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4 Top Drum Teachers Discuss The Groove

DRUM!: Do you think certain styles of music groove more than others?

PEDERSEN: To me, the metal thing, maybe this is just because I’m older, but I can’t say that music grooves. It’s just precision. And to me that’s what it’s about. It is the theatrics of drumming. It’s marvelous, but that is ultimate drumming. All that bass drum stuff, all that playing, you don’t have time to change position. You know, tempo has an effect too. As you talk about metal and other music, once the music gets to a certain speed, there’s no space for it to move, so it doesn’t really groove. It’s just time.

Groove Roundtable

(Left) Bernard Galane

TIBBS: Like, I see these young bass players, they’re freaking me out. They’re like 14 years old. I’m like, “Buuh?” [laughs]

PEDERSEN: It’s phenomenal! But it’s not magic. That’s the difference. A groove is magic. Most people, if they put 24 hours a day in for 24 years, they can get to some level of technique.

WAYMIRE: I agree.

PEDERSEN: So that’s not magic. That’s just hard work.

GALANE: Take a construction worker from the street — by the way, nothing wrong with construction workers of course — put him behind a drum set for 15 years, tell him, “You practice eight hours a day for fifteen years.”

WAYMIRE: ... “And you need be faster and faster and faster.”

GALANE: Right, “And go up with the click.” And it sounds exactly like that. A random person from the street. It has nothing to do with music.

PEDERSEN: Because the groove is the magic. How come one guy just can’t do it — and those unfortunately exist? The poor guy that wants to be a drummer, and even his time is good, but he just doesn’t have that. You know, he’ll get some gigs, and he’ll get to play, but he’ll never get to be — that. And you know it when it’s not happening, especially as you get to play a long time. And only a handful, a miniscule amount, will get that thing where they get to be [Steve] Jordan. And that’s a gift. That groove thing is a gift.

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