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Tue - Nov 17, 2009 : 04:04 pm
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Clockwork vs Groove
From the first memories I have, my life has been lived through rhythm.  There has always been an inherent "groove" of my life.  From walking down the sidewalk after school when I was in Jr. High, pacing the rhythm of the lines in the cement, and timing my steps accordingly, keeping the "1,2,3,4" clock in my head going all the while, to charting out complex latin rhythms 20 years later, rhythm has always been part of my life.

Luckily, I've been blessed to translate that inherent groove into a lifestyle as a drummer, but through the years, as I've got to know the industry and met other drummers, I've come to know that not everyone plays alongside an internal clock they've always had.

Some drummers play more like a ticking time clock.  Always persistent, and always dead-on, yet unable to feel the rhythm of the music itself.

For me, generally speaking, it's just as easy to play along with an untimed song, recorded by a musician with no click-track, i.e. playing along with the "groove" of the song, as it is to play along a professionally produced metal beat, with no groove at all.

I guess I've been blessed (and cursed) with an internal rhythm that adjusts and adapts to whatever music is playing around me.  It's more of a feeling of a beat, than it is reading sheet music and playing whatever the notes tell me to.  I'd rather read what the song itself is telling me to do, rather than the sheetmusic.

But, to each his or her own.  I guess it took me a long time to realize there are drummers out there who literally can feel no groove at all, yet be considered among the top drummers in the world.  They can follow a piece of paper to the tee, but given the opportunity to feel the music speak out, they hear nothing.

I guess that amazes me, because for me, rhythm is simply a way of life.