What made you a better drummer?

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catkel
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Post Sun Oct 22, 2006 9:54 am

Playing alot has helped me and listening to music, i also play to all kinds of music, rhythm and blues and funk are my favourite things to play right now, but i play lots of different types of music. and also what has helped me is improving my double stroke roll, i have a practise pad that i jst play on all the time doing my techniques like my parraddidles and stuff thats helped me alot.
I'd say its made me gell more with the rest of the music in my band if you know what i mean, i still play to the same music but i play it better
Dale
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Post Sun Oct 22, 2006 10:39 am

For what it's worth -probably nothing- I'll go into more detail.

The first thing that helped me was realising what a newbie I was in the beginning. So I began to seek out any interview with experienced drummers I could find. As I read I took a lot of notice of what was being said. It seemed obvious that one of the best ways to learn about the instrument was to study its history; how did it come about; what was the role of the drummer; what did they have to play to fill their role; when and what were the important changes that helped the instrument grow; and who were these people?

All those questions seemed important. So I knuckled down, took lessons and asked LOADS of questions of experienced drummers. I also bought many records. Or at least as many as my youthful lack of money could afford. All the while I kept hunting down interviews with the great jazz and rock guys. And I spent a lot of time in music stores bugging everyone for information. Not just drummers, but horn players, singers and anyone else who might know.

Gradually I became aware of how vast the landscape was I had to traverse to even begin to understand in a small way just what had been performed on the instrument. And I realised just how small and unimportant I was. And how little I knew.

I began attending clinics. I went to a number of teachers so I could hear their different points of view. And I went to a lot of gigs across as many styles as I could.

And I practiced! And practiced and practiced. It got to the point where I would wake up, drink up to 8 cups of coffee in the morning and then spend the entire day practicing. I would often practice for up to 16 hours per day. In fact it became a bit of a problem. I even began to practice at gigs I went to see.

I knew I had a problem when I was kicked out of a Chinese restaurant late at night after the other diners complained about me practicing on a pad while eating.

I fell in love with drumsicks. I had to hold them and carry them everywhere. I fashioned my own practice pads that I could carry around. When the portable knee pad came on the market, I fell in love all over again. And I aggravated people right across the board and heard many people say "Shut UP!"

I worked on my rudiments and always had a metronome with me. I spent hour after hour getting my strokes even and my accents clean. I trained every finger to earn its wage. My little fingers work as hard as any other and are probably now the main workhorse when playing doubles and rolls.

And all the while I was listening trying to develop my hearing. I read an interview with Art Blakey where he said that good musicians must have "big ears". So that's what I did. I read Buddy say that drummers should listen to Davey Tough, so I did. Chick Webb, Gene, Art Taylor, Tony etc. I listened to One drop reggae, learned who Sly Dunbar is and anyone else I could find.

And I joined loads of bands playing as many styles as I could. I'd book myself on 2 gigs per night as long as the show times allowed it. I'd hire drumsets if there was no time to break down and set up again. I didn't care how much I made, I just wanted to play. I attended hundreds upon hundreds of jam sessions and met as many players as I could.

And I kept listening. I'd go from one drummer and style to the next only to be blown away again! And I tried to learn what worked in a given situation and what didn't. And I kept practicing and taking lessons. To this day I still spend at least 6 hours per day practicing. And if I get extra time, I've been known to practice for 40 hours over a three day period. I'm obsessed! I never married because I felt a woman might interfere with my drumming. I live in a house that is full of drums. In fact I can't walk in a straight line through any part of my home because there are instruments all over the place stacked one upon the other. There are three fully stocked percussion tables in my lounge room and two snare drums in my bed!

I've got it bad.

Oh and I am practicing now as well while I watch a movie on TV. My pad and metronome are here and so is a pair of 2B sticks. And it's 3.30 am!

People think I'm insane. I kind of have to agree with them. ;)
I don't know what I'm talking about!

"Don't play FOR people. Play WITH people."
- Papa Jo Jones
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downshifter99
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Post Sun Oct 22, 2006 1:58 pm

Listening to and playing alot of different music.

Practice....plain and simple....there is NO substitute for practice. :idea:
Taye:Rock Pro Classic Rock 5 Piece
Sabian:Cymbals
Tama & Pearl:Hardware
Evans:Drum heads
Vader:Fat Back 3A Sticks & Slick-Nuts
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SkinBeater
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Post Sun Oct 22, 2006 2:07 pm

DrummerDoug wrote:Playing different styles. Definately made me a better drummer. Jamming with people playing everything from the beatles to Skinless. Lets you branch out and try different things.


That's it really..... Just practicing all different styles... I was stuck in a Rock/metal rut for the first 7 years of playing, not really getting any better until a buddy showed me Dave Weckl's 'Master Plan' cd back in '89 (damn..i'm fuckin old)... that was a turning point...Jazz really makes you look at drums in a different light.

Jon

Check out my vids at
www.myspace.com/shogun_warrior32
"Hold the red star proudly..."

Check out more vids at... www.myspace.com/shogun_warrior32
granny p
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Post Sun Oct 22, 2006 2:37 pm

thomas lang- creative control
time to get funky, like a bow legged monkey
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druminzeetobaccofade
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Post Sun Oct 22, 2006 4:39 pm

I have learned a lot from just about every drummer that I have seen, doesn't matter how good or bad they are...

One thing that helped me in a huge way, was coming to the understanding of how to isolate parts within songs...

When I'd listen to Neil Peart, or whoever, I found myself focusing on one part of the song that stumped me and I'd break up that part into it's basic form to figure it out,
hi hat rythm only

then once that was figured out, check out the

snare drum pattern only

then bass drum pattern.

I figured that if I could understand each individual part then put them together it should help me to play the part, it definately helped out and actually made me learn how to play a lot quicker and better.

Some videos helped me out and still do
these guys are unbelievable:
Dave Weckl, Thomas Lang, Neil Peart, Marco Minneman, Carter Beauford, etc these guys are great at what they do and in some videos, break it down to the bare essentials which helps out a lot.
I'm in a metal band out of Oklahoma, stop by if your interrested in checking it out..

www.myspace.com/against72

Noble & Cooley (www.noblecooley.com)

Trick pedals (www.trickdrums.com)
Chad Scott
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Post Sun Oct 22, 2006 5:07 pm

What made me better is to stop & really listen!
Try and feal what the music is trying to say! kind of like when an actor finds the soul of his character....Find the soul of the song--Try to match
the words of the song and speak with it!
Practice!
Play with better people or at least as good as you can find!
Work on stage presents!

Having a great attitude actually made me better overall!!!!
just another drummer who wants to become better,learn more and play more than most..
if you can help please do!!
Shawn Thacker
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Post Sun Oct 22, 2006 6:03 pm

i think everything i read on here combined is good advice. pratice with a click , listen to as much music as you can , all styles , play with as many different musicians as you can, as many styles as you can , be organized with your practice time, study with a teacher or buy some method books ,these will open up a lot of new ideas, dont just focus/listen to yourself when your playing music, and try to stay driven and passionate about what your doing, and definately being a cool person and having a good attitude will make people more likely to ant to work with you.
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downshifter99
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Post Sun Oct 22, 2006 7:09 pm

100% truth!
Taye:Rock Pro Classic Rock 5 Piece
Sabian:Cymbals
Tama & Pearl:Hardware
Evans:Drum heads
Vader:Fat Back 3A Sticks & Slick-Nuts
DRUMZILLA
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Post Mon Oct 23, 2006 5:49 am

JUST LISTENING TO WHATS GOING ON AROUND YOU . ONE CAN LEARN EVERY PATTERN IN EVERY BOOK OR HAVE AMAZING CHOPS, BUT THE REAL TRICK IS KNOWING WHEN TO TURN IT ON OR LAY BACK IN THE POCKET. ITS THE SAME NO MATTER WHAT THE STYLE OF MUSIC YOU CHOOSE PLAY. 20 YEARS OF PLAYING OUT HAS HUMBLED MY DESIRE TO STAND OUT OR PLAY THAT "AMAZING FILL" BECAUSE IF IT DOESNT FIT THEN ITS ALL FOR NOT.

LISTEN TO THE PLAYERS AROUND YOU AND YOUR SURE TO BE A BETTER MUSICIAN.
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prl_drmer_08
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Post Thu Oct 26, 2006 2:38 pm

my basic technique is based around the way I tought myself to play and by listening to mike wengren.
iplaysjcdrums
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Post Sun Oct 29, 2006 11:33 pm

Well I found a good way to learn is listen to hip hop oddly enough. listen to alot of music and study different timings and styles
BJGOV
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Post Mon Oct 30, 2006 1:12 am

For me, it's been pretty much what everyone else already mentioned: listen to as much music as possible. I learn from every drummer I listen to and it's so exciting to think I'll never run out of inspiration.

Another thing was playing in marching band in high school. It taught me to read music, how to work with other drummers and make 8 people sound like one fluid, drumming machine; which in turn helped my timing.

I've just recently started practicing to a click, and I can already tell a difference in my playing. I have some Metrophones, and I reccommend them to anyone.
miranda
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Post Mon Oct 30, 2006 3:10 am

playing in bands, learning lots of different styles. and learning other instruments
bigbossman810
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Post Thu Nov 02, 2006 8:07 am

As a young drummer I was asked to sit in with a group of veteran muscians playing dixieland music. All of these guys were at least 20 years older than me and had been playing for a long time. The weekend went well and I made a decent amount of loot to boot. The leader approached me after the gig to pay me and told me they wouldn't be able to use me anymore. He said my tempos weren't solid enough and that I tended to rush. From that point on I made it a point to learn to keep good time. That was one of the most valuable lessons I ever learned. Now the biggest compliment I can receive is when a band mate compliments me on my time keeping. Time and groove is way more important that chops and fills.