I have always preached that each musician should have his/her own internal metronome and that the musician should not have to rely on the rhythm section to keep a steady beat. This is true. A great horn section will swing with or without the rhythm section. However, you get a weak rhythm section in your band and everything gets off kilter. I do not have this in my band, thankfully, but I have sat in on some bands with some weak subs. This is especially pivotal with the drummer. The drummer can single handedly bring down the band if he/she does not have a good sense of time - that is the importance of the position. If you have a fluctuating ride cymbal or high hat, or worse a sense of time that is not on Duracell batteries, and you can kiss any unity, swing or musicality goodbye. This may sound harsh but what I am really saying is that my hat is off to drummers everywhere for taking on this burden of responsibility. I would be sweating buckets if I was in that seat.
Dr. Michael Kearns
Musician, educator, husband, father, web designer ... my life is like a mosaic with each piece vying for my attention.