Possibly one of the most difficult things to explain is feel. A recording is often worth more than a thousand words. Feel is subjective. The feel of your drumming can drastically affect the sound of the others you are working with. Feel is basically where and how the pulse is presented. Straight, swing, shuffle, laid back, funky, on top, in between, open or closed. There as many descriptions of feels as there are words in the dictionary. The feel you play should go with the music. If the music swings, your drumming will swing with it. Music with a swing-type feel is usually subdivided in 3’s. There is an emphasis or implication of triplets. If the music is straight, your drumming will outline that feel. The emphasis is subdivided in 2’s. There is an emphasis on eighth and sixteenth notes. There are more complexities involved with odd meters. Since they often consist of combinations of groupings of 2’s and 3’s, the accents sound more disjointed. Ballads and slower tunes usually call for a more laid back feel. By laying back, your time feels more relaxed and open. Faster tunes may call for a more driven type of feel. Your playing is more on top of the beat to maintain the drive of the band. In music such as free jazz, your time may be open. In other words, you are able to play however you feel like playing. The important thing to remember is to listen to what is going on around you. In open time situations, tempo shifts and feel shifts are common. You may begin playing one type of feel, and suddenly shift the entire thing in a different direction. If everyone is listening and interacting, this can create some very exciting musical moments. In funk settings your feel should be funky. Funk feel is as broad as jazz feel. Both funk and jazz are terms used loosely. Within both exist a very wide variety of feels and tempos. It is important to do the listening of styles you wish to study. Hearing the feel is important if you are going to try to re-create it in some way. Some styles call for the drummer to play right on top of the beat, driving the rest of the band. Others call for the drummer to lay back and hold the groove down. Feel is very open to interpretation. Go with your own instinct as to what you feel is tasteful for that style.