Jack’s Blog: Stuck in the Groove

A common issue for musicians, and something that is often overlooked is getting stuck in a particular way of playing. Always using your “go to” parts, grooves or lines to the point of exhaustion. The trouble with this is what inevitably follows for most of us, complete and utter boredom of your own playing and an overwhelming stench of stagnancy. It can put an irremovable cork in your bottle of creative juices. It is at times extremely frustrating. It makes you hate everything about you and your playing and sometimes want to stop all together. As a drummer in a regular gigging band, playing the same songs each night, this is something I often have to deal with. It’s a hard challenge for any level musician to overcome. So I thought I’d share some of the things that help me get out of this rut.

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For me, groove is everything. It’s what I look for in music. Tone and melody help bring the listeners’ heart into the music, but groove is there to bring the listeners body and soul into it. It adds movement to the song. The groove is like the pulse, and without a pulse the music is dead. Some people think that groove comes from the drummer’s parts alone, or even how the drums and the bass lock with each other. But I feel that the groove comes from the band as a whole. How each member twists and turns around each other to almost create a dance within the music. It’s this exact feeling that makes you want to dance to a song.

 

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So what I’ve done is created a list of my favourite songs from the 50’s to the 70’s that really help get me out of the rut and start having more feel when I play. A few of these songs have some of my all time favourite grooves in. Some of the best grooves consist of the simplest parts. It’s all about space. For me the more space the better. The listener doesn’t care how technical your part is. They care about the overall sound. And it’s within those spaces within the music where the listener thrives.

 

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I tried to avoid mentioning songs that you’ve probably heard a lot of times. But there’s nothing wrong with that. Some of my favourite songs are the most popular ones. But since the purpose of this blog was to get you thinking about new ideas and feels, I thought I’d spice it up with some of the more unknown ones. Which will hopefully help your creative juices flowing. Enjoy.

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