Although we often make fun of you, I hope you know you hold a pretty glamorous, enviable spot in a band. Despite your anxieties over the clarity of your snare, you are always heard. You get to burn off more physical energy than anyone else. Although it’s sometimes tough to see you bashing away behind a drum kit, a singer, and a few other musicians, your equipment is cool and what goes into your playing is worth the effort necessary to watch you at work.
Even when you’re playing a mellow, jazzy number, it’s cool to watch you work the brushes around the snare and coax a pulse out of the ride cymbal. However, there’s one part of your job that doesn’t jibe with our expectations: watching you accompany a country artist or Bob Dylan. That can’t be a lot of fun, can it? Name the greatest drum fill or drum part in a country song. You can’t really distinguish one country beat from another, can you? There are about three options for you and your equally bored bassist. At least the bassist gets some accompanying Bob Dylan, but for as much as I love Dylan’s best music, I never say to myself, That’s a great drum part! That must have been a blast to play!
I feel like, with a little practice, I could play drums for a country artist or Bob Dylan. As a hard-working drummer, who might have spent a year taking lessons on nothing but a practice pad until you mastered your paradiddles, what goes through your mind when playing a country number or a Dylan tune? Do you “lie back and think of England,” focusing on the content of the song itself, the lyrics, the performance of the singer? Do you ever feel like you’re “getting yours?”
If I’ve got it all wrong, let me know. That’s the point of the Is there a drummer in the house? series. I love drummers, everybody loves drummers, and we know we’re putting your through a lot of heavy stuff that you hold in for the good of the band. Lean on me. I care about what you’re going through.
I should note that partial credit – or blame – for this thread goes to Townsman jungleland2, I believe, who made mention of the difficulty in getting his drummer to cover Dylan songs.