! Writing, Creating, Recording, Playing?

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
I don't know where I'm going with this thread, but I wanted to relate a conversation between my 28 YO son and I.

We're both musically oriented in a big way. He stated that he gets more satisfaction from things like laying down tracks and engineering, mixing, mastering...than playing out live. Did I mention he's 28?

In contrast to me which my biggest thrill is playing live and always has been. It kind of parallels the other thread where it was said that (paraphrasing) that if I feel a certain way, or know a certain thing....it's easy to fall into the trap of assuming others feel and know those same certain things. Ha ha ha. I mean, what can top the thrill of playing live in close contact with the crowd?

Well, laying down tracks, engineering, mixing, mastering...to my son. I just assumed that since playing out is the highlight of my life, I assumed all musicians felt the same way. That's just silly.

There's no problem here, just a fascination with the contrasts. How we all perceive things in a unique way. No wonder bands break up.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
I prefer writing and creating to the rest. It's where the magic happens. I'd rather be in a jam room or studio than on a stage.

I also prefer learning new stuff to being on a stage. Honestly, I think a stage is my least favorite place to play drums. I'd much rather sit on my couch with a pad than on a stage in front of people. Been there, done that, dont miss it at all.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
I've done a lot of both but have always favored playing live. The studio is sterile and contrived. Much that emerges from it is doctored. It's a cosmetic laboratory where blemishes are powder-coated to deny their inevitability in the world beyond. Recording is fun and important, but it's not what I value most about drumming.

Live is where you lay it on the line -- no second takes, no click tracks, no crutches. You've got one chance to make it happen. Your pulse is transmitted directly to the audience in an unadulterated way. Nothing is modified, disguised, cleansed, or manipulated. Because the risks are high, the rewards are incomparable. The stage is a metaphor for nature's uncertainties. It's always satisfying to say, "Tonight, I won the battle."
 
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gish

Senior Member
I’ve reached a point, and fairly recently I think, where I seem to enjoy it all equally. Practicing in my basement by myself, rehearsing with the band in the keyboard player’s garage, the chance of a live gig; I feel lucky and blessed to be able to do any of those things let alone all off them. I’m more in love with the instrument now than I’ve ever been, and thrilled each time to be able to play no matter the circumstances.
 

yammyfan

Senior Member
I imagine that one's tendency to be either an introvert or an extrovert matters a great deal.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
I’m more in love with the instrument now than I’ve ever been, and thrilled each time to be able to play no matter the circumstances.
A healthy standpoint, gish. Our time as drummers is limited. Each of us should savor every opportunity to play. Drumming is always a privilege, never a guarantee. It deserves all the gratitude we can give it.
 

wraub

Well-known member
As a bass player, I always enjoyed the actual stage time, but all the other stuff-driving, waiting, set-up and strike, crappy food, hotel rooms when you're lucky, floors when you're not... I don't miss those a bit. But the actual onstage live wire walk? Missed often.

I doubt I'll ever drum live, but if I do it'll be an experience, I'm sure.


That said, I always prefer studio work, simply for the relative comfort and the intensity.

I have recorded a lot of my own music, and, in efforts to avoid the potential "sterile and contrived" bits, I usually give myself rules, like "No overdubs, or, first takes only, etc." It keeps it interesting for me and keeps me on my toes- the uncertainties are often where creativity lives.
Sometimes it's even not terrible. ;)

I guess the listener would have to judge the sterile and contrived levels. :D Maybe I'll post some of my music here... 😬


I've done a lot of both but have always favored playing live. The studio is sterile and contrived. Much that emerges from it is doctored. It's a cosmetic laboratory where blemishes are powder-coated to deny they're inevitability in the world beyond. Recording is fun and important, but it's not what I value most about drumming.

Live is where you lay it on the line -- no second takes, no click tracks, no crutches. You've got one chance to make it happen. Your pulse is transmitted directly to the audience in an unadulterated way. Nothing is modified, disguised, cleansed, or manipulated. Because the risks are high, the rewards are incomparable. The stage is a metaphor for nature's uncertainties. It's always satisfying to say, "Tonight, I won the battle."
 
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NouveauCliche

Senior Member
I don't know where I'm going with this thread, but I wanted to relate a conversation between my 28 YO son and I.

We're both musically oriented in a big way. He stated that he gets more satisfaction from things like laying down tracks and engineering, mixing, mastering...than playing out live. Did I mention he's 28?

In contrast to me which my biggest thrill is playing live and always has been. It kind of parallels the other thread where it was said that (paraphrasing) that if I feel a certain way, or know a certain thing....it's easy to fall into the trap of assuming others feel and know those same certain things. Ha ha ha. I mean, what can top the thrill of playing live in close contact with the crowd?

Well, laying down tracks, engineering, mixing, mastering...to my son. I just assumed that since playing out is the highlight of my life, I assumed all musicians felt the same way. That's just silly.

There's no problem here, just a fascination with the contrasts. How we all perceive things in a unique way. No wonder bands break up.
I know what you mean.

Especially on social media these days - there's people that do NOTHING but get amazing studio sounds and produce really amazing loops and samples, etc. and NEVER play live. Their drums will never see a gig - but the sounds they get are amazing and some of the grooves they are playing with all that solo time are very cool!

I understand that for sure - and I like studio time, but in the context of creating songs - not just playing by myself.

I also know some guys that are pushing the boundaries of technology and working on solo drums with video loops and lighting triggered by pads and electronics and being totally solo drum acts (which I get from $$ perspective hahaha) - and that's awesome but I don't think I could ever do that.

One thing I've really enjoyed is producing the live music show I'm working on which literally combines those two worlds. Getting a solid live performance - but at a studio quality....it's been really fun meeting all the different drummers and seeing how they are approaching their playing in that circumstance. (Heart Space Live). We've filmed 6 bands so far and catching that blend of live perfomances - but takes everyone is happy with is a total blast.

The whole live streaming thing that's becoming prevalent right now too is also a weird blend of live and studio...trying to capture the energy of a live band in an empty room has been a trip. We've done maybe 10 of these now for various online "Festivals" and each time is just as odd as the time before.

That's really the coolest thing about being in music....we can literally do anything we want and take it in any direction we feel like!

(Personally I love, LOVE playing live - feeding off an audience's energy and interacting with them is the best. We have a whole section in our lives shows where our rapper brings everyone to the front of the stage and audience members pull out random things and he raps about whatever object he finds...and we've gotten ALL KINDS of crazy stuff, including...under garments haha - that's the kind of thing you don't get in a studio)
 

Vintage Old School

Gold Member
The introvert/extrovert comparison is a valid point. But I feel like there is a more specific factor where individuals have a "Performer" trait that feeds off of the energy of being in front of people in a live setting. This trait can apply to--but is not limited to--public speaking, acting/theater, comedy and music.

I'm 100% introvert and I've developed a comfort level over the years of being in front of people, but I really don't draw any energy whatsoever off of performing. The enjoyment is in the music, not the presence of an audience.

Not to hijack this thread, but it might be an interesting DW poll in a different thread to see the correlation of drummers with the "performer" trait and those without it.
 

johnwesley

Silver Member
The introvert/extrovert comparison is a valid point. But I feel like there is a more specific factor where individuals have a "Performer" trait that feeds off of the energy of being in front of people in a live setting. This trait can apply to--but is not limited to--public speaking, acting/theater, comedy and music.
I am at times introverted, but given the opportunity to go on stage the extrovert/performer trait comes out. It's not just the music but the presentation. I loved the music of the Byrds when they first came out with all the Dylan stuff. Got to see them live during that time and they sounded great, but they all just stood there. I mean the Beatles moved around stage more than they did. I then became completely enamored with the Who after seeing them on TV several times and went to see them live at the Filmore San Francisco 1967 and was completely blown away by the energy and lack of just standing there performance. No, the music wasn't "perfect" like on their albums. It was raw and honest. Saw Jimi Hendrix a week later at the Filmore and realized the audience loves to hear what they're familiar with but want to see the band "perform" more than hear note for note live versions of the music. Personally when I see a band live and hear different "versions", even minor differences in how they play it shows me the song is a living piece of work that can evolve with time. Am I off the subject? Hmmm.
 

Rock Salad

Junior Member
I don't like the term "feeding off the audience." I do like to see them enjoying, and like to think we are feeding them.
I never been in a legit studio yet, so i can't properly answer the poll.
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I've done a lot of both but have always favored playing live. The studio is sterile and contrived. Much that emerges from it is doctored. It's a cosmetic laboratory where blemishes are powder-coated to deny they're inevitability in the world beyond. Recording is fun and important, but it's not what I value most about drumming.

Live is where you lay it on the line -- no second takes, no click tracks, no crutches. You've got one chance to make it happen. Your pulse is transmitted directly to the audience in an unadulterated way. Nothing is modified, disguised, cleansed, or manipulated. Because the risks are high, the rewards are incomparable. The stage is a metaphor for nature's uncertainties. It's always satisfying to say, "Tonight, I won the battle."
I’ve reached a point, and fairly recently I think, where I seem to enjoy it all equally. Practicing in my basement by myself, rehearsing with the band in the keyboard player’s garage, the chance of a live gig; I feel lucky and blessed to be able to do any of those things let alone all off them. I’m more in love with the instrument now than I’ve ever been, and thrilled each time to be able to play no matter the circumstances.
I definitely se myself in both of these posts and all the others as well . I enjoy it ALL ! It’s all about “creativity “ as a drummer , and as a musician. Much like C M my greatest thrill and what I enjoy most is live playing in front of a crowd , but like gish i thoroughly enjoy it all . Whatever you enjoy most with drumming , do it with all you have . With some it’s arranging , recording and mixing to produce something you can be proud of or brings enjoyment to you and a sense of satisfaction, and with others it’s the same end result but through live playing . But like Larry I always or mostly assume that drummers ( and others) love live playing first even if they/we enjoy the other elements also . I wonder if my drummer friends who enjoy the studio, recording aspect more than live playing ( as I’ve found recently with some of them ) assume I’m like them and enjoy their process to drumming satisfaction more 🤔. Something Im gonna have to ask them . Either way , ..... all good, 👍🏻 , whatever gets us that feeling of satisfaction through our drumming and music no matter which avenue . Very interesting topic Larry . Good stuff 👊🏻
 
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KamaK

Platinum Member
I've always held that there is a fundamental distinction between performing-musicians and recording-musicians. Like two disparate paths that lead to the same destination.

Someone once said (I think it was Dennis Miller?): Nothing interests me more than my own gratification, and nothing interests me less than someone else's. I subscribe to this philosophy, with the possible exception being my spouse/children.
 

yammyfan

Senior Member
I've enjoyed the limited studio time I've had and look forward to more of it in the not too distant future.

That said, there's a certain amount of fakery inherent to the recording process that I struggle to embrace, if only a little. Pitchy vocals can be corrected, flubbed passages re-recorded, authentic drum sounds erased and replaced with samples. You get the idea.

Great engineers and producers are celebrated for the illusions they create whereas live musicians are celebrated for their authenticity. I'm not picking one over the other but there's a difference for sure.
 
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C.M. Jones

Well-known member
I also know some guys that are pushing the boundaries of technology and working on solo drums with video loops and lighting triggered by pads and electronics and being totally solo drum acts (which I get from $$ perspective hahaha) - and that's awesome but I don't think I could ever do that.
I'm with you there. Drums in isolation, particularly when riddled when electronic effects, have just never impressed me very much. It's what a drummer can do among other musicians, functioning as an organ of a greater body, that grabs my attention. I admire players whose goal is to be part of a collective product a lot more than those who peddle flagrant exhibitionism to garner YouTube followers. So much of it is anti-musical.
 
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Rotarded

Senior Member
The introvert/extrovert comparison is a valid point. But I feel like there is a more specific factor where individuals have a "Performer" trait that feeds off of the energy of being in front of people in a live setting. This trait can apply to--but is not limited to--public speaking, acting/theater, comedy and music.

I'm 100% introvert and I've developed a comfort level over the years of being in front of people, but I really don't draw any energy whatsoever off of performing. The enjoyment is in the music, not the presence of an audience.

Not to hijack this thread, but it might be an interesting DW poll in a different thread to see the correlation of drummers with the "performer" trait and those without it.
What about those of us who fall in between? I am an introvert who is uneasy/awkward in social situations, especially if I do not have a pre-existing relationship with you. I also was directed, per my employer, to take classes to be able to speak in front of a crowd as I was petrified. BUT, I thrive expressing myself musically, personality wise, and singing with that barrier (a drum set ) between me and the crowd. The bigger the crowd, the better. However, I am not a stick twirling showman by any stretch though. In fact I kind of despise that stuff.
 
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C.M. Jones

Well-known member
As a bass player, I always enjoyed the actual stage time, but all the other stuff-driving, waiting, set-up and strike, crappy food, hotel rooms when you're lucky, floors when you're not... I don't miss those a bit. But the actual onstage live wire walk? Missed often.

I doubt I'll ever drum live, but if I do it'll be an experience, I'm sure.


That said, I always prefer studio work, simply for the relative comfort and the intensity.

I have recorded a lot of my own music, and, in efforts to avoid the potential "sterile and contrived" bits, I usually give myself rules, like "No overdubs, or, first takes only, etc." It keeps it interesting for me and keeps me on my toes- the uncertainties are often where creativity lives.
Sometimes it's even not terrible. ;)

I guess the listener would have to judge the sterile and contrived levels. :D Maybe I'll post some of my music here... 😬
I know what you mean, Wraub. It depends on the recording session. Some are pretty pure. Others are so clinical that they resemble medical appointments. At the end, I feel that I've participated in someone else's science project.

I recall one instance in particular when a sound engineer smitten with Mutt Lange's work wanted to give my drums a beefy, electric, sampled presence. By the time he triggered, compressed, and equalized my kit, I might as well have been playing a keyboard instead of a drum set. I rolled with it, as it was just a session agreement, but I left the setting with a feeling of solemn submission -- as though I'd been drafted to take part in a pharmaceutical trial. That's just the way it goes sometimes.
 

Vintage Old School

Gold Member
What about those of us who fall in between? I am an introvert who is uneasy/awkward in social situations, especially if I do not have a pre-existing relationship with you. BUT, I thrive expressing myself musically, personality wise, and singing with that barrier, a drum set and/or microphone, between me and the crowd. The bigger the crowd, the better. However, I am not a stick twirling showman by any stretch though. In fact I kind of despise that stuff.
Good point. I don't think it's an either/or situation: those who are introverts don't have a performer trait and those who are extroverts all have it. I think there is definitely a lot of middle ground for introverts where the enjoyment of performing-especially to a good, appreciative audience--can be developed and cultivated over time. My personal observation from a number of friends who I feel have a distinct performer trait is that they could deliver the most amazing performance of a lifetime, but their personal perception of their performance is directly tied to how the audience reacts (or fails to react).

And to avoid any semblance of conflict here, I don't think having or not having a performer trait is a bad thing. We're all wired differently.
 
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