Re: Am I a terrible drummer?
Zurgman, It is not that you are a bad drummer. I am a marching band percussion instructor. I teach the drumline and pit percussion. I have also taught a beetles show with a drum set player in the pit percussion.
I almost know what your band director is going through. Or maybe I am wrong and he is just a complete ******. The drum set player in my pit was a good drummer but was not doing what he needed to. When you are playing in a marching band that is doing pop/rock/jazz anything where there is normally a drum set player you have to do it the way it was on record. I know that the marching band I taught was a competition band. The first critique of that season that I went to they did not mention the drumline. They told me that the drum set player was not Ringo enough. So that is where my work started. The parts you were given may not be what Ringo played (if you are given music). So it is your job to listen to your field show music and The Beatles recording of what it is supposed to be. From here write out your own music note for note. It can be in standard western civilization notation. Or just a drum tab. It really doesn't matter how you write it although from a percussion instructor I recommend getting comfortable reading and writing western notation. From there learn the parts note for note. Then try to recreate the feel that Ringo had. Honestly this is the hardest part. A lot of young and old drummers alike can't get a good feel for how something is supposed to be. But work on it and you will improve on all aspects of drumming. Remember that one of the first steps of being a good musician is mimicking the masters.
As far as the Set up goes. Go ahead and set up the drums like he wants you to and then just move them a little bit to where you can get comfortable. In marching band visual representation is actually important. Sure it might not be important in all aspects of playing but this time it is.
So just give your band director the benefit of the doubt. More than likely he knows whats best.
And most importantly keep on playing and Have fun playing.