Damn Drummers.....Quit OVERPLAYING.....or is it me....

b/o 402

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I think it's more about the notes you don't play are more important than those you do. I respect my friend's position. He was the leader of a decent band in Seattle years ago when we both lived and played together there, and his opinion simply has to do with the drums not speaking over the music.

In the music I play, the drums and bass are the easel and canvas that the melodists paint their picture on (my quote). If either is wobbly, the artist struggles. If both are steady, the audience sees the picture being painted and doesn't really notice the easel and canvas. Yes, the drummer can solo. Yes, the bassist can too. But if they are doing their job, they don't distract from the bigger "picture" being painted, until it's their turn to speak up, if at all. (Note: the bass player and I do short solos in the outro of one song during a 4 hour set--if we do any.)

We had a bass player in my band for a short time who said, after accepting a job in our group, that he was a "lead bassist." It became pretty darn clear that he was a short timer the first time he played a lead lick during our guitarist's outro solo on "Sultans of Swing." All of us turned to him and mouthed, "what the f#ck?"
Tommy, I'd certainly like to understand your position. What are some good examples of music you like where "drums and bass are the canvas?"
In any case, as others have pointed out, when I have a drummer behind me who's an excellent musician, I'm not likely to tell him to play less or play quieter: he already knows when to do that. It's the guys who play crappy that you want to turn down (or off) - like Andy did with Barney.
 

A.TomicMorganic

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For me it is about the music. Is what I am playing musical? Is it making the music better? Can I hear everyone else? Is the blend there? Is the groove solid? Am I avoiding the "look at me" trap? Is everyone having a good time? Stuff like that.
 

rock roll

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Drums are my 3rd instrument but it's what I've been playing mostly for the last 15-20 years.(and I should be soo much better than I am by now) .
I'm a groove guy no matter what instrument.
And ... Hell yes .. Too many drummers over play.
I've seen some that you might as well put them out front.
Constant rolls every chance they get.
There is a happy medium of course...

I've seen bad playing/timing with constant rolls with the drunk patrons lovin it.
So I've learned most people don't pay attention like we do.
We're the rhythm section, we hear everything.
 

rock roll

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My goals are to be able to play the simple/tasteful, complicated/overplaying/busy, loud, and quiet all with excellence and precision. And have the musical maturity to identify when each is merited. If feedback from other musicians is requesting more volume, here it comes! If there is an imbalance in the sound, everyone in the band needs to be communicating on how to achieve that balance. Otherwise efforts are being squandered.

A little while ago another drummer was organizing an event and "asked" to use my drums and for me to run sound. I find out from him that yet another drummer will be playing as he is running the event. But I am supposed to be reassured by the comment, "he's really good! He's loud!" [Forehead slap]

Well over ten years before that I entered a musical scene where there were several drummers and became preferred because I played out with confidence (loud?), but the venue seemed to call for it. When I heard other drummers play the same gig they were nearly inaudible and didn't keep the band together.
You play to the level the band needs you to play at.
As for multi drummer gigs, which I like, I don't mind sharing shells but I do mind sharing cymbals...or to be more specific..crashes. I don't mind sharing rides and hi hats, but if a crash gets cracked ... It's going to be me doing it.(I've never cracked a cymbal yet) but others have .i actually put together a sabian pro cymbal set just for multi drummer gigs. They sound decent and if one gets cracked there cheap enough to replace.and I don't have to worry about the Keith moon wannabes who get invited up for a song or two.
 

rock roll

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My goals are to be able to play the simple/tasteful, complicated/overplaying/busy, loud, and quiet all with excellence and precision. And have the musical maturity to identify when each is merited. If feedback from other musicians is requesting more volume, here it comes! If there is an imbalance in the sound, everyone in the band needs to be communicating on how to achieve that balance. Otherwise efforts are being squandered.

A little while ago another drummer was organizing an event and "asked" to use my drums and for me to run sound. I find out from him that yet another drummer will be playing as he is running the event. But I am supposed to be reassured by the comment, "he's really good! He's loud!" [Forehead slap]

Well over ten years before that I entered a musical scene where there were several drummers and became preferred because I played out with confidence (loud?), but the venue seemed to call for it. When I heard other drummers play the same gig they were nearly inaudible and didn't keep the band together.
Agree on communication, but it's tough to do , Soo many musicians are sensitive.
 

Maggot

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Like @rock roll drums are my third instrument. I frequently played in bands with drummers who I thought overplayed, but I've also fronted trios. When I'd play with a drummer who had a more restrained style, the energy level could flag, depending on how the songs were arranged and the who the other musicians were. My real band had a non-drummer drummer who overplayed and had intermittent technical limitations, like an inconsistent bass drum foot. But his fills were punctual, he played loud, and he was great at arranging parts, cuing and taking up space, so it worked for that band at that time.

My last trio was with a real pocket drummer and bass player. I loved it at first, but after a while I got frustrated with the fact that if anything was ever gonna happen in a song, I was gonna have to do it. I started to think that the rhythm guys, grooving though they were, were a little too diffident because I'd have to go from singing to guitar soloing to talking, etc, and they got to act normal, y'know. There was no one else to to go out on a limb. I started to think that they were conspiring to make me look like an a-hole, in the straight man style. Logistics were keeping us a trio at the time. The last straw came when I asked the drummer to give me a crash hit or a fill after 8 bars because I was singing, playing leads, stepping on pedals, etc. and I sometimes lost track of the count. His response: "No". That was about it for that band.

I mostly play to record my own tunes. My skills are a little bit marginal for gigging. I usually have a drum part for a part of the song, and my transitions, although they can contain fills, are entirely premeditated. If I overplay, I will not make it through the gig. If there's a jam, I go for Al Jackson Jr. but usually end up at Mo Tucker.
 
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rock roll

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Like @rock roll drums are my third instrument. I frequently played in bands with drummers who I thought overplayed, but I've also fronted trios. When I'd play with a drummer who had a more restrained style, the energy level could flag, depending on how the songs were arranged and the who the other musicians are. My real band had a non-drummer drummer who overplayed and had intermittent technical limitations, like an inconsistent bass drum foot. But his fills were punctual, he played loud, and he was great at arranging parts, cuing and taking up space, so it worked for that band at that time.

My last trio was with a real pocket drummer and bass player. I loved it at first, but after a while I got frustrated with the fact that if anything was ever gonna happen in a song, I was gonna have to do it. I started to think that the rhythm guys, grooving though they were, were a little too diffident because I'd have to go from singing to guitar soloing to talking, etc, and they got to act normal, y'know. There was no one else to to go out on a limb. I started to think that they were conspiring to make me look like an a-hole, in the straight man style. Logistics were keeping us a trio at the time. The last straw came when I asked the drummer to give me a crash hit or a fill after 8 bars because I was singing, playing leads, stepping on pedals, etc. and I sometimes lost track of the count. His response: "No". That was about it for that band.

I mostly play to record my own tunes. My skills are a little bit marginal for gigging. I usually have a drum part for a part of the song, and my transitions, although they can contain fills, are entirely premeditated. If I overplay, I will not make it through the gig. If there's a jam, I go for Al Jackson Jr. but usually end up at Mo Tucker.
Wow, no is not an acceptable answer.
I like that your communicating what you need.
It should always be about the sound and how to improve it.
Also ... I'm a big al Jackson Jr. fan. .... What grooves , so simple.
 

rock roll

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Man, Olderschool, I'm right there with you. A really great keyboard friend of mine said to me years ago, "drums are meant to be felt, not heard." I've always loved that quote.

I recently quit my three piece band in which I had always played 90% brushes, 9% hot rods and 1% jazz sticks. The new drummer does not use brushes. I recently saw them, and the band seemed really happy with the new sound, especially the band mom/leader's wife. I, on the other hand thought the drums were too loud and way too busy. I think they will tire of this quickly, but who am I to say.

Bottom line, I sincerely think you have the right approach.
I thought it was bass should be felt rather than heard. Lol.
 

rock roll

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Man, Olderschool, I'm right there with you. A really great keyboard friend of mine said to me years ago, "drums are meant to be felt, not heard." I've always loved that quote.

I recently quit my three piece band in which I had always played 90% brushes, 9% hot rods and 1% jazz sticks. The new drummer does not use brushes. I recently saw them, and the band seemed really happy with the new sound, especially the band mom/leader's wife. I, on the other hand thought the drums were too loud and way too busy. I think they will tire of this quickly, but who am I to say.

Bottom line, I sincerely think you have the right approach.
Some people will be into themselves and their playing, concentrating mostly on what they are doing.
Not everyone will or even can listen to what every person in the band is playing at the same time as themselves. It's why conductors are so speacial.
And after a gig the drunks will convince you it was great.
 

Maggot

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Wow, no is not an acceptable answer.
I like that your communicating what you need.
It should always be about the sound and how to improve it.
Also ... I'm a big al Jackson Jr. fan. .... What grooves , so simple.
Someone asked me if I could play desert/stoner/riff rock. I was like, "between Green Onions, Hip Hug Her and my two triplet fills, I got it covered!" It worked too!
 

rock roll

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My goals are to be able to play the simple/tasteful, complicated/overplaying/busy, loud, and quiet all with excellence and precision. And have the musical maturity to identify when each is merited. If feedback from other musicians is requesting more volume, here it comes! If there is an imbalance in the sound, everyone in the band needs to be communicating on how to achieve that balance. Otherwise efforts are being squandered.

A little while ago another drummer was organizing an event and "asked" to use my drums and for me to run sound. I find out from him that yet another drummer will be playing as he is running the event. But I am supposed to be reassured by the comment, "he's really good! He's loud!" [Forehead slap]

Well over ten years before that I entered a musical scene where there were several drummers and became preferred because I played out with confidence (loud?), but the venue seemed to call for it. When I heard other drummers play the same gig they were nearly inaudible and didn't keep the band together.
You play what's needed.
It will mainly depend on how loud the guitarist is.

When I hear a great drummer it's the little things , the sudulties I notice, such as hi hat control, it's an instrument unto itself.
 

rock roll

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Someone asked me if I could play desert/stoner/riff rock. I was like, "between Green Onions, Hip Hug Her and my two triplet fills, I got it covered!" It worked too!
There’s one part of your comment that no one has revisited... “or I have to admit that what I perceive as overplaying is not.” This just may be true. One thing that we all have to realize is that just because something is your perception, that doesn’t make it an absolute reality. I don’t mean to sound abrasive when I say that but it’s true. So many people feel like anything other than the most basic simple beats played for the entire song with simplistic fills is considered “overplaying.” Too many feel like the “pocket” is just a straight beat, when what’s considered the pocket can change from song to song.
Yes, it all depends on the song.
 

Maggot

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I thought it was bass should be felt rather than heard. Lol.
The drummer for my current band sometimes complains that she can't hear my bass. I'm like "what do you have to hear my bass for? I listen to you." She's the fascist dictator of the beat, and rightfully so. I'm the dude with the flatwounds and the pick. If I have something she needs to hear, she'll hear it.
 

rock roll

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Just the other day a writer i know said in passing that he could stand to hear more playing from me...to mean more complex. I've worked with this guy for over 15 years and have done plenty of over the edge playing with him, The problem is that he is not writing material that warrants this approach. I tend to play like I'm making a record and that means I cut to the chase with my parts; just adding rolls and possibly double kicks is not going to make the tunes any better; In fact it would ruin them. I figure when he actually writes more edgy tunes I might cut loose a little.

What I see out there are a number of drummers trying to be the same exact thing...like playing outside the tune at the end with the all too famous quadruplet ending after everyone else has stopped. It gets old. There are a couple of guys around here that do this on every single tune...bu da ba dump! or bu bu dah!
Communication is big. Also I've found "tape is cheap". Hit the recorder and give it a 3 minute try. It usually takes longer talking about not doing it.
Listen back and decide yes or no...you never know til you try.
 

rock roll

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The drummer for my current band sometimes complains that she can't hear my bass. I'm like "what do you have to hear my bass for? I listen to you." She's the fascist dictator of the beat, and rightfully so. I'm the dude with the flatwounds and the pick. If I have something she needs to hear, she'll hear it.
Chick drummer , I'm Soo jealous. I'd happily jump to another instrument.
Have to add if she needs to hear you more , give it to her.
Move your amp, change your tone, she needs to groove with you just as much as you need to groove with her.
 

Tornado

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The drummer for my current band sometimes complains that she can't hear my bass. I'm like "what do you have to hear my bass for? I listen to you." She's the fascist dictator of the beat, and rightfully so. I'm the dude with the flatwounds and the pick. If I have something she needs to hear, she'll hear it.
I want to hear the changes so that I'm sure I know where I am in the song. I'd prefer that to come from the bass player in case someone else is taking a solo or drops out for any reason.
 

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