2016/ Summer Rhythm

Chad Smith offers his advice in a section about drum playing



CHECK YOUR EGO it can be a little intimidating when you walk in a room and there’s Johnny Cash. But he was totally cool. I introduced myself, ‘I’m the drummer: He didn’t know who I was. He starts playing me these songs and wanting my input, what do I think? Immediately we were musical peers. There was no star-tripping. We were in the trenches trying to make some good music.”

ALWAYS GO FOR IT ‘When I’m playing I’m not thinking, ‘This is just a scratch or demo.’ Every time, I’m going for it. You never know the magical take, sometimes it can be the first time and Muse are really cool because you don’t really know the part yet so you’re really listening hard and there is a spontaneity.”

AIM FOR COMPLETE TAKES “You can stop and punch-in but even then I think there is something special that comes through a track when it’s a performance. Often with Pro Tools it’s about editing; ‘I can fly that verse in over that one: You lose the beauty of the performance when you don’t play all the way through the song.”

MAKE ‘EM LAUGH “If a recording is not going well, it can be frustrating, people can get really unhappy last, the pressure. spending all this money, wasting people’s time. Things start to bog down in a session, I tell some jokes. Hal Blaine taught me that. Hal was the perennial studio musician and he’d just start telling jokes.”

SEE THE BIG PICTURE “People get frustrated if they can’t do something, or it doesn’t sound right. I can get a little grumpy but I’m recording music, playing my instrument, in a fancy studio, working with incredible people, doing what I love. I’m going to be cranky about that? You’ve got to keep perspective and be grateful.”