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Newbie Getting in the Pocket

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  • Newbie Getting in the Pocket

    Hi,

    Keyboard player, wannabe drummer here.

    I've been playing very casually for years, just started drumming in a band.  I think I have good drumming instincts, mediocre technique and subtle timing errors that keep me out of the pocket.  I hear good drummers playing a simple beat and they just kill it.  I play the same beat and I'm close, yet subtlely way off the groove.

    Is being able to play in the pocket a teachable thing?  Is it just practicing beats, or fundamentals constantly? Or is it just in my genes?

    Any advice is most welcome.

    <div class="signaturecontainer">Todzilla<br />
    HUGE sound generation &amp; capture facility<br />
    Eno River Basin</div>

  • #2

    One of the best tips I got here was something like, "learn to dance." If you don't dance, the experience of centering your being in the motion of the rhythm is invaluable. Now actually playing tight with feel IMO is chops. Perfect cyclical strokes are job one. This is best learned by practicing big motions at slow tempi with a metronome. All four limbs need to develop this way and away from interdependence. Kick, snare, ride, hats all in their own respective musical orientation. This will happen naturally as your four limbs stabilize.

    No magic.

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    • Todzilla
      Todzilla commented
      Editing a comment

      1001gear wrote:

      One of the best tips I got here was something like, "learn to dance." If you don't dance, the experience of centering your being in the motion of the rhythm is invaluable. Now actually playing tight with feel IMO is chops. Perfect cyclical strokes are job one. This is best learned by practicing big motions at slow tempi with a metronome. All four limbs need to develop this way and away from interdependence. Kick, snare, ride, hats all in their own respective musical orientation. This will happen naturally as your four limbs stabilize.

      No magic.


      That's actually good advice.

      I do dance, although my style of dancing is deliberately out of control.. Maybe that's my problem.  .png" alt=":smileyhappy:" title="Smiley Happy" />


  • #3

    Todzilla wrote:

    Is being able to play in the pocket a teachable thing?  Is it just practicing beats, or fundamentals constantly? Or is it just in my genes?



    Ah Grasshopper....

    "Don't think.... feel." When you understand that statement, you will have found the secret to good groove.

    heh heh heh

    My opinion is that some guys are certainly "born with it", and just groove the hell out of the drums from the get-go, while with others it takes a while, and for still others it just never comes. The only way to find out which camp you're in is to just do it and see if you improve. Just as with keys, practice is mandatory.

    more input, for what it's worth.



    Good playing can hide a crappy drumset, but even the best drumset can't hide crappy playing.

    Have no fear of perfection. You'll never reach it.- Salvador Dali

    Some of the best players that I know really can't play the drums well, but they play music superlatively well. - Jim Chapin

    Comment


    • Todzilla
      Todzilla commented
      Editing a comment

      the DW wrote:

      Todzilla wrote:

      Is being able to play in the pocket a teachable thing?  Is it just practicing beats, or fundamentals constantly? Or is it just in my genes?



      Ah Grasshopper....

      "Don't think.... feel." When you understand that statement, you will have found the secret to good groove.

      heh heh heh

      My opinion is that some guys are certainly "born with it", and just groove the hell out of the drums from the get-go, while with others it takes a while, and for still others it just never comes. The only way to find out which camp you're in is to just do it and see if you improve. Just as with keys, practice is mandatory.

      more input, for what it's worth.


       

      I supposed I should be somewhat encouraged that I can easily hear my own out of pocketness.

       

      Here's a sample of my playing: www.toddejones.com/songs/TimeToKill.mp3



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