Great drummers can play it all

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
Vinnie did play with Megadeth and it sounded weird.

No one can play every genre, some are very specialized. Allow me to present exhibit A:


Go ahead jazz guys, have at it lol.
Really- I was just wagging the dog. I love these inane arguments- slings and arrows and all thst rubbish. I bet it was weird- I felt that way with Peart with Rich Big Band-it was weird. It’s not like it was bad but just odd to me. To bad Buddy Rich isn’t alive to play with Megadeath LOL .
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
No one can play every genre, some are very specialized.
Nor is it pragmatic to aspire to that Herculean goal. My instructor many years ago was a well-rounded session player, but he recognized the futility of attempting to be too many things at once. "If you try to learn everything, you'll accomplish nothing," he told me during a lesson. That advice strengthened my focus and convinced me that it was okay to play one or two styles really well instead of playing ten styles in a pedestrian way.

Brain surgeons don't pull teeth, dentists don't address cardiac problems, and cardiologists don't provide flu treatments. Specialization makes perfect sense in most fields. I don't see why drumming should be different.
 
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J-W

Well-known member
Dave Mustaine and Buddy Rich would probably end up killing each other lol. Both very stubborn, a-hole personalities.
I'm pretty sure Dave could take him. :)
It would be interesting to see Buddy attempt metal. I say "attempt" because while he was an a-hole, and obviously had chops, he didn't have the attitude required to pull it off.
Jazz and metal not only require two different skill-sets, both of which take years to achieve, but also require two entirely different attitudes.
 

brushes

Well-known member
That's a bias in favor of jazz drummers to which I don't subscribe. I don't assume that a jazz player is more advanced than one of any other genre. Furthermore, knowing "what to play" in one setting doesn't mean knowing what to play in another. For me, it comes down to this: Some drummers can play numerous genres. Other drummers cannot. But a drummer's primary genre reveals nothing about his or her versatility. The only way to discover it is to see him or her in action.
Okay, let's look at it like this:

We are raised in a western pop-culture as kids. The first things we hear in terms of music is generally 4/4, rock and pop music. New Kids on the Block, AC/DC, Take That, Michael Jackson, Milo, Bruno Mars, Madonna, Adele etc. When we are educated in school, we stick to basic western culture music-patterns and learn that 4/4 stuff. We start to explore classical music (4/4 beat to start with) and sing pop songs in a chorus, play 4/4 beats on guitar, piano etc. At music schools, you start with the basics, which is - since the Ringo-Frenzy - 4/4 beat, the money beat. Once we master this basic coordination, things start to get more complicated. Still, every new drummer is being taught the basics, which is pop and rock beats, first. Only after that, people start to take the next step and add new genres to their repertoire, which is e.g. reggae or metal or funk, ... or jazz. Thus, every jazzer is basically able to play the money beat, four on the floor, as it was the basics where they startet. Every metal drummer can play four on the floor. Every reggae drummer can play four on the floor. (If they have the right attitude/enthusiasm for playing rock music is a different thing, but technically they can all play rock music - if they want (super-jazzer Brian Blade has his own rockband!)). A rock drummer however will have a very very hard time to play anything except rock convincingly without proper training in other genres as all the other genres, metal, prog-rock, reggae, funk, latin, jazz, ... are NOT the "basics".

Compare it to this: Someone might be able to make scrambled eggs and french fries. But without further training, he won't be able to make a Plumpudding or a Boef Stroganoff or Saltimbocca or Paella. You start from somewhere and then add to your skill level. Drumming is no different to cooking or computing or photography or any high-tech job in this respect.
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
Vinnie is a Great drummer who can play it all is apparently a true statement - I had no idea of Megadeath. No one stated Great drummers can play it all great. So Vinnie is a great drummer who can play it all- cause apparently he has. Learn something new everyday .
Wow way to go brushes I think your post beats my longest one. A new champion- you gotta drop punctuation, paragraphs-anything grammar that has a P to emulate my level of expertise-yours is just long LOL
 
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GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
I’ve always considered myself an “artist” in whatever I do. I think my success in research years was because though grounded in the science (and what is) I’d drop that (what is) to question everything and use my imagination to “what if”. I had four mentors tell me I had a gift at research. I was both honored and thinking I’ve pulled wool over their eyes. I didn’t let go to my head- I thought they were just buttering me up to be more productive. But thinking about it I realized it’s not my gift of science but it was the “Art” in me that drove it.
I think some musicians are technically proficient to play the notes but as with jazz swing and blasting metal it’s the art part nuances in feel that a written note doesn’t convey and really makes the difference. That Art part is cultivated in a different way from technical part. I can learn to read the notes pretty straight up- so I can play a Halftime shuffle but playing it with the feel of Porcaro or Purdie is another matter. I guess the Devil really is in the details.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
Okay, let's look at it like this:

We are raised in a western pop-culture as kids. The first things we hear in terms of music is generally 4/4, rock and pop music. New Kids on the Block, AC/DC, Take That, Michael Jackson, Milo, Bruno Mars, Madonna, Adele etc. When we are educated in school, we stick to basic western culture music-patterns and learn that 4/4 stuff. We start to explore classical music (4/4 beat to start with) and sing pop songs in a chorus, play 4/4 beats on guitar, piano etc. At music schools, you start with the basics, which is - since the Ringo-Frenzy - 4/4 beat, the money beat. Once we master this basic coordination, things start to get more complicated. Still, every new drummer is being taught the basics, which is pop and rock beats, first. Only after that, people start to take the next step and add new genres to their repertoire, which is e.g. reggae or metal or funk, ... or jazz. Thus, every jazzer is basically able to play the money beat, four on the floor, as it was the basics where they startet. Every metal drummer can play four on the floor. Every reggae drummer can play four on the floor. (If they have the right attitude/enthusiasm for playing rock music is a different thing, but technically they can all play rock music - if they want (super-jazzer Brian Blade has his own rockband!)). A rock drummer however will have a very very hard time to play anything except rock convincingly without proper training in other genres es as all the other genres, metal, prog-rock, reggae, funk, latin, jazz, ... are NOT the "basics".

Compare it to this: Someone might be able to make scrambled eggs and french fries. But without further training, he won't be able to make a Plumpudding or a Boef Stroganoff or Saltimbocca or Paella. You start from somewhere and then add to your skill level. Drumming is no different to cooking or computing or photography or any high-tech job in this respect.
I grasp your reasoning, and I don't dispute that a distinction exists between elementary drumming and advanced drumming, though the terms can also be misleading. Nevertheless, my premise is as follows: A rock drummer isn't necessarily in possession of a limited range of skills. He may very well study multiple genres, as well as engage in extensive rudimental training. That rock is his emphasis in no way underscores some deficiency in his development. He's merely chosen rock as his concentration.

Moreover, it's presumptive to conclude that a jazz specialist can lay down "four on the floor" convincingly and with expert feel. The backbeat is an art unto itself. Some jazz players don't utilize it regularly. The result is that they can be out of their element in backbeat-driven music, and their lack of comfort can be palpable. Obviously, that's not true of all jazz players, but I've seen it more than once over the years.

The initial question: Do jazz drummers play rock better than rock drummers play jazz? No conceptual response would be adequate. It depends on the drummers at hand.
 

toddbishop

Platinum Member
Great drummers can play it all

Everything you could possibly be hired to do, anyway. Like nobody does metal gigs freelance-- there's no such thing as a metal gig. Everything else, though.
 

Sonorfan

Well-known member
Yes. He's a legend.
And no, even the great ones cannot play it all. They will be the first ones to admit that. Several well known "greats" have turned down offers because they felt they were/are not up to the task. Do you really think that Pete Lockett would say "Oh, yeah, sure", when asked if he would like to tour with e.g. with Sepultura or Dream Theater? Very unlikely.
Well, I don’t even know who those bands are but your right that certain musicians would have to be highly proficient to tour with a group if they didn’t feel it was their style as they would only be doing an adequate job at best. The point i’m trying to make here is that the great ones can adapt to any style and are not stuck in a genre so much that they’re never capable. I for example tried hard Rock with my Son who is a decent Bass player and idolizes Geddy Lee. I got by ok but I don’t understand that music and never will but I used the “kiss method or keep it simple stupid”
I do not profess to be anything near great but i’m eclectic enough in my music tastes that I managed. Saying that however I would only attempt to play hard Rock again if a loaded gun was put to my head. But 70s soft Rock aaah beautiful.. how I long for my Pea green Fortrel leisure suit, Orange and Black Paisley shirt, platform shoes and permed hair !
Guess i’ll just slide off to the Care Home..
 

Sonorfan

Well-known member
Yes ... but: jazzdrummers are usually considered to be drummers of an advanced level thus quite knowledgeable about what to play and what not to play. Most drummers start as some kind of rock/pop drummers, but usually not as jazzers. So, whenever I meet a jazzdrummer, I just KNOW that he can play four on the floor (If he does it, is another question, but usually, if they are not dumb; they play it, if the music requires it). Whenever I meet a rockdrummer on the other hand, I am definitely NOT sure, if he can play 5/4, 11/4, a solid swing pattern or a bossanova let alone lead a big-band.
The thing I find most interesting about Rock drummers is that they have never played brushes which I had to learn from my first instructor as a large percentage of music in early 50s demanded them. When Rockers do pick them up they use the matched grip and play them like sticks. We’ve had a few posts here regarding that subject. But decent drummers will generally learn a basic swish and even if they add stick like accents and play matched grip that’s ok.
But, if his/her mind is set to only one music genre’ it will never happen. And your right 5/4 takes practise big time and in my case I have to be thinking all the time to stay on track and in time. I grew up playing a shuffle yet really have to think to play Rosanna which is one of the great numbers. Also Boz Scaggs Lowdown where drummer uses right hand rather than left on 4 .. but I manage, probably because I grew up and/or learned to like it all. My Bride introduced me to Classical and Opera..even had season’s tickets to both.. and the Classics played as Jazz really is fab. Music is a great healer
 

brushes

Well-known member
A rock drummer isn't necessarily in possession of a limited range of skills. He may very well study multiple genres, as well as engage in extensive rudimental training. That rock is his emphasis in no way underscores some deficiency in his development.
Add-on: Guys like Aronoff of course know what they are doing and can play more complex stuff than the music calls for. There are always exceptions to the rule. But the average rock drummer out there usually fails when asked to play jazz (see Peart). Very often, what sets rockdrummers obviously apart from jazzers is the feel for dynamics. Many rockdrummers are used to heavy hitting. When asked to play softly but with authority, many if not most fail. Jazzers on the other hand excel in just that area. That is my observation over the past decades. That is not necessarily a bad thing as those rockdrummers excel in other areas.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
I don't want to be a thorn in your side, but which professional jazzdrummer failed at that task? I'd really love to know.
No worries about being a thorn in my side. I'm always open to exchanges.

I'm not referring to world-class players such Gadd, Hakim, or any of the others you cite in your previous list, nor am I making a sweeping statement about jazz drummers and backbeats. I'm just explaining that I've encountered, at various venues over the years, jazz-first players whose acumen hasn't translated ideally to rock settings. "Failed" isn't the term I'd apply. They kept things presentable, but it was clear that they weren't in their ideal mode of execution. On the flip side, there are jazz players who move seamlessly among genres, and nothing about their playing ever seems out of place. Again, it depends on the drummer.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
Add-on: Guys like Aronoff of course know what they are doing and can play more complex stuff than the music calls for. There are always exceptions to the rule. But the average rock drummer out there usually fails when asked to play jazz (see Peart). Very often, what sets rockdrummers obviously apart from jazzers is the feel for dynamics. Many rockdrummers are used to heavy hitting. When asked to play softly but with authority, many if not most fail. Jazzers on the other hand excel in just that area. That is my observation over the past decades. That is not necessarily a bad thing as those rockdrummers excel in other areas.
I don't think it should come as any surprise that what we play most often is what we end up playing best. Striving to be a versatile drummer is important. No one should aim for one-dimensionality, but in the end, we all have unique identities as drummers, and those identities are composed of dominant traits. If anything, we should celebrate that fact rather than retreat from it.
 
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