World's Fastest Drummer Competition - Is it even drumming?

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Dale
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Post Wed Oct 04, 2006 8:50 am

I don't really know what to make of it. I think that at a deeper level it shows that drummers, if they are not careful, may drum themselves into a corner from which there is no escape. I tend to think that the drumset could possibly become the most unnecessary instrument on earth. It probably already is.

Why speed? I think the drum kit is unique in that drummers often work in isolation from other drummers. The drums are a communal instrument and in most cultures are played in groups of drummers. But the drum kit player finds himself alone amongst instrumentalists who don't play the kit. I tend to think this has kind of warped the drumming mindset. Rather than communication, it's become competition. And often not musical competition at all. It's athletic competition where there's no distinction between art and sport.

But I don't really know. I am worried that soon the only audience drummers will have will be other drummers. I don't want to get caught in that trap and to that end I am studying percussion every day and can now play loads of other instruments. I think that is healthier than just playing drums. I think there is more opportunity to work. I've always played percussion, but now it is my primary focus. I think it is more healthy to study a new Cuban groove on congas or to take part in a rhumba than to just practice getting a single stroke roll fast. I think that's pretty boring.

But each to his own.
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disrupt13
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Post Wed Oct 04, 2006 1:36 pm

only metal guys care whos the fastest, sure its fun to push the limits, but how many death metal drummers can blast at 250 bpm's but cant play a steady 4/4?
ineal
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Post Fri Oct 06, 2006 3:22 pm

Well, seems like a some people are a bit narrow minded here. It's not only metal drummers that care about speed, check out some of them fast jazz drummers and drum n bass producers and drummers.

Also, most pro metal drummers (death/extreme/black/heavy) start off playing jazz or rock e.g. current Nile drummer, and they go further into metal because it pushes the boundaries and requires a high standard of skills that most drummers cannot match with speed being one of them.

Yeah it can be boring to watch some bloke or bird endlessly spazzing out on a snare drum to get loads of hits in but it's cool to learn the technique.

Fucke the rest, BRING ON THE BLASTS! :twisted:
mattsmith
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Post Fri Jan 26, 2007 2:06 pm

Justino wrote:To me "wfd" is a buncha crap. What I wanna know is if speed is really what matters why isn't the WFD in a killer band???? I mean Carter Beauford, Dave Weckl, Steve Gadd, Aaron Spears... you name it theyt are fast but they don't rely on their speed to make them a good musician. I feel like speed is a very small part to drumming and you don't really need speed to be good. If you can blaze on your rudiments who needs singles!?!?! I also think that focusing soo much on speed is like making baked potato with just chives on it... how sick is that you need all the ingredients to make it good. My big focus has always been technique and I fell that technique is by far the most important aspect to drumming.
I am not a fan of speed drumming who can groove, dance or have fun with a song at 1000bpm... I can't.
Justnio


Speed and musicianship don't have to be mutually exclusive, but there is a certain clique of drummers who like to spread the notion that any practice of technique eliminates the sanctity from their groove, when nothing could be farther from the truth. One of the WFD's brightest stars is Johnny Rabb, who lays down as nice a groove as there exists in set playing. In my limited experiences, I have noticed that people who speak of NOTHING but groove usually have sloppy technique and can barely survive the endurance required to play a gig. What I'm saying here is there are 2 sides to this coin.

Blaze on your rudiments without strong singles? I don't think so. Singles are the foundation of all rudimental studies. If your singles are weak then there will be flaws in any other rudiment endeavor you pursue. They are also the key to the endurance issue. And what's the difference between these contests and the scales play offs that wind instruments do in high school band?

You're right you don't need speed to be good. But having speed doesn't make you bad either. It also doesn't make you any less of a musician, in fact the opposite is true.

As for those who think drummers are distancing themselves from everyone else in some music sociology format, I believe every musical instrument group believes they are misunderstood. But drummers seem to be the only group who actually believe that the misunderstanding is true.
Flatliner
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Post Fri Jan 26, 2007 4:24 pm

Gotta agree with this being a good thing, gets the world of drumming out there and the more the merrier. Also I hate the prejudice "groove" minded poeple have against technique oriented players, I'll tell you right now there's plenty orchestral drummers who consider the groove to be a bastardation of good playing, and those guys are incredibly sensitive to the music they are playing, practicing hours upon hours on perfecting very subtle movements to make their playing musical as possible. Technique is not a bad thing and I don't believe the poeple at the top of this competition aren't bad drummers, in fact most of them are amazing drummers in their perspective genres of music. These guys aren't massive tree trunk armed poeple, they've studied and spent many hours making each stroke as economical as possible. If John Cage can write 4'33" who are you to say what's music and what's not.
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Moo
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Post Fri Jan 26, 2007 9:12 pm

It's entertaining to a point, I guess,....but then some people like proffessional "wrestling" too,....even though it has nothing to do with real wrestling....See the similarity?
The Heel
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Post Fri Jan 26, 2007 10:41 pm

I'm not a huge fan of the Olympics of Drumming.

I just dont see its relevance to music.

Is it interesting sure? But its really just a sideshow to me that doesnt make any difference whatsoever in the musical ability of said person.
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jbreshears
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Post Fri Jan 26, 2007 10:47 pm

ineal wrote:Well, seems like a some people are a bit narrow minded here. It's not only metal drummers that care about speed, check out some of them fast jazz drummers and drum n bass producers and drummers.

Also, most pro metal drummers (death/extreme/black/heavy) start off playing jazz or rock e.g. current Nile drummer, and they go further into metal because it pushes the boundaries and requires a high standard of skills that most drummers cannot match with speed being one of them.

Yeah it can be boring to watch some bloke or bird endlessly spazzing out on a snare drum to get loads of hits in but it's cool to learn the technique.


Also check out John blackwell...He has one of the fastest single foot, that i've ever seen.
Fucke the rest, BRING ON THE BLASTS! :twisted:
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Gaddabout
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Post Sat Jan 27, 2007 2:34 am

Here's where I think WFD misses the point ...

Speed and skill have ALWAYS been important element of drumming. Even to play slowly, you need to be in control of your sticks and feet, and that usually means building up muscle fiber by pushing your limits.

Back when organizations like Percussive Arts Society were more visible, the very first thing you were supposed to show in a competition is your speed and control. There were two compensatory exercises you had to show the judges: a single-stroke roll, starting very slow, to very fast, to very slow again; a double-stroke roll, starting very slow, to very fast, to very slow again. There was an optimum time frame to do this, but you only learned this through experience and by watching the older drummers who placed in the competition.

As a former state PAS rudimental champion, I don't have a problem with the WFD agenda: To raise awareness of rudiments and technique among young drummers. I'm just not sure they hit their target. A lot of the guys who can get up there in speed aren't very even in their playing, and control is not emphasized. I don't know how you can hail one without the other.
mattsmith
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Post Sat Jan 27, 2007 8:25 am

Gaddabout wrote:Here's where I think WFD misses the point ...

Speed and skill have ALWAYS been important element of drumming. Even to play slowly, you need to be in control of your sticks and feet, and that usually means building up muscle fiber by pushing your limits.

Back when organizations like Percussive Arts Society were more visible, the very first thing you were supposed to show in a competition is your speed and control. There were two compensatory exercises you had to show the judges: a single-stroke roll, starting very slow, to very fast, to very slow again; a double-stroke roll, starting very slow, to very fast, to very slow again. There was an optimum time frame to do this, but you only learned this through experience and by watching the older drummers who placed in the competition.

As a former state PAS rudimental champion, I don't have a problem with the WFD agenda: To raise awareness of rudiments and technique among young drummers. I'm just not sure they hit their target. A lot of the guys who can get up there in speed aren't very even in their playing, and control is not emphasized. I don't know how you can hail one without the other.

Good points all. But it's a different world now. So many guys my age are so concerned with the groove first that they could care less about hearing of rudiments, much less practice them to the level you describe in those PAS competitions. To me this is where this groove as religion stuff has got us. I think we probably had to go all the way back to the beginning here to rejuvenate the interest in something this basic, and now that young drummers know these things exist, and that it's cool to do it, now I think more of what you describe can be implemented. I do know for a fact that all this is being seriously discussed at WFD right now. Actually I think if you have your technique down, it's a lot easier to nail down a thick groove. Again, from what I've witnessed first hand, the people who are the most anti about WFD/I mean the fanatic haters/ are those with no chops at all. Of course that's not a coincidence.

To get into the WFD top ten right now with your hands, you have to be of the technical control to attain those PAS technical requirements you describe. You can't just whack away and get 60 second 1100+ with that Drumometer. But there is an even bigger difference that is maybe not understood. When you win WFD, you win $$$$$$$$$ of prizes, endorsement incentives and name rec that helps build a career. Now that's very tempting for teenagers who are still young enough to explain their tackiness.
chachaman02
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Post Sat Jan 27, 2007 9:23 am

I think it's very important to have both technical skill and speed. And drumming really fast raises your endorance as a whole. It's a very important aspect of drumming especially competition wise. For example. The blink 182 CD enima of the state has very fast drumming and I find it a challenge to play through the whole CD without stopping. Travis can obviously play really fast, which means he can play slower beats with extreme confidence. If he were to go up against, say... an average drummer who can't play that fast, Travis could play all the average drummer's grooves but this average guy couldn't even touch Travis' speed.
mattsmith
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Post Sat Jan 27, 2007 9:43 am

chachaman02 wrote:I think it's very important to have both technical skill and speed. And drumming really fast raises your endorance as a whole. It's a very important aspect of drumming especially competition wise. For example. The blink 182 CD enima of the state has very fast drumming and I find it a challenge to play through the whole CD without stopping. Travis can obviously play really fast, which means he can play slower beats with extreme confidence. If he were to go up against, say... an average drummer who can't play that fast, Travis could play all the average drummer's grooves but this average guy couldn't even touch Travis' speed.

With respect chacaman, I'm not so sure that Travis Barker is the best example here. Yeah, he's better than his critics say he is, but what we are discussing here with WFD is a higher level of technical attainment. He's nowhere near these speeds. In fact he made a lot of claims about trying to win this thing a few years ago, then went to the contest, saw what was happening and decided to just hang out. To me alot of his rudimental work is kinda suspect. This is not to say he's not a good drummer. But I think if he spent even more time on the basics he could do some of things you describe. I don't want anyone to mistake a direct coorelation with tecnique and automatic groove attainment. I just think it's easier to achieve a good groove if you are striving to have solid chops.