Lessons vs Self Teeching

Post drum lessons here! Share your talents, give some tips, or get new tips and learn to play new stuff!

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Bigg T
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Post Wed Feb 07, 2007 3:40 pm

Whats better... Drum Lessons or Self Teaching? And What type of "Self Teeching Methods" would you consider?
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craigyp
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Post Wed Feb 07, 2007 3:56 pm

Hey!

I got lessons for about 3 years in school and now i'm doin everythin by myself.

I found that i got through more material with lessons - i guess i was just more focused and was mainly trying to develop technique. now that i am "going solo" i find myself just messin around on the kit, tryin different things - although this is good in itself i dont find myself progressing as much as i did when i was getting taught.

So i definitely think lessons are a good thing (at least to get started) so that you can develop the correct techniques and posture.

In terms of self-teaching methods, i find that getting a good drum book (e.g. an exam book) and practicing rudiments and structured set pieces. also, getting some good drum tabs from t'internet means that you can practice your favourite songs - after all, the whole point is to enjoy yourself.

craig 8)
CHIMPOaGOGO
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Post Wed Feb 07, 2007 6:07 pm

i think its best to get some lessons if you have no idea on how to play drums. Just to get the basics down before your able to make up your own stuff to the songs you like or whatever.

But lessons are always nice to take lessons because your instructor will most likely know a lot of different beats and rhythms to widen your skills.
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vargasdrumbeast
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Post Wed Feb 07, 2007 6:48 pm

Oh man another BETTER thread!

Anyway, in MY opinion getting an experienced well rounded teacher is the best way to start up with drumming, self teaching yourself can leave holes in your technique that a teacher would not leave behind
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Gaddabout
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Post Wed Feb 07, 2007 7:09 pm

I look at it this way: If you learn how to read music and get on a solid path as far as grip and technique, you can teach yourself anything. If you know how to read and you have a clue about technique, you can pick up the most complicated books in publication and learn whatever you want to learn. At least in terms of the coldest interpretation of what music is.

But that's just a modernistic point of view.

As a teacher, if you just want to come to me to learn a few beats before fading away, I'm going to sense that on our first meeting and tell you to go talk to Joe Blow at X Drum Shop. He'll take your money for sure.

I only take students who are dying of curiosity. These are kids who can't get enough information and are craving to be constantly challenged. They already have a clue there's a world of music out there they don't know about because they don't have enough information to understand it, and they're just waiting for someone like me to show them how to navigate it.

Ideally, an instructor removes the false notion that drums are about learning bits and licks and cutting and pasting your drumming. There's an art to the instrument that can only be understood, appreciated, and performed through exposure and education. If that's you're point of view, I'm surprised you haven't already called somebody.

If you do go looking for an instructor, send me a PM. I have some tips on how to find the right instructor for you that I'd be happy to pass on.
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Post Wed Feb 07, 2007 7:56 pm

SELF TEACHING ALL THE WAY! Its good to have a teacher to teach you how to read music. But in terms of playing: a teacher will make you work on what he wants you to work on. I've played drums for 5 years and I know, for a fact, that if i were being tought for 5 years i wouldn't even be half as good as i am now because i learn what ever i want to learn.

For self teaching, listen to some drumming that you like. learn how to do it and then incorporate it into your playing.
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Gaddabout
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Post Wed Feb 07, 2007 8:00 pm

chachaman02 wrote:a teacher will make you work on what he wants you to work on.


Depends on the teacher.

chachaman02 wrote:I've played drums for 5 years and I know, for a fact, that if i were being tought for 5 years i wouldn't even be half as good as i am now because i learn what ever i want to learn.


I find this statement lacking veracity, but I suppose if you're satisfied, there's not much to argue. "Good" is a relative term.

chachaman02 wrote:For self teaching, listen to some drumming that you like. learn how to do it and then incorporate it into your playing.


This is also a good way to get trapped into plug-and-play drumming. If you don't have a broad education, it's difficult to take someone else's licks and make them your own.
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Post Wed Feb 07, 2007 8:06 pm

Thats all true...
I guess i'm mostly for it because it worked for me
Also, it even broadend my horizon. I used to play only punk rock. But now i play anything from Metalcore to prog rock. funk, jazz. I play anything that comes to mind.
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Gaddabout
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Post Wed Feb 07, 2007 8:12 pm

chachaman02 wrote:Thats all true...
I guess i'm mostly for it because it worked for me
Also, it even broadend my horizon. I used to play only punk rock. But now i play anything from Metalcore to prog rock. funk, jazz. I play anything that comes to mind.


I have a problem with the notion of being "self-taught," for one. I don't think there's such a thing. Even in your most remote, isolated way of learning, you still have to listen to other drummers, and I'm guessing you've got more than a few DVDs. So I'd be careful about being proud of that method.

OTOH, I will say I know plenty of fine drummers who never had formal music education or formal lessons. The caveat for the, I believe, is they grew up playing with other musicians -- in many cases GREAT musicians -- at a very young age.

Playing with other musicians who are better than you is the only real way to improve. You could have a great instructor showing you 5 million different ways to modulate time and play polyrhythms, but if you can't play with other musicians, you're worthless as a drummer. So playing experience trumps ALL other forms of education.
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mortem
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Post Wed Feb 07, 2007 11:10 pm

Both methods have their own pros and cons...

First of all, let me say that I am a self-taught drummer, and have been playing for 6 years now. Just a month ago I decided to take lessons and oh wow... I regret I waited this long! Trust me, if you think you are a good drummer, take lessons! You will become an even better one.. why? Because you have someone who knows more than you telling you what you have been doing wrong for the past 6 years (technique-wise or whatever). Also, learning how to read music or drumming books is amazingly convenient.

Okay, that being said, I'll mention some of the main aspects I learned from my first 6 years of self-taught drumming:
-First, you learn the artistic part of playing the drums, learning to express yourself with drums as a medium.
-Second, you learn to actually love the drums for what they truly are, and don't realize about all the theory that's behind drumming... you just drum because you love to, and by doing this you learn to love your drums.
-Third, you learn play with an open mind since no theory is really involved.
-Fourth, ear training, man... seriously, I have noticed this since I'm taking conga lessons right now and I have absolutely no problem learning rhythmic patterns on the first listen (which are not easy, btw)

So yeah, from my experience what I would recommend is beginning with lessons to have a solid base on technique, basic theory knowledge, rudiments, etc.. and then move on to a self-teaching process. Improvise, try to create your own exercises, play around with the drums, know your drums, learn to express yourself through them. After a couple of years of doing this, return to take lessons to carry on with the more difficult technical part of drumming.

So trust me on this one, fellas.. if you are a self-taught drummer, and refuse to take lessons, drop your pride and get a teacher.
"Master your instrument, master the music... then forget all that shit and just play."
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MrMcFetus
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Post Wed Feb 07, 2007 11:56 pm

I started off with lessons. But for the last year, I've been teaching myself everything.
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Post Thu Feb 08, 2007 12:18 am

Personally I my whole life wanted lessons ,but I've always self taught myself it's started in 2nd grade. and I was little obviously. I can clearly remember being able to keep a beat 4/4 w/ my Hands
I didnt know what 4 /4 was till a year L8r when I was forced upon Piano. and as pansy as piano is IT HELPED RIDICULOUSLY ALOT. It developed a keen since of different signatures and how to stay on beat. and then when I transferred all that knowledge to the drums it was as if the drums came naturally. Seriously. and now 9 years Later I freaking Hitting Derek Roddy's speeds and I would really Like to make a video On what my techniques are personally. But one of the Main things in self teaching is Technique NOT SPEED as everyone knows start slow develope muscle memory it WORKS.n e way now that I went and wrote a book...Overall I really think Self teaching IS ALOT better bc You have more of a WANT to Learn rather than going everyday whether you want 2 or not. I really hope ppl email or respond to this. bc as I said in another Post Lieing would get me no where and well I dont want the Name Lier I really want to help other ppl in drumming ,but at the same time Learn stuff myself and basically create a Giant snowball of better and better drumming for EVERYONE and Myself.
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Post Thu Feb 08, 2007 1:05 am

i agree with the individual who has played 6 years, and just now is taking lessons. Taking lessons from Jon Kutz; percussion instructor at the MCC commercial music program; has improved my drumming immensely. I have truly benefited in many ways from his teaching. However, to become a drummer of that calibur (whatever calibur you desire i suppose) you should study with many drum gurus of many different styles and approaches to the art. Having influences in the music you listen to is equally important. Simply listening to Cryptopsy and perfecting your blasts all day may make you a good drummer... but never a great drummer. Listen to many styles of music, especially the ones that don't appeal to your usual taste. Remember: you may not always land a gig that is your preferred style. The ability to play all styles will ensure that you always have a gig!
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Post Thu Feb 08, 2007 8:27 am

The smartest thing to do is to mix the things. I´m a latin/rock drummer but everithing i have learned about rockbeats. I have learned myself. It is really hard not to have a teacher because of the technic study. When i'm playing by myself i'm playing with my drums but when i'm at a lesson it is more strictly and then i am consentrating me.





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Post Thu Feb 08, 2007 8:32 am

I would not let a self taught attorney represent me in court,or a self taught doctor perform an apendectomy on me.See where i am getting at.I have been playing for 27 years and still to this day go get lessons when in a slump.How can you teach yourself something you don't know?I guess lessons differentiate the drummers from the percussionists.I'd rather be the latter.