Are You a Bad Drummer? Nashville Bass Player Exposes Tell Tale Signs

jjamz91

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a lot of drummers don't know/care how they sound. I try to not get too rockstar brained: I make videos a lot playing solos and playing with drumless tracks so that me myself I can watch it. i can almost always find a time when I'm like "oh! That was a little too late of a transition to the ride there" or "oh I sped up and didn't keep time right there" "damn that fill was NOT timed right". "Damn that was odd when I hit the snare that ONE time I hit is so hard, wtf"

My favorite thing and least favorite thing is when I have a stupid look on my face because I'm feeling the music so hard. I want to hide when I catch myself looking all grooved out like that lol
 

rdumas

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dale w miller said:
HE wants to be able to put what HE wants where ever in the song. What about what WE want and how WE want the music to sound like? It sounds to me he basically wants a live drum machine.
I had a similar thought as well.
 

xipa4

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jjamz91 said:
a lot of drummers don't know/care how they sound. I try to not get too rockstar brained: I make videos a lot playing solos and playing with drumless tracks so that me myself I can watch it. i can almost always find a time when I'm like "oh! That was a little too late of a transition to the ride there" or "oh I sped up and didn't keep time right there" "damn that fill was NOT timed right". "Damn that was odd when I hit the snare that ONE time I hit is so hard, wtf"
Same for me as well,especially the latter (playing along to drumless tracks),so I can track my own progress and find what's lacking on my playing.
 

Rock Salad

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John Coletrane talked about how Elvin's playing opened up and freed the time. That is my working (probably mistaken) idea on a wide pocket.
If my guy goes and plays straight 1/16 over the triplet groove I back him up with a lick. If my guy is out front of the beat I keep my place but back him up with some aggressive hits.
Then I drop the beat
 

Old Drummer

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Oh, I'm sure I'm a bad drummer in this guy's opinion--and I don't give a rat's behind. Heck, I don't even know what "pockets" and "grooves" are, forget "widths."

Maybe at the professional level all this makes sense (and matters). but at my weekend warrior level, I've found that other musicians rarely have a clue what makes for a good or a bad drummer. They think they do, but they don't.

What I've noticed at my level is that whether or not other musicians LIKE playing with me is the main thing that matters. I doubt that they can articulate the reasons, and I probably can't either, but I can try by saying it's the feel. If I'm working with the other musicians and bringing out their best as well as sometimes pushing them to be their best, they like it.

For sure, dynamics play a huge role. You have to know when cast timidity aside and play brazenly loud, as well as when to scale way back softly for something else to be in the spotlight. But dynamics are an obvious dimension of feel. It's weird to me that this guy would equate something as obvious as dynamics with things as nebulous as pockets and grooves.

I'm not persuaded that the guy knows what he's talking about, and insofar as he does or thinks he does, I wouldn't want to play with him. However, I've also found that if drummer-critics just shut their mouths and play, things sometimes go well. Talk sometimes gets in the way.
 

CC Cirillo

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I enjoyed that article.
I’ve always felt that my best drum teachers have been some of the fine bassists and rhythm guitarists I’ve played with.
 

Lorenzo1950

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I know a great drummer who got tired of hitting hard. It doesn't mean his dynamics are bad. He is a top notch player and now he has serious hearing loss. If the guitar or bass keeps turning up the drummer will have to hit harder. I see a guy at open mic's who plays extremely light and I asked him why. He told me he plays for the microphone. But the drums aren't miked at this place. I'm not a heavy hitter either but when I have to play loud I can. It's not always "tentative" playing if you are on someone else's drum kit. There is a tendency to not want to make a mistake or accidentally drop a stick and it sounds tentative. If the bass player can know in ten seconds that the drummer is bad than they are not being fair to the drummer. Some of us have to loosen up. Well, maybe not on a gig where you have to be on from the very beginning. In a casual setting give the drummer more than ten seconds before making a decision.
 

Lorenzo1950

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Oh, I'm sure I'm a bad drummer in this guy's opinion--and I don't give a rat's behind. Heck, I don't even know what "pockets" and "grooves" are, forget "widths."
I think he means groove and the ability to play behind the beat, ahead of the beat or on top of the beat. It is weird because this all happens in a split second. If it isn't played right the drummer might drop or add a beat. When I think of "pocket" I would listen to "I Got the Feelin" by James Brown.
 
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JOE COOL

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sounds like the childrens story of the 3 little bears.
one played too soft, one played too hard ,and the other played just right.

everything in moderation, including moderation.
 

Stickclick

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When I record, the last thing I do is go to a studio. We don't go to a studio until we made simple recordings on a home recorder and they sound decent. The bugs have to be worked out.
 

moodman

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You can play or you can't, whats left is getting good. Not all were born to be studio marksmen, you gotta specialize, like doctors. Just saying do what you do well, don't put yourself in a position where you're trying to do something you can't do well. The pros I've worked with value you for what you CAN do, and hire someone else for what you can't. Play to your strengths, get good at that.
 

BennyK

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Jim Christie had a deep understanding of the Bakersfield pocket , becoming a master of its articulation on drums .

Since the interview concerned the Nashville scene , Gene Chrisman is a name that we ought to be aware of . Herbie Mann was anything but a country musician when he used Chrisman on what I consider to be his most famous radio hit ( I'd have loved to hear Billy Gibbons on this one). The pocket is like a pair of comfy shoes who don't know the name of the person walking in them .
Gene Chrisman :

Jim Christie :

 
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Tornado

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How to tell if you're a bad drummer? Record yourself. It's shocking the things you didn't know about your playing until you hear a playback. It might have felt good while you were playing it, but it might feel awful once you hear it played back.
 

Joe61

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Oh, I'm sure I'm a bad drummer in this guy's opinion--and I don't give a rat's behind. Heck, I don't even know what "pockets" and "grooves" are, forget "widths."

Maybe at the professional level all this makes sense (and matters). but at my weekend warrior level, I've found that other musicians rarely have a clue what makes for a good or a bad drummer. They think they do, but they don't.

What I've noticed at my level is that whether or not other musicians LIKE playing with me is the main thing that matters. I doubt that they can articulate the reasons, and I probably can't either, but I can try by saying it's the feel. If I'm working with the other musicians and bringing out their best as well as sometimes pushing them to be their best, they like it.

For sure, dynamics play a huge role. You have to know when cast timidity aside and play brazenly loud, as well as when to scale way back softly for something else to be in the spotlight. But dynamics are an obvious dimension of feel. It's weird to me that this guy would equate something as obvious as dynamics with things as nebulous as pockets and grooves.

I'm not persuaded that the guy knows what he's talking about, and insofar as he does or thinks he does, I wouldn't want to play with him. However, I've also found that if drummer-critics just shut their mouths and play, things sometimes go well. Talk sometimes gets in the way.
YOU sir NAILED IT!!!! and thank you
 
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I agree with the bassist, but it cuts both ways. I've played with plenty of bad bassists, too! The bass/drums need to be locked into each other as the rhythm section of any band, whether it is rock, blues, jazz, etc. When in doubt, follow the bassist. You can then speed the bass up or down if something doesn't sound right......but at least you guys will be tight.
I also play bass and I would do the same thing if the drummer sounded good but maybe I could not get the right feel. If I locked into him, then the rest of the band will have to conform to lock into us.

I just did a jazz gig (my first!) and played a couple of songs which I only casually knew, and had never jammed with the guitarist or bassist. I simply sat in cold turkey. I was pretty intimidated about the the full venue (jazz lounge at the local Hyatt) that I just tried to restrain myself and stay calm, but I was to keep the general beat by locking into the bassist and we let the guitarist jam over us.....it worked quite well.......
I love to play high basses.
 

Old Drummer

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How to tell if you're a bad drummer? Record yourself. It's shocking the things you didn't know about your playing until you hear a playback. It might have felt good while you were playing it, but it might feel awful once you hear it played back.
Oh yeah, there's no reality check as good as listening to a recording of your own playing. Accordingly, I hate it. If everyone's having a good time, I'm good too--no need to slap me in the face with a factual recording of how I really sounded. However, anyone who aspires to be more than an occasional pub drummer really needs to listen to the brutal recorded truth.
 


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