Sunday, March 11, 2012

Bob Moses on "dependent" drumming

Or as he called it a little later in Drum Wisdom, "non-independent" drumming. This is relevant to some of the things I brought up both in the ECM feel post and the open-handed post:

"I have a philosophy of playing which involves not working too hard. It's not a technical thing as much as it is a conceptual thing. My playing gives the illusion of independence. But, I don't use much independence. My playing is what I call the dependent style of drumming. This means that I don't separate limbs and play "gangdig-a-dang-dig-a-dang" with my right hand and then my left hand will do whatever it can do against it. I would never play with just one hand. I'd never play a rhythm with just one hand or one foot. I use all four of my limbs constantly, in a melodic fashion. Consequently, I can play fast tempos easily without, but it's not because of any technical innovation. It's a conceptual thing. I play the flow, between my hands. If it's an eighth note flow I play eighth notes between two hands. Not just one hand. I get the same effect because what I'll do instead of putting both hands on the drum is put the right hand on the ride cymbal. So, I get the feeling of a ride beat. I play the flow whether it's eighth notes or triplets. I realize that the whole right side of your body wants to work together. So, I put the right foot exactly with the right hand, which also is a great sound. It gives the cymbal sound a bottom and it's also very easy. Your right hand and right foot want to hit together. Your body works that way. If I play it at a really fast tempo I don't catch every single beat with my right hand and right foot. I pick key ones that I want to bring out. My right foot and my left hand never stop when I play. I'm not one of those drummers who can swing a band with just their right hand. I need all four of my limbs, that's why I call myself a dependent drummer. But it makes it very easy to play. If you play very fast tempos using just that one limb, either you're going to tighten up or the tempo is going to go down."

From the Dec./Jan. 1979 issue of Modern Drummer. Get yourself their digital archive- it's quite an incredible resource.

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