What can you all suggest for playing more musically. I guess this means, how can I approach playing songs live and in the studio, with or without preparation, better?
+1 on everything!Whoo, let's see, off the top of my head:
- Play less. Forget about being amazing.
- Use your ears.
- Know the tune.
- Understand the musical effect of the things you play, or don't play.
- Track the dynamics of the piece. Don't just slam it at the same volume all the way through a section. If you listen closely to older pop tunes- like from the 60's and 70's- the dynamics often change from measure to measure, following the vocal part.
- Use the negative space: play with the melody, or play the breaks in the melody.
- Know what playing musically sounds like. Listen to a lot of Jim Keltner, Billy Higgins, Ringo Starr, Peter Erskine, Ben Riley- whoever fits your idea of a consummate "musical" drummer.
Yes! Finally! Learn electric guitar, more specifically. It has the shortest learning curve, it's relatively inexpensive to buy into, and you can practice quietly almost anywhere, anytime. Learn a few songs, and play them with a drummer. You will most certainly realize what is important, and what isn't! The most musical drumming, to me, occurs when the drummer is cognizant of when the other instruments are NOT playing, and plays within those moments. A great example is the first 4 bars of "Son Of a Preacher Man". That guitar riff is perfectly highlighted, because the bass drums are stepping around it in a very cooperative way. That drummer isn't just listening, he's accompanying. You might not ever think to play that way, if you weren't educated on another instrument. That kind of knowledge makes you invest -- emotionally, artistically -- in others' performances, not just your own.-Learn to play another instrument. I think this very important....
I do something like that depending on the genre I'm playing. Doing the Ratpack thing recently I would often ask myself, "What would Irv Cottler do here?" The answer is usually just slam backbeats to keep those horns in line.+1 on everything!
My apporoach to most playing is "WWRD"
(What Would Ringo Do)
That's the version we base our cover on. Were you referring to the cool little fill he does at the end of the 4th bar or just the general relationship between drums & guitar?Yeah, that one. Should've been more clear, sorry!