WHo Works With Musicians Who Understand The Drums?

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plangentmusic

Guest
It amazes me how ignorant some musicians are about drumming. They talk to the drummer as if they speak a alien language. It's rhythm people! I don't know if it's the parts of the drumset that confuse them or what.

On the other send of the spectrum, I've come across drummers who are so used to being in their own world that they don't like to be told specifics. The attitude is, "I'm the drummer, let me play the drums." Of course, any musician can make the claim that they know best, but sometimes the big picture needs an outside perspective.

So... who works with people who understands the drums and can be specific about drum parts. And if so, do you like it or not?
 
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Anthony Amodeo

Guest
everyone I choose to work with has a pretty good understanding of drums and drumming....they even play a little
and vice versa with me and their instrument

in my opinion that is the only way to be a truly productive and spontaneously creative musician and form a cohesive unit with whom you are playing

if you have a bit of an understanding of most common instruments it is much easier to just step into a situation and play....which a lot of musicians who are hired guns such as myself need to do....let alone play together a lot and write tunes together

drummers need to at least understand chord changes, key changes, common progressions, the nashville number system, scales, circle of fifths... etc etc

just as other musicians need to understand rhythm, syncopation, subdivisions, metric modulation (implied and otherwise), time and meter...etc ...they need to understand that stuff to speak well via their instrument.......

why shouldn't we understand theirs?

understanding other instruments absolutely positively makes you a better and more considerate drummer

one hand washes the other and they both wash the face
 
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larryace

"Uncle Larry"
everyone I choose to work with has a pretty good understanding of drums and drumming....they even play a little
and vice versa with me and their instrument

in my opinion that is the only way to be a truly productive and spontaneously creative musician and form a cohesive unit with whom you are playing

if you have a bit of an understanding of most common instruments it is much easier to just step into a situation and play....which a lot of musicians who are hired guns such as myself need to do.

drummers need to understand chord changes, key changes, common progressions, the nashville number system, scales, circle of fifths... etc etc

just as other musicians need to understand rhythm, syncopation, subdivisions, metric modulation (implied and otherwise), time and meter...etc

one hand washes the other and they both wash the face
In a perfect world....

In the past, not many people I worked with understand the drums that well, and only one band I'm in now does the leader get it. But he's still limited. There's some things that come natural to drummers that the other players can't put into words. I admire when drummers know the keys to the song, and can hear the diff between the I, IV, V, and the other intervals.
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
Most of the bands I work with have a leader who knows what they want from the drums, and some even know how to explain it in drummer's terms, or by referring to specific drummers. One of my guys cited Fred Below for a tom thing he wanted me to do!

I don't mind being told what the band wants to hear, if they feel better giving me some direction, or especially if they don't like what I'm doing. I'd rather hear about it than be fired! But I guess I'm doing something right, it's been about 35 years since I was fired from a band.

Bermuda
 

Natronius

Member
The frontman for the band I just joined is an amazing drummer and has been absolutely awesome to work with when explaining ideas, rhythms, emphases, etc.
 
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Anthony Amodeo

Guest
In a perfect world....

In the past, not many people I worked with understand the drums that well, and only one band I'm in now does the leader get it. But he's still limited. There's some things that come natural to drummers that the other players can't put into words. I admire when drummers know the keys to the song, and can hear the diff between the I, IV, V, and the other intervals.
but we need to understand changes, intervals, progressions and so on

until then we are not musicians we are drummers

without understanding that stuff we cannot contribute to the song in the best way possible

at least thats how I see it

and those who simply don't want to understand it hold a bit of ignorance if you ask me

it can only help the music and make it better

how would someone know what a piano player, bass player, sax player, guitar player is trying to say if he doesn't understand their vocabulary? ......if he doesn't understand their vocabulary how does he respond?

blindly?

maybe thats why there is so much bad music today
 

MJD

Silver Member
Well i studied classical composition and have written quite a bit of concert music and I have to say that 90% of the time I wished most of the musicians also played drums. It's rhythm yes, but most musicians don't actually focus on it to the level drummers consider the bare minimum. Especially the violinists, most of the ones i worked with could not play the rhythms i wrote in time.. Now, I took twelve years of violin lessons and although I never got vey good at it I do know a lot about their instrument. I know what I wrote is possible and doesn't take the greatest amount of technique but it does require a certain amount of rhythmic precision. I find Jazz guys who have a lot of rhythmic training built into their style of playing are able to cope with my writing without issues but that classical musicians have quite a bit of trouble. When I play in rock situations being able to pick up all the instruments on the stage(guitar bass and keys being the main ones that I actually encounter) and demonstrate any thought I have is incredibly useful and usualy results in a grudging bit of respect. I can play their instrument at a level that will pass muster but they get behind the kit and all of a sudden it sounds like a garage band's first rehearsal a week after everyone got their first instruments. The composition training means that i know my theory and counterpoint as well or better than most of the musicians I play with and can communicate on those levels when the need arises. It also helps me work out appropriate drum parts. Most conservatories require that all their students take piano for at least a year but i have always thought that drums should also be required to develop rhythmic skills. Drumming is one of those things that is MUCH more complex and harder than it first appears. When I have played in bands where the other players are also good drummers the results have been very beneficial because we can all pick up each other's instruments and make pertinent suggestions that make the music better. I've learned a great many licks that way. Rhythm may be the basis for all music but it is really only drummers who concentrate on that aspect above the others. Most musicians i've worked with start with Harmony and counterpoint ie they focus mainly on pitch. But take heart, Mozart said that rhythm was "the most important aspect of music" so at least the guys who wrote the best stuff through the years didnt forget that even if their interpreters did.
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
What if you work with musicians who think they understand the drums, but really only have a small world view of it? Is there a thread for that?
 

mxo721

Senior Member
the guitar player I play with most often, I sat him down and tought him a basic 4/4 beat, and showed him the different feel of ride cymbals to high hats and basic stuff, he's played with the same drummer for 33 years, and said he wished he had learned some bacics form the start. nothing complicated meter-wise, but enough to have everyone on the same page while playing live.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Well i studied classical composition and have written quite a bit of concert music and I have to say that 90% of the time I wished most of the musicians also played drums. It's rhythm yes, but most musicians don't actually focus on it to the level drummers consider the bare minimum. Especially the violinists, most of the ones i worked with could not play the rhythms i wrote in time.. Now, I took twelve years of violin lessons and although I never got vey good at it I do know a lot about their instrument. I know what I wrote is possible and doesn't take the greatest amount of technique but it does require a certain amount of rhythmic precision. I find Jazz guys who have a lot of rhythmic training built into their style of playing are able to cope with my writing without issues but that classical musicians have quite a bit of trouble. When I play in rock situations being able to pick up all the instruments on the stage(guitar bass and keys being the main ones that I actually encounter) and demonstrate any thought I have is incredibly useful and usualy results in a grudging bit of respect. I can play their instrument at a level that will pass muster but they get behind the kit and all of a sudden it sounds like a garage band's first rehearsal a week after everyone got their first instruments. The composition training means that i know my theory and counterpoint as well or better than most of the musicians I play with and can communicate on those levels when the need arises. It also helps me work out appropriate drum parts. Most conservatories require that all their students take piano for at least a year but i have always thought that drums should also be required to develop rhythmic skills. Drumming is one of those things that is MUCH more complex and harder than it first appears. When I have played in bands where the other players are also good drummers the results have been very beneficial because we can all pick up each other's instruments and make pertinent suggestions that make the music better. I've learned a great many licks that way. Rhythm may be the basis for all music but it is really only drummers who concentrate on that aspect above the others. Most musicians i've worked with start with Harmony and counterpoint ie they focus mainly on pitch. But take heart, Mozart said that rhythm was "the most important aspect of music" so at least the guys who wrote the best stuff through the years didnt forget that even if their interpreters did.
Love this post, and the bolded part......I couldn't agree more. It completely befuddles me when I hear a guitarist who can play really great behind a band, but can't count, can't hold down the tempo on his own, and generally has no clue about the rhythmic part. For instance, if someone were to say, "come in on beat 3"... that wouldn't compute. But the guys pretty darn good at everything else. He knows there's a 1,2,3 and 4, he just doesn't bother using them for playing lol.
 
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Anthony Amodeo

Guest
It completely befuddles me when I hear a guitarist who can play really great behind a band, but can't count, can't hold down the tempo on his own, and generally has no clue about the rhythmic part. For instance, if someone were to say, "come in on beat 3"... that wouldn't compute.
see to me that sounds more like a guy who owns a guitar than a guitar player or "guitarist"......hate that word for some reason....
don't mind me...just have issues with certain words

if he can't count, can't hold a tempo, and generally has no clue about rhythm.....who in their right mind is going to want to play with him?

that sounds like a 10 year old child who is halfway interested in learning to play...not an adult musician that someone would desire to play with
 
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