Can you Hear the Flamming?

brentcn

Platinum Member
Hey brent. Sorry for not responding sooner. I went back and reread these messages tonight. I should've picked up on this one single sentence earlier. This might be it right here in your quote. Do you think if I picked up the book 4-Way Coordination would help? Or does a book like this require a teacher to understand it? I need something structured. All the advice in this thread is good, but there's no guide for me to follow. Something I can print out or a book purchase.
4-way Coordination is a decent book, but really your coordination challenges are 2-way or even 3-way (right hand, left hand, and right foot) and not 4-way, so I think that book may begin a bit further down the road than you'd like. 4-Way, The Rothman book, Realistic Rock, Alfred's Basic Drumset Method -- they're all fine, and they're all lacking at the same time. It's very difficult to write a truly comprehensive beginning drum set book!

I have a page of simplistic yet effective exercises that I've written out myself for my students to deal with the type of thing you're going through, and I wrote it myself because I couldn't find anything like it in any book. I'm happy to share it with you, but you really should go through it with a teacher. It's so important to play along with someone, to count out loud, and to have someone to remind you to relax or use your pinkies or whatnot, especially when you're just starting out. I'll scan the page in the next few days and PM you...
 

nocTurnal

Senior Member
Developing the interdependence between your right hand and right foot is much higher on the list of priorities than the flamming, which will work itself out as you practice different beats and fills.
Hey brent. Sorry for not responding sooner. I went back and reread these messages tonight. I should've picked up on this one single sentence earlier. This might be it right here in your quote. Do you think if I picked up the book 4-Way Coordination would help? Or does a book like this require a teacher to understand it? I need something structured. All the advice in this thread is good, but there's no guide for me to follow. Something I can print out or a book purchase.
 

nocTurnal

Senior Member
QUESTION:

How much of a difference would it make to you all if I updated this thread with a new one but featured video of me playing instead? Do you feel that the audio only of me playing was all you had to see? Or would an actual video help you see why I'm not "dancing" and keeping time better.


I just bought a pro 7 peice drummers mic kit, once I have it set up I'll play what your playing, I tried to use my phone but it sounded like really bad audio. This will clean it sound wise for ya.
Please do. I'm looking forward to it. Post it in this thread when you do. And just for your information, that was recorded with a Zoom H1. The whole set has mute pads except for bass. The bass has two pillows plus a sock on beater. I was also playing silently.
 

Pollyanna

Platinum Member
I have seen many drummers drop by the wayside because they felt their playing was not good enough.

To that, I say...Horse Pucky!
Well said ... "pucky" lol

Noc, 90% of the game is timing. Once our timing gets close to accurate then the pleasure really starts. Drumming isn't ALL about timing ... but it almost is.

You can play the simplest, dumbest stuff ever and, if your groove is good and your volume appropriate, then the only ones to complain will be drum nerds and guitarists who want to ride a flashy drummer's chop to glory. And their opinions don't matter! Most musicians are just grateful to play with someone who keeps steady time and doesn't get in the way.

I'm certainly not a natural when it comes to timing - all I had going for me at first was enthusiasm and hyperactivity (ie. fast hands) thanks to my ADHD :) I spent a lot of time listening to and playing along with records, which taught me what good timing sounded like.

I had one of those old metronomes with the little weight on the bar to adjust speed and used it when playing on the pad when it was too late at night to play the kit. I jammed as much as I could.

Now, decades later, my timing is functional but still a work in progress. My metronome is still one of my most important possessions.
 

paradiddle777

Junior Member
I just bought a pro 7 peice drummers mic kit, once I have it set up I'll play what your playing, I tried to use my phone but it sounded like really bad audio. This will clean it sound wise for ya.




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...
 

Otto

Platinum Member
I suggest...

1) Play with a metrenome

2) Record all of your playing on a unit that allows playback speed variation.


Set time for listening to your playing...really slow it down and listen for the artifacts you are wanting to change.

Keep up with the lessons if you can!


One of the hardest things about playing is accepting your ability while working to improve it. I have seen many drummers drop by the wayside because they felt their playing was not good enough.

To that, I say...Horse Pucky!
 

Pollyanna

Platinum Member
Make it dance. Make it dance. Make it dance. Make it dance. Make it dance. Make it dance. Make it dance. Make it dance. Make it dance. Make it dance. Make it dance. Make it dance. Make it dance. Make it dance. Make it dance. Make it dance.

And if you can't make it dance, simplify until it dances.

:)
 

nocTurnal

Senior Member
I don't believe that- you just need to work at it, and get with a teacher who knows how to work through whatever particular problem you're having with it.

Unless he said that as a jumping off point for him working on it with you, you need to dump him. Find somebody who hasn't given up trying to teach.
Sorry... I wrote that in a way that it could be seen the wrong way. He didn't say that I "can't." He basically said what you guys are saying... that I'm not making it groove. That said, I think this teacher might be for more advanced students. People who want to get very nick picky about their playing. He didn't offer weekly lessons either. It was every other week... which was probably a problem for my skill level. I think I need constant feedback. I think too time time can pass by and then you start practicing the material the wrong way.
 

toddbishop

Platinum Member
I can't get a feel for the groove I guess.
I don't believe that- you just need to work at it, and get with a teacher who knows how to work through whatever particular problem you're having with it.

My teacher did tell me that.
Unless he said that as a jumping off point for him working on it with you, you need to dump him. Find somebody who hasn't given up trying to teach.
 

nocTurnal

Senior Member
Thanks everyone. I don't know what I'm going to do. I can't get a feel for the groove I guess. My teacher did tell me that. I think the only thing I can do is go back to taking lessons. With a different teacher. The lessons were never structured well. I think I need more structure in my lessons.

It would be cool to see one of you play all 5 grooves that I played. Same notes and everything. But the right way. My teacher did play it back for me during lesson, so it's not like I haven't heard it played correctly. But that never made much difference.
 

Davo-London

Gold Member
I thought this was about someone being deceived or conned.

Sorry I'll go before the pedantic police catch me ...

OP how long have you been playing? Because there is world of difference if you've been playing 2 years and playing 10 years. Having an ear to spot the subtle differences is the most important thing. It sounds like you've got that so be encouraged and keep going.

As for teachers they are there to encourage and teach. There are good and bad teachers. Nevertheless, they have to be able to critique your playing because that's how we improve.

Cheers
Davo
 

Pollyanna

Platinum Member
After you clicked download now, did you click on the thing that says slow download? It should start a countdown, after which you should be able to start downloading the file. It hardly took me any time at all to download.
I think there's some kind of control there. I turned off my PC, did some tasks and came back. This time it opened no problem, which I think is because my ADSL has a dynamic IP and so it didn't recognise me as the "problem person" I was before.


Okay ... the drumming (at last!). Agree with everything the teachers, Brent and Todd, said. At this stage it's not grooving. And thanks for the explanation, Todd. Agree that not seeing the forest for the trees is a common issue, based on both my own experiences and what I've observed of others.

Noc, not being mean but I think you may be not seeing the forest for the trees by asking about flamming. It seems that you are playing beats but not focusing on the groove ... getting things grooving can make the most basic things sound wonderful. A bit of flamming is no biggie (except at very high level playing) if the rhythm's moving along nicely.

One simple method using creative imagination has helped me ... I imagine I'm a dancer in the audience and I'm playing the beat for that dancer ... I'm trying to keep the beat in such a shape that the dancers will be happy with it. More body, less head.
 
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toddbishop

Platinum Member
Todd, could you talk a bit about centering time? I take it you mean feeling a pulse in a similar way to how one feels a clave. Do you know any good exercises for it? Mostly counting?
Part of it is making a definite through line out of the pulse- whatever subdivision is easiest for you to track. If you have that going, your execution can be pretty variable- it will "read" as one or another quality of feel rather than as rushing or dragging the tempo. I think what causes a lot of drummers to lose the through line is either from getting excited, or getting so caught up in the particulars of what they're playing that they forget about it. Or thinking they have it so nailed they don't have to be conscious of it.

I think counting helps in that it gives the pulse some shape, which makes it easier to track. In that case you wouldn't be counting to keep track of where you are in the measure, you'd just be using the syllables as drum sounds. So instead of 1-e-&-a-2-e-&-a, you could just as well use cha-ca-di-ga-cha-ca-di-ga (my repinicado syllables, which I've started using for 16th notes generally), or whatever.

One more thing- I don't know if it necessarily helps this particular thing to vocalize while you're playing, but invariably when I can get a student to vocalize a part perfectly before playing it, the playing will be there- something about nailing a tempo or rhythm with your voice makes it stick in your memory.
 

paradiddle777

Junior Member
Your accent is off, try keeping it equal, you need to build ankle muscle for firm even bass notes and it just sounds stiff. I read and agree with the others but I wanted to know if your teacher has been teaching you rudiments? I still play rudiments as part of practice and in my play. My favorite as you can see is the paradiddle. R-L-RR L-R-LL you dont need all of them for set play, but most are always used (especially for that extra "feel/groove") The left and right flams are rudiments that come after time and relaxation. Stick alteration is crucial and will also help your foot and wrist coordination. You should try: doublets to paradiddles with count 4 bass quarter notes and snare quarter notes, when that sounds relaxed and timed right, speed it up and go to eighth notes, eventually to 16th notes always right and left stick alternation (dont get a lazy left or right) to help stop a lazy non dominant hand such as a left, play quarter and eighth note quadplets with just your left only. You have a good foundation. Jim
 

Thecowslayer

Senior Member
I tried to upload the file directly to drummerworld, but it said I'm missing a security token. Not really sure what that means, but someone else might be able to upload the file.
 

Pollyanna

Platinum Member
After you clicked download now, did you click on the thing that says slow download? It should start a countdown, after which you should be able to start downloading the file. It hardly took me any time at all to download.
I just clicked Download and then immediately cancelled. My gut feeling is that it's one of those things that only allows one download per IP address and I've blown my one chance ... story of my life lol
 

brentcn

Platinum Member
Thank you for the advice. Do you think my timing was always bad? I tend to start off really bad. Or did you feel timing was bad through each groove entirely? I do listen to myself playing, but I just don't hear the flams. I could when I was worse, but not when I improved and they became more subtle.

Would video be a better way to do this for all of you? Is that why very few of you are commenting? Just audio too boring nowadays? I just got a new camera that has video capability, so I could do that if it helps you guys give me better critique.
Funny, when I first read, before I listened, I thought it would be a good idea to play on a muffled kit, or one of those "practice pad kits" I've seen in Guitar Center, because you can hear the attack of the notes, but you're not distracted by the volume and sound of the drum set. But you've done that already, and yeah, I hear the flams, too. Agree with TB that you should focus instead on timing, but also on coordination and developing a relaxed technique.

You mention that your teacher is a studio drummer (who isn't these days?) and he has certain expectations. While it's nice that he's passionate and motivating, I wonder about his approach. No one sounds good when they're learning, and you shouldn't expect a student to perfect a set of beats or exercises before moving on to more challenging material, because you'll be stuck forever. Good timing and coordination will come as the student experiences a variety of material, and deals with real-world playing challenges.



Your timing isn't even, and this might be a coordination issue. Specifically, bass drum notes aren't placed evenly between hi-hat notes. Have you practiced playing different bass drum patterns while playing steady 8ths or quarters on the hi-hat? Does your right hand want to play every note your right foot does? If the bass drum patterns are throwing off your hi-hat/snare pattern, how can you expect to play the groove confidently? Developing the interdependence between your right hand and right foot is much higher on the list of priorities than the flamming, which will work itself out as you practice different beats and fills.

Your technique is probably stiff. Relax and count every single note out loud. Sometimes, I'll make a student play a simple beat like yours for 1 minute while counting aloud, with no absolutely no stopping for any reason. Speed any one of your beats up by about 20 bpm and try this! At some point, your shoulders will fall, and this is a good start! Now extend your index fingers just a little, but keep your thumb on the stick, and feel your wrists move more freely. A relaxed technique can start with having to drum even when you're exhausted, where you will begin to use muscles, posture, and technique more suited to extended, effortless playing. The counting is important, too, because it serves as a way to relax your abdomen, keep decent posture, and (somehow) aids even note placement. Of course, practice without counting, too! :)
 

Thecowslayer

Senior Member
Link is STILL trying to load. 18 minutes is enough, isn't it? :)
After you clicked download now, did you click on the thing that says slow download? It should start a countdown, after which you should be able to start downloading the file. It hardly took me any time at all to download.
 

Thecowslayer

Senior Member
I agree with Todd. As far as I can tell, when you play your bass drum, it slows everything else down, which could cause some flamming. Around 1:22, your timing is definitely off, and sometimes, your bass drum will speed up. I would definitely suggest practicing with a metronome, it should help your timing get better.
 
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