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A bassist's view on what makes a good drummer.

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by lowender, Jan 17, 2006.

  1. lowender


    Aug 10, 2005
    Staffs, UK
    Hello folks, please resist the temptation for drummer jokes (but if they are going to start -- how do you know a drummer is knocking at the door - he speeds up) as I would like a bassists opinion on what makes a good drummer.
    As well as play bass I also play drums and would just like your thoughts and opinions on this.
    Anything constructive and positive is more than welcome!
  2. intuition, creativity, keeps time, great on the hi-hat and goes easy on the toms.
  3. triggert


    Feb 5, 2005
    Sounds good to me. My previous drummer really like to over play and it just drove me crazy. I couldn't really lay down a solid groove to all that mess. Our current drummer is much more solid but we've only played together once. Give me a couple sessions and I'll sync right up with him.

  4. Kronos


    Dec 28, 2005
    Philadelphia, PA
    Nothing is more important to me in a drummer than time. If he can keep great time, all the other stuff will come.
  5. knowing how and when to accentuate (if that is a word or correct spelling if so) key moments
  6. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    Time, a good vocabulary in latin and afro-cuban rhythm, time, creativity, time, and "big ears." I can't remember where I read about "big ears" -- I want to say Rufus Reid's book -- but it's a term that means you hear a lot of things around you. For instance, I recently did a session with a drummer and we played All The Things You Are. He played the first way through in a nice 2 feel, "playing" the melody in unison with both the piano player and myself on his ride cymbal. Also, dig the Miles Davis Quintet 1964-1968 for a drummer that'll knock your socks right off, and has just about the biggest ears I've ever even heard of (Tony Williams.)
  7. Great timing, knows when to lay off the cymbals, knows when to calm it down, knows when to fill in.
  8. One that senses where I'm going with the music. (and uses Dynamics with good time!!!)
  9. Being able to chill out when needed

    A rythem section should maintain some kinda feel, ya know, lay back when they should and step up when they should.

    I hate playing w/drummers who think they need to play it all, all the time.

    There's nothing worse for a bass player than trying to lay down a groove and have the drummer freakin out.
  10. zac2944


    Dec 28, 2004
    Rochester, NY
    Heaven is a funky drummer!!!
  11. An uncanny sense of time, dynamics, taste and feel. Not someone who is fill happy. Someone who can play slow and make it groove.

    Steve Ferrone is a classic example. The guy can groove all night long. Alot of drummers I dig, but Steve is the groove machine.
  12. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Listening. To others.

    Of course that's pretty much key to any musician in a band.
  13. dirtgroove


    Jan 10, 2003
    Taipei, Taiwan
    Ability to load and unload his/her own gear into his/her own car without my help.

    sense of timing, dynamics and phrasing are also occasionally important.
  14. A few things I like in a drummer:

    - a really good bass foot, doesn't have to be fast and/or really loud, just have the feel.

    - listens and plays off and with the other musicians (the big ears thing).

    - cues well with good pickups and clear endings.

    - can play a really small kit and make it work.

    i don't even mention time or meter, because if they don't have that, they're not really a drummer.
  15. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA
    All of the above
  16. ras1983


    Dec 28, 2004
    Sydney, Australia
    the absolute minimum is a drummer who can keep a steady groove. i hate drummers who can't play two bars that have the same groove. have you come across those? very difficult to create a groove when the drummer can't even keep a basic repetitive beat.
  17. pklima

    pklima Commercial User

    May 2, 2003
    Kraków, Polska
    Karoryfer Samples
    One who makes it easier for everybody else to sound good. That means time, listening ability, feel and dynamics. And not losing any of those things when the tempo gets high and the parts difficult. Same as any other musician, really.
  18. Brian D

    Brian D

    Dec 2, 2004
    Dublin, Ireland
    knowing how to keep time. oh and not repeating the same boring thing over and over again for every song. that does my head in!:mad:
  19. bannedwit


    May 9, 2005
    Buffalo, NY
    To me a good drummer:
    1.) plays for the song and shouldn't showboat how amazing they are (a lot of times there are drum beats that shouldn't be there but they need their 15 seconds of fame)

    2.) Allows the bassist to collaborate / communicate and work off each other in order to lay down a groove.

    3.) Gets a set beat for a song and sticks with it when satisfied (I've played with drummers who would change their beat based upon how much "better" they got - by better i mean faster or complicated). This leaves gaps in the song which were once tight because everyone bases their parts off the beat and stuff like that
  20. DaveDeVille

    DaveDeVille ... you talkin' to me ?? Supporting Member

    agreed ...

    too many drummers { and other musicians , to be fair... } have a desire
    to make themselves heard above all other band members ...

    as to my definition of a good drummer ...
    a solid sense of time , being able to count measures ,
    a good attitude toward music in general ...

    taste and ability are also helpful .:D