When do you feel the most expressive?


Senior Member
What is it that makes you feel the most expressive when you're behind the kit? Just curious what you guys have to say. Is it playing a particular kit? Playing a certain genre of music? Using a specific technique? A particular day of the week? Again, this isn't really about when you're feeling the most adept, but the most expressive...like when you feel like you're transcending your role as a drummer and just using your skills to elevate the music.

Or perhaps a combination of the things I mentioned, plus something I left out?

I'll start. For me, I feel the most expressive when I'm playing along to my favorite funk tunes with a traditional grip. I can't really explain it, but I just feel such a strong connection to the kit when I'm in that setting.

Anon La Ply

Definitely at home, creating my twisted little compositions on my YouTube account :) It's actually the only time I can remember actually being expressive at all on the drums lol

In my current band, I think my playing is somewhat nuanced when I'm focused on gelling with everyone else and following the song's journey.


Platinum Member
When I'm laying it down with a bunch of close mates that I've played with in one form or another since forever. Musically, we know each other so well that we're able to feed off each other with little conscious thought. Unfortunately, life commitments mean it's an all too rare occurrence these days. But when we do get it together it's complete musical freedom. The only people we need to entertain or consider are ourselves.

Red Menace

Platinum Member
I only feel expressive with trad grip foo'.

I really feel in the prime of my element when I am swinging a band. There is one song in my main group's repertoire, a 3 piece with piano and horns, where we go from a slower Middle Eastern esque jazz groove to a full on fast Big Band-esque tune in about 32 bars. My job is to accelerate while swinging the whole thing. Every time I play it live with the band following me I feel wonderful, like I'm driving.


Well-known member
When I'm playing jazz with the trio I'm in. No doubt about it. After playing together for 14 years we know each other inside and out and at any point anyone of us can go in any direction we want and we all follow. Total freedom.


Senior Member
Some great responses. I think a common theme is that having good chemistry with the people you're playing with is an important element to feeling expressive.

I haven't played with other people in years, but when I did, having good chemistry was EVERYTHING.


"Uncle Larry"
It happens mostly when I am in the zone. But I have no control over it. It comes and goes on it's own time schedule. It could happen at any time, playing with anyone, and it lasts for as long as it lasts. I try not to analyze it, because then it might not come back at all.


Gold Member
When, during a gig, I just KNOW that it's all working well together.

The crowd are into it.

My mates look like they're enjoying it.

And I'm throwing myself around the kit like a whirling dervish on crack cos I'm enjoying the gig so much.

At THAT moment in time, playing drums in a tight band is like the best feeling I'm ever likely to have in my entire life I reckon.

(the reception I get from my dogs when I get home from work runs it close....)