Ok, you might be asking, what does 'helping others' have to do with drumming? Well, there's a round-a-bout way of getting there but follow me, I'll make it short and sweet. When you examine the fine elements of what it takes to achieve greatness, you'll discover that pro athletes disect things by minute variables. They'll measure every stroke, examine their technique and even adjust their emotional mindset going into competitions. Why the emotional mindset? Because it's been proven that happiness and personal fulfillment are directly coorelated to success and accomplishment. Knowing that there are many books and resources on happiness out there, I'll focus in on one element specifically - helping people.
When you help people, you help yourself. Helping others directly makes you feel better about yourself (so, it helps you too!) It leads to more clarity, more happiness and more confidence. Think of it as some extra water on the plant you're trying to grow. Now go out there and help someone. Maybe even help a whole bunch of people. You will then be helping yourself simultaneously. We've provided a page on many organizations that need more assistance. Click the link below.
SPACE IS A LICK
I've always been
a chops guy. While many look at technique as a sort of cardinal sin
that does nothing but detract from the groove, I understood from an
early age that technique was nothing more than a vocabulary for the
drums. The more you know, the more you will be able to express yourself
on your instrument. It's really that simple.
After realizing that there was no space in his solo, it became crystal clear of the importance of a drum solo to breathe. I liken it to conversing with someone that talks so fast that it literally wears you out listening to them. I'm a political junkie and some of the pundits are guilty of this. Because they know that they have limited time to get their 2 cents in, they talk at such a fast speed that all nuance goes out the window...
ON PRACTICING- By Jacob
DAILY SESSIONS - The most effective way of developing long-lasting skills and expanding these tools, (which you will require to exceed your perceived-potential), is through daily sessions. Practice marathons and cramming before drum lessons will far from resolve the musical challenges you may have neglected during the week and result in what some refer to as maintenance practice.
PARENTS - This is a great!!! Opportunity for you to get involved with your younger children They will really need your help and guidance to motivate them in developing the Habit of Practicing... which is really one of the keys to their success!!!
ONE-A-DAY- Spend enough time on each page to include all supplementary exercises assigned for your drum lessons, every day. I advise you begin each session with a good progressive warm-up routine. (George L. Stone's Stick Control) Then, depending upon your level, the next step should be utilizing an established reading text to further develop the tools you'll need to Improve Reading. (Book one of. Haskell W. Harr Drum Method or Alfred's Drum Method) Last but not least, for drum set, utilize, each day, an established text for Independence Techniques. (Ex. Jim Chapin's Advanced Techniques or Gary Chester's New Breed) This will depend on your skill level at the time.
FOCUS - Focus your efforts on the techniques, the tools, you'll be taught to help you achieve your goals on drums. Avoid wasting time learning, the here today gone tomorrow, Impressive Patterns/ Solos on the drum set! If you need to work on the snare drum, for example, move it out, away from the rest of the drum set in order to avoid any temptation to play the drum set. You must, with certainty, use a practice pad for technique work. (Here, at the very least, a metronome is essential!)
THE PARTICULARS Make every effort, with absolute surety that you are performing the music according to the author's/ composer's intentions; rather than a perceived desire on your part for it to be performed any other way.
ESSENTIAL-HABIT - Once you have encountered a challenge (Ex. Dynamics, executing a phrase at the suggested tempo, articulation of a particular rhythm, phrasing etc.) Simply divide this challenging section of the music into smaller musical phrases and improve these challenging sections separately. Slow down the tempo and repeat theses sections until you can play them both relaxed & naturally. Then, follow this habit by putting these extracted phrases back into context, in order to facilitate musical-continuity. Ultimately everything you perform will be relaxed and natural both to you and your audience.
"PAT & PER" (Patience & Perseverance) developmentally, progress may appear to be slow. However, working on both patience (that's patience with yourself) and perseverance, you stand to gain skills and develop the tools that will stay with you for your entire life. Look for the results of your progress weekly, rather than one second or one minute to the next.
TEACHER'S ADVICE - As your instructor, I have your best interests in mind. I will give you the advice to assist you in developing the skills, (tools), you will require for well-rounded musical development. I understand what you will need to be successful. Unfortunately, at times, some students become preoccupied with learning Impressive Patterns or Solos to the point that they neglect to practice the actual lesson. Remember, these Impressive Patterns/ Solos that are here today and gone tomorrow, will do you absolutely no good, unless you have taken the time and effort to develop the tools essential to excellent drumming technique. When this is our focus, then and only then, you will realize that you and I will have the necessary time to examine both a more varied and more in-depth approach to musical styles that are challenging and hence, rewarding and fulfilling to you. You will definitely be pleasantly surprised to find that you are enjoying musical styles that before, you may not have enjoyed or for that matter, were unaware existed, previously. Spending the appropriate time improving these tools are the essentials that will enable you to exceed your perceived-potential.
THE FUN PART - Playing repetitive hand or foot-technique exercises or reading-skills exercises are enjoyable when you understand they are guaranteed, when practiced correctly, to improve you performance. First of all, make a sort of game out of the whole idea, by making everything you play, including "hand-technique" and reading exercises, sound as musical as possible by utilizing dynamics, articulation, and musicality to its highest level. For example, approach your entire lesson each and every time as if you are preparing a performance, on a weekly basis, in front of a live audience. (Your instructor) If done correctly, you'll find this to be absolutely one of the most exhilarating and fulfilling experiences.
ADVICE, ADVICE, ADVICE - When you have questions, ask me, email me, firstname.lastname@example.org or for that matter pick up the phone and simply call me. (514) 828-3014. It's that simple!!! Following the above advice will definitely help you succeed, and after all, that's what it's all about
There's an old saying; "Out of sight, out of mind". Well, this is one of the truest things ever written and it so applies to the music business and drums as well.
If you want to work, you need to go out to the clubs, venues, jam sessions, whatever,.. and "BE SEEN"! You need to engage in conversation with potential employers and you need to be seen playing your drums so they know that you're qualified.
still in school; if you want that specific chair or jazz band seat you
Going the Extra
Anyone can just show up and play their drums, but those that put in a little extra are more valued as a "team player". This often increases your job stability and overall reputation in the industry and sometimes even means extra compensation. The main thing is that you feel better about yourself for giving more in this world and that's reason enough to make the change!
READING MUSIC - Lessons w/ Mike Donovan
-Do you read music?
In 1996, I wanted to come off the road. I knew that this might possibly mean stepping back into the real world job-wise so I taught myself to type in preparation for a "decent" job in the workplace. I knew that computers were now dominant in our society and if I was going to compete, Id better learn to do something more than hunt and peck. I now, 12 years later, type 683,000 words per minute (or something like that :).
So you say, .. "Hey, 'I hunt and peck' and I have a job at Microsoft as 'Systems Analyst IT Engineer blah, blah,..'. Well OK, so it does happen that some real smart people make out just fine 'hunting and pecking'. But let's step back into the music world for a minute. Can you imagine yourself at a Dave Matthew's Band audition and they throw a chart in front of you to read? What will you do, ask them if they have it in 'tab' format?
I say, "Learn to Read. Dont get caught up in that crap about.. Well, Buddy Rich didnt read " or "Dennis doesnt read etc. Its a cop-out! Those guys are (were) exceptions to the rule. You need to have a firm understanding of basic rhythmic theory (and harmony if possible) to compete in this highly competitive field. You cant afford to be second best. You must have all your bases covered because if you don't, there are 50 other drummers standing by ready to take your place. (Actually, there are 500 drummers standing by ready to take your place. :)
Why not be "great" at playing drums rather than "mediocre". It's so much more fulfilling. Reading will give you the tools to get to that next level. You'll not only have a better understanding of what you're playing but you'll be able to execute this knowledge into a better performance overall.
Consider taking drum lessons with a private teacher and letting them help you learn how to read music. Once you get the ball off the ground and rolling, its not really that bad. It just takes a little bit of courage and determination to get started and, with a little stick-to-itiveness, youll be reading in no time. I promise.
10 Reasons You Should Learn to Read Music:
1. It builds
confidence in your ability on drums and
be able to teach yourself anything out of
3. You can
supplement your income with drum lessons.
are great gigs to be had out there but some of
5. You can
communicate intelligently with other
6. When learning
new songs, you can write out drum
7. You can program sequencers in step mode.
8. It is
easier to learn musical concepts as well as other
9. Most studio
work, show work and more challenging
find that many higher caliber players read music.
(R) L R R - (L) R L L
R (L) R R - L (R) L L
R L (R) R - L R (L) L
R L R (R) - L R L (L)
PARADIDDLE-DIDDLES ..on Drumset
Play the following sticking on the hi-hat: RLRRLL, RLRRLL (This is a paradiddle-diddle)
Put the bass drum on the first note of the first grouping and the snare on the first note of the second grouping (there will not be a HH on that note).
This pattern creates a 16th note triplet groove that sounds great intermittently inserted over a straight eighth feel.
A terrific exercise:
Repeat over and
over until you build up your speed. This is
R l r r, L r
l l, R l r l r l r r, L r l r l l, R l r l r r, L r l l
HOW TO GET GIGS
Where to look:
your local newspaper, music papers, Internet classifieds,
How to Audition
be friendly and professional. Dont oversell yourself
but be confident and assertive. Find out what they are looking for in
a musician and determine whether or not you fit the criteria.
Its even more important after getting the gig to be cooperative
and extremely diplomatic. You will have opinions, but try and not be
to forceful with them. Keep a positive attitude and you will have respect
from the other players.
- Charlie Platt
Tip #1: You
can always go cut time on the high-hat if you can't keep up with the
Tip #2: Just because the music is fast doesn't mean you can't be creative or do interesting fills. Listen to bands like the Dead Kennedy's for some interesting fill work.
Tip #3: Use a lot of energy! Punk music is based on energy. Wrestle with your buds before a show, build up some serious energy and then just go nuts! If you screw up your beat a little bit on the drums, its not as bad as if you lose your energy, so really get into the energy of the music.
Tip #4: As with lots of energy, go nuts with the bass drum. I myself don't use a double-bass drum pedal, but I find that with one pedal, a healthy distribution of bass drumming definitely works.
Finally; Dont think you have to be boring with a simple bass-snare-bass-snare beat. You can still have creativity in punk music. PUNK DRUMMERS UNITE! KEEP ROCKING, KEEP THE ENERGY ALIVE.
If I was to tell
you that many problems with drumming
stem from one little "Secret", would
Most young drummers (and even some old ones ;) underestimate the importance of this word. But many simple problems are solved relatively easily by incorporating just this one little secret.
yourself with great musicians. When you're around great
2. Buy a new cymbal, piece of hardware, or drumset. Sure, it's a bit expensive, but it never fails to help get the juices flowing.
to great drummers on CD and Video. The more you hear, the
4. Go to drum clinics! What can I say, if you don't walk away inspired by a great clinic, then you probably shouldn't be playing drums.
5. Set goals
for yourself. No matter how small the goal, it
6. Take some drum lessons. Despite your level of experience, drum lessons always seem to inspire us. You will find new approaches, viewpoints, and techniques that you may have never encountered otherwise. Even the greats will often go back and study with a teacher after a long successful career. They are maintaining goals in their life and assuring continual motivation, excitement, and competitiveness.
Do have trouble
finding time to practice?
Then he smiled and asked the group once more, "Is the jar full?" By this time the class was onto him. "Probably not," one of them answered."Good!" he replied. And he reached under the table and brought out a bucket of sand. He started dumping the sand in and it went into all the spaces left between the rocks and the gravel. Once more he asked the question, "Is this jar full?"
Need gifts for drummers and members of your band? Drum Bum is the place!
"No!" the class shouted. Once again he said, "Good!" Then he grabbed a pitcher of water and began to pour it in until the jar was filled to the brim. Then he looked up at the class and asked, "What is the point of this illustration?"
One eager beaver
raised his hand and said, "The point is, no matter how full your
schedule is, if you try really hard, you can always fit some more things
into it!" "No," the speaker replied, "that's not
the point. The truth this illustration teaches us is:
The list goes on
and on. You should never justifiably be able to say,
How many of you make New Years Resolutions? Or are you the type to say, "Well, what's the use, I never keep 'em anyway."?
Think about it for a minute, if we had that attitude about everything in life, then why would we even get up in the morning? I mean, why drive to work or go to school when you might have an accident and get killed? You see how silly this is?
The word resolution is just a fancy word for "goal setting". Webster lists several definitions but reoccurring words are "resolve", "declare", and "decide".
Why not use the beginning of the year as a fresh start to achieve the goals that you set for yourself on DRUMS? Write them down in big bold letters and tape them to the wall if you have to. This is a common habit of successful people and it WILL work if "you" work hard for it and "MAKE IT HAPPEN". Even if you don't meet all of your goals, just "TRYING" gets you a lot closer than you would have gotten otherwise.
You don't need to
have a list of 10 or 12 things if you don't want. Sometimes just 1 or
2 goals are sufficient. Maybe you can resolve to get that double stroke
roll perfected once and for all. Or maybe you can commit to taking a
few private lessons to help
GET POSITIVE, GET MOTIVATED! Make a few resolutions and get out there and KICK SOME BUTT!
TIPS FOR SELF-MOTIVATION
2. Listen to inspiring
music. Music that leaves
3. Listen to self-help/motivational
tapes. If you
4. Watch movies
like "Shawshank Redemption" that
5. Go to drum clinics
and/or watch drum videos of
6. Study the patterns
of successful people and
SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF - Mike Donovan
Attention to detail
is an important aspect of pro drumming.
I recently had a drummer friend (he's playing 4 nights a week with a
signed artist) tell me he was about to upgrade to a new set and he was
thinking about buying Pearl Exports. I immediately sat him down and
talked with him about the importance of small details and how much of
These small details
I'm talking about are things such as wood types, bearing edges, isolation
mounts, stainless steel hoops, etc. All these things, I told him, help
to clean up your sound and allow for a more pure and precise tone. It
can sometimes mean the
While the cash isn't always there, you owe it to yourself to at least consider taking the plunge and investing in a "quality" drumset if you're a serious professional. Words can't describe the euphoria of what it's like to sit behind a set of drums that virtually "play themselves". This goes for marching and hand percussion as well. There is nothing like "quality", whether it be your instrument or your performance and once you've been there and then came back, you'll definitely know the difference. The details matter, and you should be "sweating the small stuff"!
TOP 20 DRUM BOOKS
To be proficient on your instrument, you want to make sure all your bases are covered. Here are some of the top-rated drum lessons books that have made a huge impact in drummer's lives over the years and have definitely stood the test of time.
READING: "Fundamental Studies for Snare Drum" - Garwood Whaley, Ted Reed's "Syncopation", "Modern Reading Text in 4/4" - Louie Bellson
HAND INDEPENDENCE: "Stick Control" - George Stone, "Accents and Rebounds" - George Stone
RUDIMENTS: "International Drum Rudiments" - PAS, "Modern Interpretation of Snare Drum Rudiments" - Buddy Rich/Henry Adler
SNARE DRUM: - "Modern School for Snare Drum" - Morris Goldberg, "Modern Rudimental Swing Solos" - Charles Wilcoxin
DRUM SET: - "Realistic Rock" - Carmine Appice, "Future Sounds" - David Garibaldi, "The New Breed" -Gary Chester, "Bass Drum Control" - Colin Bailey, "Patterns" series- Gary Chaffee
MISCELLANEOUS: "Master Studies" - Joe Morello, "Even in the Odds" - Ralph Humphrey, "Afro-Cuban Rhythms for Drumset" - Frank Malabe and Rob Weiner, "Drum Wisdom" - Bob Moses, "The Sound of Brushes" - Ed Thigpen
WHAT TO PRACTICE
1. Listening (concentrated
"listening" to music, not just "hearing" it)
The list goes on
and on. You should never justifiably be able to say,
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