As a drummer, your job is to hold the band together by providing a steady beat. This takes a remarkable sense of rhythm and timing, and actually listening to your bandmates, among other things. Practicing rhythm on your own is a great place to start, but the magic happens when you practice together as a band.
The Making It In Music blog recently posted a great piece about what makes up a great rhythm section. Here are a few characteristics the author cited:
- They understand their role. The best bassists and drummers know what their roles are… to act as the adhesive for the band. They understand that their role is one of the most important and their focus is to provide the foundation of tempo and feel, making it a delight for the other musicians to play over. They don’t noodle and solo through songs until that moment arises when the lead singer says, “and on the drums….”
- They listen to each other. Is your bassist not in sync with your drummers kick? Are they missing the downbeat or experiencing tempo problems over the backbeat? Bassists and drummers need to be able to open their ears, and play off of each other. The best almost melt together or what I term, “gel.”
- They understand the elements of style. Style is everything when it comes to playing. It’s really what separates average players from quality. Being busy can be effective, but only when it’s in the right places. When I see drummers placing more emphasis on their fills than keeping time, then I know where the focus needs to be.
Continue reading the article here.
Readers, what do you think? What other qualities are essential for a drummer or rhythm section to mesh with the rest of the band? Leave a comment below, or stop by our Facebook page to share!
Photo by Atabak batucada