Have I lost the feel for rock groove?

Mad About Drums

Pollyanna's Agent
"Rock" music is what made me start drumming, I used to love Led Zep, Deep Purple, Rainbow, Cream, The Who... so many to list.

For the first 10 years I only played in rock bands and I enjoyed it immensly, as I gained maturity and musicianship I started to play in different styles, jazz-rock, fusion, funk, smooth jazz, pop and so on, I even had a few bands who played improvised music.

I played with many different bands and met and befriends many musicians who over the years, have influenced my approach to music with their own influences.

The other day, I had a jam session with friends, and for old time sake, we "jammed" over a few classic rock tunes for an hour or so, to everybody's delight.

The thing is, while playing the songs I couldn't help myself thinking "this is not grooving", but don't get me wrong, it was not what I was playing, it was how I was playing it, to me it felt like something was missing. At the end, we talked about the good band from the past and how much we enjoyed that jam session, but no one said anything regarding the feel of my playing, they seemed to have enjoyed it.

Does this kind of feeling happen to you guys? If so, what did you do about it? Or am I being too critical about mysefl?
 
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Doctor Dirt

Guest
I'm not a rock n roll fan and never was but I do know that as you get older your gonna have different music come into your life. Thats a great thing to happen if you think about it because your growth as a musician can move on. As to rock I believe its a youthfull expression and as you grow up and mature it becomes less influential in your life. You remember good times and associate songs with events but now its time to find new songs for an adult life.
I grew playing Muddy Waters Freddy King Louis Jordan these people are the fathers of rock n roll and I enjoyed Elvis Lil Richard Chuck Berry Fats Domino and the other early rockers. I started to find Jimi Hendrix when he came out and thought the Beatles were a good "country" band when they came out hahahaha!!! I still like them all but its different because I'm different. The Rolling Stones for me were a really bad impression of the Muddy Waters Band, Led Zep was a REALLY bad impression of the Howlin Wolf Band because I grew up with those blues bands that these famous rock bands dug too and took some of their songs and got famous using them. They added volumn and a bigger beat stressing the 2/4 and kids thought they were great just like the kids thought Louis Jordan was in the 30s and 40s. I just think that the musicianship was alot better from the older players than the 60s rockers. Back then songs were in #flat keys and way more minor chords were used, there was tenor horn solos and piano or B3 organ solos instead of guitar solos. A band with two guitars still bothers me hahahaha!!! Everything you mentioned sounded right................................except for the "smooth jazz" thing!!! HA!
Doc
 

dmacc_2

Well-known member
Does this kind of feeling happen to you guys? If so, what did you do about it? Or am I being too critical about mysefl?
I think it can happen and has happened to me.

Like yourself, played rock for years when starting out (though was raised on jazz music) and all I could really play was rock.

I have to be the worst rock drummer there is at this point and would not dare to even try playing with other players to make it feel right.

I've listened and played jazz now for far too long to make the transition back. I do still enjoy listening to it, just can't play or execute it for my life.
 

Mad About Drums

Pollyanna's Agent
I do know that as you get older your gonna have different music come into your life. Thats a great thing to happen if you think about it because your growth as a musician can move on. As to rock I believe its a youthfull expression and as you grow up and mature it becomes less influential in your life.Doc
I guess you right Doc, I probably lost the feel for rock song :( ...I honestly believed that playing so much rock in the past, that it would be anchered in my brain and runnig through my veins...


Everything you mentioned sounded right................................except for the "smooth jazz" thing!!! HA!Doc
What's wrong with smooth jazz Doc? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uMcV2MO4bmk

I think it can happen and has happened to me.

Like yourself, played rock for years when starting out (though was raised on jazz music) and all I could really play was rock.

I have to be the worst rock drummer there is at this point and would not dare to even try playing with other players to make it feel right.

I've listened and played jazz now for far too long to make the transition back. I do still enjoy listening to it, just can't play or execute it for my life.
Perhaps is what happen to me, but for me it's a shame, I really believe that I was playing a better rock groove 20 years ago than just a few days ago.

I've always worked hard to be a better musician, I tried as much as possible to play in bands that had better musicians than myself, it was inspiring, challenging and gave me motivation.

Now, how the pro drummers do that? Guys like Simon Phillips, Gregg Bissonette, Vinnie Colaiuta, Matt Chamberlain are "navigating" in various styles with such ease and authenticity, which, of course, includes magnificient rock grooves.

For example, Simon Phillips late work includes a heavy rock album by Michael Schenker and a jazz trio album by Hiromi, these albums are a world appart from each others, but the music is very authentic in both album.
 

Pocket-full-of-gold

Platinum Member
You had an impromtu jam with guys you haven't played with in ten years. Why expect it to be textbook perfect? You're all gonna be a bit rusty......not necessarily in your own individual skillsets, but as a group......playing together. It takes time to learn to play with one another again after being apart for so long. Bet the next jam session would be better again.

Not saying that rock doesn't do it for you anymore....maybe it doesn't. But I wouldn't be so hasty to write off a lifetimes experiences because a single jam session with players who have become "unfamilar" due to the passage of time, didn't quite hold up to your memories or expectations.
 
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Doctor Dirt

Guest
"Smooth Jazz" shouldn't have the word Jazz in it, instead it should be called pop crap like it is. It has a warm fuzzy feel and most of the playing is smooooooooth, but as far as I can hear theres no Jazz there. If your rock department needs a boost I'll suggest a loud stereo and playing along with Mitch Mitchell. Not on Foxey Lady junk more along the lines of Axis Bold as Love or some of the live stuff like Hendrix in the West. Playing aliong with Mitch isn't really a rock experience but he mixes jazz with rock better than anyone I can think of and he will make you think & perform. Best drummer in Rock as far I see. Doc
 

Mad About Drums

Pollyanna's Agent
You had an impromtu jam with guys you haven't played with in ten years. Why expect it to be textbook perfect? You're all gonna be a bit rusty......not necessarily in your own individual skillsets, but as a group......playing together. It takes time to learn to play with one another again after being apart for so long. Bet the next jam session would be better again.

Not saying that rock doesn't do it for you anymore....maybe it doesn't. But I wouldn't be so hasty to write off a lifetimes experiences because a single jam session with players who have become "unfamilar" due to the passage of time, didn't quite hold up to your memories or expectations.
I know what you're saying Rich Man, I've thought of that myself, but after reflexion, I thought it was unfair, a drummer should be able to play a certain number of "repertoire" of music after 30 years playing. Maybe it wasn't that bad, it only felt not quite right to me, it didn't seemed to affect the others.

As for the Jam, haha, they came from another country, just a few days holyday, so the next jam might be in another 10 years.

And the chances of starting a rock band at my age, doesn't seems quite right! haha...
 

Pollyanna

Platinum Member
"Smooth Jazz" shouldn't have the word Jazz in it, instead it should be called pop crap like it is. It has a warm fuzzy feel and most of the playing is smooooooooth, but as far as I can hear theres no Jazz there.
It depends, Doc. In smooth jazz different act have varying amounts of "smooth" and "jazz" in Lee Ritenour and Spyro Gyra had a fair bit of both whereas our old pal Kenny's albums don't have any improv and little harmonic sophistication, ie. it's not jazzed up.


MAD, I started out 100% rock but these days I doubt I'd be much chop if I was to jam with rockers. But if I was at it for a while at least some of it would come back (including getting used to using 5As again). It takes time for people who don't have sticks in their hands 24/7 like Vinnie to immediately adjust to very different genres.
 

larryz

Platinum Member
Led Zep was a REALLY bad impression of the Howlin Wolf Band...
Ouch! Lol...

FYI, I've recently become obsessed with Bonzo's drumming and vibe/sound in "Fool in the Rain". But haha I admit I also dismissed Bonham in favor of the professor Neil Peart and Rush whilst I was but a lad. He played too slow and Peart was waaay faster, hence Neil was superior :) Wow was I offbase on that one...

Listen to some classic rock masterpieces and you'll get the mojo back I'm certain.
 

Mad About Drums

Pollyanna's Agent
It depends, Doc. In smooth jazz different act have varying amounts of "smooth" and "jazz" in Lee Ritenour and Spyro Gyra had a fair bit of both whereas our old pal Kenny's albums don't have any improv and little harmonic sophistication, ie. it's not jazzed up.
You're sooo right! i'ts all about recipes, a bit of funk, a touch of jazz, a cloud of soul and all mixed up for a smooth flavour...

I love Joel Rosenblatt's works on Spyro Gyra's albums, great stuff...

...including getting used to using 5As again....
You right again! Different gear, I used oak sticks back then, along with a 24" kick, 13",14" and 18" toms, 14"x8" snares, that does makes a big difference with what I'm playing now...
 
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Doctor Dirt

Guest
larryZ; Its all just opinions no matter, when Wolf and Willie took Zep to court for stealing his songs and not paying the gratius Zep paid off big and were guilty of recording his tunes and not giving due credit. That was the fat manager of theirs who made alot of poor decision for those boys, the thief. Wolf was not a man to mess with and he proved that every chance he had.
polly & Mad; Spiro plays in South West Florida often we have a ton of social clubs and 5 star rest, and theres plenty of Tennis clubs and Golf club that have events that usually include live music. I lked what they did years ago buts its very "relaxed" now and missing fire in the playing. Their all very good players no doubt but I think the gigs their doing are effecting them and they mold their songs to that element. Now they could be just being very sly and taking the money and run but I didn't get that impression. We used to have the keyboard player that was with them (forgot his name) at the time (around 1996) come and sit in with my Blues band when I worked the Downtown Jazz & Blues Club at the Renisaunce sp) and he enjoyed the freedom of the Blues. I think that scene atleast in their recording sessions has become "pop like" to the point of timing tunes and allowing so much per cd. Its just abit to contrived for me, thats why I say Jazz doesn't belong in there. Maybe we need to go back to the old spelling for jazz, let the pop crap be Easy Listening Jazz and real jass be Jass. I'm not saying some of the music isn't good it lacks the essence of jazz theres no hint of greatness and theres so little original music there so much is covers. The people that listen to it don't know their covers because they didn't listen to any music except for in the elevator, get it!! HA! Doc
 

Pollyanna

Platinum Member
polly & Mad; Spiro plays in South West Florida often we have a ton of social clubs and 5 star rest, and theres plenty of Tennis clubs and Golf club that have events that usually include live music. I lked what they did years ago buts its very "relaxed" now and missing fire in the playing.
I wasn't a big fan but I thought Opus d'Opus was a killer track ... although it's pure fusion, not smooth :)
 

Pocket-full-of-gold

Platinum Member
That was the fat manager of theirs who made alot of poor decision for those boys, the thief.
Made a shite load of good ones though too.

- Secured biggest advance ever paid to an unsigned band at the time.
- Secured far more artistic control for the artist as opposed to the record company.
- Redefined the way ticket profits were distributed, with far more money back in the artists pockets.

I'd say a hell of a lot more bands than just Led Zeppelin are indebted to his services. There's little doubt he was a game changer. So many more acts would still be crying poor to this day if it hadn't been for him smashing the mold and redefining the boundaries.

I'm gonna suggest his good, far outweighs his bad.
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
Different gear, I used oak sticks back then, along with a 24" kick, 13",14" and 18" toms, 14"x8" snares, that does makes a big difference with what I'm playing now...
Well, there's a gear element for sure. Big things require big input, & because they're less articulate, a more simple input too, but that's not the crux of the matter.

Because your skill & timbre palate have expanded to include many genres (read = a very good thing), a degree of fascination & value has drifted from your rock roots. Sure, you can execute the mechanics well enough, but that extra bit of pleasure is missing from key areas. It's not a playing thing, that's the easy bit, it's a performance thing, & joy translates to feel translates to performance translates to vibe, then goes full circle back to your enjoyment.

I think you'll find that your playing in that jam was just fine. Just the spark missing, & that's in some part down to your sub-concious devaluation of the material. Anyhow, in that context, groove is a band thing. A drummer performing right in the pocket isn't grooving unless the whole band is in on the vibe.

You're fine. You've just "outgrown" the genre as a player, & therefore the fascination & youthful joy of discovery is absent. That said, this was a one time jam from a cold start. If you played that same material in a gig environment, & with a few under the belt, you'd be right back in that happy space.
 

inneedofgrace

Platinum Member
I'm having issues transitioning from rock/pop beats to country/swing beats, particularly on songs like Crossroads and Come Together. The band leader wants me to graduate from typical driving rock beats to something with a swing to it. The problem is that my interpretation of what he wants is not really what he wants, so it has become very frustrating. He has trouble communicating what he hears in his head, and I struggle to make it sound like what he wants.
 
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Doctor Dirt

Guest
Your being asked to use a country/swing feel for Creams version of "Crossroads"? Also to use a simular feel in "Come to Together" by the Beatles? Your director sounds like a weird fellow why rewrite someones elses music when theres so many songs out there that feature those elements already. Am I mistaken here? Why not just write a song? Doc
 

Mad About Drums

Pollyanna's Agent
I'm having issues transitioning from rock/pop beats to country/swing beats, particularly on songs like Crossroads and Come Together. The band leader wants me to graduate from typical driving rock beats to something with a swing to it. The problem is that my interpretation of what he wants is not really what he wants, so it has become very frustrating. He has trouble communicating what he hears in his head, and I struggle to make it sound like what he wants.
How does feel the pulse of the other players in the band when you rehearse these songs, especially the bass and guitar, do YOU feel the swing in it? If the rest of the band play more or less a copycat of the orinigal versions, what's you leader's asking you won't work, it has to be a "whole" band feel.

Sometimes, a swing feel can be somewhere between a half time shuffle and a straight 16th notes feel, it does swing, but not as much as a shuffle and more than straight 16th notes, if you know what I mean, have you tried that? It might be what your leader want (something with a swing to it).
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
I thought we were talking about rock drumming (hence my post below). What is this swing feel of which you speak? ;)
 

Swiss Matthias

Platinum Member
Of course you may not be used to the style that was once your "first language" anymore.

But I don't believe you lost it.

What if your sense of groove and time developed, as well as your listening skills?
What if you haven't played rock better years ago, but it just sounded better in your
ears back then?
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
Of course you may not be used to the style that was once your "first language" anymore.

But I don't believe you lost it.

What if your sense of groove and time developed, as well as your listening skills?
What if you haven't played rock better years ago, but it just sounded better in your
ears back then?
Very succinctly put, & in so much more so than my post of the same theme. That mountain air's giving you clarity of thought :)
 
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