Drumming Misses and Stumbles

SKF NOTE: Driving, listening, minutes ago to a live trio album. The musicians, all famous jazz musicians, shall remain nameless.

The 1968 performance includes one of my very favorite drummers. But, as often happens, there are moments on this album when the drummer doesn’t quite pull off what he had in mind.

In fairness, unless I ask the drummer, I can only surmise what he meant to play. Based on my experience as a listener and a player, there are times the drummer misses the mark. Sometimes it seems to be a lack of technique. Other times it’s a physical glitch. Maybe the drummer misses a drum, or snags the tip of his stick on a drum rim while attempting to move between drums.

Both examples offer drummers an opportunity to improve. We can practice moving between drums. And we can figure out and master the technique necessary to execute the idea we flubbed.

More often than not when I hear a drummer stumble on an idea, it tells me the drummer is taking chances. For me, that’s much more rewarding and fun than listening to a drummer who never takes chances.

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