What To Do When ‘Jazz Groove #22’ Doesn’t Apply?

kennedy_seanSKF NOTE: Drummer 44Ronin, on DrumForum.org, takes issue with me where, on my Drumming Beyond Playing ‘Awesome Grooves’ post, I write: Groove is a buzz word.

44Ronin relied: Groove is not a buzz word. Groove is the sum of all parts of effective musicianship.

That point is worth discussing, so I replied to 44Ronin, asking, What are “all parts of effective musicianship”? I would like to see the list. How, and from where, does a drummer acquire these parts?

Here is the rest of what I wrote in reply to 44Ronin, who also said groove happens to be a by-word for beat :

Groove may not always be used as a buzz word. But when every third online drum video, it seems, is promising to teach drummers “Jazz Groove #22” and “How to Play a Tony Williams Groove,” well, groove is a buzz word.

Groove, you say, is another word for beat? Fair enough. Two popular drum books when I was young were Jim Chapin’s Advanced Techniques for the Modern Drummer, and George L. Stone’s Stick Control. Both books are meant to help drummers with coordination on the drumset (Chapin) and controlling drumsticks (Stone). But there were drummers who viewed Chapin’s book as a catalog of jazz drum beats (grooves?), and Stone’s book as a treasure trove of drum licks (grooves?).

Today I see video posts of alleged awesome drummers, killer drummers, grooving along note-for-note with tracks of pre-recorded songs AND drummers. I prefer to see/hear these drummers without the fallback of pre-recorded songs — especially pre-recorded drummers. Yikes! Okay, so the drummer has chops, a smidgen of dynamics, and he/she can memorize and recreate. But can they create? What do they do when Jazz Groove #22 doesn’t apply?

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