Does playing LOUDLY make you a better drummer?

Have you ever watched another drummer and just thought to yourself “Man… that drummer is so much better than me. He just lays it down like he owns the world, and he’s way more fun to watch than I am. Everyone talks about how great he is and how he’s ‘the man.’ I wish I could play that way.”

I grew up at a large church that launched a modern worship service while I was in high school. They’d bring in professional musicians each Sunday, and it was always a thrill seeing who was playing drums. Some of these guys were local legends, and they were all great drummers.

There was one particular guy, though, who was the absolute loudest drummer I’d ever heard. Even with a drum shield up, the sound guy had to boost the house mix a bit to compensate for how loud the drums were. He was slamming rimshot backbeats, stomping the kick, and smashing cymbals in every song. He played like he owned the place, and he laid down grooves and fills...

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Is Time 100% the Drummer's Responsibility?

Time is relative.

I was recently playing with a really great bass player. We were tightly grooving together, and everything felt natural and musical. We were playing to a click, but there were certain spots in songs where I felt the groove naturally wanting to push or lay back. I was able to ride just ahead then just behind the click, and he was right with me the whole way. On top of the tightly knit drums-and-bass relationship, the other musicians were super locked in as well. Whether we as a band were leaning forward on the beat - or behind - everything was solid, and everything felt natural. This was all made possible by the fact that EVERYONE was listening and EVERYONE was completely aware of the time feel. This circles us back around to that opening phrase there… Time is relative.

If a band is playing super tight, but their tempo is swaying slightly, the listener won’t notice. If a band is playing to a click, but everyone isn’t...

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