Maybe not more, but less is sometimes better

Mongrel

DFO Veteran
Joined
Oct 3, 2016
Messages
2,358
Reaction score
1,349
Location
South Jersey, USA
it depends on the song.
Agree....

It would be good to have some context.

Are we talking covers? Originals? Blues jams?

Are we taking a "busy" song and pulling back, or are we talking about a tune with a basic drum part that we have been over-playing and pulling back?

Are playing less notes than on the original tune we are covering, or are we simplifying an original composition?

It would be grest to hear some examples of what you guys are playing in these situations.

Certainly a worthy topic.
 

pwc1141

DFO Veteran
Joined
Nov 3, 2009
Messages
1,710
Reaction score
619
Location
Pattaya, Thailand
Agree....

It would be good to have some context.

....

It would be great to hear some examples of what you guys are playing in these situations.

Certainly a worthy topic.
In my own case, I spent a lot of time (years) on more perfect note placement on cymbal jazz patterns and on brush work to keep one brush on the head at all times and smooth/even sweeps ..... and tempo, pocket and "feel" improvement. That kind of stuff rather than technique "chops".
 

multijd

Very well Known Member
Joined
Dec 1, 2013
Messages
1,207
Reaction score
509
Location
Buffalo, NY
In the midst of all of the busy over the top playing out there, simplicity with commitment and intent are refreshing.
 

frankmott

Humble (drum) shop-keeper
Joined
Aug 6, 2005
Messages
2,692
Reaction score
574
Location
N.E. Ohio
Agree....

It would be good to have some context.

Are we talking covers? Originals? Blues jams?

Are we taking a "busy" song and pulling back, or are we talking about a tune with a basic drum part that we have been over-playing and pulling back?

Are playing less notes than on the original tune we are covering, or are we simplifying an original composition?

It would be grest to hear some examples of what you guys are playing in these situations.

Certainly a worthy topic.
Context. Fair enough. I routinely play in two bands: A six-piece Zydeco band; and a Power-trio. Both are blues-based, but not all songs are 12-bar. The power-trio is more hard-rock oriented. Both play covers, but they tend to be standards that have been done by dozens of others -- Louis Jordan, Big Joe Turner, Muddy Waters, Randy Newman, etc. Both bands play originals (more so in the power-trio). Nobody in either band is concerned with slavish adherence to the original versions of songs. Some of it -- gasp! -- even leans towards jazz.

Nobody's getting rich, that's for sure!
 

RIDDIM

DFO Master
Joined
Aug 5, 2005
Messages
3,707
Reaction score
541
Location
MD
What you've just described, Frank, is exactly what I'm finding with my own playing - and also with 50+ years behind the kit. I thought it was just me. Good to know that others are experiencing the same trend. Is it just our age?

GeeDeeEmm
- I think it's wisdom.
 

mcjaco

DFO Veteran
Joined
Jan 12, 2011
Messages
1,852
Reaction score
209
Location
Vernon Hills, IL
I've been blessed with playing with some phenomenal guitar players. People come to see them and their tasty licks. Not me trying to one up the song with unnecessary fills, crashes and double paradiddles.

Keep the tempo, lay down the foundation, and the rest is butter.
 

Bandit

DFO Master
Joined
Feb 10, 2015
Messages
3,280
Reaction score
1,241
Location
Canada
I've been blessed with playing with some phenomenal guitar players. People come to see them and their tasty licks. Not me trying to one up the song with unnecessary fills, crashes and double paradiddles.

Keep the tempo, lay down the foundation, and the rest is butter.
So the guitar players should have all the fun??? No thanks. :)
 

SteveB

DFO Master
Joined
Aug 5, 2005
Messages
7,915
Reaction score
249
Location
South Hampton, NH
There are so many chops monsters out there right now that it would be hard to compete with them. There's nothing wrong with simple; in fact, sometimes its far superior sounding in the larger picture. Let the tune be your guide. If everything is on 10 all the time it can be a real mess...to me anyway.
 

frankmott

Humble (drum) shop-keeper
Joined
Aug 6, 2005
Messages
2,692
Reaction score
574
Location
N.E. Ohio
I agree, and will one further that it also depends upon they style of music you play. Prog rock is definitely better with busier fills.
Prog-rock was a huge influence on me. I grew up on it, and still love it. According to Wikipedia, “Most of the genre’s major bands released their most critically acclaimed albums during the years 1971-1976.” That corresponds to my teen years. I turned 14 in 1971, and had been playing drums (or at least trying) since 1967. Musically, it was a great time to be a teenager. We all know the impact contemporary music has on our teen years. Many people will cite music from that time in their lives as “the best.” Many people will also disregard any music that comes along later.

As a musician, I’ve been open to music post-1977 (the year I turned 20), but the truth is, prog-rock moves me like no other.

In 1975, I graduated high-school and started drumming in crappy bands in shitty bars. While ELP were filling stadiums (stadia?) with fans (I was there!), and hundreds of notes per second, bar bands were more likely to play CCR. I was there, too.

Why? It’s a whole lot easier to dance to Proud Mary than Karn-evil 9. Bar patrons, and particularly bar owners, want music that is danceable. More dancing equals more beer drinking. To this day, if you walk into one of the few bars left with live music, you’re far more likely to hear Bad Moon on the Rise than Tarkus.

I’m glad there are no recordings of those bar-bands I was in. I shudder to think how I must have wrecked the beautiful simple grooves of danceable rock tunes with visions of Carl Palmer, Bill Bruford and Phil Collins dancing in my head.

I tried playing in prog-rock bands back then -- we played to empty rooms. I would go see my musician pal’s prog-rock bands, would marvel at their technical mastery, and bemoan the empty rooms they were playing. One of the hallmarks of progressive rock is that it’s music for listening. Odd and changing meters, fun and interesting as there are, do not lend themselves to dancing. Let’s not even talk about the lyrics; they seemed deep when we were all stoned but in looking back, WTF?

Around 1980, I got hired by a country band. I HATED country music, but needed the work. (In looking back, we were more rock, but were considered country --probably because of the pedal-steel.) All the musicians were older than me, all of four years or so but at that age it seemed like a lot. They were much more experienced and merciless about instilling in me the importance of groove. Lay off the fills. Lay of the crashes. Make it feel good. They turned me on to artists such as Dan Hicks, Commander Cody, and Asleep at the Wheel. I learned more about making music in the year I played with them (the leader broke it up and moved out west), than I did in four years of being a music major in college.

Now, that I’ve been playing in bars for 40-plus years, I’ve discovered that the more notes I can pull out of a groove, and still make it work, the better the feel. It’s been a slow journey, but like I said in the OP, I’m starting to get the hang of it.
 
Last edited:

Mongrel

DFO Veteran
Joined
Oct 3, 2016
Messages
2,358
Reaction score
1,349
Location
South Jersey, USA
So the guitar players should have all the fun??? No thanks. :)
Interesting and very profound comment Bandit.

Where do we draw the line on our own enjoyment and experience of playing?

And are we sure our ghost notes and 'extra' fills are what is "killing the groove"? I mean, people are STILL dancing so what's the harm?

Now maybe a four minute drum solo, sure. But that's not what is happening, so.....?

We need some recordings to contextualize what our reference points are. At least, I think that would be helpful....
 
Last edited:

mcjaco

DFO Veteran
Joined
Jan 12, 2011
Messages
1,852
Reaction score
209
Location
Vernon Hills, IL
So the guitar players should have all the fun??? No thanks. :)
Who said they're having all the fun? I get enjoyment out of playing with great musicians, and the response we get. I'm not gonna muck it up with trying to fill any, and all available space with stuff that doesn't do anything for the song, or the performance.
 

anthony marquart

Very well Known Member
Joined
Jul 29, 2015
Messages
723
Reaction score
64
Location
28027
I think part of the problem is that we see these fantastic internet drummers playing amazing fills and beats,. and we want to do that.. So we end up over playing songs.. I'm guilty as anyone.. but at nearly 50,.. I get it.. hard to hold back the beast,.. so to speak..
 

Mongrel

DFO Veteran
Joined
Oct 3, 2016
Messages
2,358
Reaction score
1,349
Location
South Jersey, USA
I think part of the problem is that we see these fantastic internet drummers playing amazing fills and beats,. and we want to do that.. So we end up over playing songs.. I'm guilty as anyone.. but at nearly 50,.. I get it.. hard to hold back the beast,.. so to speak..
Honestly, I rarely watch youtube drummers. In fact, I rarely *specifically* watch other "drummers" period. No agenda here, just being real honest. I came of age before the internet so all my exposure to drummers was through my ears or live. When MTV hit I wasn't interested as 90% of it was so phony it didn't hold any interest to me. Just not my thing. Some of my drum heroes were guys like Ringo, Mitch Mitchell, Danny Seraphine, Nick Mason, Nigel Olsson, Roger Pope, and later, Stuart Copeland. Drummers for bands like Sade, Steve Miller, and the studio guys like Hal Blaine, Jim Gordon, Russ Kunkel and Jim Keltner. All of them were unique and "played for the song" but with plenty enough chops to keep it interesting. To me anyway.

With that out of the way...

I play what I feel. I respond and react to what is happening, funnel it through hours and hours of listening or watching bands that I admired and respected, and spit it all back out. Sometimes it works, sometimes not. Rarely does it sound exactly like anyone else as far as I can tell. But I am blessed to be able to have fun with it as I feed myself (and my family lol) by other means.

I get the whole "play for the song", and do that almost every Sunday and with the bands I work with. But I also get the play what you feel with a big smile on your face-whether it be 1/4s or 1/16s.

ALL of it works-in it's proper place. The ultimate goal is to find where you fit in best and yes, have FUN with it.

ps-I am currently working on figuring out how to record myself and when I can get a decent recording I will throw myself on the DF alter of inspection so maybe I can demonstrate some of what I do...lol.
 
Last edited:

shuffle

DFO Master
Joined
Aug 31, 2009
Messages
6,209
Reaction score
598
Location
Reno/Tahoe
I was never much of a teacher -- though I tried for a while as a younger man. Maybe I'd be better at it now, I don't know.

The only tip I have is that it's not so much age (though it certainly helps), as it is experience. Those of us who were talented enough, lucky enough, smart enough, or motivated enough to gain a lot of experience at an early age are the ones more likely to have made a living playing this crazy instrument. Those of us without the talent, luck, motivation, or smarts had to wait for the years to provide the experience.

So to you, Rock: PLAY! Play as much as possible with as many different musicians as possible. LEARN as much as you can about the instrument. LISTEN to as many different styles as you can (they all have something to offer). But mostly, play.
Didnt Miles say Just play?!?
Lol
Totally agree!
 

frankmott

Humble (drum) shop-keeper
Joined
Aug 6, 2005
Messages
2,692
Reaction score
574
Location
N.E. Ohio
Play a couple dozen gigs with a "bikini kit" (two-piece), and you'll soon learn what's really important. That was part of my too-late-education. That is, unless you're playing in a Rush tribute band...

Or, if you're not playing out anywhere, take down everything but kick, snare and hats -- okay, maybe one cymbal -- put on the headphones and see what happens. It can be very eye (and ear) opening.
 


Top