Help about improving confidence and ears

jazzpls

Junior Member
Hello, im a self taught drummer i could be classified as intermediate (maybe) according to my speed and technique, but when it comes to being creative, resourceful and to play a song i didnt practise and its not completely easy Im a total beginner. I cant really understand drumming in songs only by listening even if they arent complicated so i cannot reproduce them. The only way I could play a song is by learning the sheet music and im not happy with that, I have trouble with playing on the go/on the way, finding solutions to fills and grooves that i didnt learn, could anyone help me, what should I do, how should i practise to improve this?
 

mikel

Platinum Member
Play, play, and play some more. If you want to do stuff on the fly, and improvise, you need to try playing along to music you like or want to play. Dont listen to the drumming, listen to the song. The vocals and the main instruments that make the song what it is. This is possibly how the original drummer came up with the original drumming, not always but in a lot of instances.

Just play along to the music, try different things and you will find that there are many ways to interpret the same piece of music. When you have a bit more confidence have a go at a jam night. Try a Blues night cos the format is a little more song structured and you can work on different shuffle styles and bass drum patterns.

Dont sweat it, play to stuff in the privacy of your own practice space and make mistakes, thats how you learn what fits and what wont. Good luck.
 

Alex Sanguinetti

Silver Member
...The only way I could play a song is by learning the sheet music ...finding solutions to fills and grooves that i didnt learn...
Sorry, I doubt is the case, most likely IF you can read you read very little, because actually reading GOOD is what makes ALL the process of playing REALLY obvious.

Creativity too, it´s just a matter of substitutions, it becomes endless when you understand values of notes...(100 = 50 + 50 = 99 +1 = 0.01 + 99,99, etc.)

All these even if you at the end don´t use sheet music to play...

Same answer as usual: STUDY ONLY with someone who is BETWEEN THE BEST PLAYERS the most didactical. You´ll have to do a research... where are you from?

Please get a look at my site: http://www.alexsanguinetti.com

Best regards!
 
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KamaK

Platinum Member
Hello, im a self taught drummer i could be classified as intermediate (maybe) according to my speed and technique, but when it comes to being creative, resourceful and to play a song i didnt practise and its not completely easy Im a total beginner. I cant really understand drumming in songs only by listening even if they arent complicated so i cannot reproduce them. The only way I could play a song is by learning the sheet music and im not happy with that, I have trouble with playing on the go/on the way, finding solutions to fills and grooves that i didnt learn, could anyone help me, what should I do, how should i practise to improve this?
Looking at your post, the crux of your problem looks to be:

"I cant really understand drumming in songs only by listening even if they arent complicated so i cannot reproduce them. The only way I could play a song is by learning the sheet music"

Can you elaborate on the extent of this?

Examples:

You cannot differentiate between a 4/4 song and a 6/8 song upon listening?
You cannot hear the feel of a song.... where the one is... here the backbeat is?
You get the basic form of the beats, but are missing the fills and transition dynamics?
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
My suggestion is to work on your listening skills. For instance, listen to a song and try and determine what instruments are playing. Try listening to just the drum part, just the bass part, just the guitar part. Forget confidence now, that comes with time spent and your own accomplishments. First you have to develop your ear so you can hear the drum part. Try and break down the drum part. What is the bass drum doing? The snare? The hi hat or ride? If you can't hear the drum parts....I don't know that you can progress much without first overcoming that issue.
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
I always wonder in cases like this. What is intermediate anyway?

You either now stuff solid enough for it to be of instant use to you or not.


When it comes to learning stuff from records, have you really tried? Like, really tried?

This is not an easy thing and it's not supposed to be. Over time and with experience it bcomes easier, though. It might take more time, work and dedication than you realize.

Do the best you can and understand progress is progress no mater how slow. It's better than nothing.
 

Mad About Drums

Pollyanna's Agent
Playing a cover song is a matter of learning the drum parts, even if you're going to play it with a different arrangement, it's the best way to have the foundation for the song. Once you know the parts, the confidence shouldn't be a problem.

On original material where there's no drums and you're creating the parts yourself, you need to listen carefully to the song, every instruments and more importantly what you feel about the song, what's your emotions about the piece, talk about it with the other members of the band, how they perceive it and what's their feelings towards the song, then try to play what you feel, with your feelings and the drumming vocabulary at your disposal, don't think about technique, just transmit your emotions on the drums.
 

MoreBeer

Silver Member
If there's difficulty with playing drums to a song by listening to it, you're in for a tough time. I know this sounds cruel, although its fact. Drums are the EASIEST primary instrument to play to begin with and are also the easiest to play by simply listening to the source material.

I know of a few bass players who can pick up a bass and play some pretty cool and fluent bass lines. Que up on a song however, and they struggle just where to begin and start fiddling up and down the neck to find the primary notes. Basically, they're tone deaf to a certain extent.

Good luck.
 

jazzpls

Junior Member
- Odd-Arne Oseberg - I did try it wasnt that bad but i get kinda lost and have problems to get back into the beat, especially when there are breaks.
- KamaK, noone of those i guess,I just cant break down a complex beat especially if it involves toms and a lot of bass, i guess i should just listen more to drums?
- Alex Sanguinetti - Im from a small town in Croatia and I dont have any possibilities for face to face lessons here. Also i think i cant afford online lessons.

The core of my problem might be I just didnt play drums enough? I dont play much, from the beginning i had decent speed and technique, so i didnt have to practise a lot for some goals I set, but now im into drums again and I wanna improve a lot im setting my bar high. So basically what you all said is I should play and play, listen to songs, play along, play with drumless tracks maybe even improve my reading and try to write beats and fills down while listening?
Btw thank you, all of you!
 

Midnite Zephyr

Platinum Member
That is exactly what you should do. Play, play, play. If drumming comes that easy to you, it shouldn't be a problem after awhile.

I actually go over drum parts in my head. I can play them mentally without even using a drum set. Like you, I consider myself an intermediate drummer. My ears are advanced though because I know how to listen and apply it to the drum set. That's where you need to be. Where you can go over a drum part mentally. That's when you can play any old song on the radio without even thinking about it too much. Then it just becomes a matter of knowing where the breaks and the changes are. A few months and years of constant playing will help you.
 

JustJames

Platinum Member
... noone of those i guess,I just cant break down a complex beat especially if it involves toms and a lot of bass...
The answer is pretty obvious then. Listen to simpler stuff where you can pick out what is being played. As MoreBeer said, the great thing about drums is that drum parts are much easier to decipher than other instruments. And another great thing is that an approximation of the drum part will let you start playing along with recording while you refine what you play.

Let us know what kind of music you are into and somebody will be able to suggest songs with straightforward drum parts that you can tackle.
 
D

drumming sort of person

Guest
I think you're asking for a shortcut to learning. Guess what? There are no shortcuts to learning a musical instrument. It takes time, patience, and devotion. Most of all, it takes passion.
 

Hollywood Jim

Platinum Member
Jazzpls:
I suspect you are listening to music and trying to play music that is too complex. It may be music that is above your current ability.

When I first started playing drums I played along with very simple rock and roll songs from the 1950's. After a while I began to hear where the verse and choruses where in the song. Where the transitions were and where the drum fills might go.

Start out by playing along with very simple songs. Very soon you will be playing more complex drum parts to those simple songs. It's ok to add to and change the original drum parts as you practice.

.
 

paradiddle pete

Platinum Member
I'm with Jim, Honky Tonk Woman is a good track to play along with, Charlie and Ringo are the guys who knew groove,verse and chorus drumming. A good place to start. Then once you understand the groove start playing around with it, get elastic, rhythm isn't static
 

tcspears

Gold Member
I could be classified as intermediate (maybe) according to my speed and technique...

but when it comes to being creative, resourceful and to play a song i didnt practise and its not completely easy Im a total beginner.
I think that just makes you a beginner, and there's nothing wrong with that!

Your technical ability (speed/technique when playing your rudiments) is critical to being able to become a drummer. But we aren't just technicians. A huge part of what we do is work with other musicians, and some of that is going to be unrehearsed improvisation.

Especially with a username like "JazzPls", you're going to learn that jazz isn't going to require you to play a backbeat, rather you're going to have to know the form of the song (32 bar AABA for example), and you're going to have to interact with the other players, rather than playing a specific part or rhythm.


There are two ways to hone those skills, and playing your rudiments aren't going to help... as important as they are.

1. Listen to recordings. This is going to be the most important part of learning these skills. Listen as much as you can, or go see live shows, and focus on how the drummer interacts with the song and the band. See if you can pick up on the song forms, or what the drummer is reacting to. Since you are into jazz, try picking a standard... "Autumn Leaves" for example, and listen to all the different versions and interpretations of it. See how different drummers play it

2. Play with others. Find some other beginners and jam, or go to an open mic and try playing with other people. Use some of the techniques that you've been practicing, and use some of the concepts that you picked up on when listening to other players. Pay attention to the other players when you are playing, not yourself. See how they react to what you do. Are they cringing when you crash your cymbal? It might be too loud, or not placed well. Are they smiling and nodding when you accent their chord change? Then keep it up, they are digging it...


Just like developing your technical skills takes years, learning to play with others can take time and practice.
 

jazzpls

Junior Member
Thanks again for all the answers. I didnt pick my username because im into jazz hahah its more like jazz is hard, jazz dont do that to me please. However i like jazz but I havent listened to a lot of it, but Im starting to listen more and more. Usually Im pretty openminded, I listen mostly to every kind of Rock and almost every kind of metal (except the most brutal kinds). If someone wants suggest me some rock songs, feel free i will appreciate that.
Thank you
 

lmcrash

Member
ACDC Rolling Stones CCR ZZTop Eagles Ounce you get the feel of some their songs,the back beat is usually on the 2 and 4, you can add simple fills. A teacher can help you with this.
 

Brian

Gold Member
The starting point is hitting the books...literally or figuratively..with an instructor. But yes also, keep playing. Improvise and dont be ashamed or feel awkward if you play things you dont like. Overcome that and keep playing and find that creative zone. If I am just practicing or soloing it usually takes 5-20 minutes but at one time took two hours. It is where you can really surprise yourself.
 

Brian

Gold Member
If you want to play along to tracks with excellent drumming but within reach to the average drummer, anything by Jeff Porcaro Jim Gordon Steve Gadd ...literally hundreds of hit tracks those three played on. Great music that will make you a better all around player.

Sorry for double post
 
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