Do you think a drummer can't groove if he can't dance?

?uesto

Silver Member
I always considered myself a great groove drummer, but that was before playing music where I had to make people dance. Luckily, I came around pretty quickly, but on all the old rock stuff I used to do, I would lay it down right in the pocket, but there would be no groove to it.

After discovering what it felt like to groove on the kit, and seeing the affect it had on the audience and on the band, I could see how one could be limited in making your groove dance on the drums if you can't dance. Now I, personally, can't dance at all. So it's not impossible, but I think it's much more difficult and it's harder to connect the movement of your own body with the drum groove and with that of the audience members.

Steve Jordan said this in an interview in Modern Drummer that I read recently, and I think it's so true.. There's an ambiguous presence of swing in music that grooves, be it pop, funk, disco, rock, or anything else.

Thoughts on this matter?
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
Many many different muscle groups involved in drumming and dancing. One doesn't really depend on the other. A sense of rhythm is required in both but IMHO thats where the comparison stops.
 

Mad About Drums

Pollyanna's Agent
Music and dance are obviously related, and you need a sense of rythm to dance, however, I don't think that a drummer who cannot dance will be a drummer who can't groove, I'm a pretty lousy dancer, I can shake my body alright to the music, but I wouldn't call that dancing and I was never attracted to dancing, but I think a drummer can groove even if he's/she's not a great dancer IMO.

Grooving on a drumkit has more to do with mastering the instrument than dancing.
 

Numberless

Platinum Member
I don't think it's necessary but I do think they are related and it can only be beneficial to understand how certain dancers use rhythm to move their bodies.
 

mikeyhanson

Silver Member
Well, stripping it to it's core, dancing is basically moving in rhythm to the music, imo. So if you can move in rhythm to music, you are dancing. Whether or not you're doing any particular dance move other than spazzing out, you're still dancing.
There are always dance lessons.
 

Drazzamatazz

Junior Member
I can't really dance, mainly because I've never wanted to learn how since I don't enjoy it so I am against it personally, but I'd like to think I can feel the groove and play in a way that makes people want to dance. I always kind of told people the reason I don't dance is because I'm suppose to be the one responsible for making people dance. Its probably just and excuse, but I felt like there was some hillbilly logic to it.

It seems to me the bands that groove the hardest always have a dancing singer, a swaying horn section, a bouncing bassist, and a head bobbing drummer.
 

Vegas Island

Senior Member
God KNOWS I can't dance! But really, think about it. How many great ROCK performers CAN dance? Let's see... Mick Jagger, David Lee Roth, Steven Tyler. I'm sure there are a FEW others, so NO worries.
 

tamadrm

Platinum Member
I know a few guys who like myself,that are decent drummers,but really can't dance well,nor have any intrest in doing so.My step son and daughter one day decided thay they both wanted to learn to play drums.My son is well coordinated,a great dancer,and natural athlete.By contrast,my daughter is more like Marmaduke.Trips over her own feet,but intellectually gifted.She took to the drums very naturally,but my son can't manage a simple 2 and 4 rock beat.

So I don't think if you can do one thing well,you must be able to do something else somewhat related,well also.Just my 2 cents.

Steve B
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
You don't have to be able to dance to be able to play the drums in a way that will make others dance. Strange but true.

An analogy would be something like... I can build a race car that goes really fast but I'm not able to drive it that fast. Two different skill sets.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
I suck at dancing. Maybe that's why I play the drums? And have you seen how out of time dancers can be? No bueno.
 

tamadrm

Platinum Member
You don't have to be able to dance to be able to play the drums in a way that will make others dance. Strange but true.

An analogy would be something like... I can build a race car that goes really fast but I'm not able to drive it that fast. Two different skill sets.
Exactly Larry.I also know a guy who is a very gifted mechanic.The guy can fix and diagnose problems like no other I have seen.Yet he's such a bad driver,he gets into accidents in his OWN DRIVEWAY.

Although a sense of rhythm is a requirement for both,the skill set is different.Both are athletic.But being a great athlete dosen't mean you can play all sports.Wittness Michael Jordans departure from basketball,and trying to be a pro baseball player.He was back in the NBA before long.

Steve B
 

CorditeBackBeat

Junior Member
You don't have to be able to dance to be able to play the drums in a way that will make others dance. Strange but true.

An analogy would be something like... I can build a race car that goes really fast but I'm not able to drive it that fast. Two different skill sets.
I disagree with your analogy. You can build a drum set but not be able to play it worth a lick. I also disagree with most people on here. Both drumming (well) and dancing (well) require the same natural ability to feel the music and move your body to it rhythmically. Poor drummers and poor dancers are both people who don't quite "feel" it. When you have the ability to feel the music, you don't have to even pay attention to what you are doing. As was posted on another thread here..... your body knows what to do.

The same correlation exists between being good on the dance floor and good in bed. Don't believe me? Ask your girlfriend/wife what they think when they see a guy who can dance well. ;-)
 

Anduin

Pioneer Member
I think that in many ways drumming is dancing. We just happen to be seated on a throne while doing it.
 

tamadrm

Platinum Member
Artillary eh? Sorry I completely disagree.Two different skill sets.Feel,can be applied to a lot of things.

So you're saying that to be a good lover,you have to be a good dancer?Nonsense.That skill set requires different things too,the least of which is a fertile imagination,and being a good listener.Physical requirements are secondary.

Years ago,I took a couple of lessons with Joe Morello,who by his own admission,couldn't dance his way out of a paper bag.Not a lick.So tell me Joe wasn't a great drummer.

I respect your opinion,but I can't see your point,but if I'm correct,I thank you for your service to your country.:)

Steve B
 

BacteriumFendYoke

Platinum Member
I can't dance but I certainly can groove when I need to. Totally different skill sets as far as I'm concerned.

As for the other part that CorditeBackBeat alludes to, I'll have to defer to my ex-girlfriends. No complaints so far, though.
 

Mad About Drums

Pollyanna's Agent
I disagree with your analogy. You can build a drum set but not be able to play it worth a lick.
You've just said the same thing larryace said, with a different analogy, how can you disagree :)

The same correlation exists between being good on the dance floor and good in bed. Don't believe me? Ask your girlfriend/wife what they think when they see a guy who can dance well. ;-)
Nonsense, it's like saying you need to be a good drummer to be good in bed (although, I like the idea, lol)

You dont need to be a baker to enjoy the taste of bread.

I think that in many ways drumming is dancing. We just happen to be seated on a throne while doing it.
I can see what you mean, and I agree, same apply to tap dancing I guess :)

I can't dance but I certainly can groove when I need to.
Maybe you can't dance, but both drumming and dancing are related to rythm and physical imputs from the body.

At the end of the day, you'll need to love dancing as much as drumming, then you'll probably be a good dancer, I'm not keen on dancing, but I love drumming and music, therefore, I'll never be a good dancer.
 
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