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Does it matter what you hit as long as you have groove?

toddbishop

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For example, I've seen street drummers literally hit 5 gal buckets and pieces of metal and make a sick groove/beat I could dance to and/or make music to. And conversely, I've seen guys with amazing super expensive drum kits who completely miss the point, have no groove and are simply distracting from the music. This is an interesting conundrum to me...and I feel like the balance lies somewhere in the middle...?

Discuss.

It depends on the setting, but it's not totally wrong-- I'm talking about playing music, people playing in the street can do whatever they want. A lot of what Keith Moon did was just wailing on 8th notes.

I was talking with a pianist I play with, who is Brazilian, and a very heavy player and composer-- we were talking about playing Brazilian rhythms, and his suggestion was just play the 8th notes.

Of course you have to know the foundation or you're going to play a lot of wrong stuff, but he wasn't worried about stating the actual rhythms on his stuff.
 

Hulakatt

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You can make great music on anything, esp in the studio. You can do all kinds of things and make great music from junk equipment. I've mic'd up water jugs, cardboard boxes, whatever. It doesn't matter nearly as much as what you do with it.

 

Hulakatt

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but I have never seen any in an on-stage band setting and maybe there is reason for that ...

Volume and projection. Drums and cymbals are designed to very efficiently reproduce acoustic sounds at a tremendous volume and all that other stuff isn't at all. Well, any of that other stuff isn' designed "to sound" at all, it's a happy accident but that doesn't mean it doesn't work well under some conditions.
 

Slingwig26

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For example, I've seen street drummers literally hit 5 gal buckets and pieces of metal and make a sick groove/beat I could dance to and/or make music to. And conversely, I've seen guys with amazing super expensive drum kits who completely miss the point, have no groove and are simply distracting from the music. This is an interesting conundrum to me...and I feel like the balance lies somewhere in the middle...?

Discuss.
It does not matter. Just get in the groove.
 

Jimmy Blue Eagle

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"Groove" is the interpretation of the quarter note. There are millions of "nano beats" or "opportunities" within metronomic time. Where do you "feel" the quarter note? Some guys like Bonham "feel" the quarter note a nano behind the quarter giving him that (in my opinion unique and unduplicatable) "fat" sound and killer relaxed "groove" ,... or Mr. Gadd, or Porcaro. Then there is like the Clem Burke "right on top of the quarter note" feel that drives that sound. A little more pushy maybe, but a "groove" non the less. Then there are metronomic guys like Peart. Very solid but (in my opinion, metronomic). At any rate a good player should be able to kill it on a rice crispy box. (shhhhhh,... Buddy).
 

Chris.H

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For example, I've seen street drummers literally hit 5 gal buckets and pieces of metal and make a sick groove/beat I could dance to and/or make music to. And conversely, I've seen guys with amazing super expensive drum kits who completely miss the point, have no groove and are simply distracting from the music. This is an interesting conundrum to me...and I feel like the balance lies somewhere in the middle...?

Discuss.
Groove? I think it's something that you first have to feel inside of yourself. You have to feel it and hear it. The articulation of if could be on a drum, bucket or frying pan. My Cuban teacher could tap out the most delicious and syncopated groovy rhythms with just a spoon playing on a table top. He knew how to get that sound and feeling he had in his head and express it anywhere and on anything using: his voice, conga, bongo, timbale, cowbell, drumset, frying pan........etc.....etc.....etc.....
 

DavedrumsTX

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For example, I've seen street drummers literally hit 5 gal buckets and pieces of metal and make a sick groove/beat I could dance to and/or make music to. And conversely, I've seen guys with amazing super expensive drum kits who completely miss the point, have no groove and are simply distracting from the music. This is an interesting conundrum to me...and I feel like the balance lies somewhere in the middle...?

Discuss.
No. Groove, feel and time trump gear. I’ve been all over the world and have heard players literally playing on garbage and they sounded amazing. I took a lesson with Dave Garibaldi many years back and he was playing a beat up, Tama student kit with cheap cymbals. Guess what? He sounded great.
 

ronisong

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As the late, great, Freddie Gruber once told me, "A good drummer can sound great playing a telephone book!" (This is back in the day when big cities had thick telephone books for all you youngster. There were no computers or cell phones :)
 

RayB

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For example, I've seen street drummers literally hit 5 gal buckets and pieces of metal and make a sick groove/beat I could dance to and/or make music to. And conversely, I've seen guys with amazing super expensive drum kits who completely miss the point, have no groove and are simply distracting from the music. This is an interesting conundrum to me...and I feel like the balance lies somewhere in the middle...?

Discuss.
I saw a few guys playing on buckets in NYC that blew me away. Not just the groove; the buckets had a great sound!

There's a great record by a Count Basie small group, "Jive at Five", with Lester Young playing beautiful tenor sax. Papa Jo Jones playing brushes on his trap case! In fact, I think there's no bass drum, either, just trap case and hi hat. What a groove, what a touch the man had.

In a basic way, percussion is hitting stuff to play a rhythm. Lots of things produce a good "groove", including high-end drum sets and plastic tubs. I don't get the negativity about cajons, either. Yeah, it's a box, so what?

The late great basketball player Bill Russell once said there's only one thing he cares about in a player; "Can he play the game?"
 


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