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Old 03-04-2018, 06:00 PM
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Mastiff Mastiff is offline
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Default Linear drumset curriculum?

One thing about drumset is that there are so many things to learn, and it's not obvious how to prioritize.

To the instructors out there (real or armchair), suppose you had a motivated student who was definitely in it for the long haul (you don't need to compromise to keep it interesting) how would you design a linear curriculum with the end goal of being a competent all-around drumset player? By linear I mean one topic after the other, not linear drumming. Or would you resist designing a curriculum like this ahead of time? I suppose having a few things going in parallel may be acceptable, but (to me) linear would mean there are relatively closely spaced points where you need to master the preceding material before moving on.

I ask both for myself and my son. My son really is just starting out. For me, I wish I had something like this to know where the gaping holes are in my capability, since I never had organized formal instruction. Playing whack-a-mole by trying to improve whatever if bugging you most at the time (rudiments, 4-way coordination, foot speed, sight reading, a particular song you can't master, etc.) is one approach, but maybe there's a more organized way.
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Old 03-04-2018, 06:15 PM
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Hollywood Jim Hollywood Jim is offline
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Default Re: Linear drumset curriculum?

I will let the active full time drum teachers answer your question.
But I must point out that the first thing you need to do is work on your grip.
As shown in your avatar, your right hand grip is dreadful.


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Old 03-04-2018, 08:22 PM
Push pull stroke Push pull stroke is offline
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Default Re: Linear drumset curriculum?

The first page of Stick Control, played very slowly, is probably the most important thing you can do. Do this with the feet, slowly, and then alternating between the hands and feet, always going slowly and focussing on playing effortlessly and really listening to every single note. Beyond that, just work on whatever you are most passionate about. Maybe make a list of what you want to master first, and pick 2 or 3 areas to focus on for a couple months at a time.
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Old 03-04-2018, 09:07 PM
toddbishop toddbishop is offline
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Default Re: Linear drumset curriculum?

It's not done through a curriculum and it's not a linear process, so you can relax about that. Everybody who can play worked through a couple of snare drum books, a couple of rock and funk books, jazz books, and they listened to a lot of music, and they played a lot. Probably they had a good teacher at some point. If you do all that diligently, bango, in 5-15 years you can usually kind of play.

So just get a beginning snare drum book and rock book for your son, and an intermediate snare drum book for you, maybe a copy of Funky Primer, and start knocking them down a page at a time. And make sure everybody's listening to a lot of good and varied kinds of music and playing with people at every opportunity.

It's also going to be up to you to figure out what's essential and what's optional right now. Like, "foot speed" is not essential. Neither is complex four way coordination, or fancy practice pad techniques. Many things people on the internet tell you are essential are not essential.
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Old 03-04-2018, 09:23 PM
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Default Re: Linear drumset curriculum?

want a formula for success for a student ?

buy these books

Stick Control
Accents and Rebounds
both by George Lawrence Stone

Syncopation by Ted Reed

then eventually

Mastering the Tables Of Time by David Stanoch
Rudimental Jazz by Joe Morello
The Drummers Complete Vocabulary as taught by Alan Dawson by John Ramsay

those are literally the only books you will ever need ... they translate to any genre ... practice out of them and take them everywhere you go until they are worn and tattered

listen to music obsessively with great curiosity ... emulate what you hear on those recordings ... cop the feel

seek out information from those who have lived it and who do what you aspire to do

that's your formula right there

sprinkle in some love for the game and the desire to play with as many people as humanly possible ... and chances are you will become a pretty damn good player in time

but the most important component of all is desire
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Old 03-04-2018, 09:40 PM
cornelius cornelius is offline
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Default Re: Linear drumset curriculum?

A curriculum needs to be fine tuned to the student, so itís difficult to suggest one overall curriculum. There are common topics that every player will eventually encounter, but those will come at various stages and lengths of time, depending on the studentís abilities, progress and goals...

Some of the things that I know now that would have really helped me when I was starting out, might not necessarily help a younger student that Iíd see today. We all progress differently...
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Old 03-04-2018, 09:57 PM
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Default Re: Linear drumset curriculum?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cornelius View Post
A curriculum needs to be fine tuned to the student, so itís difficult to suggest one overall curriculum. There are common topics that every player will eventually encounter, but those will come at various stages and lengths of time, depending on the studentís abilities, progress and goals...

Some of the things that I know now that would have really helped me when I was starting out, might not necessarily help a younger student that Iíd see today. We all progress differently...
in all my years of teaching I've never seen the combination of Stick Control, Accents and Rebounds, Syncopation (and it's endless uses) combined with the love of listening and emulating fail ... not one time

one thing I have learned is that it is very difficult to get serious progression out of a student who does not love and listen to music
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Old 03-04-2018, 11:40 PM
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Mastiff Mastiff is offline
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Default Re: Linear drumset curriculum?

Thanks for the replies. Sounds like the majority opinion (so far) is to resist a linear approach. Surely, though, if you go to get a legit degree in drumset performance, they is a curriculum of some kind, and pre-requisites for some classes, indicating an order they must be taken. Right? And as instructors in a more casual setting, you still must pick what your student does first and try to prevent him from going all over the map.

My first instructor started with basic music reading, since I didn't have that, then simple sight reading on snare - for example. We did some rudiments too. Once we switched to full drumset it becomes a blur and I can't quite remember.
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Old 03-05-2018, 01:09 AM
toddbishop toddbishop is offline
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Default Re: Linear drumset curriculum?

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Originally Posted by Mastiff View Post
Surely, though, if you go to get a legit degree in drumset performance, they is a curriculum of some kind, and pre-requisites for some classes, indicating an order they must be taken. Right? And as instructors in a more casual setting, you still must pick what your student does first and try to prevent him from going all over the map.
Not really. I could show you everything I did at the U of Oregon and you'd be pressed to make any kind of linear sense out of it, or to get any kind of comprehensive picture of what you need to know to play professionally. My guy in the jazz studies dept at USC had no idea what he was doing. I have no memory of anything he assigned ever. I just worked on my own stuff.
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Old 03-05-2018, 01:40 AM
brentcn brentcn is offline
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Default Re: Linear drumset curriculum?

Quote:
Playing whack-a-mole by trying to improve whatever if bugging you most at the time (rudiments, 4-way coordination, foot speed, sight reading, a particular song you can't master, etc.) is one approach, but maybe there's a more organized way.
There is: get your son into situations where he's playing music with other people regularly. The school jazz band, marching band, the local school of rock, in the pit for high school musicals, whatever opportunities there are.

Usually, students learn rudiments and 4-way coordination because it's required for a gig, not because they're giant music nerds. And that's okay.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mastiff View Post
T And as instructors in a more casual setting, you still must pick what your student does first and try to prevent him from going all over the map.
It's ok if they're all over the map. As an instructor, it's good to meet the student at whatever music they like. They can learn the drum beats to it, and the coordination necessary to play that music. After trying to learn it, if it's too fast/complicated, then they can choose somethings else. It's not difficult to take any music (really, almost anything), and explain to the student, that, in order to play it, he/she should learn this page of exercises, and this sticking technique, and this page of beats, etc.

And, when the time comes, we'll work on the chart for school jazz band, or the song his buddies want to play in their basement/garage band.

Quote:
Surely, though, if you go to get a legit degree in drum set performance, they is a curriculum of some kind, and pre-requisites for some classes, indicating an order they must be taken. Right?
Berkley in Boston had its drum set curriculum posted years ago. Time Functioning Patterns was listed, and Advanced Techniques I think as well, but high schoolers get some exposure to those books before college. In a university, you'd also be studying piano, theory, ear training, arranging, production -- lots of things in addition to playing drum set.

In addition to the books already mentioned I would suggest at least one "system-based" book (not the "system"s found on the internet) -- books like Time Functioning Patterns, The Art Of Bop Drumming, and The New Breed. In these books you play a "system" (i.e. a repeating figure with one or two limbs) and then improvise and/or read rhythms with one or a pair of limbs. Reading rhythms well is a prerequisite for these books.

Also, for stick technique and rudimental training, I like to use Rudimental Logic and The All American Drummer.
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