Bookmark and Share

Question and Answer

Question View

Login to Post
--- Mar 24 1999 Go to category
Subject: Drummer's role
Category: General Questions
From: Kevin Schutt (Annandale, VA)

Hello Pat, I think I remember reading somewhere that you said "The drummer is the leader in any band, regardless of whose name is on the bill", or something to that effect. So I told my drummer this and his head got way too big for its own good, and he asked me to dig up that quote. I looked but can't find it! Anyway, I wanted to verify that you said this, and whether or not the statement is true by default, or whether certain qualifiers need to be included (such as, the drummer needs to be pretty good, or needs to actually take charge on some level). Thanks so much for all the music, Pat.

Pat’s Answer:

yes, i said it - and it's true. it's more like this - if the drummer sounds good, there is the possiblility that everyone can sound good. but if the drummer sounds bad, there is very little anyone can do about it - and it is almost impossible to sound good with a bad drummer no matter who you are. drummers are the key to everything, and the best ones know it and are humble about their intrinsic power over the musical fates of their fellow musicians on stage. i do feel that every musician needs to know as much as they can about the drums in general and what drummers have to go through to do what they do. it is incredibly difficult to be a great drummer, and as a result there are not a lot of them around. but i can say that there is nothing as thrilling as the experience of playing with someone like roy haynes; the beauty and inspiration that someone like roy can bring to a bandstand is the greatest gift to not only the audience but the other musicians imaginable.