How do you know if you're good?

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BillRayDrums
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Post Fri Nov 24, 2006 10:50 am

My phone rings constantly with people calling me for gigs and recordings. That being said, I know that I am "good" due to the fact that I'm able to provide my brand of service to those people in a passable fashion. However, I take the tact that "I've got so much to learn" and there will always be a situation that kicks my ass and makes me feel 2 inches tall.

Sometimes being a drummer isn't about how you play. Rather, it's how well you relate to those sharing the stage with you. Being good is about being able to offer the "stock" beats and elaborating upon them if needed. It's also about having the ability to mold a song in the studio into a workable form, and make the bandleader think it was his brilliant idea. :)

Being GREAT is all of the above, but keeping in mind that you are just a speck in the infinite and that you have yet to learn .000000001% of your craft.

~B
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FanaticalDrummer
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Post Sat Nov 25, 2006 3:13 pm

All you are correct-
Sure theres levels to describe your playing ability,but can't measure the potential that each drummer has to become better.Ive been playing for 8yrs now and still am not pro-im 17-no biggy.But i consider myself a true drummer to the standpoint of that i play because i love to,and want to because i enjoy it and its my life.
No drummer can be perfect,although a few might think of some that are,no one is.You can master some techniques and lay down music for generations to follow,but still aren't cosidered perfect.There good,deffinately,but anyone can become that way if your really as much into drums and music as some say they are.Its passion and determination that got most of the drummers people look up to today that got them to where there are today.

But not all good drummers are known,some of the best are underground musicians-they love to play and thats all they need to them.They dont need a title or name to be prove that are incredible drummers.

Study up on drummers and proffessionals-learn by what they do and practice your own technique and style-cause every drummer is different.Just play and play,because every time you sit down behind a drum set,yor already getting better.
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Booch
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Post Sun Nov 26, 2006 4:52 pm

I think being a good drummer is listening and knowing what makes the song work. (other than drum clinics) I don't go to many shows where ther is only a drummer. It is about the band and ultimately the music. When you play to make the music as a whole work and not just to show off your technical skills, you can consider yourself a good drummer in my opinion!
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Post Tue Jan 02, 2007 7:17 pm

I myself think that if you can stay in time and have a feel the music, you're a good drummer.

I love being told im a good drummer. But i try so hard to not let it get to me.

That's all i have to say. :?
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Post Tue Jan 02, 2007 10:04 pm

to me, its a thing I like to do, so I always try to get better and better. Never stop and say that is good enough.

For me though, as long as you can stay in time and be creative you are good.
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zen_drummer
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Post Tue Jan 02, 2007 11:35 pm

This one is easy... You know you're good when....

Your acountant pays all your bills from gig income ;)
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bgardn7
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Post Wed Jan 03, 2007 12:35 am

In my humble opinion, to know if one is "good" or not is completely unimportant, because it is a point of view, and not necessarliy a fact.
ShadowDrummer
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Post Wed Jan 03, 2007 12:36 am

I would say the able to be versatile AND diverse in any spectrum of styles/fills/technique with enthusiasm.True expression always overrides speed and flashyness as far as I'm concerned.

Basicly if you can have more options for what a song calls for you to play and to play them effectively.
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Post Wed Jan 03, 2007 1:08 am

to steal a line from Morpheus,

"What is real? How do you define real?"

How do you know you're good? The same way that Pavlov trained those dogs, and the same way that you learned that you were good at math, or science.

You know you're good at a job when...what, others recognize your abilities to be better than most of the crowd. That's how you know you're a drummer....when someone can pick you out of the crowd, and say..wow, look at that guy, he's a good drummer.

Perception is reality. If you perceive yourself as horrible, you are. If you think you're great, you will be. King of your own domain, of course. If others tell you that you kick major bootay, then you'll slowly start to "realize" that maybe you're not so horrible. So, this brings the question back...how do you know if you're good?

Since perception tends to be reality, and if you think and therefore you are, two things need to happen here.

1. You must believe in yourself and your ability. Doesn't mean you have to be an asshole about it, but you have to have confidence. Even if you're not the fastest, people will respect you as a person because of that confidence.

2. Someone else must believe in you as well. I don't care if it's two, three, or three thousand people. Someone has to be there to reassure your confidence in yourself because.....what good is it to be an artist if you only create for yourself? It's like saying the
Renaissance took place because a plethora of humans decided they wanted to horde all the information and art for themselves. Umm..no, it was a point to further mankind's intellect in general, by providing a knowledge base to broaden man's brain to say that there is more. You have a talent, and it is up to you to share it with the world.


To summarize....good is a perception that you and others throw upon yourself. It's a comparable quality that differs from person to person based upon individual preferences and intellectual differences. Are you good compared to Weckl or Bonham? No. Are you good compared to Joe Blow down the street? Yes. Are you good then? That is for you to decide in your own mind by 1. having faith in yourself and others having faith in you.

Kudos to you and your musical journey. May it be fruitful.
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Post Wed Jan 03, 2007 1:24 am

I defer to Steve Gadd who commented a clinic I saw in the early 80's that "music inspires me to play the drums rather than the drums inspire me to play music."

Do people (ie. other musicians) want to play with YOU? Are you gigging? If you're creating your own vibe, whether as a drum soloist or writer or collaborator in your own group(s), do you have an audience? If they come do they stay? Do they come back? In my world, those are the benchmarks.

Play on,
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alexforwood
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Post Wed Jan 03, 2007 9:20 am

Good drummers are the ones who always look to improve themselves and respect other drummers (even the shocking ones).

To be honest its only easy to define a BAD drummer really and thats one who thinks hes finished learning and can't get any better. Even Thomas Lang/Steve Gadd/Rodney Holmes all think they need to practice and polish what they do.

Also its a bit hard to call yourself a good drummer if you can't hold down a four four back beat but I reckon theres very few people in the world who are like that :P
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Post Wed Jan 03, 2007 10:09 am

Learning to play drums is a lot like learning to drive a car...
Initially, you concentrate all your efforts on the driving itself. In time, the driving becomes second nature and you can then allow yourself to look at what is going on around you.

In terms of drumming, once you are comfortable, composed and confident in your abilities to play, your mind will be free to evaluate and alter the subtle nuances of your playing with regards dynamics, timing and control.

The best drummers in the world will never admit to being good.
The best drummers know you NEVER stop learning.
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Shalaq
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Post Wed Jan 03, 2007 1:03 pm

I know when your'e good- when you get signed and asked to endorse some drums. That means the guys at the drum company recognised you as a good drummer, and the guys at the label recognised your playing as good.
Mapex, Istanbul Agop, Attack, Vater/O4D.
I want an endorsement :)
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WhiteOleander
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Post Wed Jan 03, 2007 1:30 pm

Shalaq wrote:I know when your'e good- when you get signed and asked to endorse some drums. That means the guys at the drum company recognised you as a good drummer, and the guys at the label recognised your playing as good.


true that, but I know plenty of amazing drummers who arnt signed.. to me being signed just means your a good drummer with the right contacts
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shirleythewerewolf
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Post Wed Jan 03, 2007 9:20 pm

To me, when you can play things you hear in your head that you know will be perfect for your band's song, that makes you a good drummer. I remember being very proud when I got to that point, when I didn't have to sit behind my kit thinking "Wow, if I could only do this fill, it would really add to the song."

Also, having great feel (playing just a regular beat but making people not be able to sit still because it's such a great groove) also says a lot about a drummer's abilities to me.

However, drums are just like golf; when you think you got it down, it makes a fool out of you lol.