Drum syllabus, Levels, let's build the ultimate list :)

Overg

Senior Member
Giving the fact that this forum is jam packed with pro drummers, and novice ones, I was surprised to see (maybe I didn't search the forum correctly and if this is the case please forgive me ) , that there is no place where you can find a drum learning syllabus, or drum levels progression.

I thought to start one here, then we can summarize it in some nice Word doc, and put in the site, it will be like a list of "karate belt" levels progression
Like what you need to know in each level in order to progress to the next one, since there is SOO much pro drummers around here, making this list will be easy! , then every young and novice drummer ( and even those who consider themselves pro..) can see where they can still go.

What do you say ?
(I can add the level 1 :) since I am still novice in this business .)
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
Giving the fact that this forum is jam packed with pro drummers, and novice ones, I was surprised to see (maybe I didn't search the forum correctly and if this is the case please forgive me ) , that there is no place where you can find a drum learning syllabus, or drum levels progression.

I thought to start one here, then we can summarize it in some nice Word doc, and put in the site, it will be like a list of "karate belt" levels progression
Like what you need to know in each level in order to progress to the next one, since there is SOO much pro drummers around here, making this list will be easy! , then every young and novice drummer ( and even those who consider themselves pro..) can see where they can still go.

What do you say ?
(I can add the level 1 :) since I am still novice in this business .)
I don't think you can make such a list.

What fits for one style may not fit another, but that doesn't mean either concept is better or lesser than the other.

Does it matter that Charlie Watts isn't a chop monster? If one guy can play in 17/32 with one hand while playing 6 against 7 in his feet, but he can't play a pop beat with any feel, is that really a higher level of skill?

Some drummers are awesome at just certain things, some drummers can do a little of everything, is either approach really more or less valid than the other? Drummers come on many styles, approaches, and flavors, which is why it's all so cool. One list would never fit all.
 

bigd

Silver Member
You can see some of these already written by major colleges. They are different at each college depending on what the professors deem important. I'd look at the websites of North Texas, Manhattan School of Music, and Berklee and see what you come up with for a start.
 

Overg

Senior Member
You can see some of these already written by major colleges. They are different at each college depending on what the professors deem important. I'd look at the websites of North Texas, Manhattan School of Music, and Berklee and see what you come up with for a start.
Do u have any links to such document?
 

Overg

Senior Member
I don't think you can make such a list.

What fits for one style may not fit another, but that doesn't mean either concept is better or lesser than the other.

Does it matter that Charlie Watts isn't a chop monster? If one guy can play in 17/32 with one hand while playing 6 against 7 in his feet, but he can't play a pop beat with any feel, is that really a higher level of skill?

Some drummers are awesome at just certain things, some drummers can do a little of everything, is either approach really more or less valid than the other? Drummers come on many styles, approaches, and flavors, which is why it's all so cool. One list would never fit all.
I don't fully agree with you.

Some of the best rock drummers start their "career" in Jazz, and you can see very well this influences on their way of playing.
Also to know many elements from other styles can help to find ne ideas in your current style.
I also think that if you are a good player you should know many things and not only the things that related to your specific way / time of playing.

I will give simple example, when I started to learn, my teacher gave me the basic rock beat 4/4 that every one know, at first I thought ok it is nice , I would not call it soo hard, i master it after few days, and I thought that that's it, what else can he give me that can be complicated, so we added more style and tricks to it, but it was basically the same stuff.
Then after a while he said let's start something completely new..:
And he pulled the Jim chapin book, and he showed me the basic first pattern , I was amazed to find out how hard it is! and how far I am from even beginning to control this instrument. I thought t first that this is impossible, after few weeks, I manage to nail the grove and more..
I certainty felt that I advanced another level.

Today if I play Rock I can easily do stuff that came from the chapin books an add to it, it definitely open up my abilities to control the drums.

so yes, jim chapin is Jazz, but it is much harder then the minimonster book, and it certainly help in rock as well..

So back to the main idea yes there is some level that good drummers (wanna be..) should learn.

For example I doubt that Lrs ulrich, can play even the simplest jazz grove.
 

zakhopper316

Silver Member
So-maybe this should be in the technique forum?
it would be more fitting but this is for all drum related topics, so i guess its ok

LEVEL ONE of 15
single stroke quarter 8 and 16th notes at 60 bpm
paradidles at 60 bpm
basic 8th note beats at 60 bpm
basic 16th note beats at 60 bpm
8th note fills 60 bpm
playing long to one basic song of choice

who wants to do level 2? what do you think about level one? did i miss anything?
 

Overg

Senior Member
it would be more fitting but this is for all drum related topics, so i guess its ok

LEVEL ONE of 15
single stroke quarter 8 and 16th notes at 60 bpm
paradidles at 60 bpm
basic 8th note beats at 60 bpm
basic 16th note beats at 60 bpm
8th note fills 60 bpm
playing long to one basic song of choice

who wants to do level 2? what do you think about level one? did i miss anything?
Nice, I think I would have added few more things to elaborate the:
"basic 8th note beats at 60 bpm"
I would add some page in minimonster book for example, since I am not so familier with it + I am in level 1 myself:) I can't help ,but I will find it interesting :)
 

drumming4mo

Junior Member
I would love to see some continuation to the syllabus idea. Any of you experienced drummers please chime in with suggestions.
 

last man to bat

Senior Member
Over here in GB there are grades 1 to 8 in most instruments, drums included. One route is through Rockschool although this would not be my chosen one. The other is through Trinity Guildhall which has pieces written by Weckl in the grade 8 book. It is very well thought out and leads the student through rudiments different at each grade and includes a rudimental study for each grade as well as a play along and a solo piece. Grade 8 is very hard indeed but really gets the drummer to think and work. It is an exam based syllabus and as such does make life tricky for the drummer.
 

paradiddlebob

Junior Member
I am 48 and have been teaching drums since I was 16. I take drum set pedagogy very seriously. All of my students play in the public school bands. It's extremely frustrating when band directors throw rudiments at their drummers in no particular pedagogical order and without teaching them a thing about technique. The directors then expect high marks both in percussion AND drum set performance. They often use outdated teaching materials, too. Drum set gets far less respect and/or understanding than snare drum and keyboard instruments do. Yet, band directors expect excellent performance on the drum set, despite not having taught much or any technique on the instrument. Worst of all, drum set players rarely get proper testing when it comes time for a school mark. They get snare drum rudiments and 2 beats written in 2 staffs, circa 1950.

There is BIG need for a drum set pedagogy. There is an article posted on this forum about an alternative approach to rudiments by Laura Franklin. She hits the drum on the head! I could not agree more with her ideas, simply because I see it everyday in my teaching practice: most rudiments are not essential for drum set performance. There is a list of essential skills all drum set players should possess that have nothing to do with rudiments
My fingers are done typing, I'd like to continue with my input soon...
 
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