Technique limits and the impact on style

AtlantaDrumGuy

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I realized early on that I’d never be a Weckl, even if I practiced 15 hours a day. (And I’m okay with that). I still enjoy listening to anything with Vinnie, but again, some of those licks can’t pull off. I’m fact, I rarely play fills. I’m not saying one should not practice, but I think we come to a point where we accept the kind of player that we become. It’s also my philosophy that technique informs your style, whether or not you realize it. If Elvin had chops like Buddy, I’m going to suggest that he would not have sounded like the Elvin we knew and loved. It’s not that one way is superior (having mass chops or not), but to an extent, a lack of technique can influence your style. I’m not sure if Levon would have had that dirt if he had Weckl chops.

I still like it all though. I feel like Jim Keltner in that he tends to appreciate the wide range of drummers from Ringo to Vinnie, etc. but never let anything (more skilled players with a lot of technique) get in his path of success in music. Just a thought. But I feel like technique impacts your style a great deal, one way or another.
 

JDA

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whats that got to do with playing in a swing trio/band
i think one can become the styles they want to be.
enough to do a reasonable impersonation indoctrination ;
I mean one's just drawn to it (whatever the it/the things might be)

if you look at the velocity between (you mentioned) Elvin and Buddy at points there's not that much disparity.
Technique should never hold one up from a style
I'm all about style 129% . technique 89% lol
 
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AtlantaDrumGuy

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Yea, I get it. Tony Williams could have played any way that he wanted. He had the technique for it. I think Elvin had a certain amount of technique, but more limited than Tony. You can “hear” Elvin sort of struggle often…and that ends up becoming part of the sound man! It’s like, I’m going for it and we’re gonna hope this lands back on 1! Whereas a drummer like Weckl can calculate exactly his licks. And again, impacts the sound (not good or bad necessarily)
 

JDA

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certain amount? no no no. Sort of Struggle often is a (sometimes) entire point of pushing beyond one's immediate means.,
no that difference you're talking about is (i think) just their difference as 'people'..(we're feelings emotions and temperament)
hope I haven't killed the thread)
ps I thought you had a lot of technique when I heard you recently in a clip right.
 
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Matched Gripper

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I realized early on that I’d never be a Weckl, even if I practiced 15 hours a day. (And I’m okay with that). I still enjoy listening to anything with Vinnie, but again, some of those licks can’t pull off. I’m fact, I rarely play fills. I’m not saying one should not practice, but I think we come to a point where we accept the kind of player that we become. It’s also my philosophy that technique informs your style, whether or not you realize it. If Elvin had chops like Buddy, I’m going to suggest that he would not have sounded like the Elvin we knew and loved. It’s not that one way is superior (having mass chops or not), but to an extent, a lack of technique can influence your style. I’m not sure if Levon would have had that dirt if he had Weckl chops.

I still like it all though. I feel like Jim Keltner in that he tends to appreciate the wide range of drummers from Ringo to Vinnie, etc. but never let anything (more skilled players with a lot of technique) get in his path of success in music. Just a thought. But I feel like technique impacts your style a great deal, one way or another.
For me, the joy of playing the drums is, in large part, making it an ongoing endeavor to grow and improve.

We have no choice but to accept the players we are. But, we don’t have to accept always being the players we are now. The player I am now is not the player I was, or the player I will be.
 

Squirrel Man

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For me, the joy of playing the drums is, in large part, making it an ongoing endeavor to grow and improve.

We have no choice but to accept the players we are. But, we don’t have to accept always being the players we are now. The player I am now is not the player I was, or the player I will be.
Well this, for me at least. Do the best with what you got and go from there. It's not a competition.

If you're not having fun and grooving then what's the point?
 

JDA

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if drumming time /evolution was a manual gearbox I'm about ready to drop it into 7th and I think she's an 8-speed
(fingers crossed of course) or I'm looking at the last gears
and will probably go out with a bang
but it's true as mentioned we evolve
there's some things I still want to do drum wise within a band still.
and work on it every day. Not forcing just evolving
 
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dcrigger

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I’m not sure if Levon would have had that dirt if he had Weckl chops.
He may not have. But what about having those chops would've stopped him from playing with that dirt if he chosen to?

IMO absolutely nothing. Because the chops themselves define nothing except the ceiling of one's technique.

Now what a player chooses to do with that technique is up to them. Certainly having pursued that technique and worked to obtain it will then be part of that person - but the person decides. Not the technique.

Look at all of contemporaries of Tony Williams - those with similar chops and levels of jazz mastery. Then look at how few chose play rock as convincingly as Tony.

All had stunning technique. Many maybe not as stunning as Tony - but playing rock effectively the opposite problem.

Your theory would suggest that their technique was a stumbling block from them being "able to" play rock. My point is that I think it is as simple as they chose not to. A player has to really hear what they are trying to play. Really relate to it. They have to "get" the sound they are trying to make - and really want to make it.

Technique is a tool - nothing more, nothing less.

And as always, it's the carpenter, not the hammer. The archer, not the bow.
 

hsosdrum

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I have to disagree a bit with Dave's assertion that chops define nothing but "the ceiling of one's technique". The limit of our chops also creates limitations on what we choose to play. Simply put, we choose to play what we know we can execute. The more we are able to execute, the more we may choose to play. The limits of our technique imposes limits on our musical choices.

This isn't good or bad, it's just the way things work. In certain musical situations it may be possible to try and push past the limits of our current technique, but those kinds of situations are few and far between. Most of the time we are expected to be able to execute what we attempt and to sound 'professional'. So our choices are limited by what we're sure we can play. The more we're sure we can successfully execute, the more choices we have. What we do with those choices is where taste and experience come into play.
 

dcrigger

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I have to disagree a bit with Dave's assertion that chops define nothing but "the ceiling of one's technique". The limit of our chops also creates limitations on what we choose to play. Simply put, we choose to play what we know we can execute. The more we are able to execute, the more we may choose to play. The limits of our technique imposes limits on our musical choices.

This isn't good or bad, it's just the way things work. In certain musical situations it may be possible to try and push past the limits of our current technique, but those kinds of situations are few and far between. Most of the time we are expected to be able to execute what we attempt and to sound 'professional'. So our choices are limited by what we're sure we can play. The more we're sure we can successfully execute, the more choices we have. What we do with those choices is where taste and experience come into play.
I'm not sure we're disagreeing at all - at least, I'm not with any of what you wrote above.

I think you're just stating a lot of it better than I did. :)
 

Seb77

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You can choose to play more organic, sloppy etc. - if you grasp the sound, motions etc. of the player you like. I started out playing classical, yet had listened to a lot of Elvin and Blakey when I got into jazz seriously, and I think it came out in my playing when I waned to. Btw, Elvin played classical percussion in the beginning, too, he just went for a different sound later.
 

shuffle

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Well this, for me at least. Do the best with what you got and go from there. It's not a competition.

If you're not having fun and grooving then what's the point?
The fun factor is foremost in my book.
Im a pocket drummer down in the lint,i poke out on occassion but its gotta have the feel and be fun.
Im no longer that serious about drumming.
 

cribbon

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I see technique as musical vocabulary: the more words you know and the better you understand the structure of the language you're speaking, the more choices you have and thus the greater potential to make the most appropriate or interesting statements. That doesn't mean using the most complex or obscure words just for the sake of using them if they don't fit the situation or say exactly what you want to convey.

Music, like language, is communication. Gary Burton once said at one of his clinics that he practiced and developed his technique to make his hands "disappear" so the listener would hear his musical thoughts exactly as he intended them, not as an approximation that was limited by his ability to convey them.
 
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mebeatee

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It's like the reading music joke....how well do I read music......with word substitutions....
How "advanced" is my drumming "technique"?

Not enough to hurt my playing........
kerplunk....ding ding...
bt
 

multijd

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If you get a chance to listen to Elvin speak and Levon speak (there are videos on YouTube) you will hear the root of their drumming. The reason you choose those drummers is because they have a very personal style. This is related to who they are as people. Their voice is the most visceral sound expression of their personality, desires, thoughts, wisdom, experiences. The answers are all their in how they speak.
 

hsosdrum

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...Music, like language, is communication. Gary Burton once said at one of his clinics that he practiced and developed his technique to make his hands "disappear" so the listener would hear his musical thoughts exactly as he intended them, not as an approximation that was limited by his ability to convey them.
This. Right. Here.
 


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