Originally Posted by NUTHA JASON
my question is: starting from scratch what would be your way of learning it?
If available, I'd have the written notation and sticking, and simply practice it starting slowly and gradually speed-up until it sounded natural.
With only an audio sample and no notation, my approach would be somewhat the same. I'd dissect the sound and play it in the manner I felt replicated it. However, the sticking would likely - though unintentionally - be different.
For some, that raises the question of whether it's more important to play the part, or to make the sound. In other words, if doing an open roll, is it more important to do the technically 'correct' doubles, or singles, if they both end up sounding the same anyway?
For me, it's often a 'means to an end' proposition, the primary goal being to make the sound. That doesn't mean there are necessarily shortcuts or easy fixes, sometimes there aren't. But it does mean that some parts that sound difficult, are actually quite easy to work out if I don't agonize over sticking, or feel daunted because of who's playing it.
As for physically being able to play something beyond one's current technical expertise, that's just a matter of practice. It may require a little work... or a lot. For example, the idea that someone like Terry Bozzio is playing stuff that's impossible to attain, can be daunting and maybe discouraging. The fact is, Terry lives and breathes drums, and practices his butt off - I'm sure would tell you that he's still
learning and growing - and that's why he's at the top of the heap in terms of ability.
So, could any of us play like Terry? Or Vinnie? Or Danny Carey? Or (insert name here)?
Well, in theory, yes! Why not? In its most basic conceptual form, drumming is simply hitting things with sticks, and stepping on pedals. That's really all they're
doing. Obviously, there's a level of dedication & drive & creativity that propels those players to the top, and most drummers - me included - just don't work that hard at it. But remember, they're just humans with 4 limbs, using the same sticks, heads, drums, cymbals and pedals that we have access to... so it's not impossible. (Whether the world needs a bunch of Vinnie's or Terry's is quite another question!)
So, in terms of doing something new to me that's ostensibly difficult, I figure that if another drummer can play it... so can I. Well, eventually,
BTW, my favorite rudiment is the single stroke. Not a single stroke roll
... just a single stroke. I use it all the time on the 2 & 4 of each measure, and get paid handsomely for doing so!