Educational threads vs. opinions, etc…

Stroman

Platinum Member
But, thats with all such terms..

Can you, or anyone here, for example put into words what is “groove” or “to groove”..

And with ‘putting into words’ i mean that a beginner player truly understands and feels what “groove” is, only from reading your description..

Almost, or even completely, impossible that is…
Maybe, but let's talk about swinging the quarters, for an example. I could say that, since we can't really change the sustain or the pitch of the cymbal mid-song, what we can change is the attack and volume, and whether we push the beat by playing on top of the metronomic pulse, or lay back. If I were an instructor actually interested in ensuring understanding, I would then demonstrate how angle of stick attack, velocity of the stroke, area of the cymbal played, and microtiming all influence the feel of those quarter notes.

If I can't explain and demonstrate at least those rudimentary influences on feel, then I'm lazy teacher at best, and a poor one at worst.

I think groove IS describable, if not defineable, so we should at least be able to convey that to a student, if we're going to teach, IMO.
 

Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Platinum Member
BTW, I thought your comments in the quarter note thread were solid and I believe some of the gist of what you were saying was "if we both arrive at the same place, who cares how each player gets there?"......meaning for someone to say "THIS is definitively the only 'proper' first step to arrive in this place in the right way" is slightly obtuse IMHO.

When it comes to educational topics there should be some acknowledgement whether implied or overt that everyone learns differently and there are certainly more than a single path to the same destination.

thanks man....yeah, I wasn't refuting his claim, just the way it was delivered

Maybe, but let's talk about swinging the quarters, for an example. I could say that, since we can't really change the sustain or the pitch of the cymbal mid-song, what we can change is the attack and volume, and whether we push the beat by playing on top of the metronomic pulse, or lay back. If I were an instructor actually interested in ensuring understanding, I would then demonstrate how angle of stick attack, velocity of the stroke, area of the cymbal played, and microtiming all influence the feel of those quarter notes.

If I can't explain and demonstrate at least those rudimentary influences on feel, then I'm lazy teacher at best, and a poor one at worst.

I think groove IS describable, if not defineable, so we should at least be able to convey that to a student, if we're going to teach, IMO.

exactly....I DON'T believe that groove and swing is undefinable...that it is a mysterious thing that just happens unexplainably

I have been explaining it for 20 or so years now as a teacher, and have had many students go on to play in groovy and swinging bands.

and, being definable does not make it stale, or square, or whatever. INTERPRETATION, or MISinterpretation of the definitions and explanations are what cause those issues...
 

Stroman

Platinum Member
And BTW, I've known any number of players who where fantastic players, but weren't really able to analyze what made their playing special. That's fine - they aren't required to, obviously, but I wouldn't want those players as teachers.

Being able to analyze and explain things is what makes a person a good teacher, IMO.
 

Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Platinum Member
And BTW, I've known any number of players who where fantastic players, but weren't really able to analyze what made their playing special. That's fine - they aren't required to, obviously, but I wouldn't want those players as teachers.

Being able to analyze and explain things is what makes a person a good teacher, IMO.

yep...there is a big misconception in the marching world that guys who do drum corps are automatically great teachers...and it is almost always the exact opposite...

I feel like I am a pretty good mountain bike rider...I KNOW I could not teach mountain bike riding b/c my "skills" have all been acquired by "following"...I don't know how or why some of what II do works, but it keeps me from killing myself. I alos know I probably don't use true fundamentals - which is also why I can't/don't ride black diamond trails out west
 

oldskoolsoul

Silver Member
..If I can't explain and demonstrate at least those rudimentary influences on feel, then I'm lazy teacher at best, and a poor one at worst..


Well, then someone like Erskine apparently can be considered a poor teacher, because i heard him say in a very similar way something like..:

“…..now i will play straight quarter notes followed by swinging quarter notes….and….i hope you can hear the difference…..i certainly can…..”

Thats quoted freely because has been 20 years ago i heard him demonstrate this..
 

Stroman

Platinum Member
Well, then someone like Erskine apparently can be considered a poor teacher, because i heard him say in a very similar way something like..:

“…..now i will play straight quarter notes followed by swinging quarter notes….and….i hope you can hear the difference…..i certainly can…..”

Thats quoted freely because has been 20 years ago i heard him demonstrate this..
He can and does demonstrate it, at least.

But I'm going to express an opinion here that may end up in the "canceled" thread, lol - IF he can't explain what he's doing to get the different sounds, then he is lacking in that area, as an instructor. Erskine doesn't really go into it in the video, not deeply anyway. I suspect, though, if I was taking a private lesson with him and I asked him to expound on the concept, he could.
 
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toddbishop

Platinum Member
Well, already, I'm still no closer to understanding how to make my quarter notes swing,

You wouldn't be any closer if he gave you an answer that made you happy. It's something you have to work out, if you choose, through your listening and your playing.

He gave a really good recorded example of what he was talking about-- hearing that it should have been like blam, what am I hearing, how do I do this.
 

Stroman

Platinum Member
You wouldn't be any closer if he gave you an answer that made you happy. It's something you have to work out, if you choose, through your listening and your playing.

He gave a really good recorded example of what he was talking about-- hearing that it should have been like blam, what am I hearing, how do I do this.
I hear what you're saying, Todd, and for many people, that might be true. However, I think it assumes a player already has a certain level of facility and sophistication developed, or they might not even hear the difference.

A good teacher might be able to help them develop listening as well as playing skills.

If everyone could figure out how to do everything just by listening, there'd be little work for teachers, I'd think.
 

Capital D

Member
Nah man, I come here for discussion and sharing ideas not to get lectured on how to play, or swing - to use your example. I've been playing long enough that I don't need "internet experts" to teach me things. I like to have fun and discuss drums and technique on the internet and that is why I frequent Drummerworld.

Clinics, in my opinion are just entertainment. A chance to see pro drummers drum without the rest of their bands as it were. I've gone to many clinics over the years and while I do pick up ideas and techniques sometimes largely I'm entertained by the great player I'm watching play. I don't consider those an education.

Now a private lesson with Peter Erskine is an entirely different thing. I go into that with the idea that I am going to listen to what he has to say and learn from it.

With all due respect, I don't know any of you personally nor do I really know how any of you play outside of small videos that you may post so any thread you may start is "just your opinion, man". I don't look at any thread and think "This is it, now I'm gonna finally learn something!" Personally, I find this to be a bit of an elitist attitude to say that some threads should be moderated differently than others because the OP thinks he or she has the key to knowledge.

My advice, don't get too hung up on these things and get your feelings all involved. It's just the internet...
 

nolibos

Member
This is a great topic. It's fun to think about defining things that, after 30+ years of playing and listening to jazz, you just take for granted.
Maybe it's better to define it as Quarter Notes on the Ride in the context of swing.
Groove? That's a tuff one.
My teacher, the late great Chuck Brown, had all of his student's work on an old Remo practice set with heavily muted ride cymbal (everyone from Terry Bozzio and Michael Shrieve to mediocres like me played that same Remo set). When the Remo set sounded good, then you knew you were swinging and/or grooving.
 

Cmdr. Ross

Silver Member
Until they don't understand. Then they sit and watch, unless they ask questions which puts them back into learning.
Which to me is the whole point of this forum. I'm here to learn from those WAY higher up the knowledge and experience chain than I. And 99% of the time, I leave a thread either better educated or with a better understanding of a topic I knew a little about.

As for "that guy" at a drum clinic, the ones I've been to the pro wants you to ask questions and clarifications. They're there to teach you, not to leave you in more of a fog. How you ask is the point being made. Anyone...regardless of status will be taken aback by someone not humble enough to try & learn from what they're giving.
 

Winston_Wolf

Platinum Member
You wouldn't be any closer if he gave you an answer that made you happy. It's something you have to work out, if you choose, through your listening and your playing.

He gave a really good recorded example of what he was talking about-- hearing that it should have been like blam, what am I hearing, how do I do this.

Here's the thing; I get playing just quarters on the ride in a swing context. In my mind it's the way for the drummer to give the most flexibility to the band on how they want to place their eighth notes without the spang-a-lang on the cymbal defining it for them.

Where I still need the extra nudge (and is still the same spot no one seems able to verbalize) is how just the quarter note is swinging.

Let me explain what I'm having trouble with another way. In the aforementioned Killer Joe clip everyone in the band is swinging the eighths while the time on the ride is mostly just quarters. If I were to mute what the drummer is playing, I would still hear a band that is swinging the eighths. If I were to mute the band, and I could only hear quarters on the ride...would I still hear that the drummer is swinging?

I get that no matter what the style is, what you play has to fit stylistically, and it should feel good in the band context. I get that everyone needs to "swing" together in order for it to feel good, no matter what rhythm is being played. But I struggle because I feel like in this context the word swing is the roadblock because that word is implying one thing, when what is intended is something else.

IF swinging the quarter is a real, tangible, palpable, thing, it should be able to exist out of context. It should be audible on its own that it is happening. IF it requires someone else's playing to define the swinging style, then I feel like what's being called "swing quarters" is really just playing sensitively with the rest of the band.
 

Jeremy Bender

Platinum Member
At the end of the day it probably all comes down to old saying- "Free advice is sometimes worth what you paid for it."

Take what you can from here that's beneficial and move on...
 
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toddbishop

Platinum Member
Here's the thing; I get playing just quarters on the ride in a swing context. In my mind it's the way for the drummer to give the most flexibility to the band on how they want to place their eighth notes without the spang-a-lang on the cymbal defining it for them.

Where I still need the extra nudge (and is still the same spot no one seems able to verbalize) is how just the quarter note is swinging.

Let me explain what I'm having trouble with another way. In the aforementioned Killer Joe clip everyone in the band is swinging the eighths while the time on the ride is mostly just quarters. If I were to mute what the drummer is playing, I would still hear a band that is swinging the eighths. If I were to mute the band, and I could only hear quarters on the ride...would I still hear that the drummer is swinging?

I get that no matter what the style is, what you play has to fit stylistically, and it should feel good in the band context. I get that everyone needs to "swing" together in order for it to feel good, no matter what rhythm is being played. But I struggle because I feel like in this context the word swing is the roadblock because that word is implying one thing, when what is intended is something else.

IF swinging the quarter is a real, tangible, palpable, thing, it should be able to exist out of context. It should be audible on its own that it is happening. IF it requires someone else's playing to define the swinging style, then I feel like what's being called "swing quarters" is really just playing sensitively with the rest of the band.

I like this quote from Jamey Aebersold, the caps are his:

Through listening alone you can find ALL the answers.

All the answers means all the answers. We all have permission to take some time to figure it out to our own satisfaction-- it's not the kind of thing that gets resolved over the lifespan of a forum conversation-- or through it.
 
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oldskoolsoul

Silver Member
That ‘quarter note swing’-thread is going downhill pretty fast….people who clearly know what they are saying with wise replies are now removing replies, because people who clearly have NO CLUE what they are saying try to make them even look like a fool….

If thats the way how to keep educational threads educational, another reason to remove (moderate) the last 9 pages is there….

This may sound a bit harsh, but, why should a thread about some jazz knowledge be dominated by people who even publicly admit that they have very limited interest of the genre..?

I am not really seeing the logic in this….
 

Stroman

Platinum Member
That ‘quarter note swing’-thread is going downhill pretty fast….people who clearly know what they are saying with wise replies are now removing replies, because people who clearly have NO CLUE what they are saying try to make them even look like a fool….

If thats the way how to keep educational threads educational, another reason to remove (moderate) the last 9 pages is there….

This may sound a bit harsh, but, why should a thread about some jazz knowledge be dominated by people who even publicly admit that they have very limited interest of the genre..?

I am not really seeing the logic in this….
I don't really agree with heavy or differentiated moderation, but it is a shame that people manage to screw up something that could be beneficial. But let's face it - there are people who could screw up a wet dream.

Maybe the lesson here is that public discussion forums are not the ideal vehicles for education. They're simply good vehicles for discussion (and observing the absurdities of society).
 

jansara

Junior Member
If need be, question everything you read or are told, regardless of what it is, or who it's from; drums, science whatever. Question everything.
 
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