Just so beautifully demonstrated.

Jeremy Bender

Platinum Member
Really good instructions from Gavin. I love the quote "If I was the bass player, all I want the drummer to do is play in time." Truer words have never been spoken.

Bruce M. Thomson

Gold Member
Wonderful; thanks for this. This is where my head is at these days. I'm older (59) and have had my fill of fills so to speak.
(Well, unless it really fits nice in the tune of course); I have heard back on recordings from rehearsals and sessions where I have completed a fill that at the time made sense but upon listening was completly unnessary and distracting. I notice that I enjoy myself more as well if I stick to this concept.


Platinum Member
Real chops,taste,groove and intellegence seem to go into everything that man plays.

This is a clear demonstration of what "big ears" is all about.

Thanks for that Andy.:)

Steve B


Silver Member
That was very nice, thanks for the link!

That thing he said about the bass playing was spot on - what made the biggest impact on my way of looking at drums was simply by playing other instruments in other bands where you're not the drummer.

That dude has class.


"Uncle Larry"
What I got from this:

Listen to what the others are doing. Anticipate their spaces and decide if a tiny embellishment will work or not. Compliment always. The drums support the song, the song isn't there for the drums. Music first, second, third, fourth and fifth. Drum fills, unless they are integral, and part of, some other musical element in the song, detract. Don't step on whoever "has the floor". Compliment, but don't distract, detract, or overpower.

It's all just basic conversation skills when you really break it down.

Drums are so powerful. With great power, comes great responsibility.


Staff member
Drums are so powerful. With great power, comes great responsibility.
My mother always said I was irresponsible, & my mother was always right, even when she was wrong. Bless her :)

I liked Gavin's suggested 16th note groove whilst playing 8th notes on the ride - very classy.


"Uncle Larry"
I liked Gavin's suggested 16th note groove whilst playing 8th notes on the ride - very classy.
Definitely. He is a classy player. It was nice to hear him say that playing a quarter note ride pattern is hard. I took that meaning mentally hard to resist the urge to fill up the space. Because space sounds soooo good. His dynamics are impeccable.


Senior Member
Hard not to like this guy. His message was so clear. The part that stood out to me was:

"They care when the vibe is right.
They care when the atmosphere is right.
They really care when the tempo is good.
They really care when you are listening."

Amen to that. "Big ears" as tamadrm said. The genre is irrelevant ... it is required for everything musical.

Thanks Andy!


Anon La Ply

The things he's saying is just stuff that comes naturally to a drummer who is listening well and in the zone - the good thing is he's articulated and codified it coming the other way - coming back from mastery. Very smart and useful. I'd forgotten about this vid - thanks Andy :)

Agree about that 8ths on the ride with upbeat ghosts - verra nice!


Senior Member
J.R. Robinson, James Gadson...many others of course...were great players in this sense. Always understated to a point of almost driving me nuts. Only much later in life have I been able to deeply appreciate and sometimes emulate the masterly touch of this approach.