“A Band is only as Good as its Drummer”

I believe this is very accurate. A drummer is the heartbeat of the band and as such, must create a steady rhythm that provides the groove of the music. A drummer should not overwhelm a band’s music, although it may be necessary when absolutely required.

First and foremost, a band is only in existence to perform in front of an audience. Sure, some bands are formed just to provide entertainment for the musicians, but these are the exceptions. Bands perform to entertain the audience. The best way to entertain any audience is by being both talented and fun to watch. Being talented means lots of practice and being fun to watch means being animated.

Playing in a gigging band means being in one of three types of bands, a cover band, a tribute band and an original band. Of course, some bands are a little of each. In my opinion, being in each type of band requires a different mindset for each. To me, playing in a cover band means playing the songs very close to the how the original song goes, but one has the freedom to put your own spin on it, as long as the original rhythm / groove is retained. Being in a tribute band means recreating the songs as close to the original as possible, preferably recreating the songs perfectly. Being in an originals band means having the talent to play your own songs your way. Of course, there are numerous exception to these “rules”, such as cover bands that play their own take on the songs.

I believe that as a drummer, my job is to keep the rhythm of the song moving. I believe that my drumming should help overall with the song. I do not believe that the drums should overwhelm a song or that I should “show off”, but rather my playing should enhance the other’s musicians playing. I believe in playing for what is required for the best version of the song, quite simply.

As a drummer, I am also a perfectionist. I prefer to actually learn all the proper parts of a cover song as played by the original band / drummer. I like to give the audience what it is used to hearing, and recreate the original song as best I can. If there is an iconic drum fill, the audience needs to hear it being played in the correct spot and in the correct manner. Otherwise, even though the audience may not be aware that it was incorrectly played, they know intuitively that something is not quite right with the song.

During the last several years I also learned something important about music. The bands I was in played for the fun of the musicians, so we picked songs for us, not for a crowd. Some songs chosen I absolutely hated and really did not want to play. A funny thing happened though. Once I learned my parts, I realized these songs were FUN to play. So now, I will play ANY song or at least attempt to. Music is music. Besides, one never knows for sure what they like unless they try it.