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What do you look for in other drummers?


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#1
rayboomboom

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Sub-title could be what mistakes do you often hear drummers commiting?

Mainly drummers playing smaller venues, maybe bars and either cover bands or up-start bands.  On the occasion you have time to go out and and hear some music, what catches your attention that you like but in order to learn something here, what you hear you don't like.

Thanks,

Ray


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#2
xsabers

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A sense of dynamics for starters.  Guys or girls who know how to play for the room.  After that, I appreciate a good snare sound that doesn't come across too choked.  Judicial use of fills and fills that make sense for the song.  


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#3
RIDDIM

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A willingness to give the music what  it needs, conviction, creativity (in context) - a sense of what they bring to the table, and feel.


Edited by RIDDIM, 17 March 2016 - 11:56 AM.

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#4
BillyGoodness

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I look/listen for 'feel'.

 

It doesn't matter to me how many, or how few, notes are being played (as long as it's stylistically appropriate).

It really just matters how it feels. Call it groove, pocket, whatever. If it's not there, anything else is irrelevant.

 

Billy G.


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#5
RIDDIM

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I'd have to agree.


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#6
rayboomboom

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If I'm going into a bar the first thing, either at the door or outside the venue, depending on the volume, I look for a solid tempo.  As I hear more I'm looking for how well he/she is playing to the song and with the rest of the band, and how it feels: does it feel natural or forced?  Then I listen for tuning, especially the snare and kick, and finally how the fills fit in the context of what's going on.

 

If it's me playing and I see another drummer or any other player or someone that runs a studio come in that I hold regard for, I ask myself if what they hear is someone they would want to play along with or record with.

 

When I go to shows and hear a "Pro" player, I notice some very subtle things in their feel and timing.  I've seen John Hiatt with Kenneth Blevins playing drums and it just blew me away.  I say someone like that has 'relaxed precision'.  Like Jim Keltner or Stanton Moore, what a feel they have.  Not everyone has it and it seems it takes a long time to get there.

 

Thanks for the responses so far, keep 'em coming.


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#7
Patrick

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Pocket and swing.


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#8
Sinclair

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Feel and conviction of time. I don't give a rats ass about sound, technique, genera or gear.

I doesn't matter. No exceptions....except a hot chick that twirls her sticks. Can't go wrong with that.


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#9
Dave H.

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Know when less is more!


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#10
Mongrel

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Dynamics...solid time and feel trumps chops for me. I'd rather hear someone hold the tune together and miss getting all the fills "perfect" than someone with monster chops who wandered all over the place and stepped on the other players... Nothing wrong however with a drummer who does both...lol...

In "pro" drummers I look for humility. Not always apparent in their performance you can usually pick it up in interviews or on their DVDs... Guys like Neil Peart, Bill Bruford, and Stanton Moore (just to name a few) always strike me as coming across very humble and down to earth-"monster" players who are just regular guys. THAT always makes me appreciate them...
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#11
Tilter

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Conviction and commitment to every note, even if it's a mistake.

 

I've seen players who may not have been technically proficient, but the intensity and solidity with which they played was passionate and inspiring. 

 

 


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#12
k_50

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Time

Dynamics

Sound

Playing for the song/musicality; and that doesn't always mean "less is more" - a drummer who plays like Phil Rudd in a power trio can be just as much of a turn-off to me as the guy, who plays his most awesomest fill every measure, all the while pulling his best smug-face.


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#13
tradrad

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I would heavily 'second' billy's sentiments...feel, and getting there by whatever means necessary :)
a lot of, or hyper few, notes ...doesn't matter to me.
I also really want to see if a drummer is a 'listener'. I produce a lot of singer songwriters and it often helps if I'm not playing drums...hiring a drummer who listens first/plays second is critical to me...'God gave you 2 ears and 1 mouth'...someone told me that a while ago and it stuck...listen twice as hard as you 'speak'...
to cap this, more often than not, a good listener is usually hyper creative...BIG plus for my money!

Edited by tradrad, 22 November 2016 - 01:11 PM.

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#14
jaymandude

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It's not an " all or nothing" scenario for me..  For example..

 

I'll prefer a guy with squiggly time if it feels good he always playing what's appropriate for the music... I've heard great drummers at jams with good time and feel, but they play fills that are out of context with the groove, or they play too loudly.

 

I like to see and hear a touch on the instrument if possible.  Sometimes thats asking a lot.   For example, some local metal guys slam the drums, but they play cool s*** and have the right pocket for their gig.

 

Tough question, with varied answers for me...


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#15
The Top Hat

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I look and listen to the drummer for his "groove or feel" for the music. Does he look like he is really into what he is playing? Do his chops fit the music? How fast you play or your technical ability means nothing if you don't "feel" the music, or feel what the band is playing. When I watch Sonny Payne from Count Basie's band (also played with Harry James), he feels every note that the band is playing, he is so into what he is playing, his whole body moves to the music. It's something Buddy Rich and many other great drummers never seemed to have. While Buddy is one of the greatest drummers, he played like it was his way or the highway, there was no emotion for the band, it only showed when he played his solos. There should not be a "disconnect" from the band, there needs to be "total respect" for the other band members. It is all about how the band sounds "together", all of the members will have their moment for solos or the spot light.


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#16
Bri6366

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Sub-title could be what mistakes do you often hear drummers commiting?
Mainly drummers playing smaller venues, maybe bars and either cover bands or up-start bands.  On the occasion you have time to go out and and hear some music, what catches your attention that you like but in order to learn something here, what you hear you don't like.
Thanks,
Ray


The most common thing I notice with cover bands that I don't like is the drummer doesn't know the song.
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#17
Dan Radin

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Before feel and dynamics and groove and vocabulary and tone... for me it's interdynamics. Drummers who don't get the balance of voices in the kit right will always sound like amateurs to me, not matter how good their chops or musicality are.

 

After that, I allllllmost want to say the right confidence/attitude/swagger/conviction for the setting miiiiiiight be even more important than feel.


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