Thumping!

drumb

Junior Member
I consider myself more a cerebral drummer rather than a physical one. My preference is for medium tempos that give me the time to think and to lay down my "weapons"...ghosts, doubles, kicks on odd 16ths and the like.

The band that I am auditioning for (second audition) plays with a lot of THUMP....Driving, FAST tempos, hard shuffles, rockin' the house, rockin' blues...the best musicians I've played with. Much of the music takes me out of my physical happy zone.

For the thumpers and anyone else who's been there, how do I get comfortable behind the kit? How do I get comfortable with the tempos and the hard rockin' shuffles. How and where do I put my mind around the music and how do I look at and approach the rhythm to make playing easier and more comfortable to me. How do I get "there" without maxing myself out.

In a word, HELP!
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
Is it a stamina issue? If so, that's just a matter of practice, and a certain amount of economy of motion. In other words, just because the music rocks doesn't mean you have to lift your arms way up in the air.

Is it that you can't play the beats or the tempos? Again, practice.

Is it that you really don't like the music or the drumming that goes with it? This is a much more complex issue, but my basic response is that nobody is forced to play every style, or play anything that's uncomfortable or not their cup of tea. But the danger of sticking with a niche is that you 1) limit yourself, and 2) can end up not playing or gigging much (depends on the particular niche.) The players who work the most are the ones who can do the most.

Or is it something else? If you'll identify the specific conflict, you'll get some better answers.

Bermuda
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
If you really don't like the style, why bother to audition? wouldn't the band be better off with some one who won't be faking it?
 

drumb

Junior Member
It's not a stamina thing. I sat in for the three hour session (less a few minutes for breaks) with no ill effects.

And the music, originals with a few covers is quite strong with an awful lot going on.
Good writing, creative, ripping guitar and groovy, melodic bass. Like I said the best musicians I've played with. As much as I am physically challenged by some of the songs...much of does fall into my "wheel house" so that I can do MY thing.

When put together, the music flat out rocks...and swings and grooves. What style is there not to like. I, like the music does, AM trying to do it all...and not all of it is easy.

I am challenged by the tempo and the hard shuffle of some of it and am looking for some words of wisdom.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
You like the music and you have the stamina. But you can't do your thing. From where I'm sitting, it sounds like a maturity thing you're dealing with. You can't do what you want.

If you want some words of wisdom, I'll try... Drumming is not about you doing your thing, it's about how you can make the music work. You are such a vital ingredient. That's your role in the music. It's not all about the drum part, it's about playing a drum part that makes the song work. Sometimes that means holding a straight unchanging beat for 5 minutes straight. Other times you can cut loose a little more. Frankly, no one cares about what you want to play, you have a responsibility to the others to play what needs to be played, even if that doesn't make the most interesting drum part in your mind. What you want to play doesn't sound like it applies here. If you can't do your ghosts, doubles, kicks and odd 16th's....maybe they don't belong. That's OK. I just get the impression that you are too worried about your drum part. That's like baking a cake and focusing on one ingredient to the detriment of the other ingredients. They all have to work together and be in balance. If you played what you wanted in those songs, and it didn't work, would you be satisfied with the drum part? I would hope you would know the difference.

Another analogy....say you're having a conversation....and you are saying really cool words that you want to say, but the words have nothing to do with the topic at hand. How much sense does that make?

I get the impression that your priorities need to be rethought.

Also if you are challenged by the tempo of some fast shuffles, yet you say you have the stamina, it sounds to me like you want to try and complicate the fast shuffle with "your thing". If so, just clear out all the extra notes and think shuffle. That's it. Simple shuffle. Unburden your mind with all the unnecessary crap. And it is crap. Simplify it. Distill it. Filter out all the impurities. Are you capable of that? You might think you're boring, huge pitfall. You are not boring playing a great beat. Play the unadorned beat with verve, a great tempo, and great feel with good inner dynamics on your part. That's all you need. Show off your stuff at the endings, and other places during the set that needs your 'thing".
 
Last edited:

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
You like the music and you have the stamina. But you can't do your thing. From where I'm sitting, it sounds like a maturity thing you're dealing with. You can't do what you want.

If you want some words of wisdom, I'll try... Drumming is not about you doing your thing, it's about how you can make the music work. You are such a vital ingredient. That's your role in the music. It's not all about the drum part, it's about playing a drum part that makes the song work. Sometimes that means holding a straight unchanging beat for 5 minutes straight. Other times you can cut loose a little more. Frankly, no one cares about what you want to play, you have a responsibility to the others to play what needs to be played, even if that doesn't make the most interesting drum part on your end. What you want to play doesn't sound like it applies here. If you can't do your ghosts, doubles, kicks and odd 16th's....maybe they don't belong. I just get the impression that you are too worried about your drum part. That's like baking a cake and focusing on one ingredient to the detriment of the other ingredients. They all have to work together and be in balance. If you played what you wanted in those songs, and it didn't work, would you be satisfied with the drum part?

Another analogy....say you're having a conversation....and you are saying really cool words that you want to say, but the words have nothing to do with the topic at hand. How much sense does that make?

I get the impression that your priorities need to be rethought.
Well said, Larry. I agree. It's not what you get to play, it's what the song needs to be played.
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
I am challenged by the tempo and the hard shuffle of some of it and am looking for some words of wisdom.
Fast shuffles are a technique thing, some wrist, some fingers. This is where economy and efficiency of motion comes into play, and there are no doubt some videos online demonstrating helpful hints.

As for the hard shuffle aspect, that's just a matter of playing with assertion and authority. Not really louder or more precise, just more deliberate, if that makes sense. Not really something I can describe, it's party feel, partly the way you hit the drums. When you nail it, the parts will sound different and will drive the band better. You'll know when you've got it, and so will the band.

I'm sure there are countless YouTube videos that will let you see and hear what I'm talking about.

Bermuda
 

Midnite Zephyr

Platinum Member
I don't know if it is well said. Sounds like you're being lectured to.

I'm in very much the same position. Many songs do take me out of a certain comfort zone. But I have a bag of tricks that I like to incorporate into songs where I can. Yeah, yeah, play for the song, and what the song needs....blah blah blah. But I'd say go for it in the practice studio. Don't hold back too much. The guys will see your extra effort. If you can keep them rocking steady, I'm sure they will allow you room for improvement. After a couple months, what seemed hard will hopefully settle in and become more comfortable to play regularly without little glitches and hiccups here and there.
 

drumb

Junior Member
I'm not concerned about not being able to do "my thing". Because of the rhythmic diversity of the music, the will be plenty of space and opportunity for it.

I'm concerned about doing what isn't my thing.

Think of a strong running cross trainer who isn't a particularly strong swimmer.
I, proverbally, don't want to run through the water, just some sage words that will help me be a better swimmer on short notice.

To make another sports analogy...
It was told to a struggling Major League pitcher to "pitch like your pitching down hill"...the pitcher went on to have a successful career.

I don't want to throw 0-2 fastballs because I don't have confidence in my curve ball. I wan't to be abe to throw an effect curve ball when a fast ball is the wrong pitch to throw.
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
I'm concerned about doing what isn't my thing.
It's either a matter of practice, or perspective. I'm still not quite clear if it's the parts, or just the concept of doing something different that's a problem.

If it's practice, that's easy. Just source info and inspiration from a book, DVD, YouTube, wherever. I realize that you're asking for that here, but there's only so much that can be conveyed in words.

As for perspective, that's a bit more complicated. If you really want to play with these guys, that should be sufficient motivation to practfice. You obviously have the passion, or you wouldn't be asking!

Just jump in, you'll get it, but not overnight though... learning a new style can take a few days. :)

Bermuda
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
I still don't see the problem. There's plenty of space to do "your thing". You like the music, you have the stamina, the guys are the best you ever played with. The music swings, it grooves. That implies that you like the music. You're worried about doing what isn't your thing. Is making this particular music with the best musicians you ever played with not your thing? There are so many positives here that it seems to me that you should make an effort to make it your thing. Otherwise, you could be the wrong drummer for the gig. Or you could be limiting yourself. I'm sorry, what exactly is the problem? The songs are generally too fast? Is that really all it is?
 
Top