I don't study anyone

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Inspired by G-mans thread, Phases...

Anthony said he is currently studying Carlock, Jordan..I've heard others mention how they really try and get inside another drummers head...

I can't relate, I never did that. Am I limiting myself? I wanted opinions. It's just an attitude I have. I just wouldn't do that. I focus on developing my own voice on the drumkit. I have been influenced by certain people by osmosis but I never picked anyone apart on purpose, there's too much work to do without even going there. I like to hear the drums approached a certain way, touched a certain way, and I feel it's a waste of my time to neglect that and cop someone else's attitude towards the set. I have definite ideas, enough to keep me busy till I'm done here, and don't need other drummers for any inspiration....at all. Music inspires me. I am perfectly capable of inventing my own drum parts, and don't need to understand how anyone else does it, not interested. I have my own approach. But... I can't help thinking that I'm limiting myself. Not that I would change anything anyway.

Would like to hear your thoughts on the matter.
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
I'm in exactly the same boat Larry. I actually know very little about drummers, or drumming history for that matter. Even with drummers I admire, I don't consciously copy any of their stuff. Ok, I'm bound to be influenced by drum parts that I hear, but I don't go for their take on stuff.

Am I/are we missing out? Probably, yes. I can see there's benefit in experiencing approaches to the instrument that are off our personal radar, & the wider perspective we have, the greater our creative choices are. All of that would bother me immensely if I was a studier of the drum kit. I'm not, I just thump the damn things. In fact, (extreme bashing expected) I'm just as hung up on the instrument sound itself as the playing. But that's just my personal interest. Yes guys, I know it's all about the player, not the instrument, but I see value against the tide, sorry ;)
 
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Anthony Amodeo

Guest
I do think you are limiting yourself...100% without a doubt losing out

all the greatest drummers who have ever lived were self proclaimed compilations of players they admire

we are not copping licks as much as trying to understand the way these guys approach certain things

this has been something I and every drummer...and musician that I know for that matter goes about things

its how we learn the history of our journey

for example

you want to get into Clyde Stubblefileds head you learn the Funky Drummer break to try to feel what he felt

you get into Zig Modelist mind and learn Cissy Strut..try to see how he was feeling those notes

you want to understand how Blakey, Elvin, Jimmy Cobb or any of those guys felt their quarter note...you play along to their ride cymbal beat

you want to touch on how different drummers felt the half time shuffle...you learn Jeffs version in Rosanna (who completely credits Bonham and Purdie for that groove by the way ) ...you learn Johns version in Fool in the Rain....you learn Purdies approach in Home at last or Babylon Sister....and all the subtle differences in how each guy touches the drum

etc etc etc etc

I have no idea how any musician goes about fine tuning their craft without learning the ins and outs of how great players have done it

I dont think its possible to cop someone elses attitude towards your playing....we are who we are and that wont change....but to not study the past you are losing out on your own future in my opinion

every teacher Ive ever know constantly encouraged me to study the way other guys have done things

Joe Porcaro, Elvin Jones, Harvey Mason, Ricky Lawson, Ray Luzier, MIke Clark, Virgil Donati, Kirk Covington, and many other unheard of drummers who were great teachers that I have had the absolute pleasure of studying with have all stressed .....study the greats....understand thoroughly how they touch the drums and take everything you can from it so you can apply bits and pieces to your own playing

they all told me ...go to see bands play....watch the drummer.... watch how he plays his grace notes....watch how he attacks his ride cymbal.....on and on ...and that was exciting to me because it was something I already naturally did at every performance I saw

I remember Ricky Lawson insisting I listen to "Miles In The Sky" to feel how Tony WIlliams approached that record with almost a rock attitude ....and to study how he filled the cracks

I cannot stress enough how in my opinion your playing has to be suffering from not doing this

it is absolutely mind blowing to me to think that there are drummers/musicians who have not just naturally done this since before they ever touched an instrument....I personally dont know any musicians who dont live their life this way

and everything I have ever read about players I love they are always saying....oh I copped this from Tony....or yeah thats a VInnie lick.....or thats all Elvin in that track.....

its basically the reason WHY I play drums.....because as a kid I wanted to understand what I heard on records

its been something very natural to me since I was a child

I want to understand as much as I can about how the players I admire approach their instrument

the following is an excerpt from an article about Steely Dan drummers from Modern Drummer 1992

It's been twelve years since the last Steely Dan album, Gaucho , and many drummers probably don't know what the fuss is all about, as Jeff Porcaro can attest to. "I did a clinic a couple or years ago at the Dick Grove School," Porcaro says in his groggy baritone. "The students brought CD of my stuff to play and ask me questions about. I knew what would happen; they'd ask about the 'Rosanna' beat, which is probably the most unoriginal thing I've ever done, yet I got all this credit for it. Stupid. So I brought along the CDs of the records I stole the beat from--"Fool In The Rain" from Led Zeppelin's In Through The Out Door, and Bernard Purdie's 'Home At Last' and 'Babylon Sisters' with Steely. Without saying anything, I put on the CD and played 'Babylon Sisters.' Half the class knew the song, but none of them knew who the drummer was. This is a class of 18 to 33-year-olds. Then I played 'Home At Last,' which I copped all the shit for 'Rosanna' from. Once again, no one knew the drummer. I said, 'Guys, it's Bernard Purdie. Who in this room has heard of Steve Gadd?' All the hands went up. 'Aja?' All hands up. 'I'm sure you all know Steve won Performance Of The Year for that in Modern Drummer. Well. you're all fucked up! I just played you 'Home At Last' with Bernard Purdie, and that's on the same record. What do you do, listen to 'Aja' and then take the needle off? As musicians you should know everything I just played for you. Some of the best drum shit ever is on that record. Each track has subtleties."
 
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larryz

Platinum Member
I It's been twelve years since the last Steely Dan album, Gaucho , ."
For sake of clarity the Dan released 2000's "Two Against Nature" and 2005's (?) "Everything Must Go".
And Gaucho was released in 1980, that was 31 years ago.

I agree that Gaucho was their last good album.
 
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Anthony Amodeo

Guest
Well, you're forgetting 2000's "Two Against Nature" and 2005's (?) "Everything Must Go".
And Gaucho was released in 1980, that was 31 years ago.

I agree that Gaucho was their last good album.
that was a quote from an article written in 1992

if you read the post you would know that
 

Anduin

Pioneer Member
...I've heard others mention how they really try and get inside another drummers head...

I can't relate, I never did that. ...
I think that that’s a valid way of learning, particularly for beginners, but at a certain point originality is much more appealing. I guess that it’s the “certain point” that differs for different players.
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
My style, if you will, is a compilation of what I have heard, been taught years ago in Jr/Sr HIgh School and what I have tried on my own. I have never taken anyones book, CD, DVD or other material specifically and tried to learn their style. If I picked up bits and pieces along the way then I guess you could call that "studying" to the smallest degree. To me drumming was all about having fun with music and not spending too much time trying to learn someone elses material. Did I miss out? Maybe, but I have certainly had fun along the way. The main question is, in two weeks when I turn 64, will you stiil feed me, will you still need me?
 
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Anthony Amodeo

Guest
I think that that’s a valid way of learning, particularly for beginners, but at a certain point originality is much more appealing. I guess that it’s the “certain point” that differs for different players.
for beginners?

you expect a beginner to be able to understand Elvins ride patterns or David Garibaldis "Ebony Jam" groove?

"understand the foundation laid so you can build your house on it"
Elvin Jones to me when talking about this very subject in 1999
 

Numberless

Platinum Member
There's a great Tony Williams quote that says when he started to play, he wanted to sound just like Max Roach, Art Blakey, Philly Joe, ect.

It's not really imitating other drummers, sure you might find a couple of licks that really resonate with you so you take them, but it's more than that. I don't study other drummers thinking "I want to play this" rather, I'm thinking "Why did he play this?" I want to understand why these guys are so revered and still influential today (right now I'm studying older drummers). My playing has benefited so much from transcribing the masters, I can't even think of a better way to learn. I read another quote some time ago that said something like "How can you say something new if you don't know what has been said before you?".
 

Anduin

Pioneer Member
for beginners?

you expect a beginner to be able to understand Elvins ride patterns or David Garibaldis "Ebony Jam" groove?

understand the foundation laid so you can build your house on it
Yes, beginners. This method of learning is great for beginners. If you have no ideas of your own, where do you go? How do find a direction? You listen to (insert-drum-hero-name-here) and try to emulate. It’s an excellent way to get off the ground when learning a new instrument.

It’s less about building ON the foundation and more about building the foundation itself.
 
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Anthony Amodeo

Guest
There's a great Tony Williams quote that says when he started to play, he wanted to sound just like Max Roach, Art Blakey, Philly Joe, ect.

It's not really imitating other drummers, sure you might find a couple of licks that really resonate with you so you take them, but it's more than that. I don't study other drummers thinking "I want to play this" rather, I'm thinking "Why did he play this?" I want to understand why these guys are so revered and still influential today (right now I'm studying older drummers). My playing has benefited so much from transcribing the masters, I can't even think of a better way to learn. I read another quote some time ago that said something like "How can you say something new if you don't know what has been said before you?".
Amen brother

you and I worship from the same pew
 
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Anthony Amodeo

Guest
Yes, beginners. This method of learning is great for beginners. If you have no ideas of your own, where do you go? How do find a direction? You listen to (insert-drum-hero-name-here) and try to emulate. It’s an excellent way to get off the ground when learning a new instrument.

It’s less about building ON the foundation and more about building the foundation itself.
sure its a good way for beginners to learn...to play things they hear.... and its why I started myself

but this isnt what we are talking about

we are talking about studying the greats.... understanding why they said what they said on their instrument....understanding their approach and why they approached it that way..... understanding how and where they place their notes

that is not for beginners....this comes many years into studying your instrument


...and hate to break it to you....but that foundation is laid my friend...all we can do is build a house on it

and thats a quote from Elvin ...so you wont find me going against it
 

Bad Tempered Clavier

Silver Member
all the greatest drummers who have ever lived were self proclaimed compilations of players they admire [. . .] the following is an excerpt from an article about Steely Dan drummers from Modern Drummer 1992
A very thoughtful post: thanks also for putting that Porcaro stuff up. Absolutely love that man. Did you type that whole quote? If so, good effort John. Is there a link to the whole piece or do I need to get a back issue?
 

BacteriumFendYoke

Platinum Member
Yes, beginners. This method of learning is great for beginners. If you have no ideas of your own, where do you go? How do find a direction? You listen to (insert-drum-hero-name-here) and try to emulate. It’s an excellent way to get off the ground when learning a new instrument.

It’s less about building ON the foundation and more about building the foundation itself.
I've got all the time in the World for a drummer that really wants to study Elvin as a beginner but that doesn't mean that I would get them to study Elvin's playing in depth to begin with. I would go right back and work out where Elvin was coming from and to understand his roots - and in Elvin's case, the music is often much more simple.

You could, however, study aspects of the sound of the player. Their touch, what they played and some of the technique they used as well as their attitude to the instrument; just not necessarily the notes that they played - which would be far too complex in this instance.

In my view, building up a player as a conceptual entity is just as important as bringing them up as a technician. I'm not talking about their concepts of technique, either - but that player's individual aesthetic. That's just as important as studying the notes but is often completely ignored or at best, brushed over. I don't see why you can't teach some level of aesthetic to even a beginner.
 
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Anthony Amodeo

Guest
I've got all the time in the World for a drummer that really wants to study Elvin as a beginner but that doesn't mean that I would get them to study Elvin's playing in depth to begin with. I would go right back and work out where Elvin was coming from and to understand his roots - and in Elvin's case, the music is often much more simple.

You could, however, study aspects of the sound of the player. Their touch, what they played and some of the technique they used as well as their attitude to the instrument; just not necessarily the notes that they played - which would be far too complex in this instance.

In my view, building up a player as a conceptual entity is just as important as bringing them up as a technician. I'm not talking about their concepts of technique, either - but that player's individual aesthetic. That's just as important as studying the notes but is often completely ignored or at best, brushed over. I don't see why you can't teach some level of aesthetic to even a beginner.
as a teacher I absolutely do this....

I try to get younger students and beginners of any age (I have a 40 year old beginner) to listen to how certain guys are approaching the tune.....to listen to their touch and feel

of course 99% of this goes right over the younger students heads....but I want them to get used to listening to music in a certain way so I attempt to instill this in them .... we often listen to music and do our warm ups along to music occasionally

I believe listening to music the right way is equally as important as the practice they do in Stick Control
 

8Mile

Platinum Member
It's hard for me to answer this question, because I honestly assumed that all drummers who have been at it for a while have studied other drummers. My most formative education about how to play the drums came from studying other drummers I admired. I wanted to learn the licks, but I also wanted to be able to get where those players were coming from. I never thought there was any danger in turning into a carbon copy of any of them. For one thing, that's a lot easier said than done. But for another, by the time you've assimilated dozens of influences, you will just naturally become your own unique blend of all of those players.

So I never really thought about the advantages and disadvantages of studying other drummers, because I figured it was a given. I really don't see how you can reach your limits as a player without doing it. You'll take and leave something from every drummer you study. In the end, you'll still wind up sounding like you.
 
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Anthony Amodeo

Guest
It's hard for me to answer this question, because I honestly assumed that all drummers who have been at it for a while have studied other drummers. My most formative education about how to play the drums came from studying other drummers I admired. I wanted to learn the licks, but I also wanted to be able to get where those players were coming from. I never thought there was any danger in turning into a carbon copy of any of them. For one thing, that's a lot easier said than done. But for another, by the time you've assimilated dozens of influences, you will just naturally become your own unique blend of all of those players.

So I never really thought about the advantages and disadvantages of studying other drummers, because I figured it was a given. I really don't see how you can reach your limits as a player without doing it. You'll take and leave something from every drummer you study. In the end, you'll still wind up sounding like you.
agreed 100000000%

I didn't think a musician who didn't do this existed

it is to this day one of the most amazingly fun things to do

I LOVE transcribing and feeling someone elses notes coming through my limbs.....I always get those.....aaahhh so this is what he was trying to say...... moments

and they are GREAT moments

wouldn't want to live without them

maybe I'll pinch a little from it...and maybe I wont

but either way the knowledge stays with me forever
 

aydee

Platinum Member
...

Great post, Gvada. You've covered it all. Every generation gets a wealth of accumulated music knowledge, which they can use, draw from and mould and make their own if they wish to.

It is really a misnomer to think that to study other drummers, you are studying their licks or to play like them.

...and it neednt just be drummers that one cops. I've been trying to play drums like Jaco played bass for years...


PS- You studied with some good ones, Gvada.. what was Kirk like? Did he sings any of his cruise ship ballads for you? : )

;;;;
 
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Anthony Amodeo

Guest
...

Great post, Gvada. You've covered it all. Every generation gets a wealth of accumulated music knowledge, which they can use, draw from and mould and make their own if they wish to.

It is really a misnomer to think that to study other drummers, you are studying their licks.

...and it neednt just be drummers that one cops. I've been trying to play drums like Jaco played bass for years...


PS- You studied with some good ones, Gvada.. what was Kirk like? Did he sings any of his cruise ship ballads for you? : )

;;;;

ahhhh great point

I have ben copping Sonny Rollins sax licks lately and playing them on drums.....so much damn fun playing his melodies on drums.....I feel like going to do it right now and I think I will




Kirk is a madman......

no he never sang his cruise ship tunes but he often talked about how playing left hand bass helps playing drums

I never saw someone make an entire drum kit shake like there was an earthquake the way Kirk could...he looks like a pro wrestler attacking a drum kit :)

he is one guy that would tell us to straight up "steal licks"......he would say...you hear something you love....steal it!!!!...because when it comes out of you it will sound like you anyway
 
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