Less is more, what is this obsession with speed?

Stalky55

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Does playing faster make you a better drummer? The faster it gets the less feel.
 

Squirrel Man

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Well, blast beats sound kind of silly at 60bpm.

I think speed is associated more with technical proficiency - "I can do it fast so I can do it at any speed", control and groove come at a slower pace.
 

Squirrel Man

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Actually the complete opposite is true Squirrel Man. It is harder to play at a consistent 40 bpm than 240. Just the space alone can send drummers with crappy time into the waste basket.
I don't disagree at all in some or most cases, I suggested that is the perception - that playing fast equates to technical proficiency.
 

JimmySticks

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Does playing faster make you a better drummer? The faster it gets the less feel.
@Deafmoon is right in my opinion.

Playing slow with the right feel and power, or softness if needed, is very difficult. For example, I think playing the blues is really hard. It's slow and it takes some real feel to make it sound right, not to mention trying to keep that back beat through a guitarists solo, is exceedingly difficult.

But to your question, it doesn't have to have less feel. It just takes a lot of work to keep that feel going no matter the speed. I'm still amazed at the speed some drummers can go, like Buddy Rich or Stan Levey, but they never lose the feel and consistency. People do equate speed with being better, but a drummer should be able to do both slow and fast equally well IMHO.
 

Rock Salad

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I kinda got to do some fast playing to get those tiny increments of time in my mind/hands. Once the feel is there for that increment, I can slow back down and use it in the bigger spaces of lower bpm. If that makes any sense?

I can also speak from my wasted time spent on other instruments when I was younger. It is easier to work technical exercises to death than it is to discover what you really want to play.
 

langmick

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I really can't listen to the Giuliana-type music, with too many notes cluttering up the ideas. I'm only asking for one or two quarter notes, maybe a dotted eighth, anything.

This tune is pretty darn hard to play, I've done it quite a few times with musicians. It all has to flow to have that lilt.

 

thejohnlec

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Our horn band plays a few “technically challenging” tunes, like What Is Hip, Late In The Evening, and some others in that vein.

We also play Peg by Steely Dan. I maintain that this tune is the most challenging one for me, in terms of pocket, coordination, and feel. This is a no-chop tune in the common definition, but it is a solid exercise in many areas.
 

dcrigger

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Does playing faster make you a better drummer? The faster it gets the less feel.
Not if you do it right.

In and of itself, playing faster doesn't define someone as better. But generally speaking, be able to play faster, makes a player more flexible and more likely to be able to play things slower with greater ease. By that I don't mean really slow, which presents it's own challenges. but being able to play something medium or somewhat slower than would be considered fast.

Nothing worse to my ears than a drummer playing at amedium tempo needing to play a 16th note fill - and being able to tell that it is hard for them. Just a bit too fast for them to pull off.

Sure very little music requires blistering speed chops - but a lot of basic pop rock and jazz mainstays get up there a bit. And again - there is no feel in the sound of a drummer struggling to keep up, struggling to articulate cleanly.... nor is there much fill in actually slowing down.

IMO as a blanket rule or concept "Less is More" is utter nonsense. Sure sometimes it's true - but sometimes is a far cry from all of the time or even most of the time.

And too many time, I fear it is used an excuse, a justification to simply not do the work...
 

Sprice

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IMO as a blanket rule or concept "Less is More" is utter nonsense. Sure sometimes it's true - but sometimes is a far cry from all of the time or even most of the time.

And too many time, I fear it is used an excuse, a justification to simply not do the work...
Agreed. In a lot of cases I don't think it's done consciously. People (myself included) can be pretty biased towards the music they like. I expect those who believe "less is more" are often into more chill music than something like grindcore or free jazz so of course a laid back pocket drumming style is going to appeal to them.
But speed (in control) in some form is vital in pretty much every musical genre unless you're into Gregorian chant or Type O Negative and I can't think of a single a-list drummer who hasn't shown the ability to rip it up at some point.
 

AtlantaDrumGuy

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I think the obsession with speed is only from some drummers. It’s needed for certain things... uptempo jazz, speed metal, etc. But I would say much less common for most music settings. That said, there is a certain amount of facility that a drummer needs depending on their musical situation...sometimes speed is needed there. As for playing alone, it’s mainly just flash.
 

JimmySticks

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I agree for the most part, but some of those be bop and big band guys had to play full on fast all night long. They were hired because they could keep up the high speeds while all the horns ran through their solo's. That's why I mentioned Stan Levey in my earlier post, because he could go flat out all night long and was often requested because of that.

Ooops! I just re-read your post and you did mention up tempo jazz. Somehow I missed it, apologies, disregard my post above!
 
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