Three T’s – Timing, Technique, Taste

My wife bought me 30 or so CD’s at a yard sale this past summer for $5.00.  That works out to about $.17 a CD.  You can’t go wrong with think kind of a deal.

What I like about it is that it gives me the opportunity to review CD’s that I normally would never buy and in some cases would never know they existed.   Maybe there is a chance I would hear about them from a friend or read about them in an article on the web, but in most cases they would have never crossed my path.

Back in October of 2013 which was the last I time I went out to Pittsburgh to play with Barney Lee, I came away knowing what I needed to work on musically.  I took that and simplified it into three simple things and they all started with a “T”, which made it easy to remember.

They were:

  • Timing
  • Technique
  • Taste

The first two, timing and technique I knew the best way to work on them was practice.  Timing is just working with click tracks and other recorded drummers with impeccable timing, over and over.  Concentrating, focusing on making sure I don’t speed up, slow down and come out of changes too fast which is a common problem.  That can be a bad habit of mine.  I guess I just get too excited about the fill and lose the groove for a split second.  But that little bit of error can be a big groove killer.

Technique is stick and feet control, arm and leg control.  Rudiments, rudiments and more rudiments along with various exercises out of different four way coordination books can help this part of my game.  This is the boring part and I need to keep disciplining myself to do this more and more.

Taste is where these CD’s and all other music that I listen to come in.

Just like reading more to help my writing I need to broaden my listening horizons and find various pieces of music across all genres of music.  Taking all of it in. Hearing what works, what sounds good, what serves the song and glean from that my own tasteful beats and fills.

So I started going through all these CD’s in my truck when I’m driving around town and to and from my job.  It’s one of the few times I get some solitude to listen to music.

The first CD I listened to was Hall and Oates “H2O”.

It contains some of their hits that I remembered from the 80’s (Man Eater, One On One) but it also had a very 80’s pop sound to it. a thin and metallic sound.

I gave the whole CD a listen from start to finish and put it aside.  I remember thinking these songs (other than the two hits I just mentioned) would be great songs with a different not so in the 80’s sound.  It was like they took some well written songs and forced them into the sound that was popular at the time.

I have three more that I listen to and want to write about in future posts.

One is a Paul McCartney album that sounds like something thrown together real quick for a release in Russia.

The other s CD’s are  Bette Midler and Anita Baker.

But all this is good for me.  Whether I love the album, hate it or am ambivalent the point is that I am trying to step outside my listening comfort zone.

That should help me step outside my playing comfort zone as well.

All of that should expand my musical palate and make my playing more tasteful which is my goal.

© Otis P Smith and About the Groove, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Otis P Smith and About the Groove with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

One thought on “Three T’s – Timing, Technique, Taste

  1. Pingback: Paul McCartney – Back In The USSR | About The Groove

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