing in a rock band to a classic country band. This "new country" stuff, well, you can be whatever kind of drummer you want with the chops for days, swinging around, whatever. Classic country really is its own thing. I had a sound in my head that I wanted to sound like, and over time I'm making it happen little by little. I've been playing country for 3 years now, and I don't really plan on stopping anytime soon.



At this point, this is the playing I want to emulate. I have this live performance on vinyl, and it's perfect.



Like I said early, I don't think the notes are hard to play, but getting that "feel" right is something I'm always working on.
Groovy, thanks. This is my favorite kind of drum stuff to talk about.
 
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