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  #1  
Old 02-01-2017, 04:53 PM
brentcn brentcn is offline
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Default Questions to ask drum students

Hi all. Over the years I've developed a sort of questionnaire to ask young (and not so young) drummers, to get them thinking about their playing. I'd be curious to see your personal responses, but also, how you would like a good student to respond.

Q1: When in a song should you play a crash cymbal?

Q2: In the songs you hear, how often does a crash occur along with a bass drum note?

Q3: Is it possible to learn every beat ever played? Every fill?

Q4: Why is it a good idea to learn a song note for note on the drums? Why is it a bad idea?

Q5: How do you think learning drums will help you to learn another instrument?

Q6: If you're given a beat/exercise/groove/fill that is difficult, and requires all four limbs to play at once, how will you go about learning to play it?

Q7: When should a drummer play a fill?

Q8: Besides playing beats and fills, what else does a drummer do during a song?

Q9: What does the sentence "the drummer keeps the beat" mean to you?

Q10: What makes drumming "musical"?
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  #2  
Old 02-01-2017, 08:12 PM
Patz Patz is offline
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Default Re: Questions to ask drum students

I've been playing for 10 years and I'm not sure I would have all the answers to those..lol. Well..maybe not the answers you're looking for?

Oh..you wanted responses.

1. Primarily on the 1

2. Almost always, unless it's accompanied by the snare instead.

3. No. There are infinite beats and fills

4. It's good for learning the song itself and to pick up tricks, but it doesn't always encourage creativity.

5. It can help with learning timing, dynamics and phrasing/structure.

6. Figure out the timing and break it into pieces.

7. Traditionally, primarily as the song is going from verse to chorus.

8. Handle dynamics and create the emotion of the tune by using certain parts of the kit vs others.

9. The drummer gives the other band members a reference point as they all keep time under control while handling the ebb and flow of it.

10. It's musical because despite being beats and strikes, you're also playing notes, creating emotion with dynamics and speed, and providing accent to notes created by the other instruments. Drumming can make or break a song. The wrong beat, accent, fill, or crash can destroy a song's flow or intent, and the RIGHT percussion work can make a good song even better.

Last edited by Patz; 02-01-2017 at 08:22 PM.
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  #3  
Old 02-01-2017, 08:53 PM
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PorkPieGuy PorkPieGuy is offline
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Default Re: Questions to ask drum students

Q1: When in a song should you play a crash cymbal?

Whenever it's needed.

Q2: In the songs you hear, how often does a crash occur along with a bass drum note?

A lot of the time; however, a lot of songs I play, I hit the snare and a crash at the same time.

Q3: Is it possible to learn every beat ever played? Every fill?

Not really sure why one would want to.

Q4: Why is it a good idea to learn a song note for note on the drums? Why is it a bad idea?

Sure, I do it almost every week I play drums at church. I learn the songs as closely as I can to the original music file. If a drummer wants to be in a cover band, I would actually recommend it.

With that said, it can stifle creativity. Try to play with folks that write their own music.

Q5: How do you think learning drums will help you to learn another instrument?

Playing drums is about commitment, unlike just about every other instrument out there. Drummers, especially rock, pop, and country drummers, tend to emphasize the "1" beat. If you learn to play guitar or piano (or whatever) after you learn to play drums, you tend to come in with more confidence. And confidence, mixed with the correct notes, sounds great. I would rather hear a few wrong chords played with confidence as opposed to a perfect performance played timidly.

Q6: If you're given a beat/exercise/groove/fill that is difficult, and requires all four limbs to play at once, how will you go about learning to play it?

Break it down piece by piece. Try to get your hands working together, then add the kick, then add whatever your left foot is doing.

Q7: When should a drummer play a fill?

When the song needs it...if at all.

Q8: Besides playing beats and fills, what else does a drummer do during a song?

Listen to what everyone else is doing. No drummer is an island...except for Bozzio (for better or worse).

Q9: What does the sentence "the drummer keeps the beat" mean to you?

It's true, but everyone better be freakin' paying attention and watch each other.

Q10: What makes drumming "musical"?

There's a difference between a musician as opposed to simply being a drummer. Want to see "just a drummer"? Youtube is full of them...usually the word "chops" appears in the video title. Want to hear a good drummer who's also a good musician? Listen to good music. Good music has good drummers.
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  #4  
Old 02-02-2017, 02:16 AM
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mmulcahy1 mmulcahy1 is offline
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Default Re: Questions to ask drum students

Quote:
Originally Posted by brentcn View Post
Hi all. Over the years I've developed a sort of questionnaire to ask young (and not so young) drummers, to get them thinking about their playing. I'd be curious to see your personal responses, but also, how you would like a good student to respond.
You forgot one very important question:

Did ya bring your money?
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  #5  
Old 02-02-2017, 02:38 AM
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Dr_Watso Dr_Watso is offline
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Default Re: Questions to ask drum students

Quote:
Originally Posted by mmulcahy1 View Post
You forgot one very important question:

Did ya bring your money?
"Uh, no, I think Mom is going to give you a check"

"Okay, well, make sure your mom comes in to give that to me and doesn't just pick you up on the curb like last time..."

"Sure thing!"
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  #6  
Old 02-02-2017, 02:47 AM
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Jeremy Bender Jeremy Bender is offline
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Default Re: Questions to ask drum students

Lol Watso... "Is there a Mr. Gump, Mizzes Gump??
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  #7  
Old 02-02-2017, 06:53 AM
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buddhadrummer buddhadrummer is offline
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Default Re: Questions to ask drum students

I assume you ask these questions after you've already taught them the answers, right?
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  #8  
Old 02-02-2017, 07:30 AM
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JustJames JustJames is offline
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Default Re: Questions to ask drum students

Q1: When in a song should you play a crash cymbal?

In original music, when emphasis is needed.

In a cover, when the original had it.

Q2: In the songs you hear, how often does a crash occur along with a bass drum note?

Very often. The 'default' is to have a crash occur on the 1, and the default is also to have kick on 1. Neither of these are absolutes, but they will almost never sound bad.

Q3: Is it possible to learn every beat ever played? Every fill?
In theory yes, but really, why would you?

Q4: Why is it a good idea to learn a song note for note on the drums? Why is it a bad idea?
If your goal is to cover the song and reproduce it faithfully, then yes, it's a good idea. Not learning a song note for note is a bad idea if you're dumbing it down out of laziness, but the main thing is to reproduce the feel and then decide how close you want to or need to be, or whether your ability level means that you need to simplify the part so that you can play it well. It's better to play your version of a part well than to execute all of the original notes poorly.

Q5: How do you think learning drums will help you to learn another instrument?
The same way that learning to speak Spanish will make me a better cook.

Q6: If you're given a beat/exercise/groove/fill that is difficult, and requires all four limbs to play at once, how will you go about learning to play it?
Simplify until you can play the part, then add back complexity as you go.

Q7: When should a drummer play a fill?
When the song requires it.

Q8: Besides playing beats and fills, what else does a drummer do during a song?
Signposts changes through use of dynamics.

Q9: What does the sentence "the drummer keeps the beat" mean to you?
If another band member doesn't know where the beat is, follow the drummer.
If this is happening a lot, that band member prolly doesn't belong there.

Q10: What makes drumming "musical"?
Eloquent simplicity.
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  #9  
Old 02-02-2017, 07:31 AM
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Midnite Zephyr Midnite Zephyr is offline
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Default Re: Questions to ask drum students

Quote:
Originally Posted by brentcn View Post
Hi all. Over the years I've developed a sort of questionnaire to ask young (and not so young) drummers, to get them thinking about their playing. I'd be curious to see your personal responses, but also, how you would like a good student to respond.

Q1: When in a song should you play a crash cymbal?

Q2: In the songs you hear, how often does a crash occur along with a bass drum note?

Q3: Is it possible to learn every beat ever played? Every fill?

Q4: Why is it a good idea to learn a song note for note on the drums? Why is it a bad idea?

Q5: How do you think learning drums will help you to learn another instrument?

Q6: If you're given a beat/exercise/groove/fill that is difficult, and requires all four limbs to play at once, how will you go about learning to play it?

Q7: When should a drummer play a fill?

Q8: Besides playing beats and fills, what else does a drummer do during a song?

Q9: What does the sentence "the drummer keeps the beat" mean to you?

Q10: What makes drumming "musical"?
Q1: When in a song should you play a crash cymbal?
Mostly where it is needed.

Q2: In the songs you hear, how often does a crash occur along with a bass drum note?
Most of the time.

Q3: Is it possible to learn every beat ever played? Every fill?
What kind of question is that? You can try.

Q4: Why is it a good idea to learn a song note for note on the drums? Why is it a bad idea?
It's a good idea if you are in a tribute band, or if it sounds better than anything you can think of.

Q5: How do you think learning drums will help you to learn another instrument?
I could feel and understand the rhythm better.

Q6: If you're given a beat/exercise/groove/fill that is difficult, and requires all four limbs to play at once, how will you go about learning to play it?
Very carefully. jk...

Q7: When should a drummer play a fill?
When the music requires it.

Q8: Besides playing beats and fills, what else does a drummer do during a song?
Sweat. lol

Q9: What does the sentence "the drummer keeps the beat" mean to you?
It means the drummer conducts the rhythm and groove.

Q10: What makes drumming "musical"?
When it compliments the music.
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Last edited by Midnite Zephyr; 02-02-2017 at 03:54 PM.
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  #10  
Old 02-02-2017, 03:04 PM
Patz Patz is offline
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Default Re: Questions to ask drum students

what's with some of the snarky answers? it's questions from a teacher, so the questions will have a teachable answer.
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  #11  
Old 02-02-2017, 04:00 PM
beyondbetrayal beyondbetrayal is offline
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Default Re: Questions to ask drum students

My response

Q1: When in a song should you play a crash cymbal?
When it is required. Most drummers over crash (myself included) When you need an emphasis or explosion in the music. It could be once in a song, it could be 30 times in a song.

Q2: In the songs you hear, how often does a crash occur along with a bass drum note? Depends on the style of music. If a song has one crash your numbers are limited. USUALLY the bass drum goes with a crash,

Q3: Is it possible to learn every beat ever played? Every fill?
No. drums are constantly evolving and new stuff is being created in different time signatures etc. Learn what you want and what you want to play. It would never hurt to try this

Q4: Why is it a good idea to learn a song note for note on the drums? Why is it a bad idea? It is a good idea because you will pick up techniques, stickings, and patterns you may not come up with yourself. It is also good to learn how to play something repetitive and commit it to memory. I see no bad in this unless its ALL you do. You need to be creative as well. (unless your life long dream is to be in a huge cover band)

Q5: How do you think learning drums will help you to learn another instrument? Learn rhythm , learn sound, learn how to keep time, read scores.

Q6: If you're given a beat/exercise/groove/fill that is difficult, and requires all four limbs to play at once, how will you go about learning to play it?
Learn it slow and tight,
two methods.
learn one limb at a time, then learn them adding in one to another afterwords.
Learn it one NOTE at a time. very slow and repeat it over and over and over

Q7: When should a drummer play a fill? See cymbal question. When it is required.

Q8: Besides playing beats and fills, what else does a drummer do during a song? Keep time, visual ques, provide energy, look good, laugh with the bass player, run electronics such as backing tracks, complain to the sound guy to have more kick in his monitor.

Q9: What does the sentence "the drummer keeps the beat" mean to you?
keeping the time and tempo for the whole band. You speed up they speed up. lock in with the bass player and groove out.

Q10: What makes drumming "musical"?[/quote]

the creativeness of the drummer and being able to complement the music.
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  #12  
Old 02-02-2017, 06:58 PM
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larryace larryace is offline
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Default Re: Questions to ask drum students

1. When it's needed

2. 97% of the time

3. Yes anything is possible

4. Yes. It's not a bad idea.

5. By teaching time and tempo

6. I get 3 limbs working and if I can't do the 4th, I work on singing the 4th part. If I can't sing it, I can't play it, so I focus on singing it first with just 3 limbs, until I can sing it. When I can sing it I can play it.

7. Only when the song would sound worse without it

8. Support the vocalist, support the lead player, make the groove infectious

9. Stating the obvious

10. That's an X factor that has no standard answer. It's our duty to find the musicality within life, not just music.
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  #13  
Old 02-02-2017, 08:05 PM
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bermuda bermuda is offline
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Default Re: Questions to ask drum students

Quote:
Originally Posted by brentcn View Post
Q4: Why is it a good idea to learn a song note for note on the drums?
A: Because some day Bermuda will die and there'll be an opening in the Weird Al band!

There are probably some conceptual questions that can help tailor your teaching strategy based on the answers. An important one would be "What do you see yourself doing in 10 or 20 years?" This can be extremely helpful in determining how serious a young student is about learning and practicing. Some kids take lessons only because their parents want them to do something with their spare time. I had students like that years ago when I was teaching, and unfortunately I wasn't mature enough to walk away from them and stop wasting everyone's time and money.

Bermuda
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  #14  
Old 02-03-2017, 03:49 AM
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JustJames JustJames is offline
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Default Re: Questions to ask drum students

Quote:
Originally Posted by Patz View Post
what's with some of the snarky answers?...
Welcome.


You must be new to the internetz.
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Old 02-03-2017, 04:04 AM
brentcn brentcn is offline
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Default Re: Questions to ask drum students

Quote:
Originally Posted by larryace View Post
2. 97% of the time
That's pretty low. :)
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