Thursday, March 8, 2012

Bag of Tricks: Carter Beauford on DMB's "Satellite"

Earlier in the week we talked about flams.

This is one of my favorite tracks that utilizes a ton of simple, single flam fills and back beats, as well as flams on the toms as part of fills.

Check out the video for "Satellite."

Starting at the 2:16 mark, Carter Beauford starts using just a single flam as part of a fill. It's not a complex idea or figure (for the purposes of this post, it's not even worth notating!), yet it fits the song and feel perfectly.

Honestly, Carter has as much in the chops department as any other drummer in the rock-pop arena, yet he chooses his notes and fills based on what the music demands. This tune is also a very good example of a concept known as duality, where Carter mixes the very simple (single flam, quarter note fills) with the complex, such as the switching between time feels and using broken patterns and accents in fills to obscure the pulse.

I know a lot of drummers who don't like the way Carter plays, and I can honor that. But you've got to at least respect the man for what he does with the music. Whatever else he is, he's not a plain, "anyone with two sticks and a pulse could have played this track" type of musician. You can hear that it's him whenever you hear a track.

So, again, play around with flams (pun intended). Hopefully they'll become a tool that you're comfortable with and that will expand your vocabulary and ability to express yourself on your instrument and through the music.

As always, happy drumming!


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