Thursday, September 22, 2011
In The Pocket
I've playing music for a long time and one of the things I've noticed lately is that a lot of cats are more focused on doing their own thing instead of focusing on the groove. I get the pleasure to teach and work with a lot of younger guys and it seems that most of them are only concerned with chops and playing a lot of fills. Well I can't even say it's an age thing because I've actually had the same experience with older guys. It's as if just holding the groove down gets boring to them. Most people that have seen me play like to label me as a showman and I will take that but make no mistake about it. I'm always focused on staying in the pocket. I love to play so I do it with a lot of energy and excitement. I focus all of my energy into making the music groove by keeping my eyes and heart open. What is the pocket? The pocket is a living, breathing thing. It is that sweet spot where a song is just suppose to be. The pocket is about keeping a consistent tempo, groove and connection between the musicians on stage and the audience. The pocket is usually unique in every situation. A group of guys can have a certain kind of pocket together that just works. They may move the tempo here and there but if they do it together then they are still in the pocket. The pocket is about give and take. It's about sacrifice and love. You have to surrender to the groove. If the groove only needs a phat back beat, then just do that. Most drummers don't understand that the pocket is not boring but it is exciting. You should approach every groove by trying to see how long you can go without playing a fill at all so that when you do play a fill it really means something to the music. The pocket is about necessity. If it don't fit, don't force it. Just relax and let it work. So to all my brothers is the craft, the next time you take the stage be sure to focus on the pocket and that goes for EVERYONE not JUST the drummer. Groove is universal. Keep it in the pocket and enjoy the journey.
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