Sorta disappointed in what I hear out there...

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
I'm getting burned out on drumming on social media. It's all linear grooves, beat displacements and odd times. You'd think every gig out there is designed to have the drummer express his or her creativity at all times. I love that stuff, but you can't play that on most gigs.
Correct, but real life has always been that way as well. SM has simply become a magnified extension of it, and the freedom to exploit oneself (essentially at no cost) has brought such players to a worldwide audience they never could have reached otherwise. Perhaps that exposure also helps keep them in their place, out of the way of actual working drummers.

But I really don't worry about those types, they help keep me employed. :)

Bermuda
 

trickg

Silver Member
Wouldn't it be difficult for a drummer to show off their groove without a band around them?
No. A drummer can either groove or they can't, and it doesn't even have to be difficult. The basic rock groove from "Back In Black" grooves all on its own if it's played right.

Bo, I hear where you are coming from. In my own experience as a drummer, because I got started so late (33 when I started to actually do it, rather than just messing around) I'd made myself a declaration that I was too old to really be a chops guy, so I was going to work on just laying down a good groove, which also made sense considering that I was/am a church drummer - I have to play what's required for the song - much of that is just playing time, but also knowing when and what to punctuate with a fill or hit.

I've also had the good fortune to have worked with two really excellent drummers in the wedding band I've been a part of for the last 18 years. I can't help but compare myself to those two guys, and since I always come up short when doing that comparison, I continue to work hard to try to be better.

In any case, over the last 15 years that I've been playing, and especially in the last 5 years or so, I have really payed a lot of attention to what other drummers on the amateur scene are doing, and sometimes I'm surprised by what I see. I spent 3 years directing an extracurricular high school jazz band, and I constantly had to reign in my drummers who believed that volume, complex grooves patterns and fancy fills were proof that they were good, regardless of whether or not they could maintain time and tempo, or not rush through those fills, (and regardless of whether or not it was appropriate for the tunes we were rehearsing) and that kind of thing, which matches a lot of what I see on the amateur scene and internet.

A lot of drummers just don't "get it." They don't understand that all of that extra stuff is too much most of the time, especially when playing covers. They seem to think they are improving the songs when they throw out all of those extraneous strokes, or change the groove to something they deem to be more interesting. They aren't. I'm not quite sure where the problem lies, but a lot of it comes down to just not understanding the music for what it is, and being too full of their own self-importance and self-promotion that they lose sight of what actually IS important in their duties as a drummer for an ensemble.

This little cartoon says it all. Find the drummer who understands this, and you'll find a good drummer.

Image result for you re good you re hired drummer you're amazing you're
 

TMe

Senior Member
A lot of drummers just don't "get it."
I think some people don't make a clear distinction between practicing and playing. Some of the YouTube videos look like guys showing off what they're practicing. For all we know, they might be really good with a band. Or maybe they never stop practicing and sound exactly the same when they play with a band. There's nothing wrong with someone shredding alone in a basement as a hobby, and the basement shredders like to show off for each other on YouTube.

As for me, I have slow hands so I could never play that stuff, and slow ears so it all sounds like a big drum kit falling down a long flight of stairs to me.

I went to two clinics with a buddy of mine. At one, we watched some prog Rock guy throw his kit down a long flight of stairs for 45 minutes straight. My buddy was hugely impressed and I was nodding off. Then we went to a Dennis Chambers clinic which I thought was brilliant, and my buddy thought was boring because Chambers didn't play a wall of chops. I think I'm in the minority. Most people, drummers and the general public, would be more impressed by the chops monster than the groove master.

Nobody's going to be impressed by drumming, so I try to make the vox and guitar sound good. That's what the audience came to hear.
 

donzo74

Junior Member
Doing it to do an actual cover of the song is one thing. But when I hear stuff just fir the sake of it being there - if it disrupts the original intent - then that seems wrong. Sure, make it your own and express yourself, but there’s a fine line between that and pissing all over it like an alpha dog, no?
LOL, I'm with ya, Bo (for the most part). I just threw that in there because the guy was like "HAHA, 1/8th note cymbal chokes. I wonder what Tom Petty song I could use that on." It only took me 2 seconds to think of a popular Tom Petty tune where Stan Lynch did that exact thing so then I thought, hey, this guy just needs to listen to more Tom Petty. =)
 

oldskoolsoul

Silver Member
A healthy question for all amateur/semi pro drummers who feel a lot the need to criticize other drummers, would be..:

"Am i really in the position to criticize this drummer, or maaaaaaaybe not that much..?"

My apologies for interupting the "lets all agree how fantastic we are compared to them"-moment btw..
 

donzo74

Junior Member
This is a good topic, Bo, but a lot to unpack. From my perspective, I'll start from the social media and online content posting angle. I come here and mostly read but lately have chosen to participate in some discussions mainly for the reasons you state; I love music and drumming and I want to connect with people who share that love and want to talk about related things. I’m not on social media (My day job is in IT and do not trust these platforms with privacy and data) but I have thought about a YouTube channel so I could post some A/V and then post some links for you guys here. However, the footage I have at the moment is just one camera angle elevated from the hi hat side and the audio is just the onboard GoPro Hero 4 mic from inside the case while mounted on a mic boom stand. You get a lot of drums and cymbals (which shouldn’t be a problem around here, right!? ;) and some other instruments and vocals for context through the sub and wedge that the camera is overtop of, but it’s not a fancy production. It’s been good for me to watch to evaluate my playing but it seems like a pretty sketchy low budget product to put out on the web so I’ve held off on posting anything. Since I’m not into social media hype and I don’t need over-the-top self-promotion to get gigs, there doesn’t seem to be much point.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
What's with these threads lately? A bunch of complaining about people who can't even defend themselves here? We aren't low class. We aren't sub-par, we are all drummers who approach the kit in our own way based on our own needs and wants.

Bo, since you have your flame suit on, who are you to judge these people? You aren't Steve Jordan or any of the other drummers you like to name drop. You are a cover drummer who doesn't like band practice if not getting paid. You aren't in MD, or on any tunes played on the radio. I realize you are a legend in your own mind, but that's just narcissism. Again, who are you?

I'm nobody, with no desire to be somebody. If you don't like the things we play, so what? It isn't up to you to decide.
 

trickg

Silver Member
I think some people don't make a clear distinction between practicing and playing. Some of the YouTube videos look like guys showing off what they're practicing. For all we know, they might be really good with a band. Or maybe they never stop practicing and sound exactly the same when they play with a band. There's nothing wrong with someone shredding alone in a basement as a hobby, and the basement shredders like to show off for each other on YouTube.
There is that aspect, but I was also talking about the players who play that way with a band on a performance. When I was at the 2006 Modern Drummer Festival, Jason McGerr, drummer for Deathcab for Cutie, did a thing where he played along to one of the band's tracks sans drums, and he thew all kinds of stuff in there, and he did it to make a point. That point? That if he played on a gig that way his band would probably replace him. He then played the track again for how it would be on a regular gig, playing it straightforward. Both times were musical, but the first time had some inappropriate stuff for the song.

I went to two clinics with a buddy of mine. At one, we watched some prog Rock guy throw his kit down a long flight of stairs for 45 minutes straight. My buddy was hugely impressed and I was nodding off. Then we went to a Dennis Chambers clinic which I thought was brilliant, and my buddy thought was boring because Chambers didn't play a wall of chops. I think I'm in the minority. Most people, drummers and the general public, would be more impressed by the chops monster than the groove master.
I experience a similar thing at a Shawn Pelton clinic I went to. The whole point of the clinic was Shawn showing his shorthand method for charting a drum part so that he could quickly play a song for a performance or a studio session, and he broke down a couple of the songs he played - one was "Steve McQueen" from a Sheryl Crow tour, the other was "Behind These Hazel Eyes," for Kelly Clarkson. And he did play those songs - he played a "Steve McQueen" performance up on a screen, and the Kelly Clarkson tune was just audio. (And he was stroke for stroke completely in sync with both recordings - it was actually pretty cool.)

So at one point in his clinic he asks if anyone has any questions. This 16-17 year old says, "when are you going to play a solo?" Shawn basically said that soloing wasn't what he did to make money, and that it wasn't going to happen.
 

trickg

Silver Member
What's with these threads lately? A bunch of complaining about people who can't even defend themselves here? We aren't low class. We aren't sub-par, we are all drummers who approach the kit in our own way based on our own needs and wants.

Bo, since you have your flame suit on, who are you to judge these people? You aren't Steve Jordan or any of the other drummers you like to name drop. You are a cover drummer who doesn't like band practice if not getting paid. You aren't in MD, or on any tunes played on the radio. I realize you are a legend in your own mind, but that's just narcissism. Again, who are you?

I'm nobody, with no desire to be somebody. If you don't like the things we play, so what? It isn't up to you to decide.
Are we complaining, or just talking about an observation? Just because I'm not a famous drummer, and may not actually be a great drummer doesn't mean that I don't comprehend and understand what I'm seeing and hearing. I also disagree with your assertion that it isn't up to us to decide. Yes it is - as soon as someone puts up something in the public domain, at that point it's wide open for whatever scrutiny comes its way, regardless of whether or not a person is an expert in the subject matter. We are free to come to our own conclusions and opinions about it - that's just the way it is.
 

oldskoolsoul

Silver Member
..What's with these threads lately? A bunch of complaining about people who can't even defend themselves here? We aren't low class. We aren't sub-par, we are all drummers who approach the kit in our own way based on our own needs and wants.

Bo, since you have your flame suit on, who are you to judge these people? You aren't Steve Jordan or any of the other drummers you like to name drop. You are a cover drummer who doesn't like band practice if not getting paid. You aren't in MD, or on any tunes played on the radio. I realize you are a legend in your own mind, but that's just narcissism. Again, who are you?

I'm nobody, with no desire to be somebody. If you don't like the things we play, so what? It isn't up to you to decide..

Well, my respect for a post like this..
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
Are we complaining, or just talking about an observation? Just because I'm not a famous drummer, and may not actually be a great drummer doesn't mean that I don't comprehend and understand what I'm seeing and hearing. I also disagree with your assertion that it isn't up to us to decide. Yes it is - as soon as someone puts up something in the public domain, at that point it's wide open for whatever scrutiny comes its way, regardless of whether or not a person is an expert in the subject matter. We are free to come to our own conclusions and opinions about it - that's just the way it is.
No no no, it's not for him to decide what we play. Sure, critique it all you want, but don't belittle the drummer because you don't like what they play. That's just ignorant.
 

danondrums

Well-known member
This isn't a drummer thing. It's an every thing and it's been going for as long as humans have existed.
I'm reminded of this when I review classified ads looking for people to play with who claim to have pro skills.
Most don't even have a recording of their playing to share, and the majority of those who do are pretty sloppy. Pro's have media to share.
I'm reminded of this when I would be reviewing resumes for work looking for new hires where the applicant clearly has a false sense of their own accomplishments. I'm reminded of this when I'm talking to a person who's not accomplished at some activity that I happen to have had some success in and they're going on and on about their approach to said activity. Music is a hard topic to apply to this because it is more subjective than say being a skilled pool player or athlete of some kind where results are much clearer, but this is the norm in our population which is why most people who have a desire to do something really cool with their own life can't actually achieve it.

Now I have spent too much time thinking about the negative reality of humanity and it's time to move on and get to practice.
 

donzo74

Junior Member
Regarding playing the exact album parts, I think what you play is all about the music and the context. My style is to play a consistent pocket groove with appropriate fills for the style at a steady tempo and if there are signature grooves or signature licks, I generally will get them in there. If I’m hired as a sub in a country, blues or rock group, I will generally play the tunes using the album format and album groove but that doesn’t mean that if I hear something and feel something that could make it better I’m not gonna go for it. There is such a thing as artistic license so I don’t feel that you have to be tied to simply reproducing the same exact beats, some of which I may not honestly think are the best parts that could have been used on a track. It’s no disrespect to the original drummers to bring your own flavor to a song and update an old groove to have a bit more modern sound, maybe be a little funkier for dancing or whatever, but it’s all in context. If you are stepping all over the song and you are playing whatever groove you are playing inconsistently, you’re doing something wrong, for sure. If you serve the song and what you play is appropriate and musical, I don’t care if it’s not just like the album. In broad terms, I would use the example of some older country songs. I’ve played in and subbed for many modern rocking country bands, some of which also play southern rock and classic rock songs. In that context, I don’t want to play the real old songs the same way that they did back in the day because it won’t fit the context of the “modern rocking” format. In this way, you can give the old tunes a little freshening up and make them have new appeal for a whole new generation of listeners.
 

danondrums

Well-known member
I disagree with the notion that just because something is in public sight somehow means it is open to scrutiny.
Do you go up to overweight people at the grocery store with 20 bags of chips in their cart and tell them that they're going to die soon due to their horrible eating habits?
If you witness something you don't like, just move on. Best to spend time and energy focusing on things you do like.
 

dmacc_2

Well-known member
This is an interesting topic. One that can be viewed from different aspects as already been stated.

Just keep in mind whether in the days before social media, now with and what the future may hold – people get involved with the instrument for different reasons. Those reasons and goals may be entirely different than your own.

With the changes in the opportunities to get out there and play in a live situation (especially doing something other than covers) has changed so drastically in many local economies, it’s no wonder this type of shift is occurring (playing alone more than with others).

Lastly, it may not showcase talent (groove or chops) to your satisfaction, but in all likelihood – most people are trying their best and putting themselves out there. Coming off like you are 'that good' only exposes your own insecurities.
 
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Juniper

Gold Member
I am constantly seeing guys mention how they are "endorsed" that is the first give away as they don't even know that they are the ones endorsing the company. But when you are getting %50 of MSRP from some price that is inflated 300x from a no name company that isn't a deal.
No real thoughts on Bo's post as everyone walks to the 'beat of their own drum' (excuse the pun) but my recommendation would be careful on expecting everyone else to live by what you yourself deem valuable.

By doing that you're setting yourself up for disappointment if you let that kind of thing get to you.

However, on the above great point social media is rife for the above. I saw just the other day Soultone were again advertising for 'Endorsers'

After I finished chuckling I checked out the comments section of one of the posts to find the majority of comments were from former 'Endorsers' stating their bemusement that their deals weren't what they expected, in that they were actually expected by Soultone to buy their cymbals only slightly reduced in cost.

Not knocking their product as truth be told I've never played their cymbals and this isn't a dig at anyone that loves their cymbals. Just they seem to attract a certain type of social media crowd thanks to their 'endorsement' deals - which are anything but.
 

TMe

Senior Member
...who are you to judge these people?
I'm not a fan of that argument.

I have a buddy who's been studying philosophy for nearly 40 years but can't discuss anything he's read because he doesn't feel qualified to have an opinion. How useless is that?

I met a doctor once who started out as a nurse. When she opened her yap she was told she wasn't qualified to have an opinion because she wasn't a doctor. So she became a doctor but then was told she wasn't qualified because she specialized in public health so she wasn't a real practicing doctor (even though she was talking about public health issues). Then a family doctor backed her up and was told that he wasn't qualified to have an opinion because, as a GP, he wasn't qualified to talk about public health issues.

What I find funny is that if someone doesn't play an instrument at all, their opinion about music is as good as anyone else's. But once they pick up an instrument, they're not qualified to have an opinion. Seriously, I can be discussing music with somebody and they weigh the relative merits of what I have to say, but if I mention that I play drums then suddenly I'm not qualified to have an opinion because I'm not Buddy Rich or Neil Peart.
 

Mongrel

Silver Member
Hey...I was in a band once....I have a participation trophy to prove it!

Maybe the thread should be renamed to "When Generations Collide!"?

Like Buddy used to say-if you can't take the bus ride...get off the bandstand!
 

williamsbclontz

Silver Member
I think what Bo was trying to say is, speed and fast chops and crazy solos are definitely the trend right now. But it seems like a lot of drummers aren’t focusing as much on the grooves

But honestly, drumming is drumming and you should take whatever route you wanna take. There’s no wrong way to play

That being said, Bo is a solid player and I’d take his advice any day
 
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