Playing music with great drummers...

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Jeff Rader, Oct 19, 2001.

  1. Well, this was a good week. I had the opportunity to play some jazz with one of the best drummers in the Dallas area. The band was a great guitarist, keyboardist, two sax's (excellent), me on bass (way less than excellent...) and this guy on drums. We played some Pat Martino (from Stone Blue), Sanborn, Brecker Brothers and even "Little Wing". I have never played with better musicians, but especially the drummer. He didn't rush, didn't slow down, his dynamics were great and the feel was incredible - instant groove! I couldn't help but lock-in.

    I'm always amazed how much better I can play with a good drummer. Playing with a GREAT drummer is a whole 'nuther level.

    It was a great experience. Just had to share... :D

  2. Yvon

    Yvon Supporting Member

    Nov 2, 2000
    Montreal, Canada
    I'm far to be a good player, but when you play with a great drummer it's so much easier. When they play fill in perfect time, can had dynamic without going faster ect...
    It's so much easier. I guess drummer say the same about bass player.

    I found out that when you play with a drummer for a long while you get to know him.
    With the drummer I play right now, we play together in 2 different band foralmost 2 years now. I know all his fills, I know when he will rush or lay back. When he play his fills I can follow his rythmic...we know each other so mouch now.
  3. MikeyD


    Sep 9, 2000
    Yeah - I left my last band because the drummer just didn't have that certain touch musically (not to mention his awful attitude). I've since hooked up with a drummer who's the total opposite, and we lock up and make real music. It is a joy. And my ears aren't ringing at the end of rehearsals anymore, either!
    - Mike
  4. Bass Guitar

    Bass Guitar Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2001
    Agreed. I don't play with session drummers often, but when I do, it is like a dream. A great drummer does bring out the best in a bassist. The consistency, the feel, the groove - the pocket is that much easier to fit into.
  5. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    I worked in an impromptu trio last week, with two people I met at the gig. The drummer played in a military band for over twenty years, basically all styles of music.

    It was almost scary how we immediately got on the same page. We were both throwing odd little accents in tunes... simultaneously and this 3 piece affair sounded more full than most larger groups I've worked with.

    There is nothing like playing with musicians who listen.
  6. Oysterman


    Mar 30, 2000
    This is IME more important than pure musical skill.

    In one of my band I play with a (acid) jazz-style, dynamic drummer who constantly listens to what's going on in what we play when we jam. We follow eachother perfectly, although we haven't played together for that long. His skills might be just above average, but our communication is excellent which makes him a great drummer IMO.

    Then there's another drummer in a funk/metal project I'm a part in, put together for only one gig. Now, this guy is a true talent at 19 years of age, he picks up things incredibly fast and has an amazing technique and a solid sense of time. He's also very musical overall (learning guitar and piano, writing songs) and I'll be damned if he doesn't end up as a pro. But I'm not fully comfortable playing with him... he seems to play for himself and expect the other musicians to follow him. I found it very hard to get him to follow any idea I might have when we improvised some stuff.

    So my point is, a drummer is not a great drummer if he doesn't communicate with the other musicians. Following my logic, you could still be a session player and not be great in my eyes. :p
  7. It certainly is more important than technical skill, IMHO. I sometimes play with another drummer who can fly on fills - the only problem is that no one knows where "1" is 'cause the time is not close to solid. It becomes very frustrating. And, he's a great guy...

    It's a real treat to play with folks whose top priority is to make great music - even when it means getting out of the way ;)

  8. DarkMazda


    Jun 3, 2000
    great drummers = great tight band

    unless the others suck :D
  9. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    Don't depend on the drummer to keep YOU in YOUR place...especially these "magicians at bending time".
    Most of the time, I play with some solid R&B/Bernard Purdie-types..."1" was not a problem; I rarely 'counted'.
    Then, an awakening...some drummer pulled the rug out from under me(said he was testing me)& blew my little comfort zone completely away! In a nice way, he told me I'm responsible for 'the time', too.

    I always say-
    A drummer can NEVER have an 'off night'...