What Is The Deal With These Silly Reading/Technique Threads?

S

Stickit

Guest
[QUOTEThere are a 4 voices in my head telling me what to play at all times.[/QUOTE]

Have you sought psychiatric help?
 

keep it simple

Platinum Member
Yes I count every measure in a language that sounds like this,
1 a2ena3 a4na1 2 3 a4 na1. There is a separate voice in my head that keeps the measure count.
If I play a long roll I simply count the beats for the duration of the roll
If I have a 1 beat rest, I simply say the word rest in my head.
If it is a 4 beat stop, I say rest, rest, rest, rest 1 and come in on the 1.
there is also a voice in my head that says the rudiment such as flam, Paradiddle, etc.There is a voice that is thinking ahead that speaks in verbel phrases.
There are a 4 voices in my head telling me what to play at all times.
Now that's something I can't do Bob. Perhaps in the very formative stages of rehearsing a new tune, or a significant new arrangement, or ground up composition, but never during a performance. The counting thing is a structural blueprint thing for me. It describes the foundations, but nothing more than that. Just like building a house, I don't look at the foundation drawings when building the roof. When I'm performing, the only thing I have in my head is the song. I've even mostly forgotten the structure, leaving all my limited brain power to concentrate on meter, groove & dynamic. If I had to count whilst performing, there's no way I'd have the capacity for those feel & performance elements that matter so much. Counting, just as sight reading, takes away the organic elements of a performance IMO, and replaces them with a degree of sterility. Of course, the caveat is that we're all different, & that is enough for celebration right there.
 

Aeolian

Platinum Member
OK, I'm only speaking for myself and your little snide remark about being capable of not wanting to do something, whew, you got me. You the man.
You say being able to read makes you a better player, I say you are wrong. I know guys who took band at school and learn to read note for note, I can out play them easily. I'm not talking about speed or crazy technique, I'm talking about just playing with musical taste. So you see, just because you can read music, does not automatically move you to the front of the drum line.
See, there is the cause and effect confusion I was talking about. I'm sure you can play rings around certain other less skilled/talented players. But it isn't the formal lessons or having learned to read that makes them worse drummers than you. It's that they don't have the musical sensibilities, talent or probably the dedication. In fact, if it wasn't for the lessons and learning music intellectually, they wouldn't be able to play anything at all.

Not having learned what you are doing is not what makes you better. It's that you are a more natural musician.

Now, consider what would happen if you took that natural musicianship and added learning how music works. You've just short circuited years of listening to records, slowing them down, putting in hours and hours figuring out what that cool thing they were doing was. Because you either recognize what it is right off from knowing the theory behind it, or you got hold of a transcription and read it. Consider how fast you could advance by being able to assimilate things that easily.

Yeah, there's some effort to develop the foundation. But the rewards are insane if getting better and being able to play anything that strikes your fancy matter to you.

Imagine if you were illiterate and couldn't write your thoughts down on these forums. And you couldn't understand what other people where saying. Your world would be limited to the folks you could meet face to face and convince to show you things. You could get by, but why handicap yourself like that?
 

Swiss Matthias

Platinum Member
I would argue that reading is not the language of music; it is one language of music:
Of course, written music isn't any language per se, it's just the attempt to bring the sound of paper (and quite a poor one actually...).


By the way, nice post Aeolian! You make the advantage of knowing how to read pretty clear yet in a perfectly neutral way.

Some are still confusing the ability to read with - I don't know - the urge to count everything all the time, sight reading, being stuck
with notes instead of being creative, whatever... The truth is, notes just try to catch music on paper, and a great musician catches the
notes back and makes music again out of it.

It's really just instead of saying "bum ba bum ba" there are some dots and beams on a paper. What's dangerous about that? If I say
bum ba bum ba to my student, he probably forgets it as soon as he gets home, if he has the dots on the paper he can remember.
But whether his "bum ba" sounds great really isn't dependent on the fact that he read it from paper, or recalled it somehow else.
 
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JT1

Silver Member
I don't think anyone with the contrary view to yours went that route. We are all obviously reacting to this small handful who celebrate their inability to read as if its some kind of religious lifestyle decision that actually improves and enhances their abilities as musicians.

That's a joke, and hampers the learning experience. And anyone who drinks that kool aid is living in a dream world.

It's also the kind of thing that is supposed to irritate people who are trying to be serious about this music stuff. To me the miltant drumming existentialist believes that all greatness is extracted from a 4th dimension and above reality that repudiates the absurd work demanded of us poor shlubs who exist on the earth plane. This is also many of the same crowd who repudiate technique lessons and contrary points of view. Yet they are the first to claim we don't get them.

Man if you're having a great experience without the use of written music that's great. But in no way is it a superior approach.

Does that make sense?
Yes it does make sense and now if you go back and read my post again in no way in there do I brag about it being superior ok? I always thought you were more observant than that Matt.

Nor did I ever say I was 'celebrating' I said I was happy with what I'm doing, it's hardly me jumping about going 'yay I can't read music'... even though I CAN read the basics.

Yes if you want to be open for a career in drumming you need to read music fluently, I'm not dumb, pretty much everyone knows that however if you have started a band and you like to do your own thing it'll probably be one of the last things on your mind.

So please stop assuming that we think reading is a bad idea, cause that's not what we are saying, we are simply saying we are getting along fine without it.

Also you can take the music seriously if you want, I know you've made quite a name for yourself taking music seriously and I respect that but you know, I'm having fun and I'm not turning it into a chore as I already have a career and other commitments that make me a living.
 

JPW

Silver Member
Why didn't any of my teachers ask if I wanted to learn to read or not? They just corrupted me without even asking about it. And they get paid for it! How silly is that? There should be somekind of a law protecting your fragile creative soul from this kind of evil stuff.

Why isn't there a debate about recording vs not recording yourself?

And I know one even better: counting vs not counting.

And a classic: hit a drum or not. I personally hit them sometimes, with a stick!

(yes, this thread got more serious)
 
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bigd

Silver Member
This thread ROCKS!!!!!!!!!

Most entertainment I've had in a while.

Matt Smith you go boy!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hilarious!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

mattsmith

Platinum Member
Yes it does make sense and now if you go back and read my post again in no way in there do I brag about it being superior ok? I always thought you were more observant than that Matt.

Nor did I ever say I was 'celebrating' I said I was happy with what I'm doing, it's hardly me jumping about going 'yay I can't read music'... even though I CAN read the basics.


So please stop assuming that we think reading is a bad idea, cause that's not what we are saying, we are simply saying we are getting along fine without it.

Also you can take the music seriously if you want, I know you've made quite a name for yourself taking music seriously and I respect that but you know, I'm having fun and I'm not turning it into a chore as I already have a career and other commitments that make me a living.
I was observant...observant enough to notice that you were not one of those who celebrated an inability to read music. Now please go back and see if I mentioned you in any way. What I observed was that a reasonable poster had mistakedly assumed we were attacking everyone with the viewpoint that reading was not always essential for what they wanted out of music. I even asked Is that fair so as not to associate you specifically with some of these other guys who are touting their ignorance a positive lifestyle decision.

Did I also actually read someone call music readers Ivory Tower?

Wow, dude, come down off that cloud you're on, I was not talking about you.
I don't want to learn to twirl my sticks, get a award for "the fastest drummer" or learn to play the accordian either.
Oh I'm sorry you were talking about somebody else?

Look, why not just take your axe to the pms?

Man, this is the single goofiest thread I've ever seen here, and that's saying a lot.

Great post Aeolian.
 
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last man to bat

Senior Member
How about the life enhancement that comes from learning something that makes you a more rounded musician? And how about the concept that learning music is also about the perpetuation of music?

I see what you are saying Matt, and you are right, reading for me has been a wonderful experience as I have learnt new things. But I have learnt things that I want to know now at this stage in my life. I am glad that when I was 14 I didn't have lessons/read etc. Everything I played was original, as in I had never come across it before, it was a journey of discovery where everything I played I discovered.

Now I look at playing as using everything I have already learnt in different combinations. I am now pooling from an already existent world of rudiments, rhythms etc. Everytime I work out something new I am happy, but usually to discover that it is not new at all...

I have lost the excitement of one kind of discovery to be replaced by another...

I'm not sure that I am explaining myself very well. I do not mean to say that I was a happy ignorant, but that I used to think about music and putting a groove down in a different way than the way I do these days.


You're always a very nice guy, but again this isn't either/or. It is entirely appropriate to decide whether you want to read or not for whatever reason. But questioning if reading actually improves you is not an aesthetic consideration.

But I think it is a consideration of how reading might improve you, how you view music from then on... It does most definitely change your angle on things. I think we need people from both sides of the reading not reading world, it is part of what helps to make music diverse.

Look, this is such a no brainer that even Jay Norum and I are in total lockstep agreement. And when that happens either there's an absolute truth in play or hell has truly frozen over.

Yeah Jay I know. I feel wierd too.


It is always nice to find common ground ;)

BTW I am not here for an argument I genuinely enjoy the discussion
 

mattsmith

Platinum Member
BTW I am not here for an argument I genuinely enjoy the discussion
No worries man. I'm enjoying it too. I'm presently back in the US for a few days and its been cool sitting around and jumping more into the discussions. I always enjoy conversations with heat but still within the tent. A couple of people here have tried to open the flap, but so far so good.
 

bobdadruma

Platinum Member
Now that's something I can't do Bob. Perhaps in the very formative stages of rehearsing a new tune, or a significant new arrangement, or ground up composition, but never during a performance. The counting thing is a structural blueprint thing for me. It describes the foundations, but nothing more than that. Just like building a house, I don't look at the foundation drawings when building the roof. When I'm performing, the only thing I have in my head is the song. I've even mostly forgotten the structure, leaving all my limited brain power to concentrate on meter, groove & dynamic. If I had to count whilst performing, there's no way I'd have the capacity for those feel & performance elements that matter so much. Counting, just as sight reading, takes away the organic elements of a performance IMO, and replaces them with a degree of sterility. Of course, the caveat is that we're all different, & that is enough for celebration right there.
I was taught how to play in a competition Drum Corps.
This is how I was taught to play while I marched.
When I began playing a kit I simply carried it over.

In Competition Drum Corps every sticking, and step has to be exactly like the rest of the drum line.
That is the reason for counting.
I have never known what it is like to play without counting and saying the rudiment in my head.
 
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S

Stickit

Guest
I was observant...observant enough to notice that you were not one of those who celebrated an inability to read music. Now please go back and see if I mentioned you in any way. What I observed was that a reasonable poster had mistakedly assumed we were attacking everyone with the viewpoint that reading was not always essential for what they wanted out of music. I even asked Is that fair so as not to associate you specifically with some of these other guys who are touting their ignorance a positive lifestyle decision.

Did I also actually read someone call music readers Ivory Tower?




Oh I'm sorry you were talking about somebody else?

Look, why not just take your axe to the pms?

Man, this is the single goofiest thread I've ever seen here, and that's saying a lot.

Great post Aeolian.
Matt, I did not realize you could play the accordian, but believe me, I was not refering to anyone in particular. Sorry for the misunderstanding.
 

mattsmith

Platinum Member
To further the point I'm trying to make please check out this guy. His name is Louis Cato and I've mentioned him before. Louis is in possession of one of the best natural funk grooves in the music business today. He is a good friend and is currently laying down tracks for my new show. Here he is with Marcus Miller playing Freddie Hubbard's Mr. Clean.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dxX4pOHtsHI

Now check out what's next to that drumset. It's a sheet of music. The reason it's there is because Louis didn't know Mr. Clean and because of that music he knew it within seconds. He didn't need to hear it a few times. And he was able to use both the music and the fantastic ear to nail it cold one time on a much higher level. All you who think the music is going to mess with your fluidity, what do you think? Does it sound like that sheet of music ruined any of that?

Seriously folks. it's a myth. It's not an either/or. It absolutely aids the natural stuff too because it stimulates a total thinking and feeling process.

Now here's Louis again, this time playing the bass that he uses when backing R&B singers like Bryan McNight and when he's helping with my project.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5SujUrKHL5I&feature=related

Wow, more natural feeling and fluidity again huh?

But you know how he learned to play bass?

Notational reading...and the reason I know this is because my father was his teacher. This notational reading also made him an all state tuba player in high school. In other words he gets to not only play a piece in the chess match, he gets to be the whole board.

Give me this approach any time.

Finally let's settle this issue once and for all. No one is ridiculing anyone who doesn't want to go the whole 9 yards. No one called you any of several names I've seen implied on this thread either. Those are things you claimed we implied as if mind reading was yet another talent acquired when you made the conscious decision not to read. All I ask is that if you want to actually try to debate a contrary view about something as reaching as this that you please stick to what is actually seen on your computer screen. Moreover, stand behind the words you originally made. Don't step back when you don't like the direction and say you didn't say something when you did. And if this is a memory issue I will be glad to provide your quote for you.

Yes, I know some of this sounds caustic to some. But when it comes to issues like this there has to be a line drawn. This is one of the most valuable music tools there is we're talking about. You simply don't devalue that. And OK if the 2-3 here don't want to listen, there are those 150 or so who are hanging around lurking, meaning there very well may be some of those who can profit from a balanced discussion.

Matt, I did not realize you could play the accordian, but believe me, I was not refering to anyone in particular. Sorry for the misunderstanding.
And that's why I didn't boldface that in my post... so there would be no misunderstanding.

Seriously man, why not give it up the gimmicks or consider the pms already requested?
 
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bobdadruma

Platinum Member
Let's not forget one important thing.
Just because you are reading music doesn't mean that you can't stray from what is written a bit when you want to.

Reading music and counting when you play does not make you a robot or a drum machine.
I often change what I am playing to fit what the band is playing at the time.
If the band changes, I will change!
I still always count time and measures.

Here is an example of how counting measures can help.
Last week our guitar player had a brain fart on stage and he didn't play the same lead that he always plays during a song.
I was counting and I knew that the lead lasted for 8 measures and then we stop for 4 beats.
I stopped on the 8 and my bass player who doesn't count missed the stop because he was waiting for the lead guitar to play what he was expecting to hear.
 
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droveto

Senior Member
There's nothing wrong with being satisfied with not learning to read and playing happily along to things you already know, but to combine that attitude with the idea of becoming a pro is not going to work out for most people.
It's all about odds. You can still beat the odds with a few less than great decisions, but if you want to have the best odds of achieving something, you need to learn as much as you can and being able to communicate with other musicians without talking or playing your instrument is highly valuable.
There should be very little debate on this.
 
S

Stickit

Guest
To further the point I'm trying to make please check out this guy. His name is Louis Cato and I've mentioned him before. Louis is in possession of one of the best natural funk grooves in the music business today. He is a good friend and is currently laying down tracks for my new show. Here he is with Marcus Miller playing Freddie Hubbard's Mr. Clean.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dxX4pOHtsHI

Now check out what's next to that drumset. It's a sheet of music. The reason it's there is because Louis didn't know Mr. Clean and because of that music he knew it within seconds. He didn't need to hear it a few times. And he was able to use both the music and the fantastic ear to nail it cold one time on a much higher level. All you who think the music is going to mess with your fluidity, what do you think? Does it sound like that sheet of music ruined any of that?

Seriously folks. it's a myth. It's not an either/or. It absolutely aids the natural stuff too because it stimulates a total thinking and feeling process.

Now here's Louis again, this time playing the bass that he uses when backing R&B singers like Bryan McNight and when he's helping with my project.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5SujUrKHL5I&feature=related

Wow, more natural feeling and fluidity again huh?

But you know how he learned to play bass?

Notational reading...and the reason I know this is because my father was his teacher. This notational reading also made him an all state tuba player in high school. In other words he gets to not only play a piece in the chess match, he gets to be the whole board.

Give me this approach any time.

Finally let's settle this issue once and for all. No one is ridiculing anyone who doesn't want to go the whole 9 yards. No one called you any of several names I've seen implied on this thread either. Those are things you claimed we implied as if mind reading was yet another talent acquired when you made the conscious decision not to read. All I ask is that if you want to actually try to debate a contrary view about something as reaching as this that you please stick to what is actually seen on your computer screen. Moreover, stand behind the words you originally made. Don't step back when you don't like the direction and say you didn't say something when you did. And if this is a memory issue I will be glad to provide your quote for you.

Yes, I know some of this sounds caustic to some. But when it comes to issues like this there has to be a line drawn. This is one of the most valuable music tools there is we're talking about. You simply don't devalue that. And OK if the 2-3 here don't want to listen, there are those 150 or so who are hanging around lurking, meaning there very well may be some of those who can profit from a balanced discussion.


And that's why I didn't boldface that in my post... so there would be no misunderstanding.

Seriously man, why not give it up the gimmicks or consider the pms already requested?
So, you're saying he never rehearsed with this band before the show? I also noticed the guy had good chops, read or not, you have to have the chops first, it looked to me like most of what he did was improvised.
 

Steamer

Platinum Member
There's nothing wrong with being satisfied with not learning to read and playing happily along to things you already know, but to combine that attitude with the idea of becoming a pro is not going to work out for most people.
It's all about odds. You can still beat the odds with a few less than great decisions, but if you want to have the best odds of achieving something, you need to learn as much as you can and being able to communicate with other musicians without talking or playing your instrument is highly valuable.
There should be very little debate on this.
Exactly...........

I've heard this belief floating around since I first picked up the sticks in the late 60's.

When I heard some older amateur players in my town tell me this a part of me thought it was suspect from the get go. Same story every time back then, learning to read or taking drum lessons will take away my natural creativity and edge. I was right in thinking as still only a child...... pure HOGWASH!

Same story, different time. still pure HOGWASH! :}

I've learned music and many things related to drumming by ear and intuition and trusting my emotions COMBINED with a full musical education well in high school. WHY?....because early on music was my #1 passion and I knew deep inside the voice telling me that my "tool box" needed to be well equipped if any hope of being a pro player down the road was to happen. Again WHY? Competition is insane in that department so why choose to be anything but being best equipped to take on the challenge and the challenges that were to come. Logic would prevale on what to do....nothing different today in my view.

Remember these are thoughts to consider for those wishing to become serious professionals about it in a competitive world and I hold nothing against those who just do it for their own fun and enjoyment.
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
There's nothing wrong with being satisfied with not learning to read and playing happily along to things you already know, but to combine that attitude with the idea of becoming a pro is not going to work out for most people.
It's all about odds. You can still beat the odds with a few less than great decisions, but if you want to have the best odds of achieving something, you need to learn as much as you can and being able to communicate with other musicians without talking or playing your instrument is highly valuable.
There should be very little debate on this.
This is the best way to sum it up.

Pretty much can end the thread right there.

Excellent post.
 

mattsmith

Platinum Member
Exactly...........

I've heard this belief floating around since I first picked up the sticks in the late 60's.

When I heard some older amateur players in my town tell me this a part of me thought it was suspect from the get go. Same story every time back then, learning to read or taking drum lessons will take away my natural creativity and edge. I was right in thinking as still only a child...... pure HOGWASH!

Same story, different time. still pure HOGWASH! :}

I've learned music and many things related to drumming by ear and intuition and trusting my emotions COMBINED with a full musical education well in high school. WHY?....because early on music was my #1 passion and I knew deep inside the voice telling me that my "tool box" needed to be well equipped if any hope of being a pro player down the road was to happen. Again WHY? Competition is insane in that department so why choose to be anything but being best equipped to take on the challenge and the challenges that were to come. Logic would prevale on what to do....nothing different today in my view.

Remember these are thoughts to consider for those wishing to become serious professionals about it in a competitive world and I hold nothing against those who just do it for their own fun and enjoyment.
Exactly Stan.

But time and time again, you will still have a defensive and belligerent hobby player try to stand a guy like you down as if his pov is even remotely equal to yours. I've also been seeing this in the tiny amount of time that I've been involved. My theory is there are a lot of guys who chose another direction in their lives always believing they could be a guy like you the moment they decided. Well I don't think it works that way. There are guys who do it for fun and guys who do it for real. A guy like you is the real thing. In your world there was never thought of an alternative. But I seriously believe there are people who come to the Internet believing they can become serious musicians anytime they please, but chose not to because of their self described real lives, while somehow justifying that as reasons for why they don't do certain things. Then amazingly, they demand you play along with that skewered reasoning.

Look, God bless everybody who loves to play. But these fantasy camp one on ones got old a long time ago.

Does that mean a less serious player can't have a serious pov?

Of course not.

But when you get in front of thousands of people worldwide preaching voodoo and fairy dust, it really isn't proper to make snitty remarks about something you're not even prepared to discuss and not think you will not be downsized accordingly. Then when that happens don't brood and stamp around because you didn't get your way. You would never have such an opportunity in real life, so why would you expect a break here?
 
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