Drumming and rhythm are a fundamental part of popular music, however as drummers we can sometimes over look the mood of a track in place of an awesome beat.
It is just as important to have the ability to subtly alter your playing as it is to have technical control. So how can we practice in a way that allows for our musical sensitivity to come out in our playing?
Here are some suggestions.
1. Listen to the melody
2. Develop dynamics. Not just loudness or quietness but tonal quality of your strokes and hits.
3. Develop push and pull. Learning how to restrain the tempo by playing either ahead of or in behind the pulse.
4. Practice individual phrases in a song and apply dynamic control to these.
Here is a track I recorded where I hope the mood of the track is underlined by the drumming.