Playing as if you are listening?

Bozozoid

Well-known member
One of the worst moments of my drumming life was when the best local band in the area were not actually auditioning but seeking a drummer. Loooooong story short I end up jamming with Freight..the most kick azz band. During the jam which lasted for hours I kept thinking I was the coolest thing these people have ever heard. It was being recorded and during a break Rusty played some of it back. I could have cried..literally. That was NOT me!. Thinking your Mr. Bad azz and realizing quite the opposite is horrifically humbling. I remember Dave Weckl mentioning that he tries putting himself as if he's out front listening to shape his drumming as the two are different. Has ANYONE tried doing this?..has it changed your direction?.
 

RickP

Gold Member
We are our own worst critic when it comes to listening to our own playing . I have found as I have matured that I realize the power of simplicity and how it can really make music groove . I play less fills , and those are less bombastic or chopfests too . Trying to imagine yourself in the audience is a great idea . The most interesting thing for me is that as I simplified my playing and become more selective on the amount of fills and concentrated on time and dynamics , that I get more calls to play with people .
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
One of the most fatal errors drummers can make is attempting to stand out from music rather than blend in with it. Very few bands are in search of a player who riddles every song with clinic-worthy chops. Displaying an acumen for timing and dynamics is certainly the best way to impress other musicians and please audiences. I've always believed that good drummers remain mostly unnoticed. Being ignored is a strong indicator that we're doing our jobs.
 

organworthyplayer337

Well-known member
I feel you. I recently recorded myself playing and while mixing it, I thought it sounded awesome! I was proud and very pleased with the finished product. A few days later a watched it again and I was like :sick:

Major de-motivator.

I noticed that I was a little behind the beat, everything I was playing seemed extraordinarily elementary, boring, and repetitive, I could see/feel my [indecisive and haphazard] thought process going into and coming out of fills, I don't want to touch the drums now. I am not worthy 🥲
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
I feel you. I recently recorded myself playing and while mixing it, I thought it sounded awesome! I was proud and very pleased with the finished product. A few days later a watched it again and I was like :sick:

Major de-motivator.

I noticed that I was a little behind the beat, everything I was playing seemed extraordinarily elementary, boring, and repetitive, I could see/feel my [indecisive and haphazard] thought process going into and coming out of fills, I don't want to touch the drums now. I am not worthy 🥲
Stay positive and have fun with it. Developing as a drummer is a marathon. Slow and steady wins the race.
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
I think it's some kind of acoustic illusion from behind the kit-because we all seem to think we sound fine till we record it. I think the noise of the drums sometimes drums out our ability to listen -or it over exaggerated in our sensory load so alters our perception how it all fits with music. I don't mind being a microsecond off one way or the other as long as I recoup fast-I hate wondering around trying to find my place in the groove-I've just done a buzz roll for white noise till I could find it. Blurred my mistake till I came in on time for the save LOL. Another trick if I don't know a song is play a parallel groove on top of the song-so it sorta of goes with it-but not really. I did that with a latin drumless track I posted recently. I had only just heard song so was just making up parts on top of song. I was surprised it sorta of worked for parts. I like to look at it as I have my moments and hopefully I can increase the incidence of them.
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
I wonder if any drummer feels they've reached their pinnacle or is it always the constant struggle and persistence to maintain some level of competency and then more work to improve. I've worked on all sorts of stuff and make great strides then move on to something else but then can finally come back to that you thought had made such progress and find you've turned into a steaming pile :poop: . You want to play strong clean open single, double and triple stroke rolls you have to work on them all the time.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
I wonder if any drummer feels they've reached their pinnacle or is it always the constant struggle and persistence to maintain some level of competency and then more work to improve. I've worked on all sorts of stuff and make great strides then move on to something else but then can finally come back to that you thought had made such progress and find you've turned into a steaming pile :poop: . You want to play strong clean open single, double and triple stroke rolls you have to work on them all the time.
When I stated in a previous post that "Developing as a drummer is a marathon," I should have added that the event has no finish line. Refinement is an integral component of the journey. Making miniscule adjustments to our playing can have a weighty impact on its quality. The curse is that many of the subtleties that escape the average listener can become objects of obsession for us, but that condition is also a quiet blessing. Drumming is never a bore when we remain conscious of its myriad complexities. There's always something to improve upon, however minor it might be, no matter how complacent we are with our abilities.
 

Cmdr. Ross

Silver Member
Thinking your Mr. Bad azz and realizing quite the opposite is horrifically humbling. I remember Dave Weckl mentioning that he tries putting himself as if he's out front listening to shape his drumming as the two are different. Has ANYONE tried doing this? Has it changed your direction?
When you record yourself at gigs, I assure you, how you think you look, isn't the reality.
I've done this for a while now and I vividly remember how I felt seeing myself for the first time. A lot changed after that.

One of the most fatal errors drummers can make is attempting to stand out from music rather than blend in with it. Very few bands are in search of a player who riddles every song with clinic-worthy chops. Displaying an acumen for timing and dynamics is certainly the best way to impress other musicians and please audiences. I've always believed that good drummers remain mostly unnoticed. Being ignored is a strong indicator that we're doing our jobs.
Exactly!
This is not only how you get the gig, but keep the gig! 🤘
 
One of the most fatal errors drummers can make is attempting to stand out from music rather than blend in with it. Very few bands are in search of a player who riddles every song with clinic-worthy chops. Displaying an acumen for timing and dynamics is certainly the best way to impress other musicians and please audiences. I've always believed that good drummers remain mostly unnoticed. Being ignored is a strong indicator that we're doing our jobs.
I once did a show where after all was done I asked the lead singer if the drums were ok? She said, 'Honestly, I didn't even think about them. I was just kind of doing my own thing.'

To me, a massive compliment and mission accomplished.
 

Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Well-known member
One of the most fatal errors drummers can make is attempting to stand out from music rather than blend in with it. Very few bands are in search of a player who riddles every song with clinic-worthy chops. Displaying an acumen for timing and dynamics is certainly the best way to impress other musicians and please audiences. I've always believed that good drummers remain mostly unnoticed. Being ignored is a strong indicator that we're doing our jobs.

...to a certain degree. I just can not subscribe to this train of thought as an "all the time" mantra....cause what if the music calls for busy drumming to drive it? What if the drum beat IS the melody...the hook...

I think that everything has to happen in even doses for there to be true effect...we sometimes need to be "ignored", and we sometimes have to be "up front"

again, for me, balance is the ultimate right answer. honestly, a whole 2 hour show of the "ghost drummer" is pretty boring...just like a 2 hour drum clinic is pretty boring
 

Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Well-known member
I feel you. I recently recorded myself playing and while mixing it, I thought it sounded awesome! I was proud and very pleased with the finished product. A few days later a watched it again and I was like :sick:

Major de-motivator.

I noticed that I was a little behind the beat, everything I was playing seemed extraordinarily elementary, boring, and repetitive, I could see/feel my [indecisive and haphazard] thought process going into and coming out of fills, I don't want to touch the drums now. I am not worthy 🥲

ohh man...time is THE ULTIMATE critic...in good and bad ways!!!

There has NEVER been a recording I did where I didn't listen to it in hindsight and just bash the crap out of it...I think (and people tell me) that I am too critical of my playing, but man...parts are always evolving in my world, and I think that parts flux in my head when I am not playing, and I always have a better idea "in the present"...
 

Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Well-known member
I wonder if any drummer feels they've reached their pinnacle or is it always the constant struggle and persistence to maintain some level of competency and then more work to improve. I've worked on all sorts of stuff and make great strides then move on to something else but then can finally come back to that you thought had made such progress and find you've turned into a steaming pile :poop: . You want to play strong clean open single, double and triple stroke rolls you have to work on them all the time.

I always tell myself that there is no "end"....no "pinnacle"...music/drumming is an ever evolving activity/entity. There are facets of it that I can gain control of, but I will never master anything because it will just change the next day. I think the only thing that does not change are the fundamentals of motion and timing. That is the "constant" that an possibly be mastered...

In fact, I absolutely fear the day that I would reach the end, or the top of drumming. That there would be no more to work on...<shudders> ...what would I do with my life/time?

I am definitely a "The Journey Is More Important Than The Destination" kind of guy in everything I do. I hate "ends"...
 

Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Well-known member
When you record yourself at gigs, I assure you, how you think you look, isn't the reality.
I've done this for a while now and I vividly remember how I felt seeing myself for the first time. A lot changed after that.

oh gawd...if we are talking about looks then I lose automatically...no amount of practicing or repping or great equipment could change that!!!
 
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