Home Forums Musicians & D.I.Y. Artists Guitar Room Cymbals and "the lost Modern Drummer interview" Re: Cymbals and “the lost Modern Drummer interview”



Hi RuBrick,

I am no expert but I herein offer my humble opinions on your question "For the Guitarists" (guitar vs. drums).

I play guitar and my sister plays drums. Occasionally we have swapped, just to try it, but she loses patience with the guitar and I am just too clumsy to carry a beat with all four limbs at once.

But I think there are some similarities. There is the rhythmic aspect of course; with the guitar you just channel it through your hands, as opposed to drums, where you sort of channel it through your hands and your feet. And when J breaks down a guitar chord into individual notes (not soloing), it is kinda the same thing as throwing trills into a basic drum beat. You keep the rhythm but you break it down into smaller pieces at the same time.

You could argue that with drumming, a screw-up is more noticeable, because the rest of the instruments (including voice) rest their weight on the drummer’s beat. But when you see Mike and George take their solo runs during any particular song, your recognize that each guy takes his turn resting his weight on the other two. So a guitar rhythm or a bass rhythm becomes equally important in keeping the song in time. This is why it was especially interesting to watch Ron Asheton join in on guitar. I had never seen J play with a 2nd guitarist, much less take the passenger’s seat to another 6-string. I’m sure he’s done it in the studio, playing over his own rhythm tracks, but it was really cool to watch him sort of lay it down for Asheton. Especially when the solos ended and they were playing in tandem…ohhhhhh…..the memories…… [img]images/smiles/converted/dizzy.gif[/img]

But anyway, I think that the rhythm is the similarity. With both guitar and drums, you can play calculated, measured notes, or you can throw in little squeaks and clings, or you can just slam away at the thing.

So what is the difference? Why is it that my sister would rather eat nails than figure out a guitar chord, and I can’t carry a drum beat without losing sight of the song as a whole?

The difference, my fellow music dorks, is a question of roomfulness.

On guitar, you have more room to explore & experiment within the song. You can go high, low; you can make some notes longer & some notes shorter. You can make yourself dizzy with effects pedals, different amps, different cables– infinitely manipulate the texture of your sound.

On drums, you can explore as well, but it is more restricted. You can texture your drumming with cymbals, trills, hitting the rim of the snare, etc.; but you have to do it within the rhythmic boundaries of the song. With guitar, if your finger trips, you can make up for it by taking your solo or rhythm into a different direction & making it seamless. Every once in a while I will screw up during a performance, lament it afterwards, and have people ask me what the hell I’m talking about, they thought it was supposed to be that way. Sometimes I will pick up something completely new from some fuckup I made on guitar. You can learn from drum slip-ups too, but I don’t really think there is a smooth way to get one’s self out of a drumming error when performing with other musicians.

Imagine that drumming is the game of baseball and guitar is the game of basketball. In baseball you play within the formation of the team, but the players are made great by their strength and reflexes, as well as their awareness of what the other players are doing. In basketball there is more room to improvise, to break away for the slam dunk or the flashy theatrics, though the player doesn’t always have to take that route if he doesn’t want to. Both games require mastery and stamina, & each is beautiful in its own right.

I’ve seen J play both, and good lord, he is the Deion Sanders of rock.


<FONT>[ May 25, 2001 05:33 AM: Message edited 1 time, lastly by rosa ]</font>