Drumming help

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

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blackreign
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Post Sun Feb 18, 2007 2:15 pm

I have been playing drums for about 3 years now, and im starting to doubt my ability to actually play correctly... I was the unfortunate one who got stuck on drums in a band, so I didn't take lessons and I spent 3 years developing bad habits...
anyways...
from watching videos of people drumming and its starting to make me wonder if Im really doing anything right on drums...

First of all I don't think im using my wrists to my full advantage.. my bad habit is im using my arm, and forearm strength to hit the skins... not only that, I sometimes get a little out of hand and go too fast (even for playing black metal)

My bandmates assure me Im a good drummer, as I can keep time with them, but I think I need to work on my technique...

Can anyone give me some really helpful tips here... Im starting to think I should start at the beginning and get lessons, but I can't afford them since I just bought a house...

is there any "correct" way to actually play drums... I saw a few videos of tips on how to actually use your wrists but I can't seem to get it down...

thanks
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drummert2k
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Post Sun Feb 18, 2007 9:47 pm

for technique, you might want to get private drum lessons. have someone very experienced watch you and teach you so they can correct things you might not notice. heres a good link to Dom Famularo online lessons. he has some good technique stuff on there. and good technique makes a HUGE differance in your playing.

http://www.vicfirth.com/education/drumset/domfamularo.html
blackreign
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Post Mon Feb 19, 2007 11:00 am

Thanks...
the free stroke is exactly what I need to learn, its probably going to take some time to get used to it, since Im used to playing pretty stiff...
blackreign
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Post Wed Feb 21, 2007 12:04 am

I've noticed an improvment in my playing now that im somewhat understanding the technique behind drumming, Im starting to actually be able to play some of the songs I listen to... (simplified though).

I have another question though... I seem to be fairly good at timing whilst listening to music while playing to it, because I use my hearing along with counting in my head, should I be using a metronome at all? I know it would improve my time, but I have never used a metronome before... kinda suprising but somehow I have trained myself to time by counting in my head...

But I want to be more precise, I mean, I can stay in time, but its not perfect hit on timing...

stupid question though, how do I use a metronome, just kinda count each click and change on the higher pitched click?
also whats a good speed to start off at, since Im playing black metal (supposed to be upwards of 200 bpms, but we have slower moments in our songs as well)
Im fairly used to my double kick pedal as well I have no problem hitting 200 bpms with that, I just don't want it too be sloppy...

but again... thanks again for the help.
Flatliner
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Post Wed Feb 21, 2007 12:09 am

One word: Lessons.

Take a few with a teacher that's gonna look to correct your bad habits (and being self-taught, I sure you will as a lot of poeple who know proper technique struggle to remember it in the heat of the moment.)
Three years isn't a very long time to have been drumming so if you still have issues with your playing there's no better time than the present to get them looked at.
M.U.S.I.C.- Make up something interesting and complementary- Neil Peart

Without music, Life would be an error- Friedrich Nietzsche
Piddywiffle
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Post Wed Feb 21, 2007 7:28 am

Yea ditto man. I developed bad habits about the time you did and began looking at myself and what I was doing... Mostly bad habits with my foot work, i had the wrist stuff down good, but my feet were retarded. But ive come a long way =D But yea, I kinda did it on my own instead of lessons. Mostly from watching others play and asking questions.

I guess the moral is, determination.
Falling down the stairs at the age of five was my first drum solo.

"They arn't dirty pants dude... That film is a protective barrier from all other bacterium" Quote from my roommate approx 1 month ago.
blackreign
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Post Wed Feb 21, 2007 7:45 am

Mostly from watching others play and asking questions.


Thats pretty much what Im trying to do, I really can't afford lessons right now since I just bought a house...
but I will continue to correct things wrong with my playing, as far as I can tell though my pedal work is pretty good, I have to just get in the habit of practicing everyday for a few hours (its hard to do that in a house full of graveyard shift workers, when I work days, so there sleeping when I get home!)
Flatliner
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Post Wed Feb 21, 2007 9:33 pm

obiviously if you can't afford lessons you can't afford a kit, but when you do have the money you might consider an electric kit sot that you can practice whenever.
M.U.S.I.C.- Make up something interesting and complementary- Neil Peart

Without music, Life would be an error- Friedrich Nietzsche
blackreign
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Post Wed Feb 21, 2007 9:35 pm

Flatliner wrote:obiviously if you can't afford lessons you can't afford a kit, but when you do have the money you might consider an electric kit sot that you can practice whenever.


Actually moving out it the reason why Im going to practice alot more, the studio will be in the basement and my brothers room is on the other side of the house, so they won't hear me

for now though, im using (dont laugh!) a chair to practice my technique...
I guess i got to make due with what I can
Piddywiffle
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Post Thu Feb 22, 2007 8:56 am

Blackreign said:

Thats pretty much what Im trying to do, I really can't afford lessons right now since I just bought a house...
but I will continue to correct things wrong with my playing, as far as I can tell though my pedal work is pretty good, I have to just get in the habit of practicing everyday for a few hours (its hard to do that in a house full of graveyard shift workers, when I work days, so there sleeping when I get home!)



So I said:

I know dude trust me. I got kicked off the race horse for almost a year cause I moved into a crap complex where even at noon I couldn't do anything louder then breathe. Was broke too, so padding everything was just suicide for my wallet. So i shelved my drums (sigh) set me back father then i ever wanted to be, but thats life. But now I live in a place where my landlord tells me he likes the sound :P

But yea as for the graveyard shit stuff, i work 7-7 nights.... pm to am... So when I got cash I bought a few practice pads.. Not the pads for the kit its self, but free moving ones. got one for my kicker as well. Soooo, i'de get outta work and still have something to practice with. Hell, i got my dbl kick set up and am just worken
L R L R patterns right now.. and lemme tell ya, my legs BURN.

So there are ways to get around minor stuffs like this. Pads arn't too expensive and pay off SOOOOO well. Even my nights off, after 8pm i switch to practice pads. Use em when you watch movies or play vid'ja games. Heh, you don't have to make it a chore.

Well, I guess im the forums best babbler soooo... yeeap 8)
Falling down the stairs at the age of five was my first drum solo.

"They arn't dirty pants dude... That film is a protective barrier from all other bacterium" Quote from my roommate approx 1 month ago.
Flatliner
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Post Thu Feb 22, 2007 4:56 pm

hmmm never thought of working the legs like that. Now I really need to a practice pad for my feet so I can do that while reading.
M.U.S.I.C.- Make up something interesting and complementary- Neil Peart

Without music, Life would be an error- Friedrich Nietzsche
blackreign
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Post Thu Feb 22, 2007 6:47 pm

Yea I think thats one of things I may buy before I move out, so I can practice at night too...

since Its cheap, but if you havn't bother looking at my drum kit, then I think you should lol

First things first I need a new kit (old ones in the show us your kit forums)
Mistajohn
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Post Fri Feb 23, 2007 3:25 pm

okay, first off - you play BLACK METAL AND YOU JUST BOUGHT A HOUSE!!!!?

Sounds like you're doin' fine to me, but onto your question...

The fact that you examine your own playing is a good indication that you are on your way to becoming a great drummer. You've even deduced that you aren't getting the most out of your technique.

For a second there, I thought the problem may not be your hands, but your ears. You mentioned that sometimes you play a little too fast and get out of time with the other instruments.

Two pieces of advice: No. 1 - Listen more to the strings. Lock in with the bass player and guitarist. Listen to what and how they play, make sure your playing aims at predicting what you KNOW they are about to play.

You'll be amazed at how that works.

No. 2. Learn how to use "the whip-action" of the sticks. You know how you can wet the end of a towel, then whip it at your girlfriend's exposed buttocks? Well use this principle to get the most power out of your playing.

You can use a combination of your fingers, wrist, arm movement and shoulders (slightly) to get more power out of playing. By using just a little force from each area, you can maximize your volume, without becoming too tired.

It's like using a hammer to hit a nail. That is the same motion you can use with a drum stick.

Imagine a nail in the center of your drumhead, imagine you are holding a hammer instead of a stick. Swing, hit, repeat.

Your problems are solved.

Keep up the good work, and always, ALWAYS HAVE FUN PLAYING!

Mista John

www.myspace.com/mistajohndrums
www.myspace.com/mistajohn
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skytoucher
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Post Tue Mar 06, 2007 1:36 pm

I heard that someone had asked Steve Vai at a guitar clinic once: "what is the fastest way to improve overall on the guitar"

His answer was something like this:

"if you can't play it perfectly in your sleep, completely relaxed, for a decent amount of time then you are playing it to fast.

Use a metronome and slow down to where it is boring (but perfect) and work your way back up to the speed you want to be. Practicing with 'perfect technique' is the fastest way to improve."


I've found this advice applies to drumming and helped me a lot.