Beats that are Appreciated More than Others

Coldhardsteel

Gold Member
Something that I've noticed as time goes by in 20th and 21st century music is that the later the tune, the more prevalent the drums are in the mix. Dance music is almost entirely drums, whereas pop from the 60's and earlier have very mellow, dark, or soft drum parts.

In today's context, these differences kind of confuse me as to how to appeal to people, both audience members and other musicians who might be looking for a drummer. Should I approach my playing more relaxedly, with laying low as a priority and generally being a texture as opposed to perhaps a feature, or would I be wiser to play brazenly and boldly, bordering on obnoxious while exuding energy that gets feet tapping and bodies moving? Is there a medium that everyone likes? I wonder sometimes what people appreciate more often nowadays. What do you guys think?
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
As always, parts, sounds, and feel are governed to a large degree by the style and the gig at hand. Sometimes you're relaxed, sometimes more assertive, sometimes your drums are tight and poppy, other times they're looser and boomy, sometimes you bring a piccolo snare, sometimes a 6x15, etc. You react and respond accordingly to the gig at hand. If you're playing oldies, you don't bring a bop kit. If you're playing a dinner club, you don't whip out the 2Bs. If you're playing pop, you play it straight. If you're playing fusion, you avoid playing too straight. etc etc etc

Unless you play only one type of music as a steday diet, you'll need to be willing and able to change-up what you bring to a gig, the parts you play, and how you play them, in order to keep gigging.

Bermuda
 
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Anthony Amodeo

Guest
As always, parts, sounds, and feel are governed to a large degree by the style and the gig at hand. Sometimes you're relaxed, sometimes more assertive, sometimes your drums are tight and poppy, other times they're looser and boomy, sometimes you bring a piccolo snare, sometimes a 6x15, etc. You react and respond accordingly to the gig at hand. If you're playing oldies, you don't bring a bop kit. If you're playing a dinner club, you don't whip out the 2Bs. If you're playing pop, you play it straight. If you're playing fusion, you avoid playing too straight. etc etc etc

Unless you play only one type of music as a steday diet, you'll need to be willing and able to change-up what you bring to a gig, the parts you play, and how you play them, in order to keep gigging.

Bermuda
just curious Bermuda

what prepared you for some of the polka material

did you listen to some polka....were you a polka fan ... or just do your own thing
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
No prep to speak of... I've heard polkas, I know how to play a 2-beat, and in the case of Al's versions, I simply change that up a bit with some pop/rock sensibilities and sfx for fun.

Bermuda
 

Mad About Drums

Pollyanna's Agent
In today's context, these differences kind of confuse me as to how to appeal to people, both audience members and other musicians who might be looking for a drummer. Should I approach my playing more relaxedly, with laying low as a priority and generally being a texture as opposed to perhaps a feature, or would I be wiser to play brazenly and boldly, bordering on obnoxious while exuding energy that gets feet tapping and bodies moving? Is there a medium that everyone likes? I wonder sometimes what people appreciate more often nowadays. What do you guys think?
By the comment in your post, one name came to my mind.... Brian Blade.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
More than anything people want a drummer who is past the "impressing" stage, who listens to what's going on and puts the perfect drum part to it, at the right volume, with the right intensity, and the appropriate feel. It's all about listening and fitting, and forgetting any preconceived notions. Your ears are king. Difference between the pros and everyone else: Skills, experience and big ears.
 
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Anthony Amodeo

Guest
have big ears and you will know how to approach every situation you encounter
 

Mad About Drums

Pollyanna's Agent
Your ears are king. Difference between the pros and everyone else: Skills, experience and big ears.
have big ears and you will know how to approach every situation you encounter
Quote from Brian Blade...

"You'll never know if the end result will be beautiful or strange, might as well accept it, like in real life, by being within the instant, by listening to every moments, without missing a single crumb of the music, even if you play a rest note"
 

Pocket-full-of-gold

Platinum Member
Dance music is almost entirely drums, whereas pop from the 60's and earlier have very mellow, dark, or soft drum parts.
Recording evolution has a lot to do with this as well. It wasn't so much that the drums were deliberately softer or mellower per se. Moreso that the recording techniques used in the 60's and before was to mic the room. The drums may have had two or three mics strategically placed to capture a balanced sound of the whole kit. The kit was mixed to one track on the 4 or 8 track board. Close micing individual drums didn't start to emerge on a wider scale until the 70's when 16 then 24 track consols were developed. And as a result, isolating individual drums and the ability to tweak individual elements provided more clarity in the overall mix.

Dance music requires beats that are heavy on the 1 in order to kick the E's in. :)
 

Anon La Ply

Renegade
Agree with Pocket about recording.

Correct me if I'm wrong but my understanding is that Earl Palmer was the first major player to play backbeat to straight eighths. Then guys like Ringo and Charlie started playing it heaver. Then drums got heavier again with the late 60s and early 70s rock guys.

E-drums in the 80s brought a snare sound like a mini explosion. It's this tranch of music that descended from 80s pop where the drums remain really high in the mix. It's all about the dance and the buzz.

Music with a stronger accent on melody and lyrical content generally wants the drums less up front - supporting rather than driving (though the drive is there, just mellower).

In jazz and its derivatives the drums have a flowing dialogue with the other instruments, bouncing between supporting and taking the lead, depending on the moment.

In modern dance-related music the "drums" are upfront but the main role is totally supportive, acting as a powerful framework around which the music flows - a similar role to that of Moe Tucker in Velvet. The tribal vibe. The other thing the "drums" do is add excitement in the lead-ins after the breakdowns.

In blues. country and folk (to some extent) the drums are mostly supportive, with a fairly broad dynamic range and a strong focus on groove and swing. At times the drums take the lead in bridges and transitions, some is arranged and some intuitive.

Rock takes on elements of all of these and each band has their own spot on that spectrum; most add a touch of showbiz or flash as well. The drums' role in rock is far from cut-and-dried, hence your question (took a while but I got there :)

It's something I get stuck on too. I sometimes wonder which "hat" should I wear - the Purdie hat, the Ringo hat, the Charlie hat, or something a bit out there? Is it straying too far from the band's usual direction? Too goofy? Too serious? As others have said, a lot of it is about ears, but it's also knowing a band's angle, being familiar with the form and being physically able to play it (or fudge it :)
 

8Mile

Platinum Member
Lots of good points raised thus far. Let me add another to the list: Confidence counts for a lot. If you play with conviction that your sh** is hip and happening, people will tend to believe you.
 
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plangentmusic

Guest
Earl rocks the back beat pretty hard on those Little Richard records

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6jmNe77vces

such a great tune
I always felt, in a way, that was a return to the dixie and Kansas City style of swing where the swing had a more pronounced 2&4. Guys like Earl made it a little heavier (due to smaller bands and later, with electric bass) and it took on a natural evolution from there. The "big beat" was what drove the music and there was no turning back after that.

Check out some early Chuck Berry with Jo Jones on drums. You can hear the melding of old swing with a more pronounced pulse. And so...rock and roll was born. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qixzCbGqCds
 
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plangentmusic

Guest
Agree with Pocket about recording.
It's something I get stuck on too. I sometimes wonder which "hat" should I wear - the Purdie hat, the Ringo hat, the Charlie hat, or something a bit out there? Is it straying too far from the band's usual direction? Too goofy? Too serious? As others have said, a lot of it is about ears, but it's also knowing a band's angle, being familiar with the form and being physically able to play it (or fudge it :)
Part of the fun of music is wearing many hats. I play all styles and I play it on several instruments. They each take me to a place.

At times I like channeling Elvin or Buddy or Bonham, just I like channeling my bass influences, be it Jamerson, Squire or LaFara. Bottom line, they all have to go through me. I think that's where some people get hung up -- not allowing their own personality to come through.

Consequently, some people ONLY do "their thing" and they either wind up as innovators or unemployed. (Usually the later).
 

Mad About Drums

Pollyanna's Agent
I sometimes wonder which "hat" should I wear - the Purdie hat, the Ringo hat, the Charlie hat, or something a bit out there? Is it straying too far from the band's usual direction? Too goofy? Too serious?
Jeez... you remind me of my daughter in front of the mirror each morning, lol.

Actually, I don't "think" or "wonder" what type of hats style or sound when responding to music, I play what I feel is appropriate for the music, my reasoning is, if I'm the drummer of that band, then it's part of the band's direction.

Confidence counts for a lot. If you play with conviction that your sh** is hip and happening, people will tend to believe you.
Too right Larry! Conviction, attitude and believing in what you do (play) is probably the greatest asset a drummer can have, no matter what level, musically.
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
Lots of good points raised thus far. Let me add another to the list: Confidence counts for a lot. If you play with conviction that your sh** is hip and happening, people will tend to believe you.
Confidence is certainly important, but in the end, the parts always have to be right for the music at hand. Any musician who plays with conviction, authority, assertiveness, whatever you want to call it... is still going to lose the audition if they don't know how to serve the music.

Bermuda
 

hvymtlmike

Senior Member
It all depends on what type of music you will be playing. If you don't know and you're open to many different genres then you handle the energy when the situation arises for that style. Example: The energy in jazz drumming would not cut it in a hard rock/metal situation that calls for extreme levels of dominant energy. Narrow down what you want to do, how you want to do it, and do what comes natural to you. Without a specific type of music, asking what energy level is like asking what drum parts should I play when you haven't even heard the music yet. :)
 

drstrangefunk

Senior Member
regarding The Mix as it got better, Jimmy Page credits himself for being the first to record drums in such a fashion that they are heard on recordings the way they sound live in a room.

if you listen to Beck's Bolero produced by Jimmy Page (and featuring the proposed and prototype Led Zeppelin ensemble of Jeff Beck Jimmy Page John Paul Jones Keith Moon and Nicky Hopkins) from Jeff Becks Truth album, you can practically hear The Mix come to life right before your very ears.

the preceding tracks sound like a wax cylinder (i exaggerate) which blossoms into full blown technicolor stereo sound when Beck's Bolero hits. it's quite startling. and refreshing.
 
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