Great clinician drummer, no-so-good band drummer?

aydee

Platinum Member
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Confusious say " Great clinician drummer, no-so-good band drummer"


JoJo Mayer, Benny Greb, Virgil Donati, Thomas Lang, Gergo Borlai, Tony Royster Jr. Akira Jimbo etc to name a few....

monster players,
masters of their instruments,
not much of a music legacy..

Is to much of anything no good?

Tis a puzzlement?

Let the mandarins of Drummerworld intelligensia opine without fear, for now we live in the age of political in-correctness , but within Bernhard's Law.

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Matt Bo Eder

Guest
TBH - Greb's brass band album was rather grooving, not so much drum pyrotechnics. Although I must admit, both that and his Grebfruit albums were drummer-creator albums, so there's a bit of showing off, but not so much where I would say it was unmusical.

I'm still trying to get a grasp on the others.
 

aydee

Platinum Member
TBH - Greb's brass band album was rather grooving, not so much drum pyrotechnics.
Im not making any value judgement here, Matt. Just implying that drummers with music legacies that come to mind seem to be different kind of players, even if they are technically badass..

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bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
I can only assume that this thread is trolling.

There is no other explanation.
I understand the thought behind it, and there are some drummers who fall into that category: great chops, great solo drum exhibition and master class, but they don't play well with others.

Of the names listed, I can't name anything they've done, but I'm probably right in assuming there are solo or 'music for musicians' projects. If you're a drummer, and have heard of another drummer but have to ask what they've played on or who they've played with, they're probably not playing much. There are two reasons and, no, it's not because they can make a living doing clinics (unless they do a few clinics a week, all year long.) It's because 1) they often overplay so much, that only a specialized project is suited for them, and 2) such projects have a fairly niche appeal, so the drummer's work remains fairly obscure.

Bermuda
 

aydee

Platinum Member
No musical legacy?!?

What do listen to? Britney Spears?

These guys gig and record on a daily basis.
Wow, that's condescending!

I listen to all kinds of stuff. Jazz, funk, fusion, latin,rock, pop.. mostly non mainstream.

The thread isn't about gigging, or getting work.

It's about why someone like Vinnie Colauita would be more in-demand than say a Thomas lang, or why Abe Laboriel Jr is much busier than a Royster? Do they bring something else, beyond the obvious to the table which is more attractive to recording artists and what might that be?

PS- or why Bermuda has worked as long as he has with Wierd Al, and what those musical reasons might be? And why I cant recall a single band Rodney Holmes might have played with despite being a fantastic player..



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Woolwich

Silver Member
In my opinion drumming as a member of a band and drumming as a clinician/technician are two separate career choices. And it's probably far easier for a good drummer in a band to drop some clinic sessions in his or her itinerary in their small amount of downtime than it is for a clinician to assemble a band and write legacy defining "group" music in his/her small amount of downtime. As Odd-Arne points out, these people are recording and gigging on a daily basis and have input into their share of memorable music, a difference being that as session players backing an artist their inputs and presence aren't as instantly recognisable in the way that, say, Larry Mullen in U2 or Philthy Phil Taylor in Motörhead are.
 

Icetech

Gold Member
I can only assume that this thread is trolling.

There is no other explanation.
I don't think it's trolling at all.. there are alot of guys that are amazing technicians and are like wow! but i never seem to see them just laying down a great groove that makes me want to move or feel..

I won't name names cause there is no reason for me to.. we all have different opinions and just cause you don't agree with someone doesn't mean they are trolling or wrong..
 

Icetech

Gold Member
Wow, that's condescending!

I listen to all kinds of stuff. Jazz, funk, fusion, latin,rock, pop.. mostly non mainstream.

The thread isn't about gigging, or getting work.

It's about why someone like Vinnie Colauita would be more in-demand than say a Thomas lang, or why Abe Laboriel Jr is much busier than a Royster? Do they bring something else, beyond the obvious to the table which is more attractive to recording artists and what might that be?

PS- or why Bermuda has worked as long as he has with Wierd Al, and what those musical reasons might be?



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Without seeing their schedules i wouldn't guess at which is actually busier. I have zero doubt roysters dance card is full but just in different ways which is fine.. Hell i never saw purdie live once but he seemed pretty busy :)
 

Superman

Gold Member
This is an interesting topic and one I have thought about before. Jojo Mayer for example is someone that every drummer knows, but I beg you to find a single non drummer who knows who he is. Why is this? Even as someone who has seen numerous of his videos, I couldn't tell you one thing he's recorded.

Definitely not a troll question. My guess is that guy like him have more distinct styles that don't lend itself to normal studio playing where they desire more anonymous style drumming.
 

cbphoto

Gold Member
I agree with the OP. Flashy, busy playing is niche and satisfies a much smaller crowd than a "journeyman" drummer who plays for the song.

For example, the drummer on the TV show The Voice. His playing this year has become a distraction to the song, IMO. He's an excellent musician but seems to overplay more now than in the past. Perhaps he's been told to "bring the busy" by the show's producers.

Compare him to Kenny Arronoff, who gigs regularly and gives clinics on the side. Kenny can be as flashy as needed, but admits he works with producers to make the best choices for the song because he wants to stay employed.
 

aydee

Platinum Member
My guess is that guy like him have more distinct styles that don't lend itself to normal studio playing where they desire more anonymous style drumming.
Lets take the guys whose playing became inseparable from the music out of this discussion. Ringo, Bonham, Moon, Peart, Copeland or the Krupas, Morellos, Elvins, Haynes etc etc.

On the other hand, you've got the Purdies, Porcaros, Keltners, Marottas, Gadds, Laboriels, Arnoffs, n so on whom everybody wants on their date.

Then there is the kind of list I put put up.

All 3 groups are great drummers no question.



What separates them IS the question.

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bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
It's about why someone like Vinnie Colauita would be more in-demand than say a Thomas lang...
In part because he's more established than Lang, and also because his name carries a lot of cache on projects. But it's also because he's happy to play 2&4 when asked. Anyone who thinks Vinnie is out there doing Burning For Buddy every day should examine his credits more closely. :)

Same with Steve Gadd. He's one of the masters, but has a significant amount of work in the mainstream playing fairly straight ahead stuff.

I don't know if Lang, Donati, Mayer et al simply don't want to play straighter stuff, or if their reputation prevents them from getting such calls, but they're not known for playing in bands or with artists. There's nothing wrong with focusing on clinics or in Bozzio's case, doing solo performances. It's just that they're rarely if ever seen in a band situation. I think that most of us believe that a drummer best expresses himself in a melodic, musical context. Solos are fun, but they don't have the staying power of music.

Bermuda
 

Superman

Gold Member
For example, the drummer on the TV show The Voice. His playing this year has become a distraction to the song, IMO. He's an excellent musician but seems to overplay more now than in the past. Perhaps he's been told to "bring the busy" by the show's producers.
.
Funny you brought up Nate Morton because I was thinking of using him as a great example of someone who can blend in and not be the center of attention. My wife stopped forcing me to watch the Voice a couple years ago, so I haven't seen his recent playing. I was always a fan of his though because I always felt he stayed on the right side of really good vs too busy.


Bermuda has brought up some fantastic points here. Very insightful. I would compare Jojo and the rest of those drummers to Steve Vai and Joe Satriani on guitar. Phenomenal players, but I don't see them playing regular studio stuff because it just doesn't fit their style. They want you to hear a song and immediately recognize that it's Steve Vai playing, not hear a song and say "Oh steve Vai played on that?".
 

aydee

Platinum Member
I don't know if Lang, Donati, Mayer et al simply don't want to play straighter stuff, or if their reputation prevents them from getting such calls, but they're not known for playing in bands or with artists. There's nothing wrong with focusing on clinics or in Bozzio's case, doing solo performances. It's just that they're rarely if ever seen in a band situation. I think that most of us believe that a drummer best expresses himself in a melodic, musical context. Solos are fun, but they don't have the staying power of music.

Bermuda
There you go! As I said, I make no value judgement and as a drummer I'm happy to go to clincs, be grateful for the knowledge that is shared and be a tech junkie every now and then, but I know for a fact that Lang, for instance, wants nothing more than to be a part of a band and make some real music.

Interesting that you brought up 'being labelled as ' into the mix of options available to a working drummer. I hadn't thought of that : )

PS- Porcaro never played a solo in his life.

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GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
I have seen locally Derek Roddy, Stanton Moore, Steve Ferrone, and others give great clinics and they perform constantly.
 
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