What are your drumming strengths? What are you good at?

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
I don't know about you, but I always tend to focus on my weaknesses when I play and talk to others. Lord knows, I have my fair share of weaknesses. With that said, in my 20+ years of playing, I feel like I can do a few things well. I'm curious as to what you feel like YOU can do well?

Here's the thing: You aren't allowed to self-deprecate here. In other words, don't write things like "I'm really good at screwing up," or "I'm fantastic at getting stage fright." Those sorts of statements are NOT allowed here!

I thought this could serve a couple of purposes:

1.) Because it's actually good to brag on yourself every once in a while and be proud of what you've accomplished.

and

2.) There might be someone out there that might need help with something you excel at, and he/she might have questions.

I'll take a turn later, so I'm opening it up to you.

So, what are you good at?
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
There's not enough server space to list all my strengths :p

One of my most valued strengths...I'm pretty good at playing interesting sounding drum parts at super low volumes. So dynamics. I'm good at dynamics, I've developed what I consider a deft touch over the years. I'm especially proud of the way I can make a crash cymbal blossom...meaning reach peak volume, about 1 second after I hit it.

God that feels strange to just come out and say it like that.
 

DrummerCA35

Senior Member
Wow, this is an interesting one. I'm hesitant to post this, because this board is filled with bad-ass, stellar pros, who are formally schooled in drumming...who could out-chop me easily...but I'll do it away. It feels strange to try and say what our strengths are, but this seems like a very different post, and I'll give it a try.

I think I am pretty good at making the most of what I have, overcoming very difficult challenges, and learning to adapt. Because of a drunk driver, I am a below knee amputee (right leg). Also, my left leg is very badly damaged and have very limited ankle movement.

That means that:

1. I obviously have no foot or ankle on the right side, and play the bass drum with a "heel up" method, with my prosthetic. (I used to be "heel-down" before.

2. I have very limited ankle movement with my left leg. That means if I want to open/close the hi-hat it's with a "heel up" method. That makes disco beats like the one on "Car Wash" challenging.

Since the damage to my legs, I have re-learned how to do things and am able to do nearly everything I did before, or close to it, just in different ways. I have learned to incorporate double bass licks into play playing,and try to do them tastefully. I have learned to adapt my parts, using a double pedal and using a second closed hi-hat.

If I have long pants on, people don't even know. I'm told I play better now than before.

And aside from all that, I think I'm fairly good at playing "tight." Playing a groove with intensity and locking in very tight with the bass player. I think it's that "feel" that people have responded to and complimented me on.

I also think I'm pretty good and playing tastefully---at least I strive to do so.

I played a gig on Saturday at a winery where we had over a hundred people dancing to our band and the energy was amazing...one of our best gigs. Moments like that make it all worth it.

Again, I know there real bad ass players on here, but I guess we all have things we are good at, independent of the level we are at....
 

andtfoot

Member
I reckon one of my greatest strengths, and one I've been complimented on a few times, is listening. E.g. being able to adapt and respond to the other musicians and work with them to make the music more interesting/dynamic/solid/etc.
Probably brought about from staring learning by joining a band, and more recently from jumping into varied open jam sessions both locally and while travelling for work.
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
1. I have never walked away from a band with any sort of animosity. I've always remained on good speaking terms with former bandmates. There was only one manager I had that I detested and one sound guy I could live without, but besides this, I've always gotten along great with current and former bandmates.

2. I'm really good and playing a slow, swinging 6/8 song.

3. I'm good at playing quietly yet effectively. This comes from playing over 20 years in different churches.

4. In terms of showing up for a gig, I'm always early...like...early to a fault. Supposed to play at 6? I'll be there at 4:30. Drives my wife nuts. I like to get my stuff set up and then chill out for a while if I can and change clothes if I need to. I hate playing immediately after I set up.

5. I play really well with a click track/metronome.

6. Only under extenuating circumstances do I get nervous. It's a rarity.

7. When it comes to playing drums in the studio, I'm a "Johnny One-Take" in most instances.

8. I can play a good train beat.

9. I'm good at mixing recordings and hearing stuff no one else does.

10. I'm pretty good at tuning drums.
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
Wow, this is an interesting one. I'm hesitant to post this, because this board is filled with bad-ass, stellar pros, who are formally schooled in drumming...who could out-chop me easily...but I'll do it away. It feels strange to try and say what our strengths are, but this seems like a very different post, and I'll give it a try.

I think I am pretty good at making the most of what I have, overcoming very difficult challenges, and learning to adapt. Because of a drunk driver, I am a below knee amputee (right leg). Also, my left leg is very badly damaged and have very limited ankle movement.

That means that:

1. I obviously have no foot or ankle on the right side, and play the bass drum with a "heel up" method, with my prosthetic. (I used to be "heel-down" before.

2. I have very limited ankle movement with my left leg. That means if I want to open/close the hi-hat it's with a "heel up" method. That makes disco beats like the one on "Car Wash" challenging.

Since the damage to my legs, I have re-learned how to do things and am able to do nearly everything I did before, or close to it, just in different ways. I have learned to incorporate double bass licks into play playing,and try to do them tastefully. I have learned to adapt my parts, using a double pedal and using a second closed hi-hat.

If I have long pants on, people don't even know. I'm told I play better now than before.

And aside from all that, I think I'm fairly good at playing "tight." Playing a groove with intensity and locking in very tight with the bass player. I think it's that "feel" that people have responded to and complimented me on.

I also think I'm pretty good and playing tastefully---at least I strive to do so.

I played a gig on Saturday at a winery where we had over a hundred people dancing to our band and the energy was amazing...one of our best gigs. Moments like that make it all worth it.

Again, I know there real bad ass players on here, but I guess we all have things we are good at, independent of the level we are at....

Man, this is fantastic! Thanks for sharing, and keep playing!
 

drummer-russ

Gold Member
Wow, this is an interesting one. I'm hesitant to post this, because this board is filled with bad-ass, stellar pros, who are formally schooled in drumming...who could out-chop me easily...but I'll do it away. It feels strange to try and say what our strengths are, but this seems like a very different post, and I'll give it a try.

I think I am pretty good at making the most of what I have, overcoming very difficult challenges, and learning to adapt. Because of a drunk driver, I am a below knee amputee (right leg). Also, my left leg is very badly damaged and have very limited ankle movement.

That means that:

1. I obviously have no foot or ankle on the right side, and play the bass drum with a "heel up" method, with my prosthetic. (I used to be "heel-down" before.

2. I have very limited ankle movement with my left leg. That means if I want to open/close the hi-hat it's with a "heel up" method. That makes disco beats like the one on "Car Wash" challenging.

Since the damage to my legs, I have re-learned how to do things and am able to do nearly everything I did before, or close to it, just in different ways. I have learned to incorporate double bass licks into play playing,and try to do them tastefully. I have learned to adapt my parts, using a double pedal and using a second closed hi-hat.

If I have long pants on, people don't even know. I'm told I play better now than before.

And aside from all that, I think I'm fairly good at playing "tight." Playing a groove with intensity and locking in very tight with the bass player. I think it's that "feel" that people have responded to and complimented me on.

I also think I'm pretty good and playing tastefully---at least I strive to do so.

I played a gig on Saturday at a winery where we had over a hundred people dancing to our band and the energy was amazing...one of our best gigs. Moments like that make it all worth it.

Again, I know there real bad ass players on here, but I guess we all have things we are good at, independent of the level we are at....
You are, without a doubt, a badass drummer! Props to you!
 

drummer-russ

Gold Member
I learn my parts.

I show up early.

I try to play the part as the drummer played in. (cover band)

I try to work on communicating to our Facebook fans and the venue facebook.

I keep trying to get better.

Otherwise I am a pretty mediocre drummer. Better than some but not a drummer people ooh and ahh over.
 

Wave Deckel

Gold Member
- I am early at gigs, so I can set and tune everything up in time. Thus I have time to help others when I am done.

- I do not get nervous on stage. I stay calm, relax, enjoy the moment and play my stuff.

- I can learn new songs very fast and can play to most songs that I have never heard before instantly. (Thus improvisation with other musicians is no problem)

That is all what I can say, when it comes to my strengths. The following is what my band members/other gigging-musicians said repeatedly about me:

- I am very good at dynamics and let the music breathe

- I am good at keeping time, even when the rhythm changes in a song (from e.g. 4/4 to 6/8 and back to 4/4)

- I am a calm, honest and humble person

- I improved the sound of my current band by 200% with my playing and motivate and push the other band members to new heights due to my drumming (They say that they never had such fun making music since I joined them and that they can play now things that were considered impossible before, with their old drummer)

- I am a musician (Yay! That's really a compliment), listen to the songs, play what is needed and don't try to pull off a show. And I listen to what's wrong in a song-performance and point it out (in a friendly way).

- I play a really good bassdrum.

Still, technically, I consider myself to be mediocre at best. I cannot compete with all those stick-twirling chop-masters that hit their drums like a machine gun. (But I am also not really interested in doing that to be honest.) Although I consider myself a so-so drummer who can do some basic stuff, people say that I am very good drummer. I tend to think that they exaggerate, want to be friendly.

@DrummerCA35: Hat's off to you. Really impressive.
 

mikel

Platinum Member
I am not a great drummer but I am a natural. I never found playing difficult, even from day one. Never had a lesson and never thought I needed help to do what I want to do. I have been told I am an intuitive drummer and parts I invent on the fly seem to fit. Other musicians like playing with me and say I am inventive. Right, bragging over.
 

Erberderber

Senior Member
I can play instantly with people I've never met before. I learn quickly and I'm never that band member who asks, "How does it go again?". I have no problem creating my own parts for original songs and I don't miss rehearsals or arrive late.
 

BacteriumFendYoke

Platinum Member
Pretty bad drummer but:

I always turn up when asked, often earlier with spares in my bag. Case in point, on a gig I did at the weekend, the hi-hat clutch had been taken by another band so I pulled mine out of my cymbal bag and got to work.

I can play with a lot of power if needed but I respond to the band and only do so when absolutely appropriate. This means I can be very sparse and low with my parts when needed.

I have pretty good time and can play at a consistent volume, as well as playing low-volume rimshots.

I help others out when they have technical issues at gigs, like running behind the desk if there's a sound issue and am quite capable of stepping in (i.e. setup, run and pack) the PA to a high standard. I also make realistic demands of any sound engineer with my monitor mix and know what is, and what isn't possible - asking for it clearly. I can also record, edit and mix to a high standard.

I'm quick to setup and quick to get off the stage.

There's a lot of things that I do badly but these are the things I do well.
 

Thunder 42

Silver Member
Efficient set-up, take-down, haul away.

Dependable and prompt. Will be on-time or early and always come prepared.

Self motivated, driven to prep, excel and contribute to a great band making great music.

Flexible - team player, play to the room, other sound dictates.

Yes, good listener too, and ready to flow, change, play spontaneous.
 
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Jhostetler

Senior Member
This is a great thread! With so much negativity on the internet it's refreshing to see folks speaking positively about themselves! :)

What I like to think of myself and what I've heard from others is:

1. I can lay down a solid groove.

2. I'm well versed in several styles of music. I may not be the best at any one of them, but I've been very fortunate to have many teachers who pushed me to learn genres of music that I previously had no interest in.

3. Getting the gig. Numbers 1 and 2 led into this. At college I was the go-to drummer for any studio sessions or gigs that called for music styles outside of rock and pop.

3. Improvisation. Lots of musical/opera pit and sight reading sessions.

4. Reliable. Anything I say "yes" to I commit the time and energy required. I have never backed out of a gig without a good reason.

5. Listening. I play my part according to what the band is doing, playing off of solos, dynamics, tempo, the unexpected amp blowout, etc,...

I think that's it for now. I love reading what everyone has to say here!
 

Superman

Gold Member
Wow, this is an interesting one. I'm hesitant to post this, because this board is filled with bad-ass, stellar pros, who are formally schooled in drumming...who could out-chop me easily... Because of a drunk driver, I am a below knee amputee (right leg). Also, my left leg is very badly damaged and have very limited ankle movement.
You sir are the bad-ass. You are an inspiration, thank you for sharing your story.
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
I listen and react to music. That's it. People seem to like playing with me because I play with them, not setting time for them, not doing my own thing, just listening and playing what I hear in my head to compliment.
 

calan

Silver Member
I grasp song forms super fast.
I'm reliable
I watch/listen for cues
If I can't be flashy, I can at least be solid
I don't have nerves, or really get rattled by anything
After doing local jams for years, I can sit in and play with just about anything with some degree of success... well, at least without a trainwreck.
My gear is appropriate for the occasion, tuned well, and in good repair


Perhaps most importantly, I own a trailer and a vehicle that doesn't notice when it's hooked up; and have a rehearsal space with no noise restraints that's about as secure as a bank. I suppose those aren't actual drumming strengths.
 
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