Monday, April 9, 2012
Fills vs Feel
I have the pleasure to work with some of the greatest musicians and artists in the world and I get to see a LOT of cats play. The one thing that never ceases to amaze me is how a lot of guys still insist on focusing on chops instead of playing what it takes to make the music feel good. A lot of younger musicians get accused of being too busy but it's not just younger guys, it's some of the older guys too. I had a friend recently comment after a show that my playing was very simple but grooving. I laughed because he made it sound like the two were something different. LOL . To groove IS to be simple. It's like life, being happy is simple but WE make it hard by trying too hard or doing too much. It's all about fills vs feel. It's knowing what not to play that makes you great. It's always tempting to FILL all of the spaces but that only sacrifices the FEEL of the music because there is beauty and groove to be found in space as well. It's all about knowing your role and enthusiastically playing YOUR part. It takes a total team effort to establish and maintain an infectious groove that will connect with people emotionally. It also takes humility and sacrifice. You have to be willing to ONLY play what the song needs or calls for, no more, no less. I've heard guys say that they don't like this song or that song because it's too easy or it's boring, not enough notes. Well this is a bunch of crap. You should be able to find something special in every situation, style or song you play. It's not about your ego. It's always about the song, the team and how you all work together to best serve the song and not your ego. Remember, too many FILLS can sacrifice the FEEL, so just stay in the pocket and lock it. And that goes for any kind of music. Groove is universal. Enjoy the journey.
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