October 30, 2017
So here are my questions :
1 – Does transcribing Be-bop vocabulary Improve your Rock drumming ? IF Yes, What are the easy Stuff I can start With ?
3 – Does Transcribing Rock drumming makes you a Better Jazz drummer ?
2- IF you transcribe someone, do you try to get the exact sticking ?
3 – Do you really have to transcribe Old drummers in order to be Legitimate on the Instrument ?!
4 – What Do You Think When you Improvise over a Form ? Do you Always have a melody in your head ? Do you hear Chord Changes ? Both ?
5 – How would you recommand Learning Pop Tunes for drummers ?
6 – A Lot of People Think Gospel Chops drummers are not Musical, But They are the one’s I prefer, What do you think about them ?
October 25, 2013
Hello. Sorry for the late response. We moved locations from CT to MD and it took weeks to set up our new studio.
“1 – Does transcribing Be-bop vocabulary Improve your Rock drumming ? IF Yes, What are the easy Stuff I can start With ?”
Transcribing Bebop is not necessary for improving rock drumming. Listening to rock albums improves rock drumming. There are exceptions for those who have brought a jazz influence to rock music such as Mitch Mitchell from The Jimi Hendrix Experience and Brian Keenan from The Chambers Brothers. But it is good to note that you can bring any genre of music to any genre of music. There are no rules in making music.
“2- IF you transcribe someone, do you try to get the exact sticking ?”
That depends on how technical I want to get and what I achieve at the end. First step, I transcribe the piece and then I just play it afterward. If I am that pressed to get the exact sticking (which I rarely am), I’ll figure out what I think the sticking is or whatever I am capable of doing. The main point is to get the music right no matter the sticking which is less important.
“3 – Do you really have to transcribe Old drummers in order to be Legitimate on the Instrument ?!”
You do not have to transcribe anyone to be legitimate on the instrument. As a professional drummer you should at least be able to keep straight time without slowing down or speeding up at any tempo. You should always play with dynamics and not play too loud. A drummer should always listen to everything in the music at all times and not just the drums. A drummer should be aware of al lthe parts of all songs especially what the other instruments are doing. Overall, a professional drummer should make all the music feel good.
“4 – What Do You Think When you Improvise over a Form ? Do you Always have a melody in your head ? Do you hear Chord Changes ? Both ?”
When I improvise, I am thinking of telling a story while staying within the form of the song. I often play the melody, or at least refer to it. The chord changes help with the form but you can’t play chords on drums. However, you can use the chord progressions in your head to keep place. Then there are times where you can take the solo way outside of the composition (depending on how free the song is allowed to be).
“5 – How would you recommand Learning Pop Tunes for drummers ?”
Memorize every part of the song just like any style of music. Know the lyrics, the accents, the main grooves, the rests, the buildups, everything. Loop everything over and over until you know every section and part of the song just as with any genre or style of music.
“6 – A Lot of People Think Gospel Chops drummers are not Musical, But They are the one’s I prefer, What do you think about them ?”
Gospel chops are a very big misconception about drums and music in general. If you notice, there are more of them on YouTube than in working professional groups. Gospel chops are more of a fad than anything else. All of the ways to NOT GET HIRED are instilled within the Gospel Chops community. It may be fun to watch those videos, however, all of those drummers sound exactly alike. They all play the same 32 notes all over the kit. It is more of a sport than music because all the drummers try to out play each other. They are all too busy for any song. As a band leader I would never look for a drummer that plays like that or tries to.
My friend Dennis Chambers and I have had conversations about this subject and he feels exactly the same. It’s best to know how to treat music on the drums as a producer and not as a drummer. Approach all music as the songwriter. At the end of the day, this is what is preferred by the listener. Learn how to enjoy playing ballads and music with a lot of space. It’s not about playing a lot of drums. It’s all about playing music and using the drums as the vehicle to elevate the music.
Create your own sound and personality so that when you play, it sounds like you and no one else. This takes time and development of course, but the drummers that have their own sound are amongst my favorite.
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