When are you considered an advanced drummer?

BumSkillet

Junior Member
I have been playing for 4 years and I have really progressed. I can play almost anything by ear if you gave it to me. Even Tool and difficult time signatures if you gave it to me. So when, in your opinion, are you considered a beginner, intermediate, and advanced drummer?
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
I don't think people who are advanced drummers even really consider themselves advanced.
More their fans consider them advanced.

The fact is there are so many areas of drumming, very few, if any, can do them all well. One could be advanced at metal but be a novice at jazz, or vise versa. Once can be great at hearing and playing back poly rhythms, but that doesn't mean one can sight read a chart in a recording studio to a click in a high pressure situation and nail it in just a few takes.


Either way, I'd say it would based on accomplishments in addition to actual skills.
 

Souljacker

Silver Member
DrumEatDrums answer is a good one.

I'm just viewing a link to the Irish drum academies website and it says the following are the material covered in their "Advanced" curriculum.


Rudiments and their application to the kit
Sticking Exercises
Advanced Rock Concepts
Soul / Funk
Latin / Afro Beats
New Orleans
Linear
Polyrhythms
Odd Time Signatures
Jazz
Brush Work
Complex Shuffles
Close Up Study of a choice of famous drummers.
Studio Preparation & experience


So I guess that's an education viewpoint in a way.
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
There's no cut and dried answer to this. There are so many skills and so many genres involved in music, I would say there's only more and less experienced. And then, there's just some things about being a musician that can't be quantified. Every time you run a poll of the greatest drummers ever, Charlie Watts and Ringo Starr are in there. Neither one of them played more than a four-piece in the bands that made them famous, they didn't do a whole bunch of flashy playing, crazy polyrhythms, and so on. There's very few things that Charlie Watts plays that most drummers can't at least learn the pattern to within a couple of months. But then, why is he so great?

Drumming, like so much of life, is not a videogame, and there are no levels... it's a journey. There's no such thing as a beginner, intermediate, or advanced traveler. You either travel or you don't. The fun is in the process, not the destination.

No matter how good you ever get as a drummer, there will always be someone who does something you can't.
 

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bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
Drumming, like so much of life, is not a videogame, and there are no levels... it's a journey. There's no such thing as a beginner, intermediate, or advanced traveler. You either travel or you don't. The fun is in the process, not the destination.

No matter how good you ever get as a drummer, there will always be someone who does something you can't.
Agreed... "advanced" is a relative term. I would be considered advanced by those who can't do what I do, and perhaps a beginner by those who can play lots of technical stuff with ease. There are certainly some players who are undeniably advanced, such as Vinnie, Terry, etc. But as Al noted, there are drummers out there who can do things those guys can't. So it really depends what the drummer can do, and who's assessing it.

Bermuda
 

fakeflyer737

Senior Member
I don't think people who are advanced drummers even really consider themselves advanced.
More their fans consider them advanced.

The fact is there are so many areas of drumming, very few, if any, can do them all well. One could be advanced at metal but be a novice at jazz, or vise versa. Once can be great at hearing and playing back poly rhythms, but that doesn't mean one can sight read a chart in a recording studio to a click in a high pressure situation and nail it in just a few takes.


Either way, I'd say it would based on accomplishments in addition to actual skills.


Took the words right out of my mouth and thank-you for that!
 
A

Anthony Amodeo

Guest
stop worrying about your level

start concentrating on making music sound and feel good

your peers will determine whether they enjoy playing with you or not

then if you want to start labeling levels ......fine

but it will feel like a huge waste of time and energy by then
 
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Midnite Zephyr

Platinum Member
That is so true, G. By the time a person stops worrying about it, he/she is already pretty advanced. But I remember that mind set. It's normal to think about these things with just a few years of playing.
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
This is only loosely related, but I've found that the best drummers around here tend to be the guys who don't think they are "advanced" in any way. The guys who believe they are "advanced" drummers are usually the guys that practice their fills and double bass all night long with no regard for music or actually playing musically. It's almost like there are two paths. By outsiders, probably both might be considered advanced drummers, but I'm quite sure the answer to "which one do other musicians want to play with" is typically the former.
 

keep it simple

Platinum Member
When there's less yet to learn than the ground you've already covered (i.e. never :)

I regard myself as an advancing drummer (albeit very slowly) ;)


Seriously - advanced at what? Is a drummer who's superb in one style more advanced than a drummer who's highly competent in many styles?

Anthony's got the right angle here, forget the labels, go & have fun with it.
 

davelan

Member
Yeah; that word 'advanced' is a bit of a misnomer in the context of playing for the purposes of making music - you're either 'good' or 'bad' and there are a lot of shades of grey even between those two basic terms. If you're studying an instrument for the purposes of advancing though grades then I guess you're 'advanced' when you reach an advanced level but otherwise it's irrelevant.
 

Sopranos

Senior Member
Damn, I'm screwed cause I'm advanced at the beginner beats :D

BTW - You are what they say you are (they being everyone but yourself).
 

mandrew

Gold Member
I had a friend whom I considered very advanced. He could rip the skins off the drums. He and I went to a Marine Band concert in Washington and heard some of the snare work played by the percussionists. Smooth, dynamic rolls and flawless performance and timing! He decided it was time to go back to the drawing board. I have a recording of traditional snare music played by Frank Arsenault. Just one man and one drum. Every time I hear it, I feel like a beginner. There is always more to learn, more than this lifetime affords.
 

JustJames

Platinum Member
You are an advanced drumming when you longer consider "advanced drummer" to be a meaningful indicator of anything worthwhile.
 

brady

Platinum Member
Every time I go to Guitar Center and hear the kids bash away, I feel like an advanced drummer.

However, most of the time when I go to a concert, I feel like a beginner.
 

toddmc

Gold Member
I don't think people who are advanced drummers even really consider themselves advanced. More their fans consider them advanced.

The fact is there are so many areas of drumming, very few, if any, can do them all well. One could be advanced at metal but be a novice at jazz, or vise versa. Once can be great at hearing and playing back poly rhythms, but that doesn't mean one can sight read a chart in a recording studio to a click in a high pressure situation and nail it in just a few takes.
Completely agree with the above but surely drummers can be considered advanced WITHIN specific genres?
Forget the false modesty and the the self-deprecation that most great drummers have regarding their playing for a second and focus on what the greats can actually do- surely they are at an advanced stage (even though they may not think it themselves)?
Let me put it this way- would anyone here like to put their hand up and say Buddy wasn't an advanced jazz drummer?
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
Completely agree with the above but surely drummers can be considered advanced WITHIN specific genres?
I do think I did say that Todd. :)

Forget the false modesty and the the self-deprecation that most great drummers have regarding their playing for a second and focus on what the greats can actually do- surely they are at an advanced stage (even though they may not think it themselves)?
But that goes to my point. The fans of said drummer determined they were advanced.
If you or I say Terry Bozzio is an advanced drummer (and I certainly think he is), that is you and I making that call. Not Terry himself, and not a set specific set in stone line he has crossed.

Let me put it this way- would anyone here like to put their hand up and say Buddy wasn't an advanced jazz drummer?
But Buddy was so far ahead of most drummer, if you call him advanced, does that mean everyone else wasn't by comparison? On the other hand, Buddy couldn't read music, so as great as he was, he would have never made it as a studio musician. Which goes back to what I said "The fact is there are so many areas of drumming, very few, if any, can do them all well."

I'd rather listen to Gene anyway. :p
 

Gaz1965

Member
There is no point in getting hung up about levels. Just enjoy playing. Most drummers I know don't think they are any good, I think that I have massive room for improvement but the guys in my band think I am good. I would much rather other people pay me compliments on my "skills".
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
I have been playing for 4 years and I have really progressed. I can play almost anything by ear if you gave it to me. Even Tool and difficult time signatures if you gave it to me. So when, in your opinion, are you considered a beginner, intermediate, and advanced drummer?
I'm with Anthony on this one. It ain't about levels. You just play and make music, and if others like what you do, then they get to put you where they think you are. Other people may put you in other places, so in reality, it's not up to you. You just be the best musician you can be. And sometimes that doesn't even matter where you fall in any particular food chain.
 

tamadrm

Platinum Member
Every time I go to Guitar Center and hear the kids bash away, I feel like an advanced drummer.

However, most of the time when I go to a concert, I feel like a beginner.
+1.^ This.Comparing yourself to others in a world in which the lowest common denominator is the standard,then even fair players will stand out.

I though I was a pretty fair drummer,and always learned my drum parts by ear,and could play various different styles and difficulty levels.I even took to massaging my own ego,because lots of people wanted to play with me,who I considered good players..

Then I took two lesson with Joe Morello.If you don't know who that is..........you damn well should.

Reality check.The man was sitting just feet away from me,and it was tough to tell exactly what......and how he was doing ,what he was doing.

Listen to some other music besides just rock.Jazz,progressive and fusion for example where the drummer isn't just playing in odd time,but playing polyrythms inside that as well.

The best drummer's I've ever listened to or met,were confident player,but parked their egos at the door and were humble people,who were constantly critical of their own abilities.

It's not about putting a label on it.It's confidence in a skill level,that you'll always want to improve.Humility trumps ego every time.Nobody wants to play with a fat head.

Steve B
 
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