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Question for Drummers/people who know drumming


....I need a horse!
Jan 18, 2012
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Ok. A buddy of mine I jam with wants us to play shows, open mic night type things. But I am hesitating because I am afraid I may not be good enough to play with someone like him. He's played every instrument since he was 5 (we're both 21 now), however I started playing drums only a year and a half ago...he tells me I am becoming very good, however, we're friends so I don't trust that completely lol.

to those of you who teach drumming, or know of it, what should the progression be after a year and a half? Meaning, on average, what is the progression, and where do I fall?

I can play along to almost any led zeppelin song, I got the beat down for fool in the rain
this beat, perfected it about 4 months ago. I have complete limb independence with a combination of 2 or 3 limbs, when I move to 4 limbs doing things differently, I can do it, but it's difficult, I have to think, and I WILL mess up. I am a lefty, but a right setup is way more comfortable.

I just recently started playing jazz, I can play triplets pretty fast, like the end solo in rock and roll by zeppelin, that speed I can do effortlessly, however any faster, and they aren't clean.

Rudiments, I suck at. I am self taught, I played by listening, I never knew the importance of rudiments. Never practiced paradiddles, sinigle stroke rolls, double stroke, anything like that. Literally a month ago, I started playing rudiments and practicing them. I can play an alright press role, I learned how to do that a while ago, but my weak hand is my right.

As I said I started recently with the rudiments, and my double strokes have gone from basically a beginners speed, to a bit slower than a stead buzzing double stroke role.

How does this sound for someone a year and a half? Because I really can't tell if I am getting better, or even progressing good, because I here myself play everyday, so I can't judge how I am.

Basically, I am trying to decide if it's something I want to do just for fun, or if I want to form a band with my friend and actually try to play in some clubs....

and the main point of this question, the pace of my progression, should I go pay for lessons?

also, when it comes to rolls, or double strokes, what's a way I can improve my weak hand?
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Speaking as a mostly self taught drummer of 11 years, i would say lessons may increase a learning curve slightly or provide more motivation to practice but at the end of the day it comes down to 2 things for me that are almost equally important. Rudiments and Listening.

Rudiments is a word a lot of drummers groan at, because it's often not fun. You canget yourself a metronome and be really focused and motivated for a week but then you just feel like a robot. I'm not saying traditional rudiments aren't effective, but there are ways you can do them that feel a lot less tedious:

  1. - Pick out some tunes you like, or that you'd love to drum to, even if the beat sounds really complicated.
  2. - Grab yourself a nice practice pad that is at about snare drum height when you're sitting down. http://www.jamminwithyou.com/Portals/54959/images/401px-Practice_pad_-_Vladimir_Morozov.jpg
  3. Do just a single stroke roll RLRLRL and keep tempo of that song.
  4. Then as days go on start adding in other rudiments, maybe a paradiddle or whatever.
  5. Soon you won't just be doing rudiments to a song, but listening for verse and chorus changes and key parts of the tune. Improvising and just having fun with it
This is my favourite way to practice and it does gain results if you really do it often. It connects practicing with playing songs in a way playing to a click can't. It develops your timing and sometimes while doing different combos of rudiments you can discover a cool beat that would fit in the song.

And if you invert the rudiments or lead with your non-dominant hand, then it really works out the weak hand. Practice Pad drumming may not be a skill in the traditional sense, but enough practice on one really shows on a drumkit.

For me, I'm right handed so when I'm playing the pad I sometimes just have my left hand playing what would be eigth notes on a hi-hat and my right hand do the beats 2 and 4 on what would be a snare.

There are lots of other creative takes on rudiments out there, but I'd say look at this resource for the best list of which ones to actually play:

And be patient too at first, because if you get impatient and just try to play as fast as you'd like to get, you are just practicing mistakes and bad habbits. Work up to where you want to go. You will notice naturally you will move around the toms cleanly and quickly after good rudiment training.

So unless you have good contacts or it is worth while, keep being self taught. Even if you have a teacher or the teacher is you, you're the only one that can make yourself practice.

And finally, listening..

You'll notice the more you play an instrument the more you distinctively hear it in music. Sometimes you just have to immerse yourself in something if you want to be good at it. Listen to the greats and try and figure out by ear how they are doing something.

I had an instructor for a jazz combo I played in that said, 90% of drumming is all feel. If you want to really master different time sigs and feels, just listen to jazz a lot. In the car, during homework whatever. Just listening to music often can be such a simple boost to your musicality.
Yeah. I actually have been practicing PRIMARILY the double stroke the last 3 weeks. I gotta say, I doubted myself, and started slow, and I got mad, cause it was SLOW. But 3 weeks later, I can play a solid double stroke roll. not just doubles, but I can keep a pretty strong drum roll going. It's been the main rudiment I've practiced the last few weeks, and I've noticed a huge improvement in stick control, and my right hand has improved. My single stroke speed has slightly more than doubled.

What should I start doing next? My main worry was the double stroke roll, cause I couldn't do one, my right hand is still weak, but it's a HUGE improvement. What should I practice next, in terms of rudiments? My doubles CAN get faster than they are now, but where I am at now, in terms of doubles, I imagined I wouldn't get here till ATLEAST a year, but here I am. I would say I may need a bit stronger wrists, maybe more wrist speed. But one thing I DID notice was how much more my stick handling has improved, the flexibility, I only really grip the sticks with my thumb and index finger, while the rest of my fingers rest along the sticks. What do you think I should practice next?
Also don't worry about fancy. Less is more. Find the groove, it's all about feel. Well feel and time. I highly suggest playing along with a metronome. This is your main job as the drummer. Keep good solid time!
It's not about being technical....its about being creative.
^Good advice.

Don't doubt yourself. If your buddy thinks you guys are ready to hit the stage, go for it. Performing in front of an audience, even if you have a bad show, can only help you improve.
Your buddy being more experienced and a more confident player is the exact reason you should play with him. Playing with people who are better than you are is invaluable, no matter what your instrument of choice is.
I'm also a self-taught drummer. Your ability to play love depends on how well you rehearse. If you and your band sit down and have a few practice sessions, you'll be able to decide whether or not you'll feel comfortable playing songs in front of a crowd. It's not as if you're gonna go out there not knowing what's gonna happen.

I used to put on a big pair of headphones and drum to my favorite songs, learning them by ear. Once you can pick up any beat in about a minute's time (by ear), your confidence will skyrocket.
You guys have any advice on learning to play the drums, or understand the concepts of the different parts in terms of composition? I play piano and guitar and write alot of music, but creating groovy percussion is always the hardest part.

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