No Beat Is Innocent

We all love to play intricate, complex drum beats like this:


But unless you play in an original music band, or some sort of prog tribute band, this will not get you work!


The most basic beat is essential to master. It's also sold hundreds of millions of recordings. Listen to Charlie Watts. Listen to Levin Helm. Listen to Jim Keltner. Listen to Ndugu. Listen to Andy Newmark. Listen to Steve Jordan. Listen to so many other great drummers who may have massive technique, but choose to serve the song by playing this:


Now if you can't play the above beat and make people dance and groove, you are in trouble! All the technical skills of playing paradiddles at 208BPM, or monster blast beats, won't necessarily get you work, or endear you to other musicians. 

Most other musicians don't want to hear you 
play crazy, complicated drum beats—really. 

What they want is something they can depend on that makes them feel good, makes them dance and groove. You are there to serve the song. If the song needs the most basic beat to make it groove, play that! There is never anything wrong with playing simply. Repeat after me: There is never anything wrong with playing simply.

Now if you are lucky enough to get into a band that can play more complicated music, similar to RUSH, or TOOL, then you can play more complicated stuff. But even Neil Peart & Danny Carey know how to make the more complicated stuff groove, because they can make the simple stuff groove.

Serve the music, not yourself…

~ MB


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Art of Improvisation Extra: MONA FOMA, Part 3 of 4

Improvisation, Part 2 - Developing A Rhythmic Language

Nature as Nurture