Playing as if you are listening?

StanM3

Member
I completely agree with everyone. I was above average before graduating high school and college and then not playing the drums for 20 years and getting back into it recently I felt like I had 3 right hands and did not know what I was doing. I would watch bands and videos of what and how i used to play and i was very upset with myself. Although just like riding a bike, just get back on the motherphucker and ride it till the wheels fall off.......or the wife complains that it is too loud, or the police come cause the nieghbors think its too loud!
 

Bozozoid

Well-known member
I hope that I've gained SOME wisdom and musicality over the years. It's silly to want to be Ian (I know) but I desperately wanted to affect music in the same way. That didn't happen and I'm very bitter about it. I picked the wrong instrument..my standards are unbelievably high. I have fun playing drums but I also fight the feeling that I've never come even close to my expectations. I could go on and on but I'll have to accept this for what it is. Thanks for letting me vent here and I need to exit the pitty party but I do feel better with this vent.
 

pocket player

Junior Member
I believe that the more experience you have practicing, playing with other musicians and listening to yourself back, the closer your perception will get to reality. Listening back to your own playing can be painful and I still struggle with it to this day, as do pretty much all drummers - even the very best. It's like muscle burn of the brain, you have to push through the burn in order to improve. If you keep persisting, you will get to the point where what you think you sound like and what you actually sound like will be very close. I think Gavin Harrison makes a great analogy here with his "CPU theory", definitely worth a watch.
Excellent ,inspiring ,insightful ; post & video. Thank you D robin
 

pocket player

Junior Member
In the very beginning of my drumming I used to want to reach a certain level but then I just let that go and it was a lot easier to play without the pressure of trying to attain anything. My skills developed a lot faster when I was relaxed than when I was actively trying to achieve a certain technique or what one of the drummers I listen to did. Listening to recordings from back then, they are not terribly bad, if anything, very simplistic but with good time keeping so that helps them. I compare that to present time. I am not the best drummer out there but I am not bad. ( And I don't care to be the best either). To me is not a show of who can play the most complex polyrhythm or the fastest double bass or drum roll. To me it is about how can I make the song better? How can I make the band sound tighter? (without over playing).
great
 

pocket player

Junior Member
I hope that I've gained SOME wisdom and musicality over the years. It's silly to want to be Ian (I know) but I desperately wanted to affect music in the same way. That didn't happen and I'm very bitter about it. I picked the wrong instrument..my standards are unbelievably high. I have fun playing drums but I also fight the feeling that I've never come even close to my expectations. I could go on and on but I'll have to accept this for what it is. Thanks for letting me vent here and I need to exit the pitty party but I do feel better with this vent.
WELL Boz, you certainly inspired me ,on my drumming journey with your great post Thanks !!
 

Sebenza

Member
I believe that the more experience you have practicing, playing with other musicians and listening to yourself back, the closer your perception will get to reality. Listening back to your own playing can be painful and I still struggle with it to this day, as do pretty much all drummers - even the very best. It's like muscle burn of the brain, you have to push through the burn in order to improve. If you keep persisting, you will get to the point where what you think you sound like and what you actually sound like will be very close. I think Gavin Harrison makes a great analogy here with his "CPU theory", definitely worth a watch.
Kind of like Riley's headroom concept, isn't it?
 

doggyd69b

Well-known member
I mentioned this before, I used to care what others thought of my playing, specially when there were drummers watching... then I realized that I was not terrible and that most of them were not that great either. At some point maturity must have kicked in because I stopped caring what others thought and I relaxed. Once I relaxed, my playing improved significantly faster. I am miles away from where I want to be but the only reason for that is that I don't have time to practice (Like the guys I admire practice), I figure none of them are playing anything impossible to play and with a similar practice time I would be able to accomplish the same so I don't sweat it when I can't reach a certain level. I keep it real and understand that drums are not the only thing I do therefore my playing will be determined by my practice time.... or to better define that... I reached a level where I am comfortable. I am able to stop playing for years and come back and I would still be at that same level. (I have done that a few times already). If I wanted to be at a higher level then I definitely need to put a lot more practice. For example I can play fast double bass, (example Metallica's Dyer's Eve) but to play at the speeds that some drummers are able to achieve (David Diepold's Cognizance) , I need a lot more practice. I stopped judging myself too harshly and I just try to enjoy playing instead of getting frustrated about what I can't do. I mess with guitars, keyboards and even a violin, I don't know how to play any of them, but the little bit that I am learning sounds good and maybe it will take me years to get to the levels I want to get, but NOBODY started playing at a professional level when they first picked up their instrument. Also there are a few drummers out there that focus on how well X drummer can play a certain technique (like for example Mike Manginni's rolls) but that does not make any drummer a good drummer, you can master ONE technique and suck at everything else. (Not saying Manginni sucks) just that there are a lot of those guys out there that are basically one trick ponies and are not that musical. On the other hand there are drummers out there that play for the music and can be underestimated at times (Mikkey Dee for example) when he was in Motorhead, his drumming was simple but served the music, you would think he was an ok drummer, but if you listened to his work with King Diamond, much more complex yet he still managed to play what served the song without over doing it. to me, that is a much better drummer than a guy who can do one single thing really well...so, focus on serving the music and forget about a specific technique. Trust me, you will learn a lot more and faster when you try to serve the songs vs when you are all about technique.
Jonathan Moffet (Michael Jackson's drummer) can play hard stuff, yet he chose to play a deceptively simple beat (Billie Jean). The hard part of that beat is to keep it locked all the way through. I bet a lot of those highly technical guys would struggle with it.
 

s1212z

Well-known member
Jonathan Moffet (Michael Jackson's drummer) can play hard stuff, yet he chose to play a deceptively simple beat (Billie Jean). The hard part of that beat is to keep it locked all the way through. I bet a lot of those highly technical guys would struggle with it.
I believe Ndugu Chancler played on Billie Jean.

There is often a preconception that either a player sides with either good chops or good feel but never both. Someone that is a student of the instrument working on coordination independence w/ advance polyrhythms no doubt works things out at very slow tempos. If the math is complex, the resolve to "1" can feel like forever; this is really a true test on how well you internal clock is and if you have the control...takes a lot practice. Contrary, many special 'feel' players have gotten their reputation due idiosyncrasies of their own playing; Ringo's lefty on a right set, Watts couldn't hit right/left together on a back beat, Bruford had a weak left hand so always popped side rimshots, Keith Moon had his thing, even Lars limitations but a feel that is his own feel ....there are many examples how so-call 'deficiencies' in musicians turned into their calling card.
 
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