When taking drumming advice, is someone's "playing level" important or not..?

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
But, in reality, when taking any drumming advice, is the level of playing from the person who gives the advice for yourself important or not..?
With respect to playing, yes, the advice-giver needs to have a higher level of experience than I do. With respect to other aspects of drumming, their playing level is not as important as their level of real-world experience. So, no matter how incredible a drummer may be from a technical standpoint, if they haven't been on the road before, or in the studio, or had any involvement with a drum company, I would take any advice regarding those topics with a grain of salt.

Another way to ask the same question could be..:
Are you taking all the drumming advice you can get, regardless from who, or are you very selective..?
I do listen, as other drummers may have a different experience than mine. But I still weigh such advice based on the giver's experience, and am very selective about what is useful to me.

Bermuda
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
I would easily use myself as an example as my real heavy gigging was done in my guitar playing days.

First and foremost I am a teacher. Even a lot of my own practicing is experimenting with methodology and approaches I don't necessarily use too much myself.

There will be many skilled players that I can't touch in what they do best.

As a teacher however, spotting and helping with technical issues in a way anyone can understand, building a foundation both on the instrument an in approaches and attitudes towards music as a whole I'd say I'm at a pretty high level and that is also what my actual job is. Respecting the individual, but take responsibility in helpng them open their minds.

My students, at least the slightly older ones, know exactly what I do and what my own tastes are. How I teach them is certainly not limited to that, though.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
What about this scenario:

You’ve just finished playing a festival gig. Nice stage, great sound system, band was spot on, and a random person approaches and says, “You guys sounded great! I loved your drumming, when are you guys playing again?”

After a brief exchange, another random person approaches and says, “The band sounds great, but have you considered adjusting your gear to improve your posture? Your approach causes uneven-sounding strokes on your floor toms.”

After a brief exchange, yet another random person approaches and says, “It sucked bro. Not metal enough. Your kick was lost, had no punch. Are you using a towel on your beater?”

What will you do next time in the woodshed?
It depends on where these people are standing to a certain extent too. Did they walk the room assessing things before arriving at their conclusions?

Acoustics are so variable even within the same space.
 

Steady Freddy

Pioneer Member
Listening to accomplished musicians is a good thing. Listening to a bunch of keyboard cowboys, maybe not. In that case you have to filter through the crap. Most learn what they know on forums and not in the real world. They just parrot what others have said. 5 guys say use brand X drums and then that's what they repeat to others. They've never used them but if others say they are good then it must be so. LOL. In all fairness there is a lot to be learned by talking to others with a like interest, but you do have to weed through masses to find the ones who have reliable info.

Most guys who have it together will have the gear and ability to post sound clips or videos. Check their profile. Check out their playing and go from there. If they've never posted either then it's just an opinion. You know what they say about that right?
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
When I go to open mic jams I always do a double take when someone doesn't know basic gear stuff like black beauties etc.

This place is definitely ahead of that particular curve.

Much can be learned from the fool as well as the wise man.
 

Rattlin' Bones

Gold Member
I'm a mediocre player at best, but I can certainly here when a higher-level player is on, or if there are mistakes or they're constantly doing something a bit wrong. But that's different than offering advice. I don't know too many high level players that are going to ask my advice. Except on the world wide web, where I don't know anyone's real level of expertise so I offer opinions whenever it interests me or I have first hand knowledge. But if someone comments on what I am doing or offers opinion/advice to me either here or in real world, I will filter that advice through whatever I know about the person's experience and level.
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
Most guys who have it together will have the gear and ability to post sound clips or videos. Check their profile. Check out their playing and go from there. If they've never posted either then it's just an opinion. You know what they say about that right?
Nah. Most guys my age or older don't care about that stuff. You'd be surprised how hard it is to find video clips, if any at all, of my friends who live mainly off of live playing. They got in a position where they're comfortable with steady gigs and the right contacts before this was a thing. Most of the artists they play with might have a website, but they don't.


When I go to open mic jams I always do a double take when someone doesn't know basic gear stuff like black beauties etc.

This place is definitely ahead of that particular curve.
Yeah. This is a drum forum. The average person, musician or even drummer isn't close to the general knowledge or obession with gear most people on this forum are.

About 10 years ago this is actually the place I got information on books, DVDs and other resources to check out. Very few other places I would have been able to find that. Got that list of 25 drum books or whatever as well as everything from Hudson music and went from there. Small town in a small country. You'd be surprised how hard it is. I got lessons sometimes, but I had to travel pretty far.

Apart from a few sporadic clips from the shed or a sound check I haven't posted anything anywhere since Billy Cobham was part of the Artistworks site. If life becomes simpler I might do a little bit for fun, but since I only teach in person at a public school it has little real value. Wouldn't get any more private students either. Everyone in the are knows who I am.
 

oldskoolsoul

Silver Member
..I was pretty new to riding, but posted my solution, thinking others would be excited. Nope! Massive backlash from the “experts” telling me why my solution wouldn’t work. Didn’t matter. I was out riding and they were arguing over why my solution was wrong. There were old timers on the forum who were highly respected. Had one of them said what I had, it would have been a game changer..

Allthough maybe a little off-topic, but that example shows in essence exactly 100% how internet forums work..

I could not have said things better than that..
 
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Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
I always thought what Bill Bruford had to say was (typically) interesting:
In this case it's coming from a holistic musical perspective, from the right place, so it might very well be a valid point. It's a every different thing.

To often it's just pure narcissism, though. Like these old farts I work for too often that think what you do is wrong just because you try something diffeent instead of what they're used to which hasn't worked for the last 40 years.
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
I don’t contribute much to drum technique. After 35 years, I still feel I struggle too much with getting things right. Heads, sticks, tuning...I’ve gone through some of those to know what I like, but that’s what I like. Doesn’t mean anything in the greater scheme of things, unless it’s me doing the gig with my drums.
I'm so with you here. I've been playing for almost 25 years, and I swear I learn stuff all of the time. You just have to try stuff out and see what works for YOU and heck with everyone's opinions if your solutions are working and you are happy with them. I was told on here that my musical tastes are "narrow" and received some pretty negative feedback when I said I didn't like a certain Gadd video. Can't remember who said it, but I don't care. Why? Because I'm playing more music than I ever have, I'm having an absolute blast playing in several different bands, and I've made enough money in the past 6 months to pay my car off a year and a half early.

Listen, you'll never get everything "right." I'm sure if I sat down with a "real" drummer, I'm sure my technique SUCKS. But you know what? So did my piano-playing technique, but I managed to learn to play piano by ear in 2 months. So did my hammered dulcimer technique, but I managed to make several thousand dollars in just a couple of years playing it on weekends. So does my technique in studying and test-taking, but here I am with three college degrees teaching at a local college. My approach to doing anything, also including tying my shoes and folding clothes (I'm not kidding), is so freaking backwards sometimes, but I really don't care. I'm pretty sure I have some undocumented disabilities, but you know what? I'm playing with the hand I was dealt like it was the one I wanted.

Play with the gear you want. Play the kind of music you want. Play drums the way you want. Listen to the music you like.

Don't apologize for any of it.











I think I've had too much coffee.
 

Winston_Wolf

Platinum Member
I always thought what Bill Bruford had to say was (typically) interesting:
I agree 100%. It's often easier to get defensive and discount someone's opinion because of one reason or another, but you never know when good advice might come from an unexpected (or even unwanted) source. In Bruford's example above, a drummer might have a perfectly good reason to "lean on" their cymbals, and could perfectly explain why. Just like someone else might have a good reason why they shouldn't. But both sides should be open to having that conversation, because in the end it can make for a better band dynamic and in the end (hopefully) a better sounding band.
 

Mongrel

Silver Member
Re: Leaning on things....

Don't lean on your bass drum man.
Don't lean on your snare drum man.
Don't lean on your tom tom man.
Don't lean on your hats man.
Don't lean on your brushes man.
Don't lean on your sticks man.

Where does it end?

Lol
 

TMe

Senior Member
It's often easier to get defensive and discount someone's opinion because of one reason or another...
I try to take a 90% discount off what sounds like bad advice. Instead of rejecting it entirely, I try to listen for the 10% that's not BS. If I can buy that story with a 90% discount, maybe it's a good deal.
 

Winston_Wolf

Platinum Member
Re: Leaning on things....

Where does it end?

Lol
Sometimes it ends with being a better player. :cool:

I think I'm in the minority here, but I find the general mindset of resistance to taking advice strange. Maybe I've just gotten better advice than some have along the way, but some of the best feedback I've heard has been from people that don't play drums.
 

beatdat

Senior Member
Coaches and critics may not be better at doing what those who they coach or critique do, but surely they are respected and heeded for a reason.

I may not take all the advice given to me, but I do consider all off it and give it the appropriate weight in accordance with my common sense and reason.

It would be arrogant, if not foolish, of me to think that someone's playing level determined whether or not I were to take their advice. Why chance missing out good advice because I didn't think the person giving it knew what he was talking about?
 

oldskoolsoul

Silver Member
..and received some pretty negative feedback when I said I didn't like a certain Gadd video. Can't remember who said it, but I don't care. Why? Because I'm playing more music than I ever have, I'm having an absolute blast playing in several different bands, and I've made enough money in the past 6 months to pay my car off a year and a half early..

Ofcourse you remember who replied to you about that video, since that was me in this case..😄

But, on a more serious note, as happens a lot, things seem to be miss-interpreted (and wrong explained when referred back to), since i never judged you for 'not liking' that video..

That video was referred to as "annoying" by another member and by you as "could only look 30 seconds" of which i implied that both those comments are kinda ridiculous, in a thread that you named yourself ridiculous..

That video is in total about 3 minutes of Gadd playing a very tasteful groove, no 1000 notes/second or anything like that..

And yes, my opinion stays that is kinda weird (thats what i also said in that thread, "weird".....), when being on a drummer forum, to speak about that video as having an annoyment-level of "can only look 30 seconds", because thats not giving any justice to what Gadd is performing there..

Thats what i said, "weird", nothing more nothing less..

And btw, i am not immediately seeing the relation to that video, but in general i am not caring too much about how much money people make or not..:)

And for everyone interested, this is the video we are speaking about..

 

Mongrel

Silver Member
Sometimes it ends with being a better player. :cool:

I think I'm in the minority here, but I find the general mindset of resistance to taking advice strange. Maybe I've just gotten better advice than some have along the way, but some of the best feedback I've heard has been from people that don't play drums.
I'm sorry...that was a poor attempt at being funny. You know, picturing Robert Fripp taking Bruford apart until he was down to playing a pair of spoons because he couldn't explain to Fripp's satisfaction WHY he needed a bass drum pedal...or even sticks...etc. etc. etc. I've had 'serious' conversations with highbrow guitarists that actually wandered down roads like that. Why are you leaning on that E string? Kinda thing.

Won't happen again, mate!

lol

ps-I'll listen to anybody...well...at least once.
 
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