Showmanship or technique.

Rob Crisp

New member
Fleabear touched on this in another thread, about how the audience perceive a drummer and I thought I'd see what you think.

When I play on stage with my band it's more about putting on a good show for me than playing a technically brilliant pice that flies over the audience's head.

As Thomas Lang said we're in the business of show. People want to be entertained and if they aren't they probably won't come to see you again, regardless of weather you are a technical genius.

Now by that I don't mean I do stick tricks every 3 seconds and go over the top, I just play solid and varied grooves, making sure everyone in the room know's I'm having the best time ever.

It works as well, at our last gig everyone I spoke to after the show came up to me and said "you we're the drummer"... even those who weren't into our style of music.

I'm not saying we should ignore technique either, it's clearly vital to your overall skill level, just that sometimes all you need to do is get up there and play confidently and seize the small moments to shine.

What do you think?
 

SINISTER

New member
The band i'm playing for right now we always combine the two................over the fret board solos, drinking a beer while shredding a solo, lots of stick spinning, one hand rolls, everyone windmilling at once, playing behind the head (bass players ha) etc...........the music is always the most important, but you get way more crowd reactions and stage presence with showmanship......so thats why combining the two works for us

$0.02
 

Rockula!

New member
I am going to guess that most of the people here are going to go for technique
I personally agree that the average audience member does not have the capacity to understand most of what we do (or any musician)
Not saying that they're dumb
They just don't know what's going on
I don't know what that guy is doing when he breaks 5 tackles inside a giant crush of football players and then runs 80 yards for a touchdown
But that doesn't keep me from getting excited about it

It seems to me that the only people concerned with showmanship are those who worry about being taken seriously as a musician
My particualr style of drumming (and musicianship) is to controll mood and intensity
I could play the drums very well and accomplish regulating such things for the persons on stage
However, the people in the audience will get it faster if I communicate it through body language

Twirling sticks isn't the only way to put on a show
Body language and facial gestures communicate so much more as you are playing
I even exaggerate my movements to communicate a point
Yeah, a good drummer can play anything without raising his arms above his head but nothing accenuates a good punch like throwing your whole body into it etc...
I even play with my kit sideways so that people can see every movement I make

People remember that shit
A good example is my former band and the drummer that replaced me
Even though she is a million times better at technique and could literally play circles around me with one arm, people still come up to her after the show and ask why she doesn't play like Rockula

Yeah, there's people out there who appreciate your amazing musicianship
But not many
 

SGarrett

New member
Rockula!":2kbvg1rn said:
I am going to guess that most of the people here are going to go for technique
I personally agree that the average audience member does not have the capacity to understand most of what we do (or any musician)
Not saying that they're dumb
They just don't know what's going on
I don't know what that guy is doing when he breaks 5 tackles inside a giant crush of football players and then runs 80 yards for a touchdown
But that doesn't keep me from getting excited about it

It seems to me that the only people concerned with showmanship are those who worry about being taken seriously as a musician
My particualr style of drumming (and musicianship) is to controll mood and intensity
I could play the drums very well and accomplish regulating such things for the persons on stage
However, the people in the audience will get it faster if I communicate it through body language

Twirling sticks isn't the only way to put on a show
Body language and facial gestures communicate so much more as you are playing
I even exaggerate my movements to communicate a point
Yeah, a good drummer can play anything without raising his arms above his head but nothing accenuates a good punch like throwing your whole body into it etc...
I even play with my kit sideways so that people can see every movement I make

People remember that shit
A good example is my former band and the drummer that replaced me
Even though she is a million times better at technique and could literally play circles around me with one arm, people still come up to her after the show and ask why she doesn't play like Rockula

Yeah, there's people out there who appreciate your amazing musicianship
But not many
Word.

One of the most technically proficient bands in my area can't get people to their shows because the music just flies over their heads. They play a rocked out version of free form jazz. In fact, I think they finally called it quits on that project because of the poor attendance. Then you take one of the most popular bands in town, with a drummer who's completely self taught and refuses to get better, and they'll fill the same club to overflowing. The lowest common denominator is who the fan base really is.
 

Empyrean Drums

New member
Rockula!":uvzwp71u said:
I am going to guess that most of the people here are going to go for technique
I personally agree that the average audience member does not have the capacity to understand most of what we do (or any musician)
Not saying that they're dumb
They just don't know what's going on
I don't know what that guy is doing when he breaks 5 tackles inside a giant crush of football players and then runs 80 yards for a touchdown
But that doesn't keep me from getting excited about it

It seems to me that the only people concerned with showmanship are those who worry about being taken seriously as a musician
My particualr style of drumming (and musicianship) is to controll mood and intensity
I could play the drums very well and accomplish regulating such things for the persons on stage
However, the people in the audience will get it faster if I communicate it through body language

Twirling sticks isn't the only way to put on a show
Body language and facial gestures communicate so much more as you are playing
I even exaggerate my movements to communicate a point
Yeah, a good drummer can play anything without raising his arms above his head but nothing accenuates a good punch like throwing your whole body into it etc...
I even play with my kit sideways so that people can see every movement I make

People remember that shit
A good example is my former band and the drummer that replaced me
Even though she is a million times better at technique and could literally play circles around me with one arm, people still come up to her after the show and ask why she doesn't play like Rockula

Yeah, there's people out there who appreciate your amazing musicianship
But not many
Wow, how condescending of you. I'd rather be appreciated for amazing musicianship by a few then noticed for gimmicks by many.
 

Empyrean Drums

New member
SGarrett":2ykpigeq said:
Word.

One of the most technically proficient bands in my area can't get people to their shows because the music just flies over their heads. They play a rocked out version of free form jazz. In fact, I think they finally called it quits on that project because of the poor attendance. Then you take one of the most popular bands in town, with a drummer who's completely self taught and refuses to get better, and they'll fill the same club to overflowing. The lowest common denominator is who the fan base really is.
I guess i should just stop playing technical music, start wearing stupid masks, maybe get a trash can player to run around on stage so I can sell more records. After all, that's TOTALY why I play music........
 

racefan33

New member
Rockula!":3lwlpxg2 said:
I am going to guess that most of the people here are going to go for technique
I personally agree that the average audience member does not have the capacity to understand most of what we do (or any musician)
Not saying that they're dumb
They just don't know what's going on
I don't know what that guy is doing when he breaks 5 tackles inside a giant crush of football players and then runs 80 yards for a touchdown
But that doesn't keep me from getting excited about it

It seems to me that the only people concerned with showmanship are those who worry about being taken seriously as a musician
My particualr style of drumming (and musicianship) is to controll mood and intensity
I could play the drums very well and accomplish regulating such things for the persons on stage
However, the people in the audience will get it faster if I communicate it through body language

Twirling sticks isn't the only way to put on a show
Body language and facial gestures communicate so much more as you are playing
I even exaggerate my movements to communicate a point
Yeah, a good drummer can play anything without raising his arms above his head but nothing accenuates a good punch like throwing your whole body into it etc...
I even play with my kit sideways so that people can see every movement I make

People remember that shit
A good example is my former band and the drummer that replaced me
Even though she is a million times better at technique and could literally play circles around me with one arm, people still come up to her after the show and ask why she doesn't play like Rockula

Yeah, there's people out there who appreciate your amazing musicianship
But not many
Doing best Butthead impersination "He he he, Rockula lost his gig to a chick, he he he"

Seriously, unless you are playing for drummers exclusively and the sound mix is REALLY good, people are just not going to notice the really intricate stuff you are doing. What they will notice is a band looking like they are having fun or playing thier hearts out.

I found that by playing with a much more animated and expressive style it not only works directly with the audience but it also pumps up the band. We as drummers are the backbone. We can raise everyone's game.
 

racefan33

New member
Empyrean Drums":1sevoxmz said:
SGarrett":1sevoxmz said:
Word.

One of the most technically proficient bands in my area can't get people to their shows because the music just flies over their heads. They play a rocked out version of free form jazz. In fact, I think they finally called it quits on that project because of the poor attendance. Then you take one of the most popular bands in town, with a drummer who's completely self taught and refuses to get better, and they'll fill the same club to overflowing. The lowest common denominator is who the fan base really is.
I guess i should just stop playing technical music, start wearing stupid masks, maybe get a trash can player to run around on stage so I can sell more records. After all, that's TOTALY why I play music........
I don't think that is what SGarrett is saying. It's more beneficial to have the whole package. You should always strive to have the technique to play what you want to play but you should always be aware that the music business is not all recordings. The biggest part of it is the live performance and your commitment to the visual aspect of that performance can make or break your situation. It's just a reality of the music business and being a drummer in it.
 

SGarrett

New member
Empyrean Drums":3stgn46u said:
SGarrett":3stgn46u said:
Word.

One of the most technically proficient bands in my area can't get people to their shows because the music just flies over their heads. They play a rocked out version of free form jazz. In fact, I think they finally called it quits on that project because of the poor attendance. Then you take one of the most popular bands in town, with a drummer who's completely self taught and refuses to get better, and they'll fill the same club to overflowing. The lowest common denominator is who the fan base really is.
I guess i should just stop playing technical music, start wearing stupid masks, maybe get a trash can player to run around on stage so I can sell more records. After all, that's TOTALY why I play music........
I think you should just grow up and stop acting like such a butt-hurt spoiled brat. Better yet, why don't you try to develop some confidence in your own playing? That might your piss poor attitude a little.

racefan33":3stgn46u said:
Empyrean Drums":3stgn46u said:
SGarrett":3stgn46u said:
Word.

One of the most technically proficient bands in my area can't get people to their shows because the music just flies over their heads. They play a rocked out version of free form jazz. In fact, I think they finally called it quits on that project because of the poor attendance. Then you take one of the most popular bands in town, with a drummer who's completely self taught and refuses to get better, and they'll fill the same club to overflowing. The lowest common denominator is who the fan base really is.
I guess i should just stop playing technical music, start wearing stupid masks, maybe get a trash can player to run around on stage so I can sell more records. After all, that's TOTALY why I play music........
I don't think that is what SGarrett is saying. It's more beneficial to have the whole package. You should always strive to have the technique to play what you want to play but you should always be aware that the music business is not all recordings. The biggest part of it is the live performance and your commitment to the visual aspect of that performance can make or break your situation. It's just a reality of the music business and being a drummer in it.
Exactly. I think this is coming down to a "musical integrity" issue where anyone who actually makes money playing music is the devil...or something along those lines.

Pretty much all of us have done the "hey look at how cool I think I am" thing. And most of us got over ourselves. The way I see it, the people who decided to pay money to watch my band instead of going to one of the dozen other shows in town deserve their money's worth. They don't want to think about what the music's doing. They want to shake their asses to a solid groove and be entertained visually.
 

Empyrean Drums

New member
racefan33":3btz5ayu said:
Empyrean Drums":3btz5ayu said:
SGarrett":3btz5ayu said:
Word.

One of the most technically proficient bands in my area can't get people to their shows because the music just flies over their heads. They play a rocked out version of free form jazz. In fact, I think they finally called it quits on that project because of the poor attendance. Then you take one of the most popular bands in town, with a drummer who's completely self taught and refuses to get better, and they'll fill the same club to overflowing. The lowest common denominator is who the fan base really is.
I guess i should just stop playing technical music, start wearing stupid masks, maybe get a trash can player to run around on stage so I can sell more records. After all, that's TOTALY why I play music........
I don't think that is what SGarrett is saying. It's more beneficial to have the whole package. You should always strive to have the technique to play what you want to play but you should always be aware that the music business is not all recordings. The biggest part of it is the live performance and your commitment to the visual aspect of that performance can make or break your situation. It's just a reality of the music business and being a drummer in it.
Like I said, Form Follows Function. The whole package-but techinique first. The ones who care more about techinique care more about being taken seriously as musicans then they do about being taken seriously as a product to be marketed.
Besides, the biggest part of the music industry is merchendise, where the real money from the band is made! Slipknot the T shirt, Slipknot the Boxer Shorts, Slipknot the Snare Drum, Slipknot the FLAMETHROWER!
Of couse they don't have a Platinum album because of technique, which is why no one takes them seriously as musicians.
 

Empyrean Drums

New member
SGarrett":2zgi0anr said:
Empyrean Drums":2zgi0anr said:
SGarrett":2zgi0anr said:
Word.

One of the most technically proficient bands in my area can't get people to their shows because the music just flies over their heads. They play a rocked out version of free form jazz. In fact, I think they finally called it quits on that project because of the poor attendance. Then you take one of the most popular bands in town, with a drummer who's completely self taught and refuses to get better, and they'll fill the same club to overflowing. The lowest common denominator is who the fan base really is.
I guess i should just stop playing technical music, start wearing stupid masks, maybe get a trash can player to run around on stage so I can sell more records. After all, that's TOTALY why I play music........
I think you should just grow up and stop acting like such a butt-hurt spoiled brat. Better yet, why don't you try to develop some confidence in your own playing? That might your piss poor attitude a little.

Oh burn! You sure told me!
You spend more time on this forum being a know-it-all asshole then you do playing drums.
 

SGarrett

New member
Empyrean Drums":3lvqerqf said:
SGarrett":3lvqerqf said:
Empyrean Drums":3lvqerqf said:
SGarrett":3lvqerqf said:
Word.

One of the most technically proficient bands in my area can't get people to their shows because the music just flies over their heads. They play a rocked out version of free form jazz. In fact, I think they finally called it quits on that project because of the poor attendance. Then you take one of the most popular bands in town, with a drummer who's completely self taught and refuses to get better, and they'll fill the same club to overflowing. The lowest common denominator is who the fan base really is.
I guess i should just stop playing technical music, start wearing stupid masks, maybe get a trash can player to run around on stage so I can sell more records. After all, that's TOTALY why I play music........
I think you should just grow up and stop acting like such a butt-hurt spoiled brat. Better yet, why don't you try to develop some confidence in your own playing? That might your piss poor attitude a little.

Oh burn! You sure told me!
You spend more time on this forum being a know-it-all asshole then you do playing drums.
Really? I played for five hours yesterday, tracking two different songs. I work at home right now and the computer is where I take breaks...I get most everything done in five minutes. I also spend a fair amount of time communicating with prospective clients on the internet. It's a helluva thing, being able to set your own hours. ;)

I know a lot, because I pursue knowledge and have a lot of practical experience.

edit:
If you want to continue acting like a child, I'm going to ignore you.
 

JAdrums2k

New member
BOTH.....

It seems tho when it comes to performing people will be riveted by the drummer , moreso than any other instrument, no matter how much showmanship you have.
Simple technical players will get the same attention as a good "performer" will.

[/b]
 

Empyrean Drums

New member
SGarrett":305061fk said:
Empyrean Drums":305061fk said:
SGarrett":305061fk said:
Empyrean Drums":305061fk said:
SGarrett":305061fk said:
Word.

One of the most technically proficient bands in my area can't get people to their shows because the music just flies over their heads. They play a rocked out version of free form jazz. In fact, I think they finally called it quits on that project because of the poor attendance. Then you take one of the most popular bands in town, with a drummer who's completely self taught and refuses to get better, and they'll fill the same club to overflowing. The lowest common denominator is who the fan base really is.
I guess i should just stop playing technical music, start wearing stupid masks, maybe get a trash can player to run around on stage so I can sell more records. After all, that's TOTALY why I play music........
I think you should just grow up and stop acting like such a butt-hurt spoiled brat. Better yet, why don't you try to develop some confidence in your own playing? That might your piss poor attitude a little.

Oh burn! You sure told me!
You spend more time on this forum being a know-it-all asshole then you do playing drums.
Really? I played for five hours yesterday, tracking two different songs. I work at home right now and the computer is where I take breaks...I get most everything done in five minutes. I also spend a fair amount of time communicating with prospective clients on the internet. It's a helluva thing, being able to set your own hours. ;)

I know a lot, because I pursue knowledge and have a lot of practical experience.

edit:
If you want to continue acting like a child, I'm going to ignore you.
Aw, what am I going to do now? I only exist so your arrogant ass can talk down to me!
 

FiestyRedDrummEr

New member
I think technique is the most important. But while you are playing with proper technique there is always room for a little show. Technique always should be the first priority.
 

kebin131

New member
I think both are important but don't let either overlap eachother. I hate watching people that are too showy and just use it to cover up their lack of technique. And... nm I like it when people show alot of technique, even if they are expressionless, the showmanship just expresses what they play more to the audience though, it doesn't have to be stick flips n' stuff, it just has to be something to show that the drummer is involved in their music. I mean, watch Steve Gadd, he doesn't do a crap load of stick tricks but he has alot of showmanship.
 

FiestyRedDrummEr

New member
Empyrean Drums":392316ag said:
SGarrett":392316ag said:
Empyrean Drums":392316ag said:
SGarrett":392316ag said:
Empyrean Drums":392316ag said:
SGarrett":392316ag said:
Word.

One of the most technically proficient bands in my area can't get people to their shows because the music just flies over their heads. They play a rocked out version of free form jazz. In fact, I think they finally called it quits on that project because of the poor attendance. Then you take one of the most popular bands in town, with a drummer who's completely self taught and refuses to get better, and they'll fill the same club to overflowing. The lowest common denominator is who the fan base really is.
I guess i should just stop playing technical music, start wearing stupid masks, maybe get a trash can player to run around on stage so I can sell more records. After all, that's TOTALY why I play music........
I think you should just grow up and stop acting like such a butt-hurt spoiled brat. Better yet, why don't you try to develop some confidence in your own playing? That might your piss poor attitude a little.

Oh burn! You sure told me!
You spend more time on this forum being a know-it-all asshole then you do playing drums.
Really? I played for five hours yesterday, tracking two different songs. I work at home right now and the computer is where I take breaks...I get most everything done in five minutes. I also spend a fair amount of time communicating with prospective clients on the internet. It's a helluva thing, being able to set your own hours. ;)

I know a lot, because I pursue knowledge and have a lot of practical experience.

edit:
If you want to continue acting like a child, I'm going to ignore you.
Aw, what am I going to do now? I only exist so your arrogant ass can talk down to me!

okay, okay boy...
Settle down.
 

SmellsLikeIan

New member
racefan33":1ohkwt4e said:
What they will notice is a band looking like they are having fun or playing thier hearts out.
Agreed. I don't do a lot of stick tricks and such, but I also don't structure my drum parts so that they're so hard to play I can't have fun doing it. I enjoy the big full arm crash now and then and a good moeller stroke on the snare on 2 and 4 from time to time.... :mrgreen:
 
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