“Be a chef.”

More on bacon, drumming, and patience.   So Clyde Stubblefield, when I asked him to hip me to some cool drumming ideas, thought a while before replying, “Be a chef.”

“You might have to sizzle-fry something over here.  Then you might have to stir something over there.  And slow cook this thing here.  Yeah, be a chef.”  This was some of the most profound advice about drumming I had ever heard.  Be a chef.  A chef commands his kitchen.  A drummer commands his instrument, and, in turn, the band.  Where does patience fit in?

Some of my favorite drummers are drummers who drum with patience.  They let the song build.  I will catch a rash of hell for this, but think about Neil Peart on “Tom Sawyer” or “YYZ”.  The first fills in the songs are cool, but as the song progresses, the fills get a little loftier, a little more complex.  Think about Simon Phillips on Pete Townshend’s “Give Blood.”  He builds it over the whole song and finally gives us the ultimate tension breaker with that 2:3 catch at the end.  Amazing stuff.  The inimitable Steve Gadd.  Understated.  Understood.  And I think of Dave King of The Bad Plus.  A guy who can drum circles around most of us, but he just lays it down on “1972 Bronze Medal Winner,” a song he wrote, and as his bandmates keep time, he stretches the time wherever he wants it to go and meets them back on the one, when he feels like it.  Patience.
You can’t rush bacon.  You can’t rush drumming.  Patience.  Writing this stuff makes me think of a thousand other things I want to write about…

Patience.

The Throne.

Just fine vs. perfection.

More later.

2 Responses to ““Be a chef.””

  1. Jeff "Lefthand" Neal Says:

    I concur!! Happy Gobble Day to you and the fam.

  2. Geoffrey Lang Says:

    Hey SG;

    Great observations…you’re as perceptive and concise as I remember you always to be.

    Stay connected..and pass the giblets..

    Geoff

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