There are all sorts of drummers out there. Hold it! My first sentence isn’t exactly what I mean, I need to rephrase that: there are all sort of performing drummers out there. Not quite the same thing, because one is about the instrument, the other talks about the instrument played in front of people.
Performing is a fine and delicate balance that requires a lot of skills to pitch just right. Some drummers are flashy and strong, but if they are too strong, if that’s their only card, the music doesn’t breathe, it is always crushed under a plowing “as-loud-as-possible” drum beat. Some drummers are technical but their pitfall is that they can come across as cold or pretentious if they are too technical.
Some drummers are discreet, and that can be a fault too. Their approach can seem sterile and meaningless. Adding the needed flames and effects helps ignite the music.
What I’m saying is that each style of drumming has its drawbacks, its traps. Therefore, for the one interested in a career in music (and a long one if possible), what would be the correct mindset to be able to sell whatever style you happen to be attached to? In other words what should be the smallest common denominator of all these different style of drumming?
I believe the answer is this: efficiency. The player stands a better chance to get employed if she understands how to serve the song at its core, even if her style is flamboyant.
I’m including a picture of Meg White because she’s a brilliant example of an efficient and minimalist drummer: