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Old 03-20-2013, 08:03 PM
toddbishop toddbishop is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Portland, OR
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Default Re: List of things you have to master to be a good drummer

You can be a good drummer with very limited technical skills-- you just need to be able to play a few basic time feels well, and know how to develop them and make them fit a song, and then find a musical situation where that will work. To get yourself on the path to being a versatile pro drummer, some general areas you should be working on are:

Snare drum
You can just buy beginning and intermediate snare drum books and play through them. There are good books by Roy Burns, Garwood Whaley, or Mitchell Peters for that.

Reading
You get this from doing your snare drum practice. Eventually you want to be learning to read actual drum charts. The sketches in the Groove Essentials books are a good place to start with that.

Studio funk language
Most of all forms of pop drumming derive from this one generic thing, which you can get from New Breed, or various other books. Rothman's Mini-Monster rock book covers much of this, and if you apply yourself you can master it in 1-3 years.

Jazz language
Not so much because you need to be a jazz drummer, but because the methods carry over into other areas, and make you a better drummer. Learning the common ways of using Ted Reed's Syncopation is good goal for your next few years of practice.

The other two big imperatives are to listen a lot and play (with people) a lot-- all good drummers do a lot of both.

That's it-- don't get too caught up in gradations of beginning/intermediate/advanced. All that truly matters is that people want to play with you, and that's a standard you can meet very early on.
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