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

rock roll

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i got a new gig and the bass player (who i like playing with, but just met) said to me after practice - ''i finally get a pocket drummer that does not play too much''. he gets me, and i could not be happier. so we are out there...........
Enjoy that time . It always gets ruined at some point, someone moves away or dies etc.
 

rock roll

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"Drums were drowning us out" man I haven't heard that in years...
Yeah , it used to be big amps big speakers. That's all changed (local gigging) to small amps mic'd and small pa speakers , lightweight.
 

tommykat1

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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.
How about this one? Steve Jordan and Willie Weeks, along with other legends.

 

rock roll

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Again, this is totally situational. There are 1000's of bands where that is true. But imagine Pete Townshend saying that to Keith Moon, or Robert Plant telling John Bonham to hold back. Or John Coltrane telling Elvin Jones to make himself invisible back there.
I read a story from a drummer that was friends with Keith moon when he was young and was working at the local drum shop where Keith would come in and geek out on drums.
Everyone thought he overplayed and was terrible.
He would have Keith sit in with his band when he couldn't do it, and the band hated it, he overplayed.
But his style worked with "the who".
 

rock roll

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wait, overplaying?
I couldn't even make it to the end.
It gave me flashbacks. Noooooo!!
It reminded me of the the two types of drummers a friend told me about.
Band drummers and percussion drummers.
This guy is definitely a percussion drummer.they accent everything. Probably a really good percussionist with timbales and cungas etc.
 

rock roll

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I have become a much simpler and tasteful drummer over the years listening to myself on playback recordings after a gig. As I listened to songs we played I was able to analyze what worked and what didn't as far as taste is concerned. I was always in time and fills were on beat, but as I listened I would ask myself if that fill was necessary and did it complement or just muddy up a song. It's been hugely successful in making me a more tasteful drummer... I stay pretty busy playing for all types of musicians and band scenarios.
I gree, I record everything and listen back to see what I need to change as well as what I did right. It's near impossible to remember every beat etc I do after it's over.
 

Maggot

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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.
I do. I'm easy to get along with as a bass player, and we do lock in. It sounds enormous, because really all I'm trying to do is lock in on the drums 99% of the time, and I design my tone around it, but she's a purist in ways that I'm not, so I frequently get the stink eye in practice (we play originals). I think the "not hearing" accusation came when I stepped on a fuzz for 4 or 8 bars.
 

b/o 402

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How about this one? Steve Jordan and Willie Weeks, along with other legends.

Funny, the only example I could think of when you might refer to a drummer as "felt but not heard" would be brushes on a ballad, although I was picturing Papa Joe behind Ella. Can you post an example with sticks? Something up-tempo?
 

tommykat1

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Funny, the only example I could think of when you might refer to a drummer as "felt but not heard" would be brushes on a ballad, although I was picturing Papa Joe behind Ella. Can you post an example with sticks? Something up-tempo?
Oh, so you do have some ideas here. From your prior post, I thought your were stumped. Perhaps you can show an example, too...?
 

b/o 402

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Well my point is that I don't feel that " Felt but not heard" is a very helpful way to try to explain how Instruments are supposed to interact with each other. Perhaps you don't mean that drummers literally shouldn't be heard, but I can tell you I have encountered musicians or sound people who don't want to hear any drums, or bass, or guitar, or whatever, and they use that exact phrase to try to justify it.
 

tommykat1

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Well my point is that I don't feel that " Felt but not heard" is a very helpful way to try to explain how Instruments are supposed to interact with each other. Perhaps you don't mean that drummers literally shouldn't be heard, but I can tell you I have encountered musicians or sound people who don't want to hear any drums, or bass, or guitar, or whatever, and they use that exact phrase to try to justify it.
Here's my take, as best as I can express it: If your ears go to the melody, vocals and melodic instruments, and you're not distracted by the rhythm section, you're feeling it, not hearing it.

Note that we drummers can certainly pick out the parts, but the average listener's ears go elsewhere, unless drawn to the instrument via solos or excess fills.

>> Here's Stevie painting a helluva picture, with few distractions:


>> And here's one I recently came back to after years. For the pulse! And, dammit, Tony Levin's bass and Manu Katché's drums are to die for. They leave so many notes out! :) Gotta love it! I never heard them until I began analyzing the parts. I used to dance to this in the clubs in the 80s with my wife. Felt that rhythm section, not heard!


>> I picked this recent song because the (admitted) pounding begins in your face to set the tone, but then becomes simply the pulse of straightforward 1234 with few fills and no distractions. We drummers can certainly filter what the drummer is playing, but the audience FEELS it. The song is all about melody, vocals and guitar, propelled by a solid rhythm section:


And consider:

>> Much of Hal Blaine's work on 60s and 70s music.

>> The Beatles, Stones. Much, but not all, of course.

>> Did any of these drummers and bass players make enough of an impression that we can name the studio player off the top of our heads?: Beach Boys, Byrds, Carpenters, Buffalo Springfield, CSN&Y, Mamas and the Papas. Nope. It's all about the songs.

>> Pick a featured singer/songwriter today, and analyze the videos. I just randomly checked out four Ed Sheeran songs. Electronic percussion adds a pulse to the music, but it's all about melody and vocals.

Just my .02. Certainly debatable!
 

rock roll

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Maybe the 800 lb. gorilla in the room.....

If you are part of an original project, no one outisde of that project has any business telling you you're "too busy" or not "playing for the song", etc. No one. We can have opinions as to whether Mitch Mitchell was too busy on "Hey Joe" or whether Stewart Copeland "played for the song" on Driven to Tears, but our opinions don't mean squat in the face of the success of the tunes.

I find it amusing that I (or anyone else for that matter) could feel justified critiquing the work of a drummer with hit records that sold thousands, perhaps millions of copies, for being "too busy" or "not playing the song". Are you kidding me? Lol. Players who blazed a path in the industry playing whatever they and their bandmates "felt" fit the tune (busy or not) creating iconic tunes that millions of people love? Yea, not going to touch that...lol.

Now, if you are playing someone else's tunes or charts then you run the risk of "over\under" playing the tune if you stray too far l from what was done before you. UNLESS-the people involved in that project with you are going for a variation on that original piece and want to open it up.

There is freedom in orginal projects to "play-with or without permission" that you don't always have playing covers.
Most of what I've read here on this topic and my own view seems to be about the people that can't pull off overplaying.
Mitch Mitchell is a great example of pulling it off.
I jam with drummers who seem to play the beat only to get to the rolls, every possible chance to put a roll in, it's almost a song full of rolls.
They are not trying to play the song or even feel a groove , the're just practicing their rolls.
This is my complaint about overplaying.
 

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simple driving beats are boring. if a song sounds better Keith Moon style thats what I do. If it sounds great with a Nigel Olsson style thats what I do. Stop putting down Keith Moon styles drummer , mind your own business and go practice and maybe one day you will actually learn how to play the drums to music.
 

tommykat1

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simple driving beats are boring. if a song sounds better Keith Moon style thats what I do. If it sounds great with a Nigel Olsson style thats what I do. Stop putting down Keith Moon styles drummer , mind your own business and go practice and maybe one day you will actually learn how to play the drums to music.
I have to say that "Who's Next" is one of my favorite albums. Might be weird to say in this thread, but, to me, Keith Moon is not overplaying. What he does works for the music, and it would be worse without his unique technique. Same can be said of Bonham in Zep, or Peart in Rush, or Buddy Rich in anything. The listener specifically wants to hear these guys. I know I do. But imagine another drummer changing the parts 180 degrees. The music just wouldn't work.

As you say, "Play the drums to the music."
 

Maggot

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I have to say that "Who's Next" is one of my favorite albums. Might be weird to say in this thread, but, to me, Keith Moon is not overplaying. What he does works for the music, and it would be worse without his unique technique. Same can be said of Bonham in Zep, or Peart in Rush, or Buddy Rich in anything. The listener specifically wants to hear these guys. I know I do. But imagine another drummer changing the parts 180 degrees. The music just wouldn't work.

As you say, "Play the drums to the music."
Keith Moon will frequently play straight (or at least straight for him) where other drummers would put a fill, only to go crazy in unexpected spots.

What kills me is the drummers who throw in a fill every 4 or 8 bars whether it's needed or not. It begins to grate on the listener, like fill time is rolling around, and you're like, "Just this once, don't do it!!!" After a while, it's demoralizing. Just SKIP ONE FREAKIN' FILL every now and again, and you're well on your way to not overplaying.
 

Mongrel

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Thinking.....

How do we know how any band would sound-good or bad, with another drummer?

We hear it a lot but not so sure we can be that sure....
 

tommykat1

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Thinking.....

How do we know how any band would sound-good or bad, with another drummer?

We hear it a lot but not so sure we can be that sure....
Actually, here's a good example: the Led Zeppelin reunion with Jason Bonham in place of his dad. The performance just doesn't have the right feel. The solid punch is missing, IMHO.

But the Who with Zak Starkey works, methinks. And Abe Laboriel, Jr., as well as McCartney's other band members, do a darn good job of emulating the Beatles. Bonus: Laboriel can sing background!
 


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