Drum fills are fun to play. At home, I say knock yourself out. On the bandstand they can be reason you get fired.
When the music presents a space for a drum fill, it also presents a space for the pianists, guitarist, bassists, various horn players, and hand percussionists to add their own noodly bits too. A real "Hey look at me moment". Sunday morning worship bands are famous for this. The results are cacophony and distraction.
Singers hate this because naturally they want to be the centre of attention. The listener gets confused. Who do I listen too? If you aren't the band leader, band leaders really hate this too, it often breaks up the flow.
Try this experiment:
Listen to fifty tunes in various genres, make a note of how "filly" they are. Now that being said there is music that is crazy busy, loud, fast, and fun. Knock yourself out. But for the gigging musician/drummer plan your moves carefully.
If I can help you out, call me.
If I can help you speed up your ability to learn tunes, call me.
When you join a band with a set list and meet regularly with a group of musicians who share the same desire, you will improve rapidly. Guaranteed.
1. Your teenager is making mediocre progress at lessons. Their commitment is low and lethargic. You know what I mean. Junior joins the school band or drum line. What happens? Bang, they now practice at school 3 times a week or more under supervision and the pressure of their peers. They discover the rush of making music in a group. By Christmas they can read music, play in an ensemble, play dynamically and much more. Works every time.
2. Adult takes up the drums. They are having fun, playing with tracks at home, playing their rudiments, plugging along. One day they overcome their fear and anxiety and join a group of bangers in a basement in Mississauga or in my case the local concert band 12 years ago. What happens? Bang, they are practicing their pieces at home nearly everyday, because they've got to play in front of their peers next week. Drums are front and centre, unlike the 2nd clarinetist sitting quietly in the back of the band. By Christmas they can read music, play in an ensemble, play dynamically and much more. Works every time. The rush of playing music together is overwhelmingly positive.
If I can help you get ready to play in an ensemble, call me.
Five reasons why practicing rudiments on the pad or snare drum. In short rudimental skill is one path to the musical freedom, artistic expression, and joy you are seeking.
If I can help you get started on the drumkit, call me.
Drumming is all about time, feel, touch, and endurance. This blog address time.
Ten tips to improve your time feel
If I can help, call me.
Drums are loud.
Playing loud is fun! We are the peace disturbers. But drummers are required to play softly in most situations.
Ten Tips on playing the drums softly
These are a few of the techniques that will help you survive and thrive in a lower sound level environment and avoid the indignity of either being fired, required to play behind a plexiglass barrier, or worse play some crappy electric drum kit though an amp.
Bonus? It will help save your hearing.
If I can help, call me.
Some thoughts on eliminating the gap between our current skills and our aspirations. Click on the photo for the whole story from Ira Glass.
David Story, drummer, pianist, qualified online music teacher