Influences and their effect

Souljacker

Silver Member
Just thought I'd ask the forum members what they think of how influences affect their quality of drumming.

By listening to technically better drummers who have more interesting ideas, will this rub off on your playing and practice?

If I was to listen to basic rock (Phil Rudd type )drumming all the time for example would this limit my playing ability, in terms of technical skill?

What I'm trying to say I guess is if you only listen to generic sounding drummers with a lack of ideas will this hamper you long term?

By the way, I'm not knocking Phil Rudd, a lot can be said for playing good pocket and time. I actually don't show off myself as a drummer too much, I'm more about playing the song which I think is crucial.

I just like listening to all types of drumming and I find by listening to Harrison/Weckl/Vinnie/Copeland etc there is a load of things that are inspiring, instead of standard rock songs you can almost predict what's happening drum wise.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
I think it's a fair statement to say that what you listen to...you tend to assimilate. Choose your "musical diet" wisely.
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
By listening to technically better drummers who have more interesting ideas, will this rub off on your playing and practice?

If I was to listen to basic rock (Phil Rudd type )drumming all the time for example would this limit my playing ability, in terms of technical skill?

What I'm trying to say I guess is if you only listen to generic sounding drummers with a lack of ideas will this hamper you long term?
Influences will have whatever effect we allow them to. Hopefully, they will add to our musical palette, rather than steer us down just one particular path. Unless, one path happens to be what we want. In that case, influences that feed that path will be preferred over those that don't. A fusion player has no need to listen to Phil Rudd or Ringo or Keltner etc., as 'balance' isn't necessary. That player needs to focus on fusion, period.

But musicians want different things. For some it's a craft, for some it's art. Some want to play only one style, some want just a few related styles, and others want to do it all because they simply love the instrument itself as much or more than the music.

I fall into that last category - I like playing drums. Sure I have musical preferences, but nothing is off limits in terms of what gigs I take... as long as I can play that style. So I can listen to and enjoy AC/DC, or Buddy Rich, or Hendrix, or Duran Duran, and 'get' something from each, without it swaying me from what I do with each group I play with. If I'm playing a rockabilly/swing song (as I often do with a few groups) I don't ever feel the need to insert some cool Krupa lick I have tucked away in my brain. Unless it happens to be exactly what works. And those are musical decisons I make based on experience, rather than being influenced by something I heard recently.

Bermuda
 

Mad About Drums

Pollyanna's Agent
I fall into that last category - I like playing drums. Sure I have musical preferences, but nothing is off limits in terms of what gigs I take... as long as I can play that style.
That would my take too, the "drums" is the key element, and as long as I can play the style in the band I'm playing with, it's all go :)

But I have influences from some drummers, and I have emulated some of my heroes, they play an important part of "how" I play the kit, and over the years it contributed to give an identity to my playing, I can also be inspired by a song, a pattern, a feel or a sound, I'll then play around with the "inspiration", and, often, something positive comes out of it.

I'm also as much an audiophile fanatic as I am a drummer, I listen to a lot of music, in very different styles :)
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
I am guessing that everything you hear is logged somewhere in the cranium and will come out at some point whether it is conscious or not. I try not to emulate others as I find it frustrating when I'm not successful. We are all products of our environment and absorb most of what floats by us.
 

SticksEasy

Senior Member
For me, influences serve as an inspiration. Which drummer makes me want to sit down behind my drums? There are a quite a few for me. For the most part, I try to pick up everything I can - any piece of drumming knowledge I'm not aware of, I'll listen. I try to soak up everything. But there are two drummers on the planet, who when playing, I can't help but think "That's the way I want to play, right there."
 

B-squared

Silver Member
Aside from my two drum teachers, I only had one "influence" - Charlie Watts. I listen to and play all kinds of music. I have played blues, rock. jazz, country, hip hop, classical, concert band, and more. It was listening to Charlie Watts that made me a better drummer

Charlie is a jazz guy who happens to play in the "World's Greatest Rock and Roll Band". His playing illustrates how keeping tempo and tastefully using fills to support your bandmate's playing, can produce great results. I was making things too complicated in my playing when I started seriously listening to Charlie. Both of my teachers had passed away, and I was basically on my own. I became a much better drummer when I began to follow Charlie's lead. There are other great drummers, certainly, and I appreciate them when I hear them play. Since the topic is "influences', I can name only one.
 
A

Anthony Amodeo

Guest
Aside from my two drum teachers, I only had one "influence" - Charlie Watts. I listen to and play all kinds of music. I have played blues, rock. jazz, country, hip hop, classical, concert band, and more. It was listening to Charlie Watts that made me a better drummer

Charlie is a jazz guy who happens to play in the "World's Greatest Rock and Roll Band". His playing illustrates how keeping tempo and tastefully using fills to support your bandmate's playing, can produce great results. I was making things too complicated in my playing when I started seriously listening to Charlie. Both of my teachers had passed away, and I was basically on my own. I became a much better drummer when I began to follow Charlie's lead. There are other great drummers, certainly, and I appreciate them when I hear them play. Since the topic is "influences', I can name only one.
one would think your avi would read Gretsch instead of Ludwig

:)
 

SticksEasy

Senior Member
It's true that Charlie has played Gretsch for years. but he plays a Ludwig Supraphonic snare. Both Gretsch and Ludwig are iconic brands!
Charlie Watts should be an icon for what every drummer aspires toward. He's so down to Earth, and yet he has god-like status. When I think of Charlie Watts, the image I see is larger than life. I don't think I could handle meeting him, or any of the stones in person - the experience would be, quite literally, mind blowing.

Charlie endorses two cymbal companies. How common is that? He uses UFIP, and Zildjian. But the Zildjian stuff he has, he's used for thirty years. The guy uses his stuff forever - drums, everything.
 
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