How do you know if you're good?

top drummer

New member
Hello all,
This is my first post here so let me start by introducing myself. My name is Scott I live in the UK and I've playing drums for about 2 years now. This seems like a really nice place and I hope to learn from all of you. :)

My question is how exactly would you know when you are a good drummer. Im not saying the best or proffesional, but just someone who can be called a good drummer. Would you need to have your playing listened to by other drummer or would it just be by your own mind (which is doubtfull) or is there any other ways. The reason is i just want to know how im doing. I know im not anything special considering ive only been playing for about 2 years, but still i would like to know.
 

Trash

New member
Hopefully you never do know.

Because then it is time to quit and become a painter.


The idea is just to play and enjoy. If someone else wants to call you a genius, so be it.
 

Chad Scott

New member
I think there are levels of good that you can achieve by means of learning rudiments-such as stick control, reading music, practice, ect...
although learning all of this without feel (considered technical player!)
still a good player but only tachnical-then theres the feel only player that just plays what his soul plays--also a good player but most of the time
not knowing exactly where they are in timing...then theres the guy/girl who can do both--play with feel & knows exactly where he is in time..
I think those are the drummers who step a little beyond good! I also feel
that a pro player--someone who makes a living playing music is at last very good!Loving what you do will also make you good--no matter what level you are! hope this helps!!!!!
 

Gilly101

New member
I've thought about this before myself. After the first few months of having my first kit, I ask my father (A drummer of 30 years) if i could consider my naive self a drummer. "You're not a a drummer yet, but a person who plays drums." So for awhile i kindof enstilled it in my mind that if my father says it, its true, at least for drumming. As months passed however i found myself getting better by the day, surprising my father even with tricks and techniques he says he could never do. It was soon after days like these that I thought to myself "You know what, I think i'm drummer." and with a small sense of nervousness I went to him one day and said that regardless of what he thinks, i felt as though i could call myself a drummer. And he sortof smiled, as if he saw that i had realized what he couldve actually meant, for me to get good enough to be able to call myself a drummer, in spite of what others think. He replied with "You are what you think about, all day long." So, don't think of being a real drummer as a sort of initiation that has to be carried out for the approval of anyone. For if you think you are truly good, you will get even better.
 

Bigd11

New member
for me personally its about enjoying it 1st of all, when i started out playing i didnt play cos i wanted to be dave Weckyl i played because i enjoyed it more than anything and i still do 9 years later, the more you progress while you play the "fancier" u can get but thats where rudiments help a hell of a lot, and because say u cant do a fast double stroke roll doesnt make u a bad drummer, not at all, 99% of drummers will always say its about the groove and playing in the pocket, just keeping solid time whilst playing with a band, if u can keep a solid 4/4 beat that make u a good drummer to me my friend
 

Johnny Cat

New member
fas-tedz":38b5vf8d said:
you're good if the audience thinks you are. period.
I couldn't help but disagree with that. I've seen too many drummers, guitarists, bass players and entire bands sit back on their laurels and get really lazy or allow their egos to inflate because they thought they were so good. They were basing this on the fact that the audience loved them. That in itself is fine. But what if the audience doesn't have a clue what makes a good drummer in terms of skill, etc?

Are we going to stop learning and growing as a musician because the audience thinks we're the best on earth when we're probably not?

I think it's hard to know when you're "good". I'd rather gauge myself by knowing when I'm getting better, and that's when I am able to go back to something I was struggling with before and finally nail it. I think that's all that really matters. And of course, having fun!
 

Qbs

New member
my friend told me this: after about 5 years of playing you thing you're really good, after 10 years you start to discover more and more things that you have to learn, and after 15 years you just start from beginning :)
 

fas-tedz

New member
Thanks for the input (really) I was responding more to an earlier post regarding solos, and I do believe I'm right on this. I've seen and done very technical solos and left the general public out....played right over their heads, so to speak. I agree that you have to play and practice at a higher level than that and be true to yourself, but when playing to the general public, the point is to play what they want/need to hear...get them excited, play what makes them want to know more about the art of drums and 'music' in general. I have no delusions that I'm great and I grow daily. My goal is for them to grow with me.(and of course to have fun).
Johnny Cat":1ukiod06 said:
fas-tedz":1ukiod06 said:
you're good if the audience thinks you are. period.
I couldn't help but disagree with that. I've seen too many drummers, guitarists, bass players and entire bands sit back on their laurels and get really lazy or allow their egos to inflate because they thought they were so good. They were basing this on the fact that the audience loved them. That in itself is fine. But what if the audience doesn't have a clue what makes a good drummer in terms of skill, etc?

Are we going to stop learning and growing as a musician because the audience thinks we're the best on earth when we're probably not?

I think it's hard to know when you're "good". I'd rather gauge myself by knowing when I'm getting better, and that's when I am able to go back to something I was struggling with before and finally nail it. I think that's all that really matters. And of course, having fun!
 

Brazilian Drummer

New member
well I think I'm a good drummer, but I KNOW that there is still ALOT of room to grow, but I think that you can call yourself a good drummer once musicians start to notice you and tell you that you are pretty good,
for example. if I'm playing in a club or whaterver and some chick comes to me after the show and starts going of on how good I am and howmutch she liked the show, and I know she has no musical experience except for listening to it, I think thats cool, she like the show, but now shes was going way over her ehad with all the "I'm great thing" . Now if a musican, specialy a drummer comes up to me and says "man that was a great show, good job!" than I feel a little better for myself, not that I'm looking for complement 'cause I personaly don't care if oter people aprove or not of my playing, but its alwyas nice to get some complements once in a wile isn't it?

and them you always get the cocky "mofos" liek this drummer I met whem I was living in a town caled macaé who never met me never even SAW or heard me play and started talking crap about me, because I was teaching a the music school and he lost some students because of that. and I had a student that would have classes with both of us and always told me the shit he would say...

thats actualy the kind of stuff I like, It makes me whant to go home and drum for DAYS!!! lol because if he is jealous, that means I'm good, but I nead to get better in case he is also at home drumming al the time..

sorry if I got a little of the subject
:)
 

RADAR1112

New member
Qbs":2brymmup said:
my friend told me this: after about 5 years of playing you thing you're really good, after 10 years you start to discover more and more things that you have to learn, and after 15 years you just start from beginning :)
OH MY GOD, I COULDN'T AGREE MORE!
 

doggett68

New member
i would agree with most people who have already posted, the real way to tell is by what other people think of u, i.e. the crowd. those are the people that actually see u get into it and can compare u to other drummers
 

thefaceless1

New member
if a lot of musicians always want to play with you, then that is usually a sign that you aren't too shabby. do people like to jam with you? do they ask you to play gigs or record with them?

that's not the only way to gauge ability, but i think that it is a good start....
 

Waylon

New member
Ah the insecurities of being a musician. One way to assess your talent is to record yourself and listen back.
Recordings don't lie! (at least before pro tools are used). It seems to go up and down sometimes playing beyond what you think you can do and then if you are suffering from an inflated ego afterwards that always confronts you with your current limitations. The music should humble us because it is difficult to play it and do it justice. One thing for sure you should never feel like you are somehow "there." Because there is no peak, only more endless plateaus and levels. No limit to this thing called drumming.
Please visit my site and tell me.....am I good? Just kidding.
But if you want to give a listen that would be cool of you.
Work on ambidexterity, independence and rudiments w/ a metronome and have fun!
www.scotaylor.com
 

CooknessMunster

New member
You never are, cause there is always someone better..... I guess when you tell yourself that you 're good sometimes you loose the ambition to get better or try new things that you normally wouldn't do.
 

cumndrum

New member
its important to be able to play difficult things or tricky things but u also need to sound good and the audience has to be excited and entertained, which is why spinning drum sticks and good stage presence is good a long w/ playing complicated things. like keith moon was amazing but he just kinda did what he felt was right, neil peart is amazing but i get bored watching him sometimes. now portnoy has both impossible to play drum parts that sound cool and he has very good stage presence.
in terms of knowing if ur good or not its always nice to hear compliments from other drummers
the day a profesional drummer told me i could be playing professionalyh was the day i started to think i was getting somewhere. its funny too when i first started i always bragged about how good i am and now that ive actually improved and people ask me i tell them well im not professional so how good could i be? sorry for rambling lol
 

Waylon

New member
Ramble on it's okay. I do it. Of course inside you must feel a certain amount of confidence all the time but this can fluctuate if you start thinking that you are hot shit because it is inevitably followed by the realization that you could be better and then this humbling experience makes you work even harder. Anyway that's what can happen until you just decide to remain in beginners mind. Beginners can see many possibilities, experts sometimes only see few. Pro is an attitude then of confidence and appropriate humility. It is nice to hear compliments and it's important to get feedback but ultimately we have to be our own judges and better to have an accurate assessment of your current abilities than one that's based on ego. Whaddya think?
www.scotaylor.com
Scott
 

Rob Crisp

New member
Who defines good?

When I learnt my first beat, I thought that was good. Then I learnt something harder, that was good! I think it changes as your goals change.

I think it's safe to say if you can get a gig with a band then you're at a standard other people percieve as at least good!

Just make sure you keep raising the bar when you practice and you'll be fine.
 

Johnny Cat

New member
fas-tedz":34w53ovd said:
Thanks for the input (really) I was responding more to an earlier post regarding solos, and I do believe I'm right on this. I've seen and done very technical solos and left the general public out....played right over their heads, so to speak. I agree that you have to play and practice at a higher level than that and be true to yourself, but when playing to the general public, the point is to play what they want/need to hear...get them excited, play what makes them want to know more about the art of drums and 'music' in general. I have no delusions that I'm great and I grow daily. My goal is for them to grow with me.(and of course to have fun).
Johnny Cat":34w53ovd said:
fas-tedz":34w53ovd said:
you're good if the audience thinks you are. period.
I couldn't help but disagree with that. I've seen too many drummers, guitarists, bass players and entire bands sit back on their laurels and get really lazy or allow their egos to inflate because they thought they were so good. They were basing this on the fact that the audience loved them. That in itself is fine. But what if the audience doesn't have a clue what makes a good drummer in terms of skill, etc?

Are we going to stop learning and growing as a musician because the audience thinks we're the best on earth when we're probably not?

I think it's hard to know when you're "good". I'd rather gauge myself by knowing when I'm getting better, and that's when I am able to go back to something I was struggling with before and finally nail it. I think that's all that really matters. And of course, having fun!
Oh ok right on. I totally understand that viewpoint then. I do agree that getting an audience going can be a very exiciting and rewarding thing, and is important. I mean, what's the point in playing in front of someone if you're not going to try and involve them in the whole excitement?. I just wasn't sure what you meant by what you said, and I've seen people terribly misled by audience adulation. Too many egos that have turned me off from what they were doing on the kit.
 
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