Game-changers?

Magenta

Platinum Member
24 hours ago I was in the middle of a struggle with a song that had been going on for several weeks (the struggle, not the song). I was advised to read "Effortless Mastery" by Kenny Werner.

Uncle Larry had recommended this book to me some months ago and when I read it, it changed my drumming life. I re-read it yesterday, and all the hang-ups I'd had about the wretched song evaporated. I played the song as well as I was capable, and I've played it better again this morning - and I even caught myself smiling. Almost miraculous stuff!

The other game-changer has been "The New Breed". I don't know why this book has worked, but it definitely has. When I first started it, it was one of the most difficult things I had ever attempted in any aspect of my life, but I loved it precisely because it was fiendish.

The combination of these two books has had a remarkable effect: one deals with the mental aspect, the other with the physical, and both are geared towards musicality.

I'd be very interested to learn about other people's game-changers.
 

Duck Tape

Platinum Member
I don't know what it's called but I think there's a Tennis Book recommended by Benny Greb, and he suggests applying it to drumming.

I am struggling with a song right now, it's not as hard to play the right notes as it is to just get it to feel right, have played it over and over and I've retired for the day, defeated. Tomorrow I'll revisit and I'm sure something I did today will sink in overnight.

Can I ask what was most helpful about the advice in that book?
 

eclipseownzu

Gold Member
The first time somebody explained heel-toe to me it blew my mind. I went home, practiced it for a few days and my playing has never been the same.

Unfortunatly I had been playing for about 10 years by that time and I have been behind the power curve ever since.
 

WhoIsTony?

Member
I don't know what it's called but I think there's a Tennis Book recommended by Benny Greb, and he suggests applying it to drumming.

I am struggling with a song right now, it's not as hard to play the right notes as it is to just get it to feel right, have played it over and over and I've retired for the day, defeated. Tomorrow I'll revisit and I'm sure something I did today will sink in overnight.

Can I ask what was most helpful about the advice in that book?

the Inner Game of Tennis by W.Timothy Gallwey

I recommended that one as well to Magenta when I recommended Werners book in her mental block thread .....thanks for not mentioning me Magenta :)


as for "game changers"....Ive had quite a few in my life

the ones that come to mind at the moment are
....my brother putting on his Zeppelin II 8 track when was a kid
....when I discovered Tony Williams ....who is somewhat of a mystery to me to this very day.
...meeting and befriending Elvin Jones.
....and discovering the John Riley books

every one of those was like someone flicking on a light switch while I was sitting in a dark room
 

mikel

Platinum Member
The biggest game changer for me was being told by a drumming friend " We play drums because we enjoy it, If there is an aspect of it you don't like or a song you hate playing, then don't" Simple but effective. If I am ever in a drumming bind I remind myself of this advice and make sure I am enjoying what I am doing, and not forcing myself.
 

dmacc

Platinum Member
There have been so many, not know where to start.

- My Dad who launched the game in the first place - drumming and the music I've come to cherish.

- My private teachers who inspired and helped me to flush out the best path for me.

- Listening to David Garibaldi on "Back To Oakland" that my parents bought me for a Christmas gift in the very late 70's or early 80's which solidified my exit of trying to emulate anything rock and roll.

- Seeing Steve Gadd play live in small local clubs about a dozen times in the mid to late 80's.

- Joining a gigging band working 3-4 nights a week at 17 years old and actually playing the "best" clubs - not the dives.

- The educational material that came after my intense private lesson years - John Riley's Library and Jim Blackley's Essence of Jazz Drumming.
 

Drumsinhisheart

Silver Member
Game changer. Late night FM. Mahavishnu Orchestra. Inner Mounting Flame. Billy Cobham. Nothing ever effected me like that moment forty years ago.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Effortless Mastery changed things for me. Not right away though. That book needed a few readings to really have an effect.
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
1) Was a combo of seeing Greg Bissonette in clinic, and then not long after the debut of "One" by Metallica on MTV, January 20, 1989. The clinic opened my mind to the beauty of being versatile, from metal to jazz. "One" blew my mind because I had never seen anyone play double bass like that before. The combo of both events made me focus my practice in a way I had never focused before.

2) Meeting Dave Beyer and taking his class at PIT. It was an elective class, held in the evening well after all classes at since let out. It wasn't about playing drums, it was about music. How to hear a song, and write a simple chart. More importantly, it was about how to play the SONG and not just the drum part.

3) Hearing the album "Serpentine Gallery' by Switchblade Symphony around 1996. The album doesn't even contain real drums, it's all programmed. But it turned my world upside down. It was the complete opposite of so much "drummer music" I often listened to. It made me focus less on having a cool drum part, and more on making sure it's a cool song. It got me into really thinking about groove, emotion, and space. Getting my head back to "music is art."
 

Magenta

Platinum Member
the Inner Game of Tennis by W.Timothy Gallwey

I recommended that one as well to Magenta when I recommended Werners book in her mental block thread .....thanks for not mentioning me Magenta :)
Apologies, Tony, I should have. But I did thank you on the other thread, and I do again :)
 

drstrangefunk

Senior Member
Led Zeppelin I

. How Many More Times - because of this song i'm a drummer.

. Communication Breakdown - because of this song i'm a guitarist.
 
Last edited:

Zero Mercury Drummer

Senior Member
When I was 16 my brothers bought me two albums that changed everything.

Police, Zenyatta Mondatta: I was never even interested in the drums until I heard Stewart Copeland. Specifically the splash cymbal fills at the end of "Driven To Tears." I remember jumping out of my seat to hear it again. Soon after, I used my lawn mowing money to buy a cheap drumset.

King Crimson, Beat: I didn't know music like that was possible. Turned me on to the wizardry of Bill Bruford and taught me that electronic drums didn't have to be lame and simple.

honorable mention:
Rush, Moving Pictures: Specifically Witch Hunt. The broken rhythm with the cowbell introduced me to precise linear playing.
 

RedeyeSPR

Senior Member
20+ years ago when I was in high school and deeply into Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth, ect. my private teacher gave me a copy of Chick Corea - Beneath the Mask and said "check out this Dave Weckl guy." That triggered a complete turn-around.
 

picodon

Silver Member
Now that we're naming albums, here are mine:

Deep Purple - Made in Japan
Sting - Bring on the night (an insanely tight band around Omar Hakim!)
Rush - Exit... Stage left

All the notes on these albums are somehow stored on the (otherwise not that reliable) hard disk between my ears! This thanks to years of drumming along on my desk while doing homework ...
 

Otto

Platinum Member
Being unemployed for about a year and being able to play about as much as I wanted.

Finally getting a semi-decent set....took almost 30 years due to poverty issues.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
When my unsupportive father told me I would never amount to anything musically. He was just butt hurt because I wanted to play music, not football, baseball, or pretty much anything requiring a ball. This seriously lit a fire under me just so I could prove him wrong.
 

BacteriumFendYoke

Platinum Member
King Crimson's 'Larks Tongues in Aspic' single-handedly changed my outlook on music forever. That was shortly followed by Radiohead's 'Kid A' and then Aphex Twin's 'Windowlicker' EP.

I realised very quickly that although some music has strict limitations, other forms don't. Then there are self-imposed limitations that benefit the music.

This: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m8UCZfaYACo is what it's all about.

I got into much more angular material after this but it was my introduction.

The first time I heard Messiaen's piano music changed a huge amount for me. The sheer beauty of it swept me along effortlessly.

If we venture into other instruments, my outlook on singing (I was trained for years) was changed enormously my Tchaikovsky's 'Crown on Roses'. Before that, I was mainly singing Purcell and Handel.

We sang this much more slowly. I always sang Tenor:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=agNMQ3FtwBk

EDIT: Hilarious. I'm going through my old archive of choir recordings and I found a version of 'Moon River' where I'm prominent. I love going through this old material, takes me back to better times.
 
Last edited:

picodon

Silver Member
After I started drumming, I think the most important game changer besides taking lessons and moving from e-kit to a-kit was using tabs. It's like you've studied maths for 2 yrs and all of a sudden decide to use pen and paper. As soon as you start using tabs, you wonder how you managed without them.
 
Top