Want to add more energy to your playing?
Today, I'll show you 4 drummers who display energy on a much different level.
FIRST - We'll deconstruct WHY these drummers are energetic.
SECOND - I'll give you some practical suggestions for incorporating these concepts into your own playing.
Ready? Let’s go!
#1 - LEE PEARSON
Lesson: Add Showmanship To Your Playing.
Principle: Energetic drummers are not afraid to engage the crowd visually.
This means several things: talking to the crowd in between songs, making eye contact with someone in the front row, doing some stick tricks, or just moving your body a little bit more as you play.
In the video below, watch how Lee Pearson uses SHOWMANSHIP to deliver this incredible drum solo:
It’s important to remember that as you are playing, people are WATCHING you too, not just listening!
How do you LOOK to your audience? Are you giving them something interesting to look at?
Trying adding visual elements to your playing, people will be able to not just HEAR your energy, they’ll be able to SEE it.
#2 - ANTONIO SANCHEZ
Lesson: Use Dynamics To Create Energy.
PRINCIPLE: Think back to a time that you've heard someone just SHOUTING at the top of their lungs for several minutes on end. It might have had an emotional effect for a few moments, but if the shouting continued for several minutes, you'd end up either getting annoyed or zoning that person out, right?
In the same way, drummers often have the misconception that in order to play with energy, we must be playing at FULL VOLUME the entire time.
This is a huge mistake… soon your playing will likely become pretty boring to the listener.
In the video below, watch how Antonio uses a wide range of dynamics in order to create an energetic drum solo:
You need the “softs” in order for the “louds” to have their full, most energetic effect.
The next time you play a gig, explore changing up your dynamics to create emotional WAVES in the musical experience. (HINT: Don’t be afraid to play soft!)
For example: In a pop song, you might: 1) keep the verses low, 2) raise the volume during the choruses, and 3) take it up a final level towards the end. This creates an ARC of energy, and can be extremely effective.
#3: DAVID GARIBALDI
Lesson: Play something totally unexpected.
Principle: Another way to create energy is to play grooves or fills that are completely unexpected to the listener, yet still musical.
If done effectively, the listener will become engaged with what you are doing and will be listening for what might come next.
In the video above, you'll notice two things: 1) David chooses some very unconventional grooves for each section of this song, and 2) Be sure to check out the unexpected fill at 0:52! Super funky!
#4 - JO JONES
Lesson: Hey grumpy-pants… smile!
PRINCIPLE: Nobody wants to be looking at a grump on stage.
Believe it or not, a simple smile adds SO much energy to your overall performance.
As an audience member, if you notice a musician smiling onstage, it’s almost impossible for you NOT to become enraptured with what they are doing!
Smiles are contagious. Check out this legendary performance of Jo Jones:
THANKS FOR READING!
My goal is to provide questions, thought experiments, and specific action steps you can take in order to improve both your DRUMMING and LIFE!
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