Showing posts from June, 2015

The Importance of Phrasing

Today's post is directed primarily at the drum set player. Many of today's players develop amazing technical proficiency through hours and hours of practice. But just what do they practice? Most drummers seem to concentrate on 2 main things: Pure technique, like triplets or paradiddles around the drums, double bass chops, speed and precision. Beat/rhythms/grooves. This is all well and good, as we need to master many of these skills, but I've seen too many young drummers concentrate strictly on these. When it comes to playing in a band, they have the technique, but not the means to successfully apply it to the music in a musical way. They often end up sounding like they are playing exercises out of a drum book, which is what they are doing. You can learn to be a better drummer by listening to great singers… I'm all for technique, but not at the sacrifice of the music. An important thing for drummers to do is to listen to both singers and horn players. T

The Importance of Creating Your Own Musical Voice

Think about your favorite musicians or bands. What is it you like about them? It's probably something they do differently than others, something that you like that's easily identifiable. One thing that is easily identifiable is their  sound.  The recently departed BB King had a guitar sound you could easily identify. You'd never mistake him for Eddie VanHalen, even if they were playing together. Think about the sound of drummers you know. Ginger Baker is always Ginger, with his tubby, thuddy sort of drum sound. Joe Morello's sound was always tight & crisp, yet full. John Bonham always had that full, larger than life drum sound. Bill Bruford always has that cracking snare drum sound. The same goes for licks/beats/rhythms/grooves. Tony Williams—you can always tell it's Tony by his flam triplets. Or Neil Peart by his cascading tom fills. Or Bernard Purdie by his impeccable shuffle. Or Levon Helm by his deep, soulful groove. Be a drummer, not this… The 1s