I've come to the conclusion I don't know anything.

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Dale
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Post Sun Nov 12, 2006 9:18 am

Hello all.

Well, I've decided I don't have a damned clue about drumming.
The more I think about drums and drumming, the more I realise how very little I know. Lately, for some unknown reason, I found myself becoming opinionated about certain things. 'The is right' this is wrong' etc etc.

Who am I kidding???

So what, I know the drum rudiments, how to play a guaganco on congas and various beats on whatever instruments. But what does it mean??? Nothing at all, as far as I can tell.

I have to ask myself, what have I done or achieved? Well, the answer is not much at all. There are all these great drummers roaming around playing beautifully. There's the vast host of drumming's heroes who have made major contributions...and then there's me.

I just don't know what to do anymore. I feel like I need to start all over again, to discard whatever it is that I've learned.

Perhaps I should just buy a guitar.

Am I alone in feeling this way? Am I correct to denounce all my previous thoughts as nothing more than hot air masquerading as substance?

I swear I don't know anymore.
I don't know what I'm talking about!

"Don't play FOR people. Play WITH people."
- Papa Jo Jones
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Johnny Cat
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Post Sun Nov 12, 2006 9:26 am

Dale wrote:Hello all.

Well, I've decided I don't have a damned clue about drumming.
The more I think about drums and drumming, the more I realise how very little I know. Lately, for some unknown reason, I found myself becoming opinionated about certain things. 'The is right' this is wrong' etc etc.

Who am I kidding???

So what, I know the drum rudiments, how to play a guaganco on congas and various beats on whatever instruments. But what does it mean??? Nothing at all, as far as I can tell.

I have to ask myself, what have I done or achieved? Well, the answer is not much at all. There are all these great drummers roaming around playing beautifully. There's the vast host of drumming's heroes who have made major contributions...and then there's me.

I just don't know what to do anymore. I feel like I need to start all over again, to discard whatever it is that I've learned.

Perhaps I should just buy a guitar.

Am I alone in feeling this way? Am I correct to denounce all my previous thoughts as nothing more than hot air masquerading as substance?

I swear I don't know anymore.


I feel the EXACT same way about myself. I don't feel I know as many things as you even mention, but what I do know, I haven't got the slightest clue what to do with it anymore. Last night I finally got down double handed cross overs between my toms and my snare drum. What the heck do I do with it? Seems completely useless. And I can't do triplets or quads for shit.

Reading about some drummers' experience on here makes me feel like I'm left in the dust.

We're stuck in a rut.
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screamkevin
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Post Mon Nov 13, 2006 4:18 pm

Don't get frustrated, folks, just get better. Sure, you may not need to do a snare/floor tom crossover during "Old Time Rock-N-Roll", but it sure may wow the crowd during a drum solo! :D

For me, I got burned out with drumming once. I had been in the same band for 7 years and there was no movement forward musically, just the same old same old. So I left that band (a party band) and took about 6 months off, then joined a "head" band, we played stuff from bands like Ween, Phish, Grateful Dead, Traffic, and the like. Playing something totally different from what I was used to completely re-invigorated my love for my instrument, specifically due to having to think in new terms and taking my playing in a completely different direction.

Challenge yourself to do something different. If you're playing in a rock band, spend some time with a jazz quartet. If you're playing funk, join a salsa group for a bit. You get the idea. Take your playing in a different direction and get "out of the box", and you'll re-discover what made you want to play drums in the first place.

Good luck!
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soliddrummer
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Post Fri Nov 17, 2006 3:19 am

Yep, screamkevin pretty much summed it up.

I think we all feel like that at some time or another. But don't let it get you down. Let it motivate you to do something different. Change your kit from right to left handed, if you're right handed. Change styles, change heads, maybe even go to your local drum store and annoy the crap out of the sales clerks like I used to do back in Texas at Mars Music which doesn't exist anymore! Show up with a wad of cash and try out every kit and every cymbal in the shop then act like you don't like any of them. Even if you don't end up buying anything, you will learn tons. I learned a lot just from older, experienced drummers coming into the store and watching them play, getting tips off them.

Get Thomas Lang's Creative Control and actually try to do some of it! lol. Whatever you do, don't give up! This world needs more drummers. Especially more drummers like you who realize that there is always more to learn, no matter how 'good' someone thinks they are.
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Dale
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Post Fri Nov 17, 2006 9:16 am

soliddrummer wrote:Yep, screamkevin pretty much summed it up.

I think we all feel like that at some time or another. But don't let it get you down. Let it motivate you to do something different. Change your kit from right to left handed, if you're right handed. Change styles, change heads, maybe even go to your local drum store and annoy the crap out of the sales clerks like I used to do back in Texas at Mars Music which doesn't exist anymore! Show up with a wad of cash and try out every kit and every cymbal in the shop then act like you don't like any of them. Even if you don't end up buying anything, you will learn tons. I learned a lot just from older, experienced drummers coming into the store and watching them play, getting tips off them.

Get Thomas Lang's Creative Control and actually try to do some of it! lol. Whatever you do, don't give up! This world needs more drummers. Especially more drummers like you who realize that there is always more to learn, no matter how 'good' someone thinks they are.


Thanks for the response. I am still working on new things. Yesterday I had a breakthrough with the left foot clave thing and can solo freely over it. I need to clean it up, but it's there now.

I suppose what floors me is what has already been done by so many great drummers. It really humbles me when I listen to what has taken place. So much so that now, in my 40's, I really am aware of how little I know.

Perhaps that is a good place to be.

Maybe I'm just having a drummer's mid life cricis??? ;)
I don't know what I'm talking about!

"Don't play FOR people. Play WITH people."
- Papa Jo Jones
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wolfendenstate
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Post Fri Nov 17, 2006 1:33 pm

I get bummed out by it all quite often, so many better drummers, as well as being in a band that makes (what I think is) great music, but endure problem after problem.

However I find this is when I'm at my peak for improvement, you need to get behind your drums, start playing, and really trying new things, things you've always struggled with, and don't stop until you feel better about everything. It may be you that you don't suddenly master something new, but you'll probably play your ass off and feel a lot better about everything.
DrumBoy
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Post Fri Nov 17, 2006 8:20 pm

Being a Drummer/Perc for many years and much of my professional years in the studio and as well as playing in live studio bands I've had to play everything from Rock to Orchestral and everything in between.

Something I always tell drummers who are suffering from "drummers block" is to get out of your usual comfort zone, start listening to various styles of music. If you normally listen to metal only, go and start listening to some country, if you normally listen to jazz only, go listen to some speed metal. In other words any kind of music that is in contrast to what you normally listen too. You don't have to like it but IMHO there is in most cases always something you can learn from all music styles, even if you think you'll never use those chops dosen't mean that you should discount them.

If you ever want to be a well-rounded musician or even a working/gigging drummer learn as many musical stylings as you can well because you never know when you'll need it. Learning is a process, we've all had to go through it, but stick with it and you will see your talent grow.

Hope this helps,
-DrumBoy
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Post Mon Nov 27, 2006 1:11 am

Yeah that damn drummers block, I hate the point when you've hit a ceiling and nothing seems to let you break through. I've manged to somewhat break the cycle of climbing and stopping by giving myself more goals than I can accomplish, some get pushed aside, but once I hit a wall I pick those discard friends up and start on those while thinking about some new goals to set. this constant cycle of never having enough time to get everything I want accomplished helps me stay very driven.
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reefer
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Post Tue Nov 28, 2006 10:30 am

Realizing you don't know everything, and won't ever know everything, is a place we all need to get to in order to continue growing as a drummer, as a musician and as human beings in general. I've had a couple of students come to me and say they know everything, and yet all they can do is play along to green day. I think that instead of hitting 'walls' or 'blocks', we actually reach plateaus where your playing levels off, especially when we settle into playing in one band or one style of music. The best way to go beyond that plateau is to open yourself up to new concepts, new ideas, new directions. I was a straight-up rock'n'roll kid until I started working in a record shop at 18 and all of sudden I had tons of different music at my fingertips. This was a huge awakening, and snapped me out of a rut. I also think playing in more than one type of band at a time is great. I'm doing the rock thing, but was also part of a roots/country band for a while where I played a completely different setup. This was so much fun, finding a new outlet. Now when I'm feeling stumped, I look to my modern drummer mags to find some new exercise or trick to work on. Just keep striving, driving towards a new goal, and always be open to new things.
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Dale
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Post Tue Nov 28, 2006 10:38 am

reefer wrote:Realizing you don't know everything, and won't ever know everything, is a place we all need to get to in order to continue growing as a drummer, as a musician and as human beings in general.


Reefer I think you 'get' where I am coming from. The more I learn - and I learn everyday - the more I realise just how very little I know. I study many percussion instruments from congas to bodhran to berimbau, and all I am ever shown really is that there is so much more to learn. I am only now really understanding how large the drum/percussion world is. It's huge! I am very deeply humbled by it.
I don't know what I'm talking about!

"Don't play FOR people. Play WITH people."
- Papa Jo Jones
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The Alien Drummer
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Post Tue Nov 28, 2006 11:23 am

It's the love for the instrument that keeps us going. When I listen to the AMAZING drummers out there I get the same feeling, I'll never be that good. But then the next time I sit behind the kit it all goes away and I just start to have fun. Then there are the occasional boobie flashes that keep me going too! :-)
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reefer
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Post Tue Nov 28, 2006 11:37 am

Dale wrote:
reefer wrote:Realizing you don't know everything, and won't ever know everything, is a place we all need to get to in order to continue growing as a drummer, as a musician and as human beings in general.


I study many percussion instruments from congas to bodhran to berimbau, and all I am ever shown really is that there is so much more to learn. I am only now really understanding how large the drum/percussion world is. It's huge! I am very deeply humbled by it.


I've been a drumset guy myself for 15 years, and was really only into rock, and blues. But now I find myself listening to lots of jazz, big band, folk, and country. I know there is so much more out there, like all the wonderful latin/south-american, and african music/percussion that I've yet to even touch. I only recently got a djembe within the last year, and have been playing it at open mics and getting great reponse. I know this is just one new drum, and there are so many others, but its the start of something new and I really enjoy it. Last spring I met a guy on a plane who plays and teaches steel drums, and that has also peaked my interest, so I made sure to get his contact info. Now its just a matter of finding the time to do these new things, and deciding which to pursue. But at least I know there's always going to be something new to try.
Zebra-powered rock and roll
http://www.themicronitefilters.com

Check out:
http://www.getbentrecords.com
for great independent music you've never heard
Dale
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Post Tue Nov 28, 2006 11:49 am

The Alien Drummer wrote:It's the love for the instrument that keeps us going. When I listen to the AMAZING drummers out there I get the same feeling, I'll never be that good. But then the next time I sit behind the kit it all goes away and I just start to have fun. Then there are the occasional boobie flashes that keep me going too! :-)


I hear you. I am lucky in that I am not the sort who gets jealous of another's skill. I just find it all so inspiring. This is great for me because it leads me to so much more. Now when I teach drums or percussion I can offer my students something that they don't expect. When teaching congas, I don't have to stick with the Afro/Cuban thing. I often teach atabaque samba grooves and then when I tell the student the origin of the groove, their surprise and delight is wonderful. Or I'll pull out an instrument they are unfamiliar with, such as a repinique, and then play along with the atabaque groove and they get to see how it all fits together.

What seems to be a great advantage is that I began as a kit player open to all sorts of drumming, from jazz to pop and prog. I think this has given my percussion playing absolutely no attitude. Because in percussion, there's loads of attitude. The Cuban guys don't like the way the Brazilians play, the Puerto Ricans don't like the way these others play etc etc. I have none of that. I want it all!

Oh man, drums are awesome!
I don't know what I'm talking about!

"Don't play FOR people. Play WITH people."
- Papa Jo Jones
Dale
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Post Tue Nov 28, 2006 12:01 pm

reefer wrote:
I've been a drumset guy myself for 15 years, and was really only into rock, and blues. But now I find myself listening to lots of jazz, big band, folk, and country. I know there is so much more out there, like all the wonderful latin/south-american, and african music/percussion that I've yet to even touch. I only recently got a djembe within the last year, and have been playing it at open mics and getting great reponse. I know this is just one new drum, and there are so many others, but its the start of something new and I really enjoy it. Last spring I met a guy on a plane who plays and teaches steel drums, and that has also peaked my interest, so I made sure to get his contact info. Now its just a matter of finding the time to do these new things, and deciding which to pursue. But at least I know there's always going to be something new to try.


You've got a great attitude Reefer. Just last week I played some steel drums and loved them! I want to get some right away, but the price is quite high. When I've paid off everything on lay by, I'll get one.

Djembes are cool eh? You might like to join the Yahoo djembe drummer's list. There are so many people playing djembes now that rhythms are flying around all over the place. Sorry I do not have a link, but if you do a Yahoo search you should find it easily enough.

And may I say, Welcome to the wonderful world of hand percussion!
I don't know what I'm talking about!

"Don't play FOR people. Play WITH people."
- Papa Jo Jones
Dale
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Post Tue Nov 28, 2006 12:39 pm

I don't know what I'm talking about!

"Don't play FOR people. Play WITH people."
- Papa Jo Jones