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Guilty/Forgiven

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PostSubject: Drummer talk...   Sun Nov 08, 2015 7:21 pm

Not being a musician, I don't know much about what makes an amazing drummer, or a good drummer, or a sub-par drummer.

I've read and heard many things about Peter Criss being a horrible drummer... same with Lars Ulrich.  

Now, as a music fan, I don't "hear" this supposed "awfulness".  Granted, Peter and Lars are no Neil Peart, but the songs I've heard them perform on, and the concerts I've seen - they ain't so bad.

Howabout you ?  Do you have an ear for these things ? What's your take on these and other drummers who've been accused of having no talent ?
Also, can you point to any other drummers that were in well-known bands that get a bad rap ?
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Staybrite

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PostSubject: Re: Drummer talk...   Mon Nov 09, 2015 1:24 am

I never really noticed if the drummer was good or merely just subpar until I started playing in the church band.  I played with a few subpar ones, a few ok ones and one amazing one.  It is so much easier to play (as a guitarist or bassist) if you have a good drummer...for some reason it makes the whole band play and sound better.

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alldatndensum
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PostSubject: Re: Drummer talk...   Mon Nov 09, 2015 6:00 am

A great drummer is someone who can really feel what the rest of the band wants to do even if they are unfamiliar with a song.  They can change things up in verses without changing the overall feeling either.  Fill ins and runs also seem to add to the song rather than take away.  Just consider that drums are more than a rhythm instrument.  They are an extra layer of gloss on a beautiful canvas painting that preserves the piece and makes it pop.

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ishmael81

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PostSubject: Re: Drummer talk...   Mon Nov 09, 2015 10:17 am

As someone who plays about half a dozen instruments, including drums, I'm reminded of a clinician I saw once. He asked if Ringo Starr was a better drummer than Neal Peart (Rush) or Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater). We all said yes, of course. Then he sat down at his set, turned on a track of Love Me Do without drums and started playing like those two guys - polyrhythms, multiple fills, offbeat stuff...

His point was that it's more about what fits the song than technique. Are those guys better on a technical level than Ringo? Yes, by far. But what the Beatles needed was Ringo.

Same with the guy that plays for AC/DC. He's not great but he fits the style they play.

Here's another great example. This guy is a great drummer, technically speaking. But... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xx3Pzv3xJd4

I think I maybe answered your question.
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Guilty/Forgiven

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PostSubject: Re: Drummer talk...   Mon Nov 09, 2015 12:20 pm

Awesome responses ! Thank you guys !  And yes, I learned some stuff from these posts... Like I said, I don't have an ear for these things, nor am I a musician. I just like music. For me though, it's interesting to talk about the underdogs of bands. Usually lead vox, lead guitar and even rhythm guitar are the focus all the time, with bassists and drummers in the background. That's what I wanted to chat about in this thread, the drummers, their position and importance in bands - what makes a good drummer and why do some say that certain drummers suck ? 
Like Ish said, Ringo fits the Beatles groove, as does Phil Rudd for AC/DC... they may not be "phenomenal", but they fit the bands they're in and get the job done.
On this topic, I don't think Lars is a "bad drummer", cuz he fits perfectly in Metallica and gets the job done. 
Like Staybrite and Alldat said, the drummer is the "guide" for the band.. like a ship's rudder. They can move the band in a good direction or throw them off completely. I find that interesting.
I'd love to talk more about drummers and drum techniques as it seems they're the unsung heroes of bands.
Yes, Peart is a master, but he only fits RUSH - put him in, say, Collective Soul, and he probably wouldn't fit in... Each band has their unique style and sound, and you can't just take any drummer and plug him into any band. Am I right in saying this ? (cuz I honestly don't know, I'm just trying to learn more about the art of drumming).  Is learning to drum a universal technique, where you learn the basics then get plugged in to any band ? Or does each band require a certain style that a drummer needs to learn ?
Was Peter Criss a terrible drummer ?  I personally don't think so, but I've heard people say this and read articles saying the same thing... I don't "hear" "bad" drumming in those old KISS songs, or when I watch live videos of Criss tearing it up on stage.
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alldatndensum
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PostSubject: Re: Drummer talk...   Mon Nov 09, 2015 10:00 pm

I always like Criss' playing.  Listen to the KISS Alive albums and hear some of his drum solo work.  He's solid.

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ishmael81

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PostSubject: Re: Drummer talk...   Tue Nov 10, 2015 10:18 am

I've honestly wondered if most of the critics play drums themselves. It's easy to point out how bad you think someone is until you sit down behind the set and try to play for an hour - heck, one song.
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Staybrite

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PostSubject: Re: Drummer talk...   Tue Nov 10, 2015 1:09 pm

ishmael81 wrote:
I've honestly wondered if most of the critics play drums themselves. It's easy to point out how bad you think someone is until you sit down behind the set and try to play for an hour - heck, one song.

I've played guitar and bass and even sang a little (ok for an amateur with all 3).  But I couldn't keep a beat on a set of drums if my life depended on it.

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oteis

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PostSubject: Re: Drummer talk...   Tue Nov 10, 2015 2:46 pm

It's also a matter of perception. I played drums for about 8 years and always liked the supporting drummers, not the show-offs. Everybody is talking about drummers like Portnoy, Ted Kirkpatrick or maybe a Robert Sweet, but if you ask me being a drummer in a band isn't about drums, it's about supporting the band.Together with the bass player you're the backbone of the band.

Personal favorites are: Vinnie Colaiuta, Jeff Porcaro & Steve Gadd
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Xid

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PostSubject: Re: Drummer talk...   Tue Nov 10, 2015 3:10 pm

Another thing that makes a great drummer, or musician for that matter, is knowing when to not play.  I'd be willing to bet that Peart, Portnoy & Mangini could play with any band.  They are more than just flashy drummers.  They are rhythm machines.  Whereas drummers like Ringo and Criss may not be able to really fill the part in a band like Rush or Yes.
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ishmael81

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PostSubject: Re: Drummer talk...   Tue Nov 10, 2015 4:01 pm

Staybrite wrote:
ishmael81 wrote:
I've honestly wondered if most of the critics play drums themselves. It's easy to point out how bad you think someone is until you sit down behind the set and try to play for an hour - heck, one song.

I've played guitar and bass and even sang a little (ok for an amateur with all 3).  But I couldn't keep a beat on a set of drums if my life depended on it.

So if we're together in an end-of-the-world, life-or-death kind of thing, I'll cover the drum parts.
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ishmael81

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PostSubject: Re: Drummer talk...   Tue Nov 10, 2015 4:44 pm

oteis wrote:
It's also a matter of perception. I played drums for about 8 years and always liked the supporting drummers, not the show-offs. Everybody is talking about drummers like Portnoy, Ted Kirkpatrick or maybe a Robert Sweet, but if you ask me being a drummer in a band isn't about drums, it's about supporting the band.Together with the bass player you're the backbone of the band.

Personal favorites are: Vinnie Colaiuta, Jeff Porcaro & Steve Gadd

I agree. One of my favorite drummers is a guy named Chuck Cummings and I bet none of you could tell me who he is without a Google search. Another favorite is a guy named Jeff Nelson. Not flashy at all but to me, he defined the band. Without him, they would have been totally different.

At the same time, sometimes the music neccessitates the flash. If you're playing prog rock/metal or jazz, you need to be kinda flashy. It's all about the drummer conforming to the music and not the other way around.
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PostSubject: Re: Drummer talk...   Wed Nov 11, 2015 9:23 am

Oteis is absolutely right. Playing drums by yourself allows you to do whatever you want. But if you're going to play in a band, your number one job is the groove. A good rhythm section will make you move. No one dances to a good vocal run or lead solo, but a good groove gets you every time. 

When I was playing in cover bands, it used to drive me nuts trying to figure our exactly what Lars was doing. He was unique. Peter Criss? He's the reason I ever climbed behind a set of drums. I've had the honor of sharing a stage with him and it is still one of my favorite moments from almost 35 years of drumming.
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Guilty/Forgiven

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PostSubject: Re: Drummer talk...   Wed Nov 11, 2015 2:06 pm

See, that's what I'm talking about.  Everyone here agrees with me that Peter Criss and Lars ain't bad - rather, they're really good. Especially for the particular bands they're in.
Alldat - yes, the KISS Alive albums have some GNARLY drumming for sure !  And yet, I've been on threads, read books by band members, or even seen Youtube vids where they just tear Peter's abilities to shreds.
So he may have been a jerk in personality -who cares ?  His drumming is still solid.
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oteis

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PostSubject: Re: Drummer talk...   Wed Nov 11, 2015 3:04 pm

ishmael81 wrote:

I agree. One of my favorite drummers is a guy named Chuck Cummings and I bet none of you could tell me who he is without a Google search. Another favorite is a guy named Jeff Nelson. Not flashy at all but to me, he defined the band. Without him, they would have been totally different.
Chuck Cummings was drummer in Common Bond and currently Altar Billies. I know he did lots more, but those i know.  Very Happy
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ishmael81

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PostSubject: Re: Drummer talk...   Thu Nov 12, 2015 9:38 am

oteis wrote:
ishmael81 wrote:

I agree. One of my favorite drummers is a guy named Chuck Cummings and I bet none of you could tell me who he is without a Google search. Another favorite is a guy named Jeff Nelson. Not flashy at all but to me, he defined the band. Without him, they would have been totally different.
Chuck Cummings was drummer in Common Bond and currently Altar Billies. I know he did lots more, but those i know.  Very Happy

You are correct sir! I discovered him through his excellent work with Michael Knott when I noticed that some of my favorite Michael Knott solo/LSU/Lifesavers/Aunt Bettys albums had him as the drummer. The guy is solid.

Jeff Nelson was the drummer for Minor Threat, in case anyone was interested... Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Drummer talk...   Thu Nov 12, 2015 2:52 pm

I should check out more of the Knott stuff. I only have a few Lsu and one Knott album. I don't know Jeff Nelson.
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ishmael81

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PostSubject: Re: Drummer talk...   Thu Nov 12, 2015 4:11 pm

I have over 40 albums that are Knott-driven - Bomb Bay Babies, Aunt Bettys, LSU/Lifesavers/Lifesavors/etc., solo... if you need a recommendation let me know.
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PostSubject: Re: Drummer talk...   Fri Nov 13, 2015 1:52 am

ishmael81 wrote:
Staybrite wrote:
ishmael81 wrote:
I've honestly wondered if most of the critics play drums themselves. It's easy to point out how bad you think someone is until you sit down behind the set and try to play for an hour - heck, one song.

I've played guitar and bass and even sang a little (ok for an amateur with all 3).  But I couldn't keep a beat on a set of drums if my life depended on it.

So if we're together in an end-of-the-world, life-or-death kind of thing, I'll cover the drum parts.

I just hope you're around when that "life-or-death-drumming" incident occurs!

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alldatndensum
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PostSubject: Re: Drummer talk...   Fri Nov 13, 2015 7:17 am

Quote :
I've played guitar and bass and even sang a little (ok for an amateur with all 3).  But I couldn't keep a beat on a set of drums if my life depended on it.

That's what I used to think.  My exact phrase about my attempts at playing drums was, "My drumming sucks!"  I truly was bad.

However, in desperation to move a song along on the blues album, I gave it another try.  I played on the song for around 3 hours one day and got nothing I could keep as far as recording goes.  On a 2nd day, I decided to try it one more time and stop if I got frustrated.  After two hours of suck, something clicked.  I ended up nailing the drums on this song.  On the tracks used, I have no punch ins or corrections.  It was just me and one lucky pass.

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Staybrite

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PostSubject: Re: Drummer talk...   Fri Nov 13, 2015 4:28 pm

alldatndensum wrote:
Quote :
I've played guitar and bass and even sang a little (ok for an amateur with all 3).  But I couldn't keep a beat on a set of drums if my life depended on it.

That's what I used to think.  My exact phrase about my attempts at playing drums was, "My drumming sucks!"  I truly was bad.

However, in desperation to move a song along on the blues album, I gave it another try.  I played on the song for around 3 hours one day and got nothing I could keep as far as recording goes.  On a 2nd day, I decided to try it one more time and stop if I got frustrated.  After two hours of suck, something clicked.  I ended up nailing the drums on this song.  On the tracks used, I have no punch ins or corrections.  It was just me and one lucky pass.

That's impressive.  Especially given you have use some high quality drummers on your releases.

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