Remember: It's All About Emotion and Feel

jazzerooty

Junior Member
I often see impressive videos of drummers playing transcriptions of great solos, either on a kit or a snare. However, though many get the notes and technique spot on, they play completely devoid of musical feeling. Remember, no feeling, no music; no feeling, no groove. Also, drummers need to practice creatively, with no agenda. That's right, make the shit up. Spend two hours just screwing around. Really. Art Blakey said you have to make a lot of mistakes, because that's how jazz was invented; somebody played it wrong. C'mon guys, you can do it. Loosen up.
 

tfgretsch

Junior Member
I often see impressive videos of drummers playing transcriptions of great solos, either on a kit or a snare. However, though many get the notes and technique spot on, they play completely devoid of musical feeling. Remember, no feeling, no music; no feeling, no groove. Also, drummers need to practice creatively, with no agenda. That's right, make the shit up. Spend two hours just screwing around. Really. Art Blakey said you have to make a lot of mistakes, because that's how jazz was invented; somebody played it wrong. C'mon guys, you can do it. Loosen up.
thanks this is what i needed to hear !!
 

toddbishop

Platinum Member
I don't know why it's so hard for people to get some intensity in their playing, if they're scared of being an unmusical gorilla, or people have scared them about playing too loud or making mistakes, or if they haven't seen the right people play, or what. Maybe they're listening to the wrong records.

You do have to have a pretty strong desire to assert yourself musically, so it outweighs your fear of screwing up or making someone mad.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
I don't know why it's so hard for people to get some intensity in their playing, if they're scared of being an unmusical gorilla, or people have scared them about playing too loud or making mistakes, or if they haven't seen the right people play, or what. Maybe they're listening to the wrong records.

You do have to have a pretty strong desire to assert yourself musically, so it outweighs your fear of screwing up or making someone mad.
I have a pretty good idea why is so hard for people to have some intensity in their playing. It's not inside them. It just isn't there. It's not their fault. It's like being born blind as an analogy. Not one's fault. I too know some guys who just phone it in. Yawn.

You posted a video of you in a marching band (I think) not too long ago where for a few seconds you had a shot on you where you were just attacking that gong. It was full of heart, put in the exact right place, just executed spot on. I remember looking at that and saying, wow, what a ferocious intensity he's got. That's your heart. Not everyone has that. They can't help it.

Drumming really brings out a person's personality, for better or worse.
 

moodman

Well-known member
Of course,when you play a cover, you're playing someone else's thing, the result of the 'path' they've taken, it is a good learning tool but not born of your own creativity. Feeling comes from confidence and authority, you just have to earn it through experience.
As far as self-doubt or making mistakes, if you make a mistake, FORGET IT, and finish the song RIGHT.
(that old cliche about, 'if you make a mistake, repeat it 3 times and it's jazz' can actually be true sometimes)
Not all of us were born to be Bozzio or Lang, I've known really fine drummers that gave up because they couldn't match their drumming heroes level of playing. I don't take Latin or Jazz gigs because, as much as I have practiced various elements of both, I never really got to work in those genres and have no authority. Still, I've worked a lot because I can do other things well. A good leader will know what you can and cannot do, if you're hired it is because of the former.
 
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nolibos

Well-known member
This is something i struggle with. I have a laid back personality, but progressive jazz gigs are what i seek.
 

johnwesley

Silver Member
I often see impressive videos of drummers playing transcriptions of great solos, either on a kit or a snare. However, though many get the notes and technique spot on, they play completely devoid of musical feeling. Remember, no feeling, no music; no feeling, no groove. Also, drummers need to practice creatively, with no agenda. That's right, make the shit up. Spend two hours just screwing around. Really. Art Blakey said you have to make a lot of mistakes, because that's how jazz was invented; somebody played it wrong. C'mon guys, you can do it. Loosen up.
I've been saying this forever. You're either a musician or a reader. I get really bent when I see threads dealing with where to find transcripts of this song or that song or so and so's drum solo. If you're a musician you listen and figure it out. Maybe you and a buddy trade off skills and show each other technique. I better shut up before the book learners get ticked off because I could go on and on. It's one of my biggest annoyances.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
I've been saying this forever. You're either a musician or a reader. I get really bent when I see threads dealing with where to find transcripts of this song or that song or so and so's drum solo. If you're a musician you listen and figure it out. Maybe you and a buddy trade off skills and show each other technique. I better shut up before the book learners get ticked off because I could go on and on. It's one of my biggest annoyances.
While I've undergone extensive training in reading music, I agree that it's no substitution for the ability to drum by ear and to improvise. What makes you a truly valuable drummer is the capacity to sit down and go, untethered by paradigms and textual guidance. I'm not undercutting transcripts; being able to decipher and translate them can be of considerable benefit too. But if I had to choose one skill or the other, I'd take improvisation any day. It's what over ninety percent of real-world drumming involves.
 

johnwesley

Silver Member
While I've undergone extensive training in reading music, I agree that it's no substitution for the ability to drum by ear and to improvise. What makes you a truly valuable drummer is the capacity to sit down and go, untethered by paradigms and textual guidance. I'm not undercutting transcripts; being able to decipher and translate them can be of considerable benefit too. But if I had to choose one skill or the other, I'd take improvisation any day. It's what over ninety percent of real-world drumming involves.
Here's an analogy I just came up with. You can copy John Steinbeck's "Of Mice and Men" word for word and let everyone know you write just like Steinbeck. BUT....and it's a BIG BUT. Can you think like Steinbeck? All you're doing is copying. Now throw in transcripts of your favorite drummer. Sure you can copy the parts note by note, but could you ever have thought them up on your own? A quote by Keith Moon that rings true. "I'm the best Keith Moon style drummer in the world."
 

Yamaha Rider

Well-known member
Got a trick to keep out of the tar pit of self consciousness?
I found that closing my eyes to concentrate when I'm playing with a band actually gives me a flash of self consciousness that isn't good at all.
Gotta focus on the music all the time, every time imo.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
Here's an analogy I just came up with. You can copy John Steinbeck's "Of Mice and Men" word for word and let everyone know you write just like Steinbeck. BUT....and it's a BIG BUT. Can you think like Steinbeck? All you're doing is copying. Now throw in transcripts of your favorite drummer. Sure you can copy the parts note by note, but could you ever have thought them up on your own? A quote by Keith Moon that rings true. "I'm the best Keith Moon style drummer in the world."
Yeah, particularly when it comes to cover songs, I've always thought it makes a lot more sense to use what the drummer in the recording is doing as a mere framework, reshaping the piece to suit your own style and percussive identity. Attempting to emulate his every stroke and accent is an academic exercise that does little to bolster creativity. It's just not an approach I've ever seen much reason to pursue.

Steinbeck is my favorite American author, by the way. About fifteen years ago, I took a trip to Salinas, CA, his hometown, to visit the National Steinbeck Center. It was well worth the pilgrimage.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
Got a trick to keep out of the tar pit of self consciousness?
I found that closing my eyes to concentrate when I'm playing with a band actually gives me a flash of self consciousness that isn't good at all.
Gotta focus on the music all the time, every time imo.
The process is different for everyone. We all have divergent temperaments, sensitivities, and so on. What activity places you in a serene frame of mind, and why do you find such security in it? If you can answer those questions and maybe harness and transfer such tranquility to performing, you might be on your way to an improved frame of mind. I'm rather lucky in that performing has never troubled me. I might be more comfortable behind a drum set than I am anywhere else on Earth. As for outer space, I've never been there and have no concrete standard of comparison.
 
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Yamaha Rider

Well-known member
I've been saying this forever. You're either a musician or a reader. I get really bent when I see threads dealing with where to find transcripts of this song or that song or so and so's drum solo. If you're a musician you listen and figure it out. Maybe you and a buddy trade off skills and show each other technique. I better shut up before the book learners get ticked off because I could go on and on. It's one of my biggest annoyances.
That's an interesting point.
How do you feel about 'counters'? People who count through a song in their head from beginning to end?
Sounds like the perfect way to bleed the life out of a song me.
 
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