When I was growing up listening to my favorite artists, I focused on recreating what they played. I did not, however, focus on the individual volume levels of their limbs. It took a long time to appreciate that value, but if you really want to master your drum set, you have to do this.
Why? Because you want to become your own sound mixer, just like an engineer in the recording studio. By paying very close attention to the relative volume levels of each limb, you develop better control AND you more precisely tailor your sound to the needs of the music.
Two drummers who have advocated this topic are the late Tony Williams, and David Garibaldi. I recall reading more than one article where Tony Williams placed emphasis on this subject, and he’s the first guy who really put the idea into my mind. David Garibaldi speaks about it all the time in his clinics and his writings, and if you want to master funk drumming and its many subtleties, who better than to take advice from?
So, with two legends lauding the value of this approach, how do we do practice it and become more precise with our individual limb volume levels?
[success]Start by thinking about just three limbs, and in this volume level order: snare (loud), kick (medium), cymbal (soft).[/success]
[info]Play simple beats and experiment with changing the volume levels back and forth so that you recognize when one limb is over-powering the sounds of the other (e.g., too much ride cymbal washing out the snare and kick, or a weak snare overpowered by too much kick).[/info]
[error]Once you get comfortable controlling the individual limb volume levels, focus on the set-up between kick and snare. When the kick drum precedes a snare drum beat, REALLY pay attention to the space in between the notes to let the kick BOOM prepare listeners for the snare BOP to follow. Think of it like this: boom BOP, boom BOP. At these two moments, nothing else matters in your musical universe other than the perfect execution of two sounds.[/error]
The ride cymbal or hi-hat receiving the timekeeping pulse remain subtle but precise in the background, providing sonic perspective for the dance between kick and snare. This approach does not and should not be complicated. It simply demands focus and concentration on your part, and now let me tell you the best payoff: it will improve your timekeeping.
How? By making you listen to EVERYTHING you are playing from a sound-producing perspective. You will hear the spaces between the notes MUCH more precisely, and you will concentrate on making a sound, not just moving limbs.
Once you get comfortable with three limbs, you can add the hi-hat as a background timekeeper at a volume level close to the cymbal.
Set aside 15 minutes to try this, and record what you play. You will be pleasantly surprise, and in time, your fellow band members will definitely notice a difference. Plus, the more people hear you doing this around town, the more your phone might ring for work as well…0 Like this Post ?