What made you a better drummer?

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drumming adept
drumming adept
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Post Sun Feb 18, 2007 1:08 am

When I first sat behind a drum kit, I was in eighth grade, in a private school for students with learning disabilities... They offered 2 music elective classes, music 1, and music 2, but these classes were not like public school music classes, instead of learning to play the national anthem, we were allowed to bullshit for 45 minutes and play and do whatever we liked. I was in music 1, for beginners, and used every minute on that kit (the studio in the music room offered 2 electronic drum kits) and became a bit of a drum hog, but I was the only one able to hold a beat. I practiced and when i wasn't at school, I'd play the ol' airdrums lol. Listening to many different albums and demoing out on the airdrums (done so often since my mom and dad could not afford even the cheapest of drum kits) and riffing some songs out in the studio at the school, I slowly got better and better. By 9th grade i was excelling greatly and by the end I was amazing myself and other students, now I'm better than I thought i could be.
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drumming adept
drumming adept
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Post Sun Feb 18, 2007 8:33 am

listening to RUSH and Dreamtheter!
Tama Starclassic Bubinga kit #1
Tama Starclassic Birch kit #2
DW snare
DW 9000 double pedal
DW 9000 series hardware
Zildjian A and Z custom Cymbals
hey pete
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Location: bradford uk

Post Mon Feb 19, 2007 4:20 am

Being a guitarist and a bass player prior to picking up sticks helped me, especially bass. I already had a sense of time and rhythm and learned quite quickly. Plus it helped me communicate with other members of bands if i was sitting in for a friends band or at a local pub jam session.
I think the drummer from Lamb of God did the same thing.
Also listening to Neil Peart, hes enough to make anyone want to 'Get Good'!
Tama Iron Cobra pedals
Pro mark Sticks
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Post Tue Feb 20, 2007 2:01 pm

Practice, Practice, Practice!
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Location: Chicago, Illinois

Post Wed Feb 21, 2007 8:58 pm

MRSTICKSTUFF wrote:Playing many college parties and local bars back in the 70-80's with this thought in mind, If i was watching this band as i sit behind the drumkit, I want to hear a good strong back beat to something that i can dance to. I want to hear strong fills with emotion and feeling to what you are playing. I want to hear a band of musicians that listen to each-other then him or herself.

Practice is good-- RLRL-RLRRLRLL- RRLLRRLL But if you don't look, listen and feel your partners, you have missed a big part of being a better drummer.

Stick Stuff Guy
Mike Anderson
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justin headley
drumming adept
drumming adept
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Post Thu Feb 22, 2007 1:39 am

Listening to what musicians i played with told me, and getting thrown into playing situations that were over my head.
Pearl Drums(Endorsed)
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Location: Edinburgh, Scotland

Post Thu Feb 22, 2007 7:27 am

Started playing drums after I got fed up with the piano, but the music theory was really helpful. Also, whilst my friends were forming rock bands, I ended up playing in a jazz band (youngest there by about thirty years...) that I didn't practice regularly with - was in over my head and winging it...badly. However, after a couple of gigs I learned how to sit back and listen to what was actually going on, and react to it. I suppose that helped make me the successful CHEF that I am today...dammit! :( :( :(
Yamaha Stage Custom
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Post Thu Feb 22, 2007 10:32 am

You practiced every day with your metronome, switching between beats, halfsies on high hat, sticking like crazy... every day, over and over until your tempo problems vanish like a guitarist with a drug problem...
The J man
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Post Thu Feb 22, 2007 10:53 am

playing to a click, without a doubt. once everything was put into proper timing things became easier to learn and play.
roll with it!
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drumming adept
drumming adept
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Location: Salem,oregon,Atlanta,Florida

Post Fri Feb 23, 2007 3:13 pm

actully going to School for it! i resentlly got offerd into M.I.,and this new year has been going Great for me. and im still locking down shows




drumming adept
drumming adept
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Location: canada eh

Post Fri Feb 23, 2007 3:15 pm

coming here to find out about the various techniques of drumming...
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Post Fri Feb 23, 2007 4:20 pm

working with a teacher helped immensely because he was able to see where i was going wrong and give me feedback. working out of books and working with a metronome helped. just playing everyday makes you better...even you play for 45 mins to an hour a day. listening to all kinds of music...jazz, rock, blues, reggae...even metal...whatever i could get my hands on gave me all kinds of ideas. playing in a band helped tremendously because one HAS to get better in that situation.
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Post Sun Feb 25, 2007 2:26 pm

Dave Lombardo's influence made me better.
he simply giv me the mentallity to play 220.
and now im playing a speed/Death/metalcore mix at like anything from 200 bpm to 270.
and when i find the mans house im gonna wait for him and giv him one on the sly.
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Joined: Sun Feb 25, 2007 2:42 pm
Location: during college: New Paltz, NY... otherwise Commack, NY

Post Sun Feb 25, 2007 3:01 pm

the biggest thing that made me a better drummer is the encouragement I get from my dad, he is the reason I started after all,

practicing alot is the best way, playing along to songs trying to immitate the actual performance to the best of my ability

then after nailing that, playing it again but trying to put my own creativity into the drum part (as if i were to cover it live with a band)

and of course just listening to music, everyday as much as possible, taking inspiration from anything you hear that you enjoy.
Support Individuality,
Carpe Diem...
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Joined: Thu Feb 15, 2007 6:19 pm
Location: Atlanta GA

Post Sun Feb 25, 2007 4:06 pm

I have to say that this topic has many answers relative to the different times in my life.

Initially, I think what made me a better player was that I had an opportunity to play with some older, seasoned musicians who actually took the time to show me things that they would like to hear in a drummer and point out some things that I need to work on. Anytime you play with musicians either more experienced or on a higher level than you learning something is a GIVEN. SO many younger players do not have the opportunity in this day and age. Kind of a shame really. I will say that if these very giving musicians ahd not seem SOME lever of talent in my playing I am not sure they would have been so forthcoming in their assistance.

After a few years of self-exploration and plenty of school band concerts, I started private lessons with a guy named Ken Gallagher out of Macon, GA. He really helped me get my rudimental technique together as well as taking some bad habits I had developed and correcting them. He helped me make All State band as well as being an alternate for Governors Honors. Lots of growth in my years with him.

My next push came from marching drum and bugle corps(DCI). I marched one year with Spirit of Atlanta drum and bugle corps when I was 16. For those of you who think you have your rudiments down, grab some of the exercises that some of the drum corps play or even take a gander at some of the music. TOUGH STUFF. Also, for those of you who feel that marching only help with your rudimental chops, think again. Just by PLAYING every day for 8-10 hours or more totally works your hands in a way I cannot begin to describe. Endurance, power, articluation and just plain out and out SPEED increases that you can apply to other areas of drumming. Check it out for yourself. Pat Petrillo, Tommy Igoe, Cgad Sexton and Travis Barker are ALL products of drumline type playing. JUST SAYIN.

I will say that attending Ga State University as a music major and studying not only drum set but classical percussion, latin percussion, timpani, general percussion and jazz band helped to further solidify my musicality. My instructors were all principals with the Atlanta Symphony as well as taking lessons from Robby Coleman and Rod Morganstein helped me in ways I could not even fathom today. Hopefully, while I am not a CLONE of these fine players, I would like to think I have a little bit of each othe these guys and their TOUCH every time I play.

Finally, the biggest thing that I can say that has been a driving factor in my growth as a player is EXPERIENCE. Many other players here have said that just playing more has helped develop musicality as well as technique. When I was in my late teens, early 20's yoou could feasibly play with a band 5, 6 and 7 night a week, 3-5 sets a night AND make a great living as well as expand musically. I don't see that being available to younger players in this day and age. I DO see a lot of different study methods available for musicians to day that we didn't have. SCORES of DVD's are available as well as method books with CD's for our perusal. VERY cool. However, nothing in my mind beats that "on the job training". What good is know how to drive if you never actually DRIVE, right?

Hopefully, even at age 41, I will continue to grow as a musician and a drummer. So many things to work on, so little time. But I do love playing and constantly want to learn something, even if it how NOT to do something. The good part? I am still working consistantly and with any luck will continue to be able to feed my family by doing what I love for many more years to come. What a cool thing to say that I have a session tomorrow. Making music AND getting paid. Think I will go and hit the pad for a while.
Peace and great grooves to all,