Some musicians play at the front of the beat, some at the back. I’m one of those ‘at the back of the beat’ types but either is good. My pal Frankie plays square on the beat, but he’s a bass player and he needs to be right in the pocket.
Where you sit on the beat isn’t about speed though, Stevie Ray Vaughan played behind the beat but he was awesomely fast. There’s a great clip on Youtube of him doing a soundcheck, (he doesn’t start playing til about 1.25) he’s obviously still hungover but his playing is astoundingly, blindingly fast and fluid, and yet he’s still aways a shade behind the beat.
My favourite example of a ‘front of the beat’ musician is the drummer Stewart Copeland, who is always gnawing at the front edge of the beat, he’s always got more in his tank, he’s bursting with energy and he’s a brilliant musician.
Anyhow, this post was going to be how I love British Summer Time, which is ahead of the beat by a full hour, but I got sidetracked.