So, the year is coming to an end, progress report...


"Uncle Larry"
So, what can you do now that you couldn't do a year before? I am referring to drumming, but hey whatever comes to mind is all good. Progress is progress, personally or musically. You did progress some, right?

I am getting better at subdividing and am getting better at playing to a click. I really like it because it's like playing with another person in a way. Also I think my musical maturity is growing with each passing year. Attitude changes would reflect in your playing, so personal growth should mean musical maturity growth I would think. My drum solos are slowly improving. Emphasis on slowly. Ain't much, but slow and steady wins the race.

One thing that did occur to me this year...With all the thinking I do about the posts I write, that definitely has had a positive impact on my playing. Just thinking about drums and drumming shapes attitudes, which come out on the kit. They say thinking about shooting hoops is almost as good as actually shooting hoops, so time spent here is not wasted IMO.

Mad About Drums

Pollyanna's Agent
So, what can you do now that you couldn't do a year before? I am referring to drumming,
My biggest focus in terms of drumming, has been the less-is-more approach to drumming, removing all the "extras" we all like to incorporate within our patterns and grooves around the kit, in a attempt to reach the best "compromised" playing pattern for a given piece of music, not an easy task as a "sober" playing approach does not necessary mean a "simpler" approach, but I believe I've made significant progress within that concept.

With all the thinking I do about the posts I write, that definitely has had a positive impact on my playing. Just thinking about drums and drumming shapes attitudes, which come out on the kit. They say thinking about shooting hoops is almost as good as actually shooting hoops, so time spent here is not wasted IMO.
I can relate to your comment here Larry, many a time, when I leave the forum to go to do some practice in my basement, I can be influenced by a post I've just read, whatever is about technique, tuning, etc. This forum is influencial to the way I think about certain aspect of drumming and drums in general.

Good post this, thanks Larry :))


Senior Member
My progress has been slow this year due to an illness that I have been battling for the past six months and this has affected my individual practice time quite a bit. However, I very much agree with thinking about or visualizing being conducive to real application.
Even though progress has been slow it has happened to some degree. I guess I could mark my progress this past year as becoming more steady in my playing and learning to be less "busy" with fills and such. I have found that the "less is more" approach is more satisfying. My new desire is to force myself to sit down and learn Bonham triplet patterns and use them effectively. Don't known why I struggle with those so much. Seems to be a fairly easy concept! Oh well, something to look forward to in 2012!


Silver Member
New years eve is my last gig in a band I have been in for 2 1/2 years. I have stepped down to pursue other musical avenues. Progress wise, I feel that I have become a more relaxed player. I have been playing a lot in other bands that use loops and click tracks. I don't even hear the click track anymore I am so used to it. I would love to post a video of some of my playing, but I am in a transitional period right now, out with the old in with the new type of thing. I feel like I am crossing a bridge and I am right in the middle.
Merry Christmas, Yesdog.


"Uncle Larry"
It helps to think in terms of progress. Everyone should have a goal. If you don't have a goal, then the goal is to get a goal.


Platinum Member
I couldn't play drums at all a year ago.
Now I can play... a bit.

Exactly the same for me. The goal this year is to find other musicians to actually play with, even if casually. I also need to do at least one public show, even if nothing more than a song at an open mike nite to get my confidence up.

We'll see how it goes.


Platinum Member
Way too much stuff, but mainly learning to play swing and afro-cuban latin, I've been working on playing those styles with a good feel almost all year long.


Silver Member
I can almost play Cissy Strut,between, a you tube video of Zig playing it,and the half speed setting on windows media player I have most of it charted out,like you all said,it is always good to have some kind of goal playing wise. I am going to have it learned and grooving this year.

I have come to the decision that I will be leaving my weekend warrior variety band,If I am going to play that kind of stuff ,it should at least sound good and pay decent,neither of which is happening with that band.

This year I have told myself I will work on some technique,and try and challenge myself a bit.In between I guess I will look for a working band situation to drop into.


Senior Member
I went from being horribly unfunctional in all areas - especially live playing - to being able to deliver close to my best playing every time I gig. I can hold on to an AABA song form when the chord changes are disguised by jazzy guys doing jazzy things, and I can focus and hear much better. My timing is confident - not good, yet, but, not frightened or uncomfortable. My dynamics and touch are much better and I can comfortably function at very quiet acoustic playing in formal occasions no matter how my warmup went! I can throw a shape at things and simplify without dreading my survival if someone calls out an uncomfortable tempo or feel at a gig. I couldn't do any of these things in january.

Now that I can crawl on my own with the basics, I still need to get properly good at them. But I feel really good about the foundation I'm building and how I can express it and work with it in years to come. And I attribute a lot of that to here: When I first came onto this site; I was incredibly intimidated by the detail in the standards of playing expressed here, as in what a drummer needs to be able to know and do and how to conduct himself. I have hammered the same stuff from the same guys on this forum into my head again and again. After a while it slowly sinks in.

I'm very glad. I browsed a certain forum known for it's free lessons and advertising practises recently, one I once used to learn the absolute basics from scratch, and if I had stayed holed up with those guys I would certainly have thought I was much better than I was. And that would not be good for me.

And I found my bassist who is a professional musician and has really mentored me and fostered my playing, and built our group. I feel incredibly blessed to have someone like that. And in recent months I am getting paid as a musician mainly for a variety of function occasions and festivals as well as our own solo gigs.

The last year has been progressively really good to me, though I need to broaden my focus. I lost my job a while ago and had a illness for several months, and with it I kind of lost sight of my health and social relationships. A couple of years ago I was very fit and sociable, now I am fat and might be mistaken for having aspergers or a basement filled with victims. And when I do get talking I am a complete bore. I think aside from specific musical work a huge step is simply making myself more pleasant to be around and networking. At least I think I have just hid away from most of my bridges instead of burning them! I am meeting more interesting people than ever these days and it's frustrating not really adequately forging connections. But that is something I will fix.

Sorry for the biography! I only intended a paragraph at first, but you really gave me a lot to think about.


Senior Member
I find that I am more confident and more effortless in my approach to drumming. I think I have a voice on the drums, and am digging that voice more and more, people I play with seem to as well. I don't know if I've grown technically or versatility- wise in the past year, but in terms of playing rock, metal, and funk drumming in my own style, like I said, I have solidified my approach to playing my way, and playing "like me" has become quite easy, physically and mentally. I can play a set super solid, with great feel and time and maybe only 1 or 2 minor mistakes the whole time, like "cyborg with a chip for the set inserted into the side of my head in a USB port".

In the summer I played the last gig with a band I was quitting, and they let me do a 5 minute drum solo. I went nuts, played crazy math rock patterns, playing with one hand behind my back and just going nuts. People were bowing down at the stage and shouting out my name over and over again. Like I said, basically more confidence in playing in my own approach to the drum set.
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"Uncle Larry"
I'm loving the overviews here. We focus on minutia so much during the year that it's good to step back and get a much larger view of where we were as opposed to where we are now.

I know this guitar player who has been going to the open mic jams, like myself, for at least 8 years. The man owns probably 50 very expensive guitars and he brings a different one every week. I have not seen 1 iota of improvement in this man for the majority of a decade. He seems OK with it, it's all good, but I would have to slit my wrists if I was in the same place I was 8 years ago. The thing is, he plays on the level of a 10 year old that is just beginning. He's kind of a joke at the jams, it's sad. No one wants to play with him because he sucks and he steps on the singer, the other soloists, everyone. I will give him credit though, he gets the same exact pukey tone no matter which guitar he brings, at least he's consistent lol. I actually think I could do better than him, without even practicing. I mention him because he is the embodiment of the exact opposite of what I want to be.

Improvement is a constant motivator for me, and I can hear myself coming along in my recordings. I have so many recordings OMG, I don't know what to do with them all. Maybe someday when I'm old and crazy I'll feed the pigeons in the park and listen to them. Until then, I'll be slowly climbing the hill, one foot in front of the other.


Silver Member
i can safely say i'm 1000 times the drummer i was a year ago. and considering a year ago i had only been playing for like a week and new exactly 2 grooves, no fills, no rolls, had no clue what a rudiment was, nothing of tuning, no songs.......

now i can say i can play every bit as good as a guy who's been playing for a year. actually my teacher says i'm on par with most of his 2 year and a couple of his 3 year students but i work my ass off so at least it's showing...


Bought two snares- a cheap Dixon (sounds pretty good for a cheapo) and the Benny Greb Signature, two rides (or crashes, if you're that way inclined) 22" sand ride, 20" giant beat, an 18" Sabian Evolution Ozone crash, a few splashes, a cowbell, a stack of hardware, a crapload of sticks, mallets rods and brushes.

In terms of my playing, I feel I have really matured in terms of knowing what to play and when to play it. Being primarily a church player, it's something I always have to watch. listening to more drummers who don't overplay has really helped me.

In non-drumming news, I moved out with a friend of mine for 3 months till he got married, proposed to my girlfriend (she said yes ftw, big day is May 26th next year), bought a car.
Not really a this year thing, but in mid January, I will have been at my current employment for 7 years. Apparently that's a big thing these days to stay with the same mob for more than 2 years...

Overall, a good year. Bring on the next!

Midnite Zephyr

Platinum Member
I've had to spend this whole year without a drum set. I'm in the process of re-inventing myself. This is the first year in a very long time that I haven't played in front of an audience. I'm kinda taking a break from bands. I've jammed a few times this year with some friends, but beyond that, not much until I found this website. I'm listening to alot of what I'm hear and just trying to re-examine my approach to drumming, iron out some rough spots, and fine tune a few beats to take them to another level of complexity. My comfort level behind the kit has grown considerably in the last 10 years and I'm really happy about that, but I think I'll be wood shedding for most of next year working on what I mentioned already. So, hopefully by summertime I'll be ready to be a "hired gun" or wherever this road takes me. Basically, I want to step it up another level if you know what I mean.


Platinum Member
I've been the hired gun more so than ever this year, so I got to play with more people (a good thing when it happens!), and got paid to travel around the midwest and east coast on a few long weekends! Worked through some Chaffee material on my own, even took a great lesson with a former Chaffee protege (not Vinnie or Steve, but close!). Recorded an original song, mostly in 7/8, with friends that I contributed to, and I'm proud of it! Purchased a guitar and keyboard, and have begun in earnest learning both.

Sort of feel like I'm bragging, here. :/ It all came with a price.

keep it simple

Platinum Member
This has been quite a drummy year for me. Knocked together a new kit, started to reposition a drum business, got some new designs underway, & I'm making a few less playing mistakes/ not quite as rusty than I was a year ago. My band has settled this year too, with a great lineup where everyone gets on well & the result is greater than the sum of it's parts. All in all, from a drumming pov, very positive.


Platinum Member
Nothing much. Just learnt a few songs with the band, and I'm maybe a bit better at playing quietly with energy.


Senior Member
Heel toe :) with my right foot anyway. It didn't take too long to get used to once I really focused on it, but I'm hoping I can get decent with my left foot heel toe by the end of next year haha. Ghost notes as well, don't think I could play them last year. Grooving so much more than last year too. Bear in mind this is the difference between 1 and 2 years playing, so I've picked up a fair bit :)

Recorded an original song, mostly in 7/8, with friends that I contributed to, and I'm proud of it!
Well done! I've started to use odd time sigs with my band this year too. God, so much stuff when I think about it.

Sort of feel like I'm bragging, here. :/
Hey, you've got to acknowledge your achievements and be proud of yourself sometimes :)


Gold Member
Great year and very pleased at how drumming has added an incredible dimension to my life. Such an awesome hobby for me. I envy you guys that do it as a day job...but anyways...

This year marks my 2nd year of returnig to drumming after a 25 year absence. I've improved my time keeping, drum fills and accents. Covered several songs on Youtube. Jammed a little bit with my kids on some rocks songs we all like. Overall - fantastic growth and satisfaction!

I've picked up a few new toys this year too; replaced a cracked Zildj 20" A Custom crash, Trick Dominator double pedal, Tama Stewart Copeland snare, PDP ACE snare (impulse + sale). The snares have contributed to my tuning and understanding of different shells.

For 2012, more playing, practicing, and drum covers. Drummer. Not collector...