! Writing, Creating, Recording, Playing?

wraub

Well-known member
I've recorded in enough situations to know that I'm usually there because I was sought, and to deliver what is asked for. That said, I also know that whatever I do will be treated and processed to fit the production, or may be discarded and re-recorded by another, or even a sequencer or a sample.
It's their gig, I'm there to support them. They pay for the tracks, they can do what they want.

In my own recording space, where I make the rules (or not), I always strive for purity of intention, even if the recording is less than stellar- it's the idea I'm chasing, not the presentation. Sometimes it works, sometimes it's a mess, but it's almost always interesting for me. Sometimes others enjoy it, too.

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.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
On the topic of introverts versus extroverts: I've known musicians who are thoroughly reserved and retreating in most social situations but who bombastically and brassily explode as performers. On stage and off stage, they're two different animals. The definitions of introvert and extrovert (and the stock traits we've come to expect from those designations) don't apply so neatly to the world of entertainment.

And make no mistake; drumming is entertainment.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
I dig seeing people shake off the stresses of life. It gives me a sense of contribution to mental health. They on some level would love to be able to do what we do, just a feeling I get. In some respects, they live through us to a certain extent. It's a fantasy world in a way, where they can suspend reality, like when watching a TV show. I even think they like it more when we mess up....as long as it's laughed off. Because I think they relate to the imperfection and especially the way it's handled. Plus they caught it. Makes them feel good.

That energy loop is great. I can feel it when we are connecting and the dancers are entrained. It's so much more enjoyable for me when I get the feeling that everyone is digging things. Or just one table. I love it.

Playing drums live takes me to a wonderful place inside that can't be accessed by any other means. I feel drumming is what I do best, and going to that place inside could be THE most deeply personally satisfying thing I know of.
 
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C.M. Jones

Well-known member
I dig seeing people shake off the stresses of life. It gives me a sense of contribution to mental health. They on some level would love to be able to do what we do, just a feeling I get. In some respects, they live through us to a certain extent. It's a fantasy world in a way, where they can suspend reality, like when watching a TV show. I even think they like it more when we mess up....as long as it's laughed off. Because I think they relate to the imperfection and especially the way it's handled. Plus they caught it. Makes them feel good.

That energy loop is great. I can feel it when we are connecting and the dancers are entrained. It's so much more enjoyable for me when I get the feeling that everyone is digging things. Or just one table. I love it.

Playing drums live takes me to a wonderful place inside that can't be accessed by any other means. I feel drumming is what I do best, and going to that place inside could be THE most deeply personally satisfying thing I know of.
Agree with every word.

Excellent thread, by the way.
 

NouveauCliche

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.
I think it's certainly an interesting topic.

I read once that there was a whole range of "introverts" - and there was a type that I identified with immensely: You can absolutely spend time with people (or on stage) etc...but you need a lot of solo time around the event to "re-charge". And that's certain the TYPE of introvert I am...I love being on stage - the interviews and all - interacting with fans or doing clinics...that's all fine and dandy.

However - I need SERIOUS time alone to afterwards to relax and re-charge. That's one of the hardest things about touring with a band is being around people ALL THE TIME. I know I would take less cut on pay occasionally just to have my own room for a night or two to get some internal zone out time and not have to deal with another person being in my proximity for a few hours.

Very interesting topic indeed!!
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
I think it's certainly an interesting topic.

I read once that there was a whole range of "introverts" - and there was a type that I identified with immensely: You can absolutely spend time with people (or on stage) etc...but you need a lot of solo time around the event to "re-charge". And that's certain the TYPE of introvert I am...I love being on stage - the interviews and all - interacting with fans or doing clinics...that's all fine and dandy.

However - I need SERIOUS time alone to afterwards to relax and re-charge. That's one of the hardest things about touring with a band is being around people ALL THE TIME. I know I would take less cut on pay occasionally just to have my own room for a night or two to get some internal zone out time and not have to deal with another person being in my proximity for a few hours.

Very interesting topic indeed!!
How we recharge definitively provides a lot of insight into our temperaments. For instance, at the end of a demanding day, would I rather spend time at home or head out to a dinner party with ten participants? I generally fall into the first category. I refuel myself much more effectively in solitude. It's not that I dislike socializing; it just requires additional expenditures -- not what I'm looking for in recovery mode.
 

wraub

Well-known member
After the work, the non-work is mandatory, and they must be recognized as different.

I would rather play for a few thousand people for an hour or two, and then not see or talk to anybody for a few hours.

Sadly, in the professional music world, this balance is not widely recognized. In the "real world" of jobs, less so.
 

rhumbagirl

Senior 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."
I think it's less about introvert/extravert and more about how people choose to deal with the added pressure of playing live. One thing I try to do is hangout at the local jams every now and then. It's a different kind of playing required. Adrenaline is there to be dealt with. You get tense and you deal with it. Or you nail it and feel the adrenaline rush from other musicians and the crowd.

EDIT: I vote for a special title for Mr Jones, whose impeccable writing here is starting to wear off on all of us. For the better of course! Perhaps "Best Selling Author"!!
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
I think it's less about introvert/extravert and more about how people choose to deal with the added pressure of playing live.
True to the core. All pressure is perceived. If you don't recognize it, it's not really a threat. That's why coping skills are so important. They separate those who survive from those who perish. Often, the difference between success and failure is just a matter of being able to deal with what's thrown your way.

As for the "special title for Mr. Jones," I vote to delay that measure, perhaps forever. :)
 

rhumbagirl

Senior Member
As for the "special title for Mr. Jones," I vote to delay that measure, perhaps forever. :)
I've been a member of DW for over a decade and you've already surpassed my post count by a factor of two to one, and just over a few months. And you have a reaction score near 100%. I don't think you should be sitting at Well Known status much longer in my humble opinion :)
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
I've been a member of DW for over a decade and you've already surpassed my post count by a factor of two to one, and just over a few months. And you have a reaction score near 100%. I don't think you should be sitting at Well Known status much longer in my humble opinion :)
Wow. The pressure is building. I'd better start sharpening my coping skills.
 

Ryan Culberson

Well-known member
Two different rushes for sure. Not positive I could pick one over the other. I love the high stakes environment of recording, where the pressure is on to get it done right, as quickly as possible.

I also love the vibe of the crowd when everything is clicking. There is an immediate feedback in the live environment that is very satisfying. I look forward to getting back to both!
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
As far as introvert/extrovert goes, I'm definitely introvert, almost to the point of antisocial. I dont like bars. I dont like crowds. I dont like partying really, and especially with people I dont know. No way I'm gonna play a show, go to a strange house, get wasted with 15 people I dont know, then feel safe enough to go to sleep. No thanks.
 

Winston_Wolf

Platinum Member
I love playing live, and I love the rehearsal process (both alone and with a band) but the studio environment doesn't speak to me the same way at all as a drummer. I did have a period where I was doing a lot of writing and recording as a personal outlet but mostly to learn how to use the gear. I enjoyed the time and effort involved and I'm glad to have the skills I learned but I've always preferred playing for people in a live situation.
 

rhumbagirl

Senior Member
I'm wondering if playing at jams is more challenging than a gig you're prepared for. Particularly as it relates to not knowing the song form, grasping the stick to prevent a cymbal crash during a bar rest, and the ensuing tension in the forearm one must deal with - and hopefully alleviate - over the subsequent number of bars. Perhaps that's another skill we learn. It's all about skills.

I think I'm alluding to the skill of changing your technique temporarily to deal with forearm tension until you've recovered. That's something that you aren't prepared with moreso than a live gig. In the studio you can raise your hand and say 'STOP'.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
I'm wondering if playing at jams is more challenging than a gig you're prepared for. Particularly as it relates to not knowing the song form, grasping the stick to prevent a cymbal crash during a bar rest, and the ensuing tension in the forearm one must deal with - and hopefully alleviate - over the subsequent number of bars. Perhaps that's another skill we learn. It's all about skills.
I've always breathed a pronounced air of freedom at jams. Improvisation is very open-ended. No one expects precision -- just solid drumming and the capacity to field whatever comes your way.

Preparation means formality. Everything is scripted. For some, self-consciousness can be higher. But hey, if you're going to drum, regardless of the circumstances, the only way to do it is to let down your guard and allow instinct to dominate you. Otherwise, you're more machine than musician. No one wants to hear that.
 

rhumbagirl

Senior Member
I've always breathed a pronounced air of freedom at jams. Improvisation is very open-ended. No one expects precision -- just solid drumming and the capacity to field whatever comes your way.
Agree.

BTW, if I feel tension in my forearm, with my American grip, I think I let go of my index and middle fingers and use the palm of my hand (under the knuckle) until the tension dies. That especially works well if the pattern is straight 8th notes on the hihat. Closing the hihat tight as well provides enhanced rebound. Of course, that alternative is offset by more arm movement. But it's temporary, for just a few bars, and then it's back to business.

Ok I'm outta here folks. Happy post 4th for those of you in the US!
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
Agree.

BTW, if I feel tension in my forearm, with my American grip, I think I let go of my index and middle fingers and use the palm of my hand (under the knuckle) until the tension dies. That especially works well if the pattern is straight 8th notes on the hihat. Closing the hihat tight as well provides enhanced rebound. Of course, that alternative is offset by more arm movement. But it's temporary, for just a few bars, and then it's back to business.

Ok I'm outta here folks. Happy post 4th for those of you in the US!
Yeah, technique goes a long way toward dispelling tension. A loose grip and rebound make life a lot easier. That also illustrates the importance of playing with the tips of your sticks. Drummers who lay into the hi-hat with the shoulder or neck of the stick are doing twice as much work.
 
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