Do you want to learn to play quicker? learn to transcribe.
The goal of transcribing is to be able to hear and understand what's going on in the music. And, how your part contributes to the whole, an integral step in music mastery.
There are levels to each of these stills. Musicians hone them over a lifetime. I'm 45 years in. I still do it weekly. I can help you. Call me.
First consider this.
Are you watching for entertainment and enjoyment or for educational purposes?
For fun, videos of "drummers in a blender" videos are fun. Knock yourself out. Explore to your hearts content. You are subtly being introduced to the drummers world and mindset. Strengthening your emotional commitment to the drum set. Not a bad thing.
For educational purposes though YouTube is a minefield of misinformation. YouTube drumming videos often distort our view of what a drummers role is: accompanying.
Renowned drummer Terry Clarke said this of my drumming.
Now If I self critique my own playing I must acknowledge one of my main strengths: the depth of my repertoire. I know tunes. Zillions of tunes. Forty five years of professional music making I've had experiences in multiple genres. This deep knowledge of repertoire allowed me to play music with musicians above my level early on. Secondly, I practice mostly technique on the kit: Time, tone, and rudiments around the kit. With and without a metronome.
Here are some sources of trusted information for drummers:
Part 2 of finding people to play drums with.
The big leagues: Toronto at age 55
At the Jamie Aebersold jazz workshop in Louisville Kentucky I met a drummer from Toronto. When I arrived in Toronto, I looked him up and found that he ran a jam session on Thursday nights in the garage behind his business in the East end of Toronto. I joined in for about a year. What a great bunch of folks.
My new Toronto jazz drum teacher recommended me to some friends who were looking for a drummer for their classic rock trio that he was retiring from. I spent the next couple of years playing with that band every Wednesday night until the untimely death of our bassist. We played regularly at open mikes around Toronto and even a street festival one summer. Rock On!
Then I found that one of my new students ran a jazz jam session every Thursday night just around the corner from where I lived. Now this story is going to get truly funny.
What to do if you are a Newbie
A decade of playing the drums I've learned a thing or two about finding other musicians to play with.
1st some prerequisites
Now let's go hunting.
Drummer in a blender. Now that's an image. That is a big part of the attraction for many kids.
Kinetic energy. Loud noise. Excitement.
The second part?
The word "Play". Kids don't want another chore in their lives. The natural state for many kids is running in circles screaming in joy. They just want to have fun.
Drums supply that to kids of all ages. I know from personal experience. I've marched in two parades in through the French Quarter of New Orleans. It was insane fun. Loud and very silly. Thousands of happy people watching in amazement. Check that off my bucket list.
When Wayne Gretzky was asked why he was great, he was heard to reply: I loved every aspect of the game. In short, what beginners call the boring bits experienced drummers live for.
Play this beat for 4 minutes and 56 seconds. With a metroname. Leon Ndugu Chander did just this on Michael Jackson's Billy Jean. History was made.
Or this: Bolero by composer Ravel. Talk about tension in repetition.
So, get those hands together, thriving and savouring every moment of rudimental repetition. Listen to your progress. Don't forget your metronome !
1. Listen to drummers.
2. Listen some more.
3. Savour the fundamentals of drumming.
- Stick control
4. Listen some more.
5, Seek out others on the same musical journey: bassists, guitarists, keyboardists. Learn to work in a musician's world early. We are friendly and excited to meet "Keener's".
6. As you discover drummers you like explore their discography. It will be online and easy to find.
7. Get to know the staff at your local music store. Over time, as they get to know you, they will introduce you to the community.
8. Solo Youtube videos are fun to watch. Chops, speed, and flash. I watch them too. Great if you play by yourself, but annoying if you play like this in a band. Remember musicians want time, groove and touch in that order. And, knowledge of repertoire.
9. Go do your drum homework. Think thousands of repetitions to security and spontaneity at the kit.
David Story, drummer, pianist, qualified online music teacher