Monday, March 18, 2019

Pet Peeves

This instalment of Trap'd is brought to you by my assistant BartholeMEW MURRay Warren. As usual, he's working hard to make things happen around here......

Speaking of pets, I thought I would share a few of my most persistent pet peeves. One of the biggest has to be......

1. Retro Snare-y Drum Solos

I think I've mentioned this before, but there's a real tendency among current Jazz drummers to play solos that sounded better in the bebop and post-bop eras, you know, WHEN THEY WERE CONCEIVED!!!
They feature LOTS of snare drum language, heavy on a very self conscious use of rudiments, and not much tonal or dynamic variation or independent coordination. Oh, and NEVER any non-Jazz references! That's clearly a no-no! Now, let me be clear, I'm not talking about people like Philly Joe and Buddy Rich etc. who played a lot of snare drum because that's what they heard, I'm talking about current players who play a lot of snare drum because they think  they're supposed to! I find this extremely tiresome! Let's listen to Philly and use him to inspire us to play something THAT HIP, not just regurgitate it!

2. Yet More Instagram Complaints

I discussed some of the many problems with drums-related posts on my "The Drummers of InstaHAM" rant. One problem I hadn't twigged onto then was the absolute dearth of anything remotely improvised on this social media platform ( or so it appears with the posts that come up when I'm searching for drum and music related content. ) I see a LOT of people doing their moves, looking like they were choreographed weeks in advance, with the stiffness of execution that comes with trying to be impressive. Not interested.

3. Cymbal Stands That Double As Tom Stands

To be honest, I seem to be seeing this a lot less lately, but that doesn't change my extreme dislike of this "inventor who has never played the drums" proposed solution to freeing up a minuscule amount of space in one's set-up. Once I can get the tom where I want it, I can't get the cymbal within 5 feet of me. Grrrrrrr!

4. Weird Set Ups

I should probably just quit ever looking at drummers on Instagram.
Saw someone playing one of the written solos from the Rick Latham book. Great, but this person had the snare drum down by their knees!!!! Um, what if you want to play a rimshot?  If you can't get at all parts of the instrument, change something. No cymbals covering up bells of other cymbals, etc......

Okay, enough ranting. Let's end with something positive.
Here's some video of Roger Taylor playing with Queen at Wembley stadium in 1986. Between seeing the Queen biopic and playing " Bohemian Rhapsody" with a choir as part part of my Masters, I've been appreciating Mr. Taylor's unique style. Note how he often opens his hi-hat along with his backbeat on 2 & 4, making it that much fatter. I can't think of another player who does this very often, if at all. Enjoy.

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