Mistakes that drummers make

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Shalaq
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Post Tue Sep 05, 2006 11:59 pm

Not in terms of "whoops my hand slipped of the hihat" :) but what mistakes drummers do when it comes to playing, composing and arranging the music.
I think that the #1 mistake is that some of us listen to music via the drums, when they should listen to how the drums create the foundation for the band.
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funkdrmr
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Post Wed Sep 06, 2006 1:47 am

Overplaying.

Not that crazy fills and complex beats don't have their place, but it's REALLY easy to overplay if you don't sit and critique yourself, or have a reliable outside source to let you know.

I STILL have problems with this, and my bandmates don't help by asking me to throw in a 32nd triplet fill (ala Carter B.) at any point possible! I'm kind of in a unique position where I have to not get sucked in to the band wanting crazy stuff constantly.

Sometimes, just groovin' is all it takes for the drummer to nail the tune.
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Rob the Drummer
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Post Wed Sep 06, 2006 2:01 am

Not listening. Lot of drummers just play the tune how they know it and don't listen to what's going on around them.
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Post Wed Sep 06, 2006 7:38 am

The thing I'm noticing most these days in the drum world around me is that young drummers don't have depth or have a desire to learn depth. Seems like up and comers are into they're style of music only and have no desire to be rounded in other styles. A good drummer should be able to at least find, and create a solid groove in at least the popular styles of modern music. As well as be able to set behind most any drumkit and make it sound good.

The other thing is, young drummers need a real lesson on how to set their kit up in a way that promotes good clean playing. I see a lot of guys trying to pull off crazy fills and such, not being able to pull it off mainly because they have their drums set up wrong. I remember many long conversations with my drum teacher about setting my kit up in a manner that would help me get around it fast and clean. I remember him saying..."Let the drums help you be a better drummer, they're your friend, not your enemy."
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Shalaq
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Post Wed Sep 06, 2006 8:04 am

@Jrdrum28 good comment about the drumkit.
Many drummers don't realise that the way the drums are set up imposes a certain way of thinking/grooving/playing fills. When I get to a set that doesn't promote quick fills around the toms( wierd angles, toms are away from each other etc) I just don't do them, or I just do a single stroke roll on the snare. Same thing if you have 1 tom/2 floor toms, or you have the small toms reversed etc. Also the positioning of the hihat, cymbals dictates how you should play. Tuning is also crucial. If you sit on somebodys drumset you should adapt to the tuning of the drums and play in a way to get the best sound out of it. When my friends come to my house to play my set they would just bang away, playing as fast as they can, gettint slapbacks when they make rolls or hit the kick etc. It just doesn't sound good.
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racefan33
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Post Wed Sep 06, 2006 9:24 am

Shalaq wrote:@Jrdrum28 good comment about the drumkit.
Many drummers don't realise that the way the drums are set up imposes a certain way of thinking/grooving/playing fills. When I get to a set that doesn't promote quick fills around the toms( wierd angles, toms are away from each other etc) I just don't do them, or I just do a single stroke roll on the snare. Same thing if you have 1 tom/2 floor toms, or you have the small toms reversed etc. Also the positioning of the hihat, cymbals dictates how you should play. Tuning is also crucial. If you sit on somebodys drumset you should adapt to the tuning of the drums and play in a way to get the best sound out of it. When my friends come to my house to play my set they would just bang away, playing as fast as they can, gettint slapbacks when they make rolls or hit the kick etc. It just doesn't sound good.


Yeah, my playing will change depending on how I set up my kit. Even based on how they sound. Like if I'm using a wide open tight ringing snare or one with a fat low end pop. It's fun to approach things differently. Try setting things up flat like Aldrige or Singer, or angled like McBrain.
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Post Wed Sep 06, 2006 9:52 am

My favorite one will always be this:

I went to a show a few years ago. A "KISS Tribute" band. They were not that great. The guitarist had to look at his fretboard every 2 seconds, which made him pull away from the mic. The only thing that looked good was the makeup.

The drummer was especially bad. And his drumset was even worse. The drums all sounded the same!! And it was very evident when he went into a drum solo. I never heard a drum solo with only one tone to it.

I have a real problem with drummers who don't at least attempt to tune their drumsets. I play a lot of rock, so I tune mine to an open "C" chord. It really isn't that hard to do - the trickiest part is when you have 2 heads on the drum. But with a little patience, tuning is quick and easy.

Rock should be either in the key of C, G or A. Jazz should be Bb, Eb or F. Blues can be a few different keys, Bb and F being the predominant. Funk also can skew into a few keys, but F or G would be a good idea.

Tuning individual drums would vary on size and how many drums in the set. a Standard 4 piece (14" snare, 12" tom, 14" floor, 20" bass) would be Root for the snare (in the key of C it is "C"), 5th for the tom (G), and root for the floor tom and bass drum. Actually, the floor tom could also be a 7th (B) for a dissodant feel.

Anyway, that is my biggest thing. Tuning. Make the drums sound good then the mistakes won't be heard as much.

Don't get me started on cymbals......
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Post Wed Sep 06, 2006 10:34 am

In my personel opinion I feel the biggest mistakes that drummers could make is not using a metronome. For some people time comes naturally but others have to work at it. When I taught elementary school percussion the students that applied the metronme to thier basic ruddiments and started figuring out the concept of time, became lil shredders. Reading is also a mistake that drummers make. They don't take the time to figure out how to read music. If you can read & write music you can write down your ideas anywhere and pull out when you are behind the kit or if you hear something cool write it down and mimic it when you are able to get behind the kit.
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Post Wed Sep 06, 2006 1:20 pm

i dont think tuning to specific notes is important. tho can help develop your own sound...
I tend to tune to what sounds good on the drums as long as that sound supports the band.

I think its crazy when you see these set ups with drummers facing the hihat with there back to the rest of the kit. It makes it harder to drum!
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Rob the Drummer
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Post Wed Sep 06, 2006 3:11 pm

People should set thier drums up so they are comfortable with it. I've seen a lot of drummers set thier drums up like thier favorite drummer because they like that particular drummer, not because it's necesarily comfortable. Find your own comfort zone!

Another mistake drummers make is tensing up. You need to relax back there!
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m
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Post Wed Sep 06, 2006 3:43 pm

Lenon wrote:I think its crazy when you see these set ups with drummers facing the hihat with there back to the rest of the kit. It makes it harder to drum!


I've always thought it was strange to see drummers staring into the corner of the stage. I assumed it was just out of habit of setting the bassdrum as the 'center' of the configuration. I got tired of that quick and started doing the 'reverse V' setup where you end up facing the front, rather than just your bass drum facing front.
Is there any reason to setup facing the corner that way, other than centering the bass drum visually? I've seen drummers set up sideways to face and interact with the band, but that's different.

One thing I'd like to see more concerning solos is RHYTHM. I think frequently solos become 'athletic/gymnastic,' and everybody's seen most combinations of fast triplets/quads- I'd like to see more rhythmic development in solos. I just can't get into blammathons much anymore. I understand that the showmanship factor demands a little bit of grandstanding, that's what people want to see in a drum solo I suppose; but I'd like to see less fastfood and more nutrition. maybe that's just me, though...
I've enjoyed all the solos I've seen here.
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The19thHole
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Post Wed Sep 06, 2006 4:50 pm

Obviously we have established setting up the kit at your comfort level. I only drum with 4 drums, and im not crzy about playing a large kit though most rock drummers are using more than 5 toms or so i only feel comfertable with 4..or so. So set your kit up how you want regarless of how it looks, be comfortable.

Also tune you kit how you want it to sound... because drumming is all personal prefrence. My friend uses a tuner on his kit and when he plays in his band every thing sounds way too high for what he is playing. Tune it how you think it should sound :D
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Post Thu Sep 07, 2006 1:59 pm

I agree with all the posts here so let me add my two cents worth.
I see the problem as a lot of drummers do not LISTEN... to themselves to the band to the overall composition. I am also a classicallyb trained trumoet player and that was the key to ensemble playing with my horn and I feel it is that way with all instruments. Yes the drummer sets the foundation for the band, but if one cannot or will not blend with the rest of the group than all he accomplishes is being a very noisy metronome.
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m
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Post Thu Sep 07, 2006 4:33 pm

learning another instrument can correct a lot of mistakes caused by just not really being aware of or familiar with what else is going on musically; I've heard lots of musicians recommend it.
Bass seems especially useful.
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Rob the Drummer
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Post Thu Sep 07, 2006 4:58 pm

m wrote:learning another instrument can correct a lot of mistakes caused by just not really being aware of or familiar with what else is going on musically; I've heard lots of musicians recommend it.
Bass seems especially useful.


Great point. It's important to learn the lyrical melodies, changes in guitar parts, and most importantly locking in with the bass. That's where the groove is at!
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