Time keepers or creative drummers

rockitman

Senior Member
The Keith Moon.

As long as you realize that there is difference between musical expression and just tossing off on drumset. After reading this entire thread I do believe you are a little more enamored with the persona of Keith Moon, than the drummer.

There is time keeping and creative expression. They work really well together, it's not black and white, one or the other. Drummers like Rudd and Watts may be playing from the heart, you'll never really know until you understand what's going on.
 
thanks Rockit.

I find it hard to play along "Dark Star"- Crosby Still and Nash---- Joe Vitale! classic steady beat, might have been a challenge to Keith Moon, I guess!
 

Deathmetalconga

Platinum Member
thanks , well... I am in my forties, I know u folks might have thought like me long time ago and got over this frustrtation. I have been playing drums only for the last 3
years! just because i could afford to buy one only3 years ago. I am playing drums just for my enjoyment, honestly.


When I listen to some blues songs, some rolls just plays in my head , which is not really there, for eg: Stevie Ray Vaugahn (Chris Layton)

If you are just starting out, you are in an exciting time in your journey. I'm 43 and I've been playing 25 years, but there is something about the way I approached the drums in the first five years that I wish I could recapture.

Keep listening and playing and aspiring to your musical idols. It is good that you are asking these kinds of questions as it makes all of us reassess what we do and why.

It is the mark of a master, I think, to make a complex thing sound simple and to make a simple thing sound complex, and to put those things in their proper places in the music.
 

rockitman

Senior Member
Speaking to the Keith Moon point specifically. He likely would not have had his way with the music so much if he didn't have Entwistle and Townsend with him. Those guys are/were awesome rhythm players.
 
If you are just starting out, you are in an exciting time in your journey. I'm 43 and I've been playing 25 years, but there is something about the way I approached the drums in the first five years that I wish I could recapture.

Keep listening and playing and aspiring to your musical idols. It is good that you are asking these kinds of questions as it makes all of us reassess what we do and why.

It is the mark of a master, I think, to make a complex thing sound simple and to make a simple thing sound complex, and to put those things in their proper places in the music.

thanks friend.

yes, u r right Rockitman. It all depends on how the others cope with what drummer wants to do. Otherwise, the drummer will have to play all the instruments by himself and mix them all together.
I heard one Michael Sckenker album, where he played all the instruments by himself.
no vocals though, it is just a instrumental album. It is called "The Odd Trio", released in 2000.
 
So here is the million dollar question, whether it is dumb or wise, I am going ask anyways.

Are Townshend and Enwhistle the only musicians in the entire rock world to create music which is compatable to Keith Moon type drumming, (of course sloppy for some folks),?
When Kenney Joined, he had a chance to play like moon but he ddnt. Could be the only reason he was asked to leave.(I liked his drumming in u better u bet, slightly like Moon but not in all other songs) Drumming in "eminence front"-- if Keith were alive, it would have been something different.
 
Last edited:

Matty G.

Senior Member
I watched Vinnie play A Day In The Life with Jeff Beck. Didn't like it at all...far too much.

Give me the sound of Ringo on "Hello Goodbye" any day and ..I Am The Walrus..... just beautiful.

Ringo does have a wonderful sound. And the space he left allowed Paul to play some AMAZING bass lines. That kind of give and take is so crucial for creating a grooving rhythm section, something the James Brown drummers understood also.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry" - Administrator
Staff member
Drumming is like a recipe, too much of any one ingredient will ruin the delicate balance of flavors.
Drumming is also like conversation, it's rude to interrupt someone or redirect attention to yourself when they are trying to make a statement. I try to anticipate the natural pauses in the solo, and that's where I will make my little supportive contribution to the soloists statement.
Drumming is also like life, if you can look beyond yourself and see others, well, that makes for fulfilling relationships.
Maybe a little esoteric, but the philosophy behind the way you approach the drumkit really defines to a large extent, your particular style.
I try to find ways to be creative without violating these "rules" that are part of my own personal philosophy.
Sometimes it's not the right time to get "creative" and the song is best served by taking strictly a supportive role. (Looking past yourself) A tender ballad where the singer is telling a great story is a good example.
 
W

wy yung

Guest
AC/DC, Rolling stones, etc..... seem to have Time Keeping drummers. I know they dont use click track but the drumming seems so simple and it feels like they are there just for the time keeping, which seems boring to me.
Can you suggest any other drummers (or albums) other than Keith Moon, Ian Paice (Old purple albums) who plays more than just time keeping or who go out of the way and being creative every now and then?

You seem to be suggesting that creativity and timekeeping are separate and that one cannot have one without the other. Tony Williams was one of the most creative drummers of history and his time was wonderful. The same could be said for any other top flight drummer. Charlie Watts plays for the song in the Stones. In that band that is his job. I have heard Gadd play the simplest drumming and then on another project go all out.

I think perhaps what you need to do is some serious research and listening practice. Try other musical styles. Samba, jazz, Afro Cuban etc. There are many creative drummers making ground every day. Your list is pretty old hat and out of date. Moon is decades dead and Paice hasn't done anything of note in years. I saw Deep Purple at Montreax and it was a shabby performance to say the least.

Get current and you will find a great abundance of creative drumming.
 

Retrovertigo

Senior Member
this thread really seems all set but ill add to it anyway. in the case of AC/DC take away the obscenely pedestrian groove in Back in Black if all it is is just a way to mark the time. without it we're lost. its a vision of perfection. this groove and that tune make me want to bang my head straight off my shoulders.

Ringo was very creative as a writer. not just at the drums but also as someone who contributed to the song writing process with the band. that's why he didn't bury the music in a drum fog. he could see past his own ego.

also the argument that because a drum part is easy to play that is must not be creative is really short sighted. after enough practice a lot of things become easy. would vinnie have any trouble playin DMB or Tool stuff? Im sayin no. it doesnt have to be that exaggerated. i used to have trouble playing to RATM stuff. i played to it a lot and eventually it became easy. Same with Tool and Jimi . just cause i can play like them says nothing of my actual ability. I could never write any parts like them. they are just too creative for me. and thats all that matters. if people want to hear that stuff then they will put a CD on. they could care less about the fact that i can do it too.

but in the end you should do whatever you want. you will get some gigs and not others. who cares. at least you will be able to look at yourself in the mirror. and you'll learn a ton about yourself in the process.
 
B

Big_Philly

Guest
My take on time-keeping is that I (try to) play whatever sounds good for the music. Sometimes that means not playing, sometimes that means very intensive and technical playing. And if I happen to keep time for the rest of the band while I'm at it, so be it. I do keep time for myself, obviously, but expect the other band member to have that same ability in order to keep things running smooth in those songs / sections where I am not playing.
 

ddamm27913

Member
Mr. Beard from ZZ Top sure knows how to have painfully steady time. His style isn't that bland though...

The drummer from George Thorogood and the Destroyers keeps great time but never does much other than the occasional few 16th notes on teh snare followed by a crash
 

Pachikara-Tharakan

Silver Member
The Keith Moon:

yes.... there is something beyond time keeping, time keeping seems boring whoever plays.
You should listen to Elton John Drummer Nigel Ollson . He doesnt play steady but it is hard to play along, very neat and synchronizes with the songs
Eg: Rocket Man, Your song, Daniel etcc...

I love to hear Today's drummers play rock songs like this creatively.
 

The Colonel

Silver Member
Interesting read.

Nothing wrong with wanting more from any musical standpoint: the drums or guitar or maybe you thought the song would be better with a choir going nuts during the chorus. I guess the problem for you, The Keith Moon, is you say you are entry level so you might not [yet] be able to do much about it.

I didn't have a problem with anything you said in the beginning of the thread and was going to jump in I'm defense but you seem to have taken some of what's been said to you and absorbed it. That's fine too. There's nothing wrong with thinking differently about convention - just know that the language you use might sometimes bring a call to arms for people who don't agree.

I think people actually underrate Keith Moon still. Sure, Jonescrusher, you say he "cooks" with The Who but not before slagging him about his technical prowess. Well thank goodness he had those technical shortcomings. I wouldn't want Thomas Lang anywhere near my Who records. Moon played like no other and I always find myself shaking my head when I check out a band that supposedly has a "Keith Moon" drummer and it's just a guy playing a lot... I have watched The Who's Isle of Wight DVD a thousand times and watching Moon I am always blown away and thinking "who else would have done that?" answer: no one. And people don't think like him today. They think "play like Moon" which I've yet to hear convincingly... I'll take Moon over Mitchell, Bonham, or Baker (if I had to - love them all) because of that genuinely original approach he had. I don't give a rat's ass if his clave-foot ostinatos weren't up to snuff...

I thought it a little funny when we found out The Keith Moon's age and the thread's tone suddenly changed. Had he been 14 I think we'd still be at it with him, no? (be honest)

As for something you'd be into, TKM, have you heard Dungen? Great band - well actually the first two albums are all one guy(!), now he's got a band together - and the drumming is really great and I think a lot if the songs have something you're looking for. Pick up the first two albums - I can't vouch for the third one yet - still need to pick that one up...(man I have to get to a record store - it's been months!)
 

TheGroceryman

Silver Member
The Keith Moon:

yes.... there is something beyond time keeping, time keeping seems boring whoever plays.
You should listen to Elton John Drummer Nigel Ollson . He doesnt play steady but it is hard to play along, very neat and synchronizes with the songs
Eg: Rocket Man, Your song, Daniel etcc...

I love to hear Today's drummers play rock songs like this creatively.

Dude! the drums on Your song are really good! the first time i heard it i was so shocked! that fill somewhere in the middle where he does some sextuplet action with the hi hat and snare is awesome!
 

Funky Crêpe

Silver Member
just think about it....if you have a drummer doing a fill every 4bars, or constantly changing the beat of the song...you just wont be able to listen to it!
its all about keeping a certain constant beat, but mixing it up a bit....working around the beat, its hard to explain!

thats why i am a jazz drummer!....your constantly creating!
 

just_for_fills

New Member
I was searching for opinions on Moonies time keeping abilities and found this great discussion.

I think a key point being generally left out is how a drummer fits in with his/her band. Keith fit with the who well because Pete wasn't all about Pete. Pete composed in a way where he wasn't trying to look like a guitar god in every song. Pete generalaly allowed others go shine in his songs - what a great leader to have in a band. Pete was all about the song, not about Pete.

Keith fit in well with the who because there was space for a "lead drummer" - and Keith generally nailed what was needed. Generally far past what a traditional time-keeper would prefer, but short of egotistical everyone look at me and I'll do whatever the hell I want drumming.

Hell, everything just clicked with the who - a generous and very talented composer, powerhouse singer, incredible bass player, and a drummer that could push the bounds yet not overdo it.

Keith would not have fit in with the Beatles, but he nails it for The Who.
 
Top