What made you a better drummer?

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The19thHole
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Post Mon Sep 25, 2006 6:04 pm

Watching my favorite drummers play. Or just listning to music.
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Vetis
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Post Tue Sep 26, 2006 10:41 am

I was once in a band called Krucified in my early years of high school. It was because of this band that I am a drummer now. But anyways, I had just picked up the drums and was learning, and I was going along pretty good, but apparently it wasnt good enough. The vocalist chick and her mom decided to bitch about how " horrible " I was to the bands old drummer, who apparently is amazing. The guy who played guitar in that band heard them and told me, I got pissed, took my kit home and then quit the band.

Two years later: Im one of the best metal drummers in the area. Im not saying this because I have an ego, im saying this because I go to alot of metal shows and I play alot of gigs where people come up to me afterwards ( drummers of other bands, random people, etc ) and talk to me about how "amazing" I did. One guy even went as far as to say that I was an inspiration to him.

The guitarist of Krucified quit the band about a month after I did and started our own band which is still together.

So, the way I got better was because I was put down, and decided that It was in my own best interest to get better. and I did.
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Post Wed Sep 27, 2006 7:43 am

after playing in heavy metal bands for years, i spent about 4 or 5 months in a weird prog rock band thing, wasnt really my thing but it improved my fills, dynamics, versatility, and generally made me a lot more open minded. thats the thing that improved my skill and technique the most. other than that just sitting down for hours and shredding blast beats and super fast double pedal and fills. also recently i learnt that if you dont drink 10 or 12 beers before a gig it helps!
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Exzilibus
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Post Wed Sep 27, 2006 6:52 pm

Forcing myself to actually practice the not-so-fun exercises instead of just songs that were fun to play...and practicing along to a metronome too.

Examples of excercises that bore me but I do them anyway 'cause I see the improvement from them:
--Constant double bass for minutes at a time at variable speeds.
--Certain paradiddles
--Finger muscle stuff...I actually like those but doing it for EVERY FINGER and after a long time is boring.
--Constant snare rolls
phee
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Post Fri Sep 29, 2006 12:32 am

It all depends on what your definition of "better" is. If you think being a better drummer is looking out at the crowd and seeing all the chins on the floor while you play a 10 minute unacompanied drum solo on your one billion piece drumkit, I encourage you to consider how far that will get you in life.

By the time I finished high school, I could play along to any Dream Theater or Tool song, note for note. I thought I was going to be on the cover of modern drummer. I was very technically skilled. Then I joined a band. They couldn't even tell where the beat was.

The moral of the story is: No one wants to hear really complicated drumming except drummers. If you want to go pro, quit practicing that crap and learn how to think of your music as a business and not a harlem globe trotters-esque exhibition. People have to like your music in order to buy it, keep that in mind.

To answer the question more directly:

Learn how to keep quarter note HH chicks with your left foot while playing anything. You should never play a fill that would cause your left foot to stop chicking.

Play, not just practice, with a metronome. It is an absolute must among professionals.
Dale
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Post Tue Oct 03, 2006 11:16 am

loop wrote:What specific thing did you learn on drums, that you would say made you from an OK drummer to a better than average drummer? Was it a song, technique or maybe something else(?)...


3 things.

Learning to read.

Keeping an open mind.

Understanding that the music comes first. NOT the drums.
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Johnny Cat
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Post Tue Oct 10, 2006 7:06 am

Not something on the kit, but what really helped me the most in becoming a better (and more MUSICAL) drummer, is learning every other instrument I could get my hands on. I also play guitar, bass, keys, mandolin, banjo and harmonica.

You'd be amazed how much easier tuning drums and making your kit and your playing sound more musical becomes when you improve your entire musicality through other instruments. And it helps communication in a band far more, which helps everyone become better players!
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screamkevin
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Post Tue Oct 10, 2006 7:30 am

Listening to the entire band.

Playing other instruments.

Reading Music.
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pphunk
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Post Tue Oct 10, 2006 8:54 am

While i don't consider myself to be anything special, i can honestly say that i got to where i am by constantly pushing myself to try things that don't come naturally. I also don't limit myself to one style of music, i try to play along to as many styles as i can find.

But most of all, i'm never completely satisfied with my abilities, and that is what pushes me to practice and grow musically.

It also doesn't hurt to have a good understanding of music theory and be able to think melodically as well as rhythmically. That way you know what a guitarist/keyboardist is thinking and can adjust your playing accordingly.
White_stripe772
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Post Tue Oct 10, 2006 11:56 am

If anything made me better, it was taking lessons and widening the genre of music that I listen too. Also, picking up a new instrument really helped as well.
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Adonis2121
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Post Fri Oct 13, 2006 4:34 pm

What I felt improved me as a drummer was playing with musicians that were better than me. It made me concentrate on my groove , time and choice of fills. I felt like I couldnt just go in there and play . I really wanted to play extra tastfully.
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Post Fri Oct 13, 2006 6:54 pm

Honestly , I feel for me that being able to listen to the other people your playing with and adding to the overall feel of the music makes a good drummer great. It's not about laying down the baddest ass beats as much as knowing when to play and not to. The most memorable parts of a groove sometimes are were you don't play. It's suprising to many how much control drummers have over the way the music is percived. The ability to feel the way a song or musical movment should be delivered is not any easy skill to learn.
It was much harder to explain this than I thought. i hope you get the idea.
etw487
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Post Sat Oct 21, 2006 2:02 pm

what made me a better drummer was not trying to see how fast I could play a double bass pedal, but instead actually using my left foot to work the hi hat. start learning independence and it will greatly improve your drumming. these days too many kids just want to play the biggest and loudest drums they can find.
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DreamT
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Post Sun Oct 22, 2006 12:15 am

I'm only 21 years old but have been playing 11 years. To this point in my drumming career I'd have to say that learning to play Funk music probably taught me more than anything. It makes you a better groove drummer which makes you more versatile which make more people want to use you. Unless you just play with one band and are set on a particular kind of music I would suggest learning some old school funk and listening to a lot of Jeff Pocaro.
Dale
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Post Sun Oct 22, 2006 9:53 am

loop wrote:What specific thing did you learn on drums, that you would say made you from an OK drummer to a better than average drummer? Was it a song, technique or maybe something else(?)...


Respect for the instrument and those who came before me.
I don't know what I'm talking about!

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