My Playing - The Horror!

Hewitt2

Senior Member
All I can say is that you have to feel the groove and be absorbed in it. Just watch a few Bernard Purdie videos. You can see it in his mannerism and the way he talks when he is behind his kit. He vocalizes it and moves to the groove that he is absorbed in.

You have to feel the beat and the groove that heavy. Hewitt, your location status says you're "Deep in the Groove" and I'll tell you what, like Bo is saying about emulating, Bernard Purdie is certainly one to emulate when you're talking about "Deep in the Groove".
so true - my status "deep in the groove" pretty much tells you where my sensibilities lie. I am so obsessed over time and groove that any fluctuations really upset me. I'm a big follower of many of the names you and Bo followed (just listened to the Meters earlier this week!) so I definitely know what I need to do.
 

TMe

Senior Member
I took the plunge and started more consistently recording myself playing and listening to the results a few months ago.
When I listen to a recording from a few weeks ago, I shudder. When I listen to a recording from years, ago, I think I sound pretty good. It's not because my playing is getting worse, it's becuase I have no distance from stuff I played recently, so I'm hypercritical, whereas if I listen to a 10-year-old recording, it's like I'm listening to a different person, so I'm more generous in my assessment.

FWIW, I made a project of finally learning the rudiments, playing with a metronome 100% of the time. What surprised me is how much it improved my sense of time when I was playing completely unrelated stuff. It seems time spent with the metronome really pays off, no matter what I'm working on. Not that my time is great, but it's a lot better than it was.

+1 for the singing. I can't sing, but if I listen closely to the vocal line and/or hum the tune while playing drums, my time and phrasing are improved.
 

philrudd

Senior Member
When I listen to a recording from a few weeks ago, I shudder. When I listen to a recording from years, ago, I think I sound pretty good. It's not because my playing is getting worse, it's becuase I have no distance from stuff I played recently, so I'm hypercritical, whereas if I listen to a 10-year-old recording, it's like I'm listening to a different person, so I'm more generous in my assessment.

FWIW, I made a project of finally learning the rudiments, playing with a metronome 100% of the time. What surprised me is how much it improved my sense of time when I was playing completely unrelated stuff. It seems time spent with the metronome really pays off, no matter what I'm working on. Not that my time is great, but it's a lot better than it was.

+1 for the singing. I can't sing, but if I listen closely to the vocal line and/or hum the tune while playing drums, my time and phrasing are improved.
Glad to hear someone else has experienced this...

A few years ago I was getting very frustrated with my drumming - didn't like my timekeeping, my groove, etc. etc. I had been listening to a recent recording of my band, and one song in particular just sounded awful to me.

The guys I'd been playing with had been around a long time, and had a few drummers before me; I decided to go back through the archives and listen to what a previous drummer had done with that tune.

I randomly picked an old recording and listened to it. I was immediately struck by how much better, smoother, more in-sync with the band the drums were. I was crushed, but decided to figure out which of their old drummers had actually recorded the tune.

I pinpointed the date of the recording...and realized it was made AFTER I'd joined the band. I had been listening to myself.

It's an embarrassing story to relate, but a good indicator of how we're not always the best judges of ourselves. And how much of a head-case we can all be...
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
We alll go through a process of development. Even if I was pro øeveø guitar player for many years before I started playing the drums, the instrument is just so different.

Sometimes we think we have all this facility, but reality is that the only thing that sounds professional is the simplest stuff while fully and deeply concentrated. That usually says something about how to practice. You take the basics and slowly work it in. Being very much an improviser I do some things in a more general way, but the same concept applies.

You mention playing along to music, metronome and play-a-longs.

I'd suggest a different approach which is just playing by yourself and record that. Focus on the parts that are hard and transitions and then start putting it together.

PLaying aong to music you donæt really hear yourself.

PLay along to a metronome can just force you to follow.

Play-a-longs, while sort of closer to playing along with other people is more of an exam, it's not focused practice. You may end up just wasting time. There is another way to use a play-a-long though, if that's more fun for you and that is to simplify things and add elements as you go.

Abit of ability to differentiate between playing and practice is important, though. Make note of what's not working and spend your energy there.

There are many exercises that help improving time, but don't make your practice to-do list so big that it gets demotivating. Rome wasn't built in a day and you'll never be done leaning this instrument. Find a few things and make them a priority. Make playing other stuff a release, a reward after the main work is done.
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
Before I play anything, I think to myself, would an idiot play that? And if he would, then I do not play the thing.


Beyond the reference, I find that I "sound" a lot better to myself when I don't go out on too many limbs and I just do what the song needs within my ability. Whenever I try to be fancy or impressive, I don't usually like the playback. Go figure.
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
Beyond the reference, I find that I "sound" a lot better to myself when I don't go out on too many limbs and I just do what the song needs within my ability. Whenever I try to be fancy or impressive, I don't usually like the playback. Go figure.
When intentially trying to be impressive we often loose touch with what's actually going on.

Someone's flash is also someone's natural ability, so it's more about intention many times, I thnk,
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
When intentially trying to be impressive we often loose touch with what's actually going on.

Someone's flash is also someone's natural ability, so it's more about intention many times, I thnk,
Well stated.

As we grow as players things will naturally improve from the viewpoints of others, and you may even end up getting viewed as impressive! As long as you keep within the bounds of taste and your own current ability you'll always be doing your best to serve the song, and you'll hear it on playback that way.

All about the intention, indeed!
 

jimb

Member
I had the same problem to the OP.....Im still not perfect but what I found works for me is to concentrate solely on hats and snare and ease up on the BD. So many young players out there doing all manner of clever doubles etc etc on the BD that for some of us it all gets too much but its the snare and hats that keep time and which cut thru.
 

Hewitt2

Senior Member
Holy thread necromancy - I feel like Lazarus brought back from the dead!

To the point above I would (slightly) respectfully disagree and say that too many novice partners overplay the hi hats and have a weak backbeat. To my ears what distinguishes the men from the boys is playing off the hats (stick tips versus shoulder of the stick) and powerful and consistent snare and bass drum hits. This is part of the reason why I switched to open handed drumming a few years back. My dominant hand plays the snare and weaker hand has an easier time reinforcing the groove. It’s not often when the hats are on top of the sound. Cheers!
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
Holy thread necromancy - I feel like Lazarus brought back from the dead!

To the point above I would (slightly) respectfully disagree and say that too many novice partners overplay the hi hats and have a weak backbeat. To my ears what distinguishes the men from the boys is playing off the hats (stick tips versus shoulder of the stick) and powerful and consistent snare and bass drum hits. This is part of the reason why I switched to open handed drumming a few years back. My dominant hand plays the snare and weaker hand has an easier time reinforcing the groove. It’s not often when the hats are on top of the sound. Cheers!


Yaeh. Learning to play with the tip is the drum teacher equivalent to horn players playing with support. Obviously, we do other things, all the time, but it should be a conscious musical choice.
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
Recording yourself is a "horror" because it's odd how different the kit and your playing sounds in front compared to behind it. You're correct the video/audio doesn't lie. I was shocked-still am TBH. You tune up your kit or play something you think sounds pretty good then watch and oh crap. First thing I noted playing along to recorded music I would just " react" to a song and mindlessly play -then playing on top of another drummer (which is annoying) and I often was microseconds behind reacting. Now I try to learn a song so I can play it start to finish knowing what I'm going to play-so I can actually keep time. I still do the reactive thing though cause I'm just an excitable boy.
 
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