What misconceptions did you have as a beginner?

imispgh

Senior Member
First I will concede I have only been playing a year and a half. As such I am probably not qualified to answer my own question.

1 - When I first got my drums I didn't pay attention to snare buzz and I thought the ring in the toms was annoying. Now after having acquired a mixer and mics and listening to myself played back solo or with drumless music or music i created it is obvious that the drums need to ring or the sound sounds chopped off way too abruptly. Most of the ring does not make it though. Now the only moongel I may use is on the snare edge. I use that to control how much of that snare ring I want - which is much more noticeable than on the toms. (Hitting the center versus the edge helps control that as well)

2 - Rudiments - here we go - this one might be quite controversial and something I wind up looking back on in a few years when I ask the question again and think was actually a beginner's misconception. I did them in the beginning and worked through several practice routines and hated it. So I stopped. I play purely for fun. I do work on several styles of music but have no interest at all in practicing something I don't find fun.(Now I am a home drummer and not in a band so I probably have the luxury of having this opinion).

3 - I completely misunderstood what it takes to be a drummer. While it helps i thought being basically coordinated and having a good sense of rhythm would be enough. it's not. the hardest part has been the memorization and long periods of repetition. You have to have a fantastic memory to be a musician/drummer. And holding the pocket in some songs is hard. (At least it is now). Trying Coldplay's Clocks or Fleetwood Mac's Hypnotized and getting it right - through the whole song - is tough
 
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DSCRAPRE

Guest
I believed that biggre kit=bettre drummer. Then again, thats how most people think when they first start.
 

lawman345

Junior Member
i used to think that playing fast fills meant you were good. like fast tom solos and stuff. Now i know that yeah, its good to be able to do that, but knowing when to use them and when not to is much more important. You dont have to have insane drum solos at like 240 bpm to be really good. Although that would be pretty gooddd. Im just saying, you dont have to play fast to be good.
 

Naigewron

Platinum Member
Overplaying: The more notes and fills you played, the better you were as a drummer.

Dynamics: Not realising that drums had more than one volume.

Groove: Not having any concept of groove, and not knowing how out of time my playing was

It's all really about experience... As I got more experience, I got epiphany after epiphany as I realised different things about drumming, and I'm sure I still have many things left to discover still.
 

caddywumpus

Platinum Member
I thought that being a good rock drummer was something to strive for, and learning other styles would be pointless...
 

Pollyanna

Platinum Member
Lawman and Naige posts = perfect!

It took a while to realise that playing along with records is very different to playing with a band. For a while I played along with bands rather than driving them.

It's amazing how easy a groove can seem when you're riding some great drummer's wave on a record. When you're used to doing this and then find yourself with total responsibility for the rhythm it's like trying to swim in a pool without floaties for the first time.
 
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jwildman

Senior Member
I thought that the more vertical the toms were, the better. Ya I thought that for about 5 minutes and then after playing drums I thought differentley. Also I thought people that used a "virgin" bass drum were idiots. I figured there was a place for a stand there so why not use it? Now I just sold some stuff so I can buy a stand to hold both of my toms to the left of of my bass drum and I will have a "virgin" bass drum
 

Stoney

Senior Member
My most embarrassing moments as a beginner was playing samba beats (rumba or whatever you want to call it) to fellow musicians only because I thought they were difficult to play. I now look back on them moments with immense embarrassment!

To this day I will never play a samba style beat (unless someone handsomely pays me of course). It just all reminds me of my days at music college and how naive and nonsensical it all was.

My biggest learning experience was and is just getting out there and playing with people. That's the only way to really learn!

PS My point is the biggest misconception I ever had was thinking that difficult means good. It's not necessarily the case
 
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DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
Biggest one:

That I just needed to learn some beats and cool fills, and then just play songs enough times to let them sink in, and as long I knew how to play some beats and fills, nothing else mattered.

Never occurred to me that I needed to actually learn song structure and the actual reason why a drummer plays what one does.

Once I got that figured out, life became much easier.
 
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nhzoso

Guest
I remember thinking that if you learned all the rudiments on a practice pad it would all easily come together on a kit.
 

TTNW

Pioneer Member
Overplaying: The more notes and fills you played, the better you were as a drummer.

Dynamics: Not realising that drums had more than one volume.

Groove: Not having any concept of groove, and not knowing how out of time my playing was

It's all really about experience... As I got more experience, I got epiphany after epiphany as I realised different things about drumming, and I'm sure I still have many things left to discover still.
These were my misconceptions as well but with small variations.

Less is more "really, no really, ...really" This lesson took ten years to truly sink in.

Balancing dynamics is much more important. It is very noticable whether drums are louder than cymbals or vice versa.

Practicing is and was far more important than I was willing to admit. Grooving with good time and feel comes from repetition and from a more learned playing perspective.

Also, that command over the rudiments is more important than I ever thought. After drumming for 29 years, I feel like I should just start over and take lessons and really learn the basics.
 

Morbid Koala

Senior Member
1. Playing fast is harder than playing slow.

2. Beating the shit out of the drums will make them sound louder.

3. I was born awesome. Practice? What for?

4. Reso-nant-head? Wha?
 

stratofabio

Junior Member
I've been a drummer for exactly 67 hours now, so I find this topic very helpful.

Also: my first post around here. Of many, I sincerely hope. :)
 
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wy yung

Guest
I've been a drummer for exactly 67 hours now, so I find this topic very helpful.

Also: my first post around here. Of many, I sincerely hope. :)
Welcome to the forum!

Stick around and ask questions. The members here are nice and helpful.
 

donv

Silver Member
That drumming is hard. There is nothing about drumming that is hard. This isn't to be confused with abilities "will come fast." They won't, but with patience, time and proper praticing technique, everything will come as long as you keep plugging away at your goals. This is the objective side of drumming. I recently read Neil Peart saying the same thing about being a student of Erskin. He can now do things he a one time thought he would never be able to do.

This doesn't mean everyone is capable of being a great drummer. They're not. The talent to be able to do something on the drums doesn't always translate into the ability to use a talent musically or make something sound good. This is the subjective side of drumming.

My biggest misconception when beginning was that the subjective and objective were mutually exclusive.
 

dairyairman

Platinum Member
it must be something about being a beginner, but i used to be guilty of almost every n00bish thing.

too much muffling - check! when i was a kid i used to put tape on all my drum heads and cymbals too.

no resonant heads - check! i had no resonant heads on any of my drums except the snare

playing too loud - check! when i was a teenager i used to beat the crap out of my drums and i was proud of how many cymbals, drumsticks, and heads i broke.

overplaying - check! i've been guilty of that. right up until the present time.

playing with tension - check! i went through a period when i thought i was going to have to quit because of pain in my right shoulder brought on by tension. with my teacher's help i've learned to relax and i have no pain now, i sound better, and i have much more endurance.

not playing in time - check! i always thought i had good timing until i bought a zoom recorder and started recording myself (relatively recently). that was a serious eye-opener! i've since managed to clean up my timing quite a bit, but i'm still working on it.

ignoring everything except rock music - check! i wasn't interested in other styles so i ignored them. now with my teacher's help i've gotten pretty good at jazz, blues shuffles, rudiments around the kit, and i'm working on latin (that's tough! latin drumming is a work in progress.)
 

cnw60

Senior Member
It's amazing how easy a groove can seem when you're riding some great drummer's wave on a record. When you're used to doing this and then find yourself with total responsibility for the rhythm it's like trying to swim in a pool without floaties for the first time.
Great analogy Polly!

One big misconception was thinking that what I heard while playing is what I actually sounded like.

It can be a brutal experience the 1st time you listen to a recording of your own playing. Truth be told - it can still be brutal, it's just less of a surprise.
 
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