It's interesting. I don't have much patience for excessive drama in my personal life, but I often feel like it's lacking in some drumming. What do I mean by this? Oxford defines drama as an exciting, emotional, or unexpected series of events or set of circumstances. So, to keep an audience engaged, let's think about ways we can create these types of events or circumstances.
1. Dynamics! Dynamics! Dynamics!
The drums have a massive dynamic range, and we rarely use the extremes, or vary them as much as we could.
2. Strength of time feel
The music doesn't reach its full potential if the time feel is off. If it's erratic or sluggish, it will lack the intensity to be truly dramatic.
3. Use of space!
Music becomes dull if we always play with the same density of sound. Just because we can play super fast and use all 4 limbs doesn't mean we should all the time! Using space in the music creates interest.
4. Clarity of ideas
If we are telling the story of the music without unnecessary ornamentation we can get our point across much more effectively. Better storytelling = more excitement.
5. Big Picture Thinking
If we are just thinking about playing an impressive lick rather than the architecture of the tune/solo/set/evening of music/recording in it's totality, the whole thing isn't going to hold together very well, and thus will lack, you guessed it, drama!
So, next time you play, think about how you can create more drama. Just leave it on the bandstand though.
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