Oh my goodness, where do I start?

dtx3yamaha

Junior Member
I've been using some material from Railroad Media (the Rudiments System and Jazz Drumming System) but as I progress I feel like I'm stagnating and my technique and abilities are not improving (perhaps even getting worse--sometimes I feel really tense practicing some of the exercises) as they should. Also, a lot of the material seems ultra repetitive...like most of those guys are in it for the money opposed to passing on genuine material. So I went on a spree and got a TON of books and a couple dvds.

David Garibaldi - Future Sounds and The Funky Beat
George L. Stone - Stick Control and Accents & Rebounds
Jack Dejohnette - Modern Jazz Drumming
Jim Chapin - Advanced Techniques
Joe Morello - Master Studies and Rudimental Jazz
Marvin Dahlgren - 4-Way Coordination
Ted Reed - Progressive Steps to Syncopation
William Norine Jr - Four-Way Fusion

I also got Tommy Igoe's Groove Essentials (1 & 2) and Great Hands for a lifetime. I know it's a lot, but an upfront monetary cost will help me commit. I want to play every day, multiple hours if possible. I've been drumming since I was 12 (25 now) and I never took it seriously until just recently when I started using the Railroad Media material I got as presents years earlier. I've never done enough to really commit or put in any more time other than messing around and I want to change that now.

So of course, I'm wondering where in the hell to start. I'd like to build a program focusing on my technique and/or rudiments, independence, and jazz studies. So I was thinking of starting with Stick Control, 4-Way Coordination, and Morello's Master Studies. I'd just open them up, read through what needs to be read then start using the exercises one by one.

Until I start getting a solid practice routine down I'd like to use as little material as possible, then start adding more as I get better at whatever I choose to go through first. Any help would be great.
 

Mike St.Clair

Senior Member
This is such a subjective topic, the list of answers could be just as stagnating as what you're already experiencing. I would say find ONE of them that seems to really click with you and float your boat and stick with it for a while. Love my puns? If something is doing nothing but frustrating you, then you need to either move to something else, or seek some professional intervention. I'm 40 and haven't really played "seriously" since high school, so take my advice for what it's worth. I hope to find a way one day to get back into it. It sounds like you should start on stick control as it's the foundation that everything is built on, other than keeping time of course.
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
A lot of information overlaps.

I've been in a similar situation. I'm already an educated musician, I have the money to buy any drum book and dvd out there, and so that that's what I did.

First thing I bought was some Railroad Media stuff, but to me I was really dull and there was a middle piece missing. Like me you seem like someone willing to do the work, you don't just want to play music, but you want start a lifelong journey and continually improve. You can't work on everything at once, but many books are just different ways to approach a similar subject. They're all valid and mastering one will help you with another.

A good hand routine and starting slowly working on Groove Essentials will give you a way to start both getting the meat and potatoes down and be a good platform for your own creativity.


In addition I'd just pick one or two things in regard to style, independence, specific sound or technique that interests you the most and over time that will start to flow into your playing.

There are obviously many good reasons to at least get some guidance from a teacher, especially on hand technique, posture and stuff like that. It will be worth it even if you can only afford a few lessons now and then.

It's good to just pick a certain style for a while and really focus on that. Listen to and play along to music and try to rip off things you like and build on them. All skills we aquire are in the end just tools to express ourselves and being ablwe to focus on supporting the music and the musicians we play with.

I have a lot of time to practice, but it's essentially divided in two main categories. In the morning I start by warming up and going through an ever evolving routine with all sorts of fundamentals. There's no one way to do that. I recommend keeping a log and just learn and evolve from the process.

After lunch I concentrate only on playing music using records, play-a-longs, my own or other people's transcription. l Basically trying to similate a regular gigging situation.

IN the evenings if I got nothing else to do I just continue with some pad work, maybe watch a dvd or something for inspiration. Listening to music or sometimes just take the day off.

I guess few people unless they are in music school or teach music in the evenings, making just enough for room and board(and feeding my cats :)) my way is a bit extreme, but it's just a concept.

You jkust have to dive in and see what works for you and if you feel you meet a wall, get some lessons, go to a show, go jam or something like that.

Playing with almost people is almost always the best use of one's time when lerning an instrument, so whenever that's an option I'd go for that and skip or shorten that day's practice if necessary to make it happen. In the end that's what it's really about. Use your own discretion offcourse.
 

Pocket-full-of-gold

Platinum Member
My 2 cents? Honestly, you're at a very real risk of information overload here. This is where a good teacher is worth his/her weight in gold. They are able to collate and process this mass of information on your behalf and tailor it specifically to your needs. I get that you want to discover as many different angles as you can, but I can't help but think you're biting off more than you can chew here. I highly advise getting a teacher and approaching this correctly from the outset.
 

dtx3yamaha

Junior Member
My 2 cents? Honestly, you're at a very real risk of information overload here. This is where a good teacher is worth his/her weight in gold. They are able to collate and process this mass of information on your behalf and tailor it specifically to your needs. I get that you want to discover as many different angles as you can, but I can't help but think you're biting off more than you can chew here. I highly advise getting a teacher and approaching this correctly from the outset.
This is my worry too of course. I looked through Advanced Techniques for the Modern Drummer and I can't understand the notation although I have a CD I can listen to while studying the notations. I'm going through the rest of the material slowly to see what I can understand and what feels out of reach.
 

Mike St.Clair

Senior Member
If something is doing nothing but frustrating you, then you need to either move to something else, or seek some professional intervention
 
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