Bad habit development.

intheruff

Senior Member
Hi guys... I've been playing on and off for around 40 years (yipes). I just got out of the studio and discovered I've been dropping the beat slightly after a fill, or just after discovering I'd rushed the beat and had to correct the downbeat in order to play with the click track. VERY DISCOURAGING!
I regularly practice with a click track and a digital screen that shows whether I'm on the beat, or wherever. I don't seem to have a problem with practice. But, with the band I do... and, I don't believe it's their fault, generally speaking.
Any thoughts on this dilemma would be appreciated and acted on. I'll be on the road for the next few weeks and out of touch with this site, but will monitor until Thursday and respond when I get back. I've got no 'smart' phone to keep posted. TIA...
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
Record your performances. Video or audio, either works. That way, the culprit will be very evident. Then you (as a band) can address it.
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
Rushing fills is very common (Bonham was extremely guilty of this!)

Practicing with a metronome helps identify which kinds of fills are most problematic, and in what way. For example, triplet fills are notorious for being rushed, whether in straight time or shuffles or 6/8. Practice with a click or loop will help you learn to correct them, usually it means being very deliberate with the fill until you land on the 1 again. The feeling of sitting on the tempo soon becomes natural, and you automatically do it when playing, with or without a click.

Bermuda
 

Wave Deckel

Gold Member
Bonham was extremely guilty of this!
I guess you managed to make 90% of all drummers (pro and/or hobby) on this forum feel instantly better now. :-D

For some people, it works quite well, to use the left leg as a "metronome" (moving it up and down, like heel-up bassdrum-playing) while doing fills, during moments where you cannot use a real metronome.
 

intheruff

Senior Member
What's frustrating is that I just recorded what I was screwing up on. I used the click (of course) and played thru the fills, returns, and grooves that were giving me problems. And, I was nailing it. I mean... WTH? Red Light Fever? If it makes a difference, I played and recorded on my Rolands, today. At the studio I was using my old Imperial Star Tama's. Volume and bounce (feel) different between the two sets, for sure. Well, back to the woodshed... thanks for the input.
 

iwearnohats

Silver Member
Honestly, I think awareness of a problem such as this is 90% of the solution.

I used to play the first beat of the bar slightly (but noticeably) longer than the rest of the bar after a fill, and as soon as someone pointed it out and I became aware I was doing it, it fixed itself fairly quickly!

Having that 'external' metronome going (e.g., left leg) also helps a lot. I try to have mine running all the time these days, especially during tricky parts and it has made such a difference to my timing.
 

toddbishop

Platinum Member
usually it means being very deliberate with the fill until you land on the 1 again. The feeling of sitting on the tempo soon becomes natural, and you automatically do it when playing, with or without a click.
This. It can be really, really hard to do, just as a willpower thing. I think you get a little emotional reward from playing by feel, that's hard to give up. Until you realize how much better everything sounds when you do it this way.
 

intheruff

Senior Member
Hi guys, thanks for the input. Just got back and am satisfied with my work. I think the remarks regarding ATTENTION and focus were on the money, at least for me. One comment I got from a band mate was to quit thinking so much. Pay attention and focus, yes... but don't anticipate so much. I did exactly that and got what the band needed... a lock. Now to go back and work on everything, and I mean everything, (lol) else.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
If you maintain a quarter note pulse in your fills...

If you don't already, for now, one suggestion is to count out your quarter notes during your fills.

I like to think of it like this: There's a time circuit in my head....that is always going at the tempo of the present song...this circuit is executive in nature... global. All drumming ideas are secondary to the time circuit, which is a sense like my sense of smell. Your ideas should already be in time, time isn't applied to your ideas after the fact. It's just that important.
 

philrudd

Senior Member
This. It can be really, really hard to do, just as a willpower thing. I think you get a little emotional reward from playing by feel, that's hard to give up. Until you realize how much better everything sounds when you do it this way.
Perfectly described!

There was a great article in, I think, Modern Drummer many years ago about the difference between practicing one's art and allowing oneself to become immersed in the emotion, and how it's necessary to curb, or harness, that emotional release, lest it affect the mechanics of the art. The author used a ballet dancer as an example, but it's easy to imagine how it applies to many art forms.

Myself, I played by emotion almost exclusively for many years. But since I was playing punk, it was a bit of an advantage; I'd play faster and louder than anyone, fueled by my own excitement, and no punk ever said 'you're playing it too fast!' It was when I started tackling other genres that I realized I needed to start engaging the rational part of my brain a little more than I had been.
 
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