New students - old habits

NUTHA JASON

Senior Administrator
But as far as non dangerous "bad habits" goes, I stand by my point: Being able to play music, keep good time and groove is always the focus in my teaching.
i'm similar. i want sound and enjoyment from my pupils first. inspiration. then as soon as i see they are ready...technical refinement. something like:

too much technique and the student slows up
too little technique and they blow up
get it right and they grow up.
 

drumhead61

Gold Member
I like that you are so passionate about trying to resolve the dilema of your newly acquired students, but as stated you can just point it out over and over and encourage them to develop the proper habits...ultimately it is up to the student to fix the issue, you (as you are already doing) just need to point out the issues that can arise.

Good luck.

JIM
 

k3ng

Silver Member
Well, there certainly is a difference in between "bad habits" and wrong/dangerous technique. Of course as a teacher you always have to make sure at first that a student plays with proper technique and does not hurt himself.

But as far as non dangerous "bad habits" goes, I stand by my point: Being able to play music, keep good time and groove is always the focus in my teaching.

I've been playing drums professionally for some years now and had tons of students in that time. From the starting point of my teaching career until now the focus in my teaching has changede dramatically. I started out being a very technical teacher (probably because I am/was a very technical drummer) and found that especially with younger students you much rather work on music than technique. I found that technique actually comes with playing music if you keep pointing out these things along the way.
I agree with you on the most part..
I barely emphasize good technique on my students more than I emphasize the ability to play something that sounds like ... well.. something worth listening to. However, as I've always taught from the ground up, I've been able to at least get a good mindset out of my students to avoid certain techniques that might endanger them in the near future.

Yes there is a difference between bad habits and 'bad/dangerous' technique, but one starts from the other and I think as a teacher I am responsible for spotting the problem and trying my best to cure it. We never know how damaging something can possibly be in the future if left alone long enough.

For instance, I've got a student who has an incredibly weird looking wrist position that comes from the lack of usage of the wrist and alot of strokes coming from the arm. Now if I don't look at his drumming, and if I'm not too critical about it, it sounds pretty damn good. He's got a good sense of rhythm, and now is getting his style together, but the flailing of the arms and the locking up of the wrists is something I can't possibly leave alone can I?

And like I said.. I'm not working with new students here which would actually make things a whole lot easier. These are students who've been learning for a year or two or more who've had teachers who did not point out these minor things and have now grown into habits that will most possibly hamper their playing in the future. I think I should definitely do something about it.

Just that whatever it is I'm trying to do now isn't really working...

Sorry to revive an old thread, but this is one of my teaching cunundrums I need to try and solve.
 
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SickRick

Guest
I would..a friend of mine never looked up or got a lesson on proper french technique for the ride cymbal. He saw me playing it once and thought it looked good. A month later he had some major wrist pain that inhibited him of playing at our our school jazz concert.
Well, there certainly is a difference in between "bad habits" and wrong/dangerous technique. Of course as a teacher you always have to make sure at first that a student plays with proper technique and does not hurt himself.

But as far as non dangerous "bad habits" goes, I stand by my point: Being able to play music, keep good time and groove is always the focus in my teaching.

I've been playing drums professionally for some years now and had tons of students in that time. From the starting point of my teaching career until now the focus in my teaching has changede dramatically. I started out being a very technical teacher (probably because I am/was a very technical drummer) and found that especially with younger students you much rather work on music than technique. I found that technique actually comes with playing music if you keep pointing out these things along the way.
 

maddrummr

Platinum Member
I wouldn't make such a deal out of habits. Tell them, point them out, but try to do that by showing them how these things hinder them in playing music.
I would..a friend of mine never looked up or got a lesson on proper french technique for the ride cymbal. He saw me playing it once and thought it looked good. A month later he had some major wrist pain that inhibited him of playing at our our school jazz concert.
 
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SickRick

Guest
Well, I've been reminding each week but nothing seems to be changing. I know that most of the work has to come from the students themselves but I can't help but feel a little responsible for the lasting bad habits.


How does this help cure habits exactly?

Drumming is not about good/bad habits. Its not (only) about technique. I am WAY more happy to have a student that can play music and nail songs with "bad" technique rather than having a student that can technically wipe the floor with other drummers but doesn't know sh*t about actally playing.

The way that I've decided to go with students is to go with songs rather than rudiments/techniques. I work with them on playing form, playing songs, suiting the music. On that way I reinforce the basic principles such as proper grip/hitting drums in the right spot/getting good sounds out of the drums. This way I seem to have way more happy and motivated students.

Plus: As soon as we get into more difficult material, they actually feel the need to work on their basics and they then have a reason and a motivation to do so. Videotaping students performances and then going over it with them is also crucial. Once a student actually sees how goofy it looks to play with too much effort they change for the better almost automatically.

I wouldn't make such a deal out of habits. Tell them, point them out, but try to do that by showing them how these things hinder them in playing music.
 

k3ng

Silver Member
Correct them all the time.
"You played that perfectly! Now try it with the proper grip."
"You might have an easier time playing it if you used your wrists and fingers more."
"Were those doubles or buzzes?"
etc.
Tell them to devote 10 minutes a day to undoing certain habits.
Well, I've been reminding each week but nothing seems to be changing. I know that most of the work has to come from the students themselves but I can't help but feel a little responsible for the lasting bad habits.

what about, besides of technique, teach them to have a basic vocabulary of standard genre-songs such as e.g. some Country, some Blues, some Heavy metall, some hiphop, some Regea, some Jazz, whatever...at least 4 most known songs per genre?
How does this help cure habits exactly?
 

rootheart

Senior Member
what about, besides of technique, teach them to have a basic vocabulary of standard genre-songs such as e.g. some Country, some Blues, some Heavy metall, some hiphop, some Regea, some Jazz, whatever...at least 4 most known songs per genre?
 
B

blade123

Guest
Correct them all the time.
"You played that perfectly! Now try it with the proper grip."
"You might have an easier time playing it if you used your wrists and fingers more."
"Were those doubles or buzzes?"
etc.
Tell them to devote 10 minutes a day to undoing certain habits.
 

k3ng

Silver Member
Once again another address to the teachers of Drummerworld.

I have had several cases where I've had to take up certain students because their old teachers resigned or had conflicting schedules.

Well I've come across a few examples where the previous teacher was obviously not very well trained and not very well versed in drums or teaching drums and resulted in the students culminating a number of bad habits.

Some of those that I have encountered
- alot of strokes coming from the arm and not the wrist
- hitting very close to the edge of the drum (especially snare)
- volume issues (snare too loud; bass drum too soft;)
- incorrect doubles
- incorrect grips (both trad and matched)

alot of these issues are what I consider bare basics that need to be reinforced from day 1. I teach alot of my students to observe their own playing and make sure that they don't develop bad technique.

But what do you do with students who have already been playing for a year or two or more and have developed these habits already? How do you remedy them?

I've tried teaching them as if they were starting from scratch but it isn't working. One of the more drastic measures i've tried is teaching matched to a trad grip player who's had his trad pretty darn messed up.

I also realise breaking habits is something that a student must work towards consciously but how much can a teacher do to help and in what ways?
 
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