What does music minus drums mean?
Have you ever found yourself comping against an instrumental track where there are no recorded drums? Whether the track was written without drums in mind, or the drum track was removed, these tracks offer a ton of opportunity to comp against and apply your own musicality and sound to create a brand new composition.
I do this all the time and have discovered a treasure trove of music from around the world that lends itself to this great practice technique.
Perhaps the track Some, or most, of you know about the variety of instructional music-minus vinyls, CDs, DVDs, and YouTube clips that provide drummers with an opportunity to play along with our favorite tracks and to be the “guest drummer”, for lack of a better analogy.
I think this is one of the most creative, expressive, interpretive, and liberating techniques to help build one’s listening and improvisational skills without having to worry about mimicking anyone. I studied with Charles Perry, one of the creators of the seminal music-minus-one instructional series called Music Minus One – 8 Men in Search of a Drummer. Charles never pushed that technique on me but nevertheless I did explore it when I was younger. But I recently re-discovered it and I’m find it to an enlightening experience.
Sometimes I would get tired of playing along to a lot my favorite drummers, trying to mix in and nail every beat and every fill exactly as the original drummer only to get frustrated with myself. I was never a good mimic but I was always good at interpreting music, always injecting my own feel in to every thing I played.
When I recently re-discovered this music minus technique, I got immediately addicted to it. But I’m not playing to those music minus instructional materials. I’m actually poring through my collection of music (all 49,000+ tracks) to find music with no drums or percussion and use those tracks as the basis. And there is a treasure trove of material out there for the picking dating back to early recordings to the most current across all genres of music.
See what you can find in your music library or online. You Tube has some channels dedicated to this.