'playing in the pocket'?

Steady Freddy

Pioneer Member
You can have ACDC Back in Black, James Brown's Funky Drummer, the Meters Sissy Strut. Some have a few notes some have a lot. It's how they are played. That individual feel that only that individual can replicate. That's what makes it groove and how deep in the pocket the groove sits. It's all musical slang in the end. Just play the drums!!
 

Yamaha Rider

Well-known member
That is an element of it for sure. When I really lock in I usually don't remember playing it. I remember the experience of playing it.
In surfing - a great wave wipes your mind clean in the same way. You paddle back out knowing what you just did was great, but unable to remember what actually happened. It can take minutes of concentration to piece it together. Weird!
 

jimb

Member
For me its the right combination of hats, snare, and BD and feeling it...like a recipe.....only playing each instrument the rjght amount for a given tune. Its getting that perfect balance between all three. Porcaro is the master of this.
 

8Mile

Platinum Member
I'm analytical, so I understand wanting to have a musical concept broken down into a detailed list of ingredients. But I think it's better to just listen to drummers who are known for their pocket and try to imitate them. Good examples of drummers to learn from have already been listed.

The mistake I made when I was younger was thinking pocket and groove were about just playing simply. It's really about getting into the nuances of playing time. It doesn't have to be simple, necessarily. It's about making the person listening to the music feel good and want to move. And it's about how your beat sits with the rest of the band. It took me a long, long time to really understand that.
 

Steady Freddy

Pioneer Member
In surfing - a great wave wipes your mind clean in the same way. You paddle back out knowing what you just did was great, but unable to remember what actually happened. It can take minutes of concentration to piece it together. Weird!
I can relate. I grew up in California and spent a lot of time riding waves.
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
That must be some real big pockets to be able to fit you and your drumset in there. I've heard everything is big in 'merica, but...
 

Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Well-known member
Gotta disagree with the playing less notes thing. Tower of power, What is hip. Lots of notes and solidly in the pocket. It's not the notes but how they're played.
there are not enough "like" buttons for this, so like, like, like, like, like, like, like, like, like, like, like, like, like, like, like, like, like, like, like, like, like, like, like, like, like, like, like, like, like,

for me, I think Chad Smith on Blood Sugar, Sex, Magic finds many different great pockets
AC/DC was mentioned, and I agree
William Calhoun on all of the first Living Color album
Joe Morello on the whole Time Out album...again, many different pockets defined
Tim "Herb" Alexander on Sailing The Seas of Cheese by Primus
Gar Samuelsson on the Peace Sells by Megadeth <- big time metal in the pocket playing on the whole thing
Eric Kane on Strike Anywhere's album Change Is A Sound has a great punk/d-beat pocket on all of those songs
Slim Jim Phantom on The Stray Cat's first album

to me, pocket is about a feel...a feel where the band can settle into the drum groove, like a good bucket seat, and then perform on top of or within that groove. That groove is defined by the style. The effect of that is people moving, whether it is booty shaking or circle pitting...

for me, pocket IS NOT about amount of notes or tempo. I feel like thrash can have just as much groove as funk. Classical as much as hip hop. Some of the first 3 Meshuggah albums have WAY more pocket to me than a lot of Tony Williams or Steve Gadd stuff from the 70's. Not that I don't like those guys, because I do, but I just think that many people are too quick to discount certain styles because they are not the norm...
 
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