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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ihitwithstix
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Post Thu Feb 08, 2007 8:37 am

A teacher of mine once said "If you learn your instrument you can play any song.If you just play your instrument then you have to learn every song." Some of you will get this and some won't. My bet is that the ones who most understand what he meant by this have had lessons.
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Post Thu Feb 08, 2007 9:43 am

Lessons from an experienced teacher are a godsent, even if you've been playing for a while and think you're good. A Good teacher will show you all the weaknesses you have either ignored or not noticed, and help you overcome them. I used to believe that self teaching was the answer, but after getting lessons from someone who is seriously talented it made me think again.
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LadyThunder
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Post Thu Feb 08, 2007 9:46 am

:roll: :?:

I personally have been playing rock for 10 years self-taught on the set. But have had over 7 years of music education in percussion/jazz studies, somewhat prior and concurrent to teaching myself set.

Honestly, I think this topic depends on many variables and one's personal preference of learning. I have always developed my own certain way of doing things that were taught to me over the years. When it came to learning the drumset, I wanted to approach it with basic fundamentals & technique under my belt and nothing more.

Why? You might ask... I wanted to allow more creativity in my style and an overall "think outside the box" mind state. Yes, I will agree with many of you on here that not taking lessons does slow your learning speed, but if thats the price you've got to pay to be original, unique, and generally more creative with drumming, then so be it.

Think about this....? Some point back in time, way back in time, someone had to create rhythm, technique, rudiments, time signatures, tempo, dynamics, etc. It didn't just show up here one day like, "Hey, this is how you play drums." Believe me, I'm not totally non-conformist, I just truly look to the root of everything, and realize that something had to start somewhere at some point.

I think everyone should have some sort of fundamental education to show themselves the technique and what not that they "might" not be able to learn themselves. Again, everyone thinks differently, and I would agree that most people would not be able to teach themselves the correct technique and fundamentals that would benefit and greatly advance their comprehension & playing abilities, but I'm just speaking for myself, and I'm NOT most people. I'm a intensive deep thinker, visionary, probably the most philisophical person you've ever met, and with that said I just don't want to be or sound like every drummer out there, plain and simple.

Given, the self-taught method would obviously not be recommended for those of you who desire and aspire to be session drummers or anything of the sort, but for one who is part of an all original band, and you want that creative, free-spirited, open-minded approach to writing music, then I say go for it. And, If you feel that you don't have that natural instinct and immediate understanding of music and drumming, then by all means take lessons to give your life of drumming a direction, structure, and purpose.

Not trying to start any arguments, just felt the urge to state my views. Thanks for listening...
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xdoseonex
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Post Thu Feb 08, 2007 10:26 am

a lot of people have mixed opinions here. unfortunately, with all due respect a lot of them are wrong. if your not familiar with a certain style and you trying to learn to play it you simply cannot self teach yourself. self teaching will leave ALL your mistakes unnoticed. and when you dont know what your doing wrong you wont fix it. Self teaching wil limit you to the knoledge that only you posess, which is absolutely no way to learn different stlyes of music. if you afford it DO NOT teach yourself go for a versitale teacher with alot of experience. and PRACTICE WHAT YOUR ARE NOT COMFORTABLE PLAYING. but to answer your question, NO se;f teaching can in no way compare toan acual good teacher and youone who thinks otherwide has not had a good teacher. remember just because someones goosd at playing sdoesnt mean they can teach
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xdoseonex
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Post Thu Feb 08, 2007 10:30 am

ihitwithstix wrote:"If you learn your instrument you can play any song.If you just play your instrument then you have to learn every song."


Perfectly Said
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LadyThunder
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Post Thu Feb 08, 2007 11:28 am

xdoseonex wrote:a lot of people have mixed opinions here. unfortunately, with all due respect a lot of them are wrong. if your not familiar with a certain style and you trying to learn to play it you simply cannot self teach yourself. self teaching will leave ALL your mistakes unnoticed. and when you dont know what your doing wrong you wont fix it. Self teaching wil limit you to the knoledge that only you posess, which is absolutely no way to learn different stlyes of music. if you afford it DO NOT teach yourself go for a versitale teacher with alot of experience. and PRACTICE WHAT YOUR ARE NOT COMFORTABLE PLAYING. but to answer your question, NO se;f teaching can in no way compare toan acual good teacher and youone who thinks otherwide has not had a good teacher. remember just because someones goosd at playing sdoesnt mean they can teach


First of all everyone is entitled to their own opinion and/or views, much like you are, but to say that someone's opinions are wrong...? I'm sure that along with all of the self-taught drummer's opinions are underlying strategies to how they sucessfully go about teaching themselves.

The fact of the matter is there is always two sides to every argument, period... and making your point on either of those sides really gets you no where...

The truth is that everyone is "technically" self-taught. Whether you take lessons from an instructor or not, you still spend time practicing on your own, in other words "teaching yourself." It all depends on how you look at the situation. Just because you are being shown something by someone else , i.e. an instructor, doesn't mean that you're not self-taught or vice versa. Everyone, including the great drummers whom we all know, learns by playing, listening, and watching, whether you have studied professionally or not. The only difference is that the ones who have studied have a broader grasp and comprehension on their instrument.

You can study the same materials that you would get from a private instructor on your own. As long as you have a strong foundation to grow from.

So what we are really trying to get at here is that, Yes, at some point, preferably when you first start drumming, you should take some sort or instruction to show you the correct techniques, and so forth. But once you have the basics of music, dynamics, tempo, etc., I say take your own route.
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Post Thu Feb 08, 2007 12:01 pm

I only got a very basic lesson from a music teacher at school and couldn't really afford to get any more at the time. I think you should learn as much as possible from others all the way through your drumming life (and non drumming life!), although I believe it's important to use your own intuition when it comes to feel and creative ideas.
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Post Thu Feb 08, 2007 6:48 pm

there's a buddy of mine who's been playing drums since he could walk... so basically 13 years. all self-taught. sure he has some nice licks, a load of creativity, but he has the worst damn technique i have ever seen in my life. He's so damn sloppy... and he insists on only playing metal/death metal... and he can't do sh*t without his double pedal. I've been playing for 5 years now, lessons for all 5. everybody who hears us drum-duel says that hands down i have more versatility, better technique, better marching technique, (even though that has nothing to do with drumset i just wanted to throw that in XD), and in general better feeling of time and more interesting solos / improv. fills. either I'm just naturally good, (which i doubt), or my lessons are the reason I can do what I do. (Helps being taught by one of Anthony Cirone's disciples =P) oh yeah, I also practice rudiments about 3-4 hours a day... so that might help a bit...
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Post Thu Feb 08, 2007 8:00 pm

Jesus christ! i'm sorry forsaying my very honest and humble opinion! Also, one should under stand that self tought means that there was no formal teaching. Of course we listen to other people play, even if we have dvd's, i'm not gonna say Thomas Lang tought me to play drums.
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Post Thu Feb 08, 2007 9:25 pm

LadyThunder wrote:Why? You might ask... I wanted to allow more creativity in my style and an overall "think outside the box" mind state. Yes, I will agree with many of you on here that not taking lessons does slow your learning speed, but if thats the price you've got to pay to be original, unique, and generally more creative with drumming, then so be it.


I think it's a great big misconception that all instruction = systematic and similar style playing. Buddy Rich aside, some of the most innovative, brilliant "out of the box" thinkers of the instrument were educated in the most extensive fashion.

- Tony Williams had Alan Dawson, studying with him before he was a teenager. Dawson was so impressed he would drive him hundreds of miles as a 12-year-old so he could play with Miles Davis for a gig, then drive him back home. Williams may have been the most revolutionary drummer of the 20th Century.

- Vinnie Colaiuta is probably the best argument for what Tony Williams would be playing if he had grown up in the next generaiton. Colaiuta studied through school and eventually wound up studying Gary Chafee's regimented systems at Berklee.

- Steve Gadd was educated through drum corps then the military. Leading up to that he studied with a private instructor as a child and played in organ trios and jazz combos as a youth. It would be hard to argue if anyone has had a bigger impact -- on the well learned or the self taught -- on popular drumming. His style is and was revolutionary.

I say you're more likely to hit your creative goals by seeking qualified instruction. It is not about forcing someone else's ideas on you. It's about providing you access to all the history and tradition and drumming before you, so you can build on that and take it somewhere new. It's the instructor's job to provide you the tools. What you do with them is up to you.

All I can say is the most celebrated art in the world is usually based in a culture where education plays an elevated role, and technique is first learned before rules are broken. Think of the impressionists. These people could paint Rembrandts if they desired, but they chose to break the rules -- and did so in ways that communicated their ideas to those who understood art. It wasn't them attempting to achieve something they didn't understand.
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Post Fri Feb 09, 2007 1:28 pm

Lessons trump self-taught.

If you think teachers suck, you've had crappy teachers that all there is too it. A good teacher will channel your enthusiasm and energy with a focused direction.

If you are happy with you're self-taught method then there's nothing wrong with that, but with a great teacher you'd be better and its just something you can't deny. Could you do math if you had to learn everything yourself, would you write half as well if no one showed you how to hold a pen and you never saw anyone else holding one?
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Post Fri Feb 09, 2007 10:04 pm

Ive been taking about 5 years of percussion lessons for school, but Ive been playing set self taught for about 6 years now. To me, it seems like self taught is better for you. I don't think you should have to pay somebody to make you practice what you should want to do better. Also, I think being self taught just gives you more freedom... playing with a style that is all your own. As a set player, my goal is to sound like no body else does. I think lesson teachers can kind of force a certain style or theory about percussion onto you.
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Post Sat Feb 10, 2007 6:02 pm

ihitwithstix wrote: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.


Perfectly said! i've had some great drum teachers since i started and even though i could read music before i even started taking lessons, i know i wouldnt be near where im at without taking the lessons.

Aside from reading and learning out of a book, technique is a must. and that is something that is best to be shown so someone can correct it while your playing. a teacher can look at your posture and movement and hear your sound quality and tell if you are playing properly or not. if you dont know any better than that is something you can teach yourself.
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Post Sat Feb 10, 2007 6:06 pm

Dailey wrote: I don't think you should have to pay somebody to make you practice what you should want to do better. Also, I think being self taught just gives you more freedom... playing with a style that is all your own. As a set player, my goal is to sound like no body else does. I think lesson teachers can kind of force a certain style or theory about percussion onto you.


you should want to practice and teachers arent there to only make you practice. they are teaching you the fundimentals and building a foundation for you on your own to expand on. some teacher do teach you what they think should be taught but they arent saying "im teaching you thins, you have to use it just like this." they teach you that stuff because it is the base for you to add your own flare and person taste to.
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Post Sat Feb 10, 2007 7:49 pm

Being taught is easily the best way to learn. I know that when I was being taught (now I am starting up again after say a 2.5 year break) I learned more. I've only been learning nowadays by listening closer to music and watching drumming in music vids and concert vids as much as I can. =/
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