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  #1  
Old 10-31-2017, 02:52 PM
Beckiii Beckiii is offline
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Default Despondent with lesson

So, for a couple of months now I've been taking lessons (hour a week with a local teacher) and have managed to knab myself an acoustic kit super cheap off of gumtree that I can bash around on at home, at the minute feeling very much like I've hit a brick wall, I can do the things I've been shown (albeit quite slowly) but I can't help thinking i'm not progressing as fast as I should be- left my last lesson feeling like i'm the worst student and am honestly not looking forward to this lesson.

Anyone else get a crisis of confidence like this?
I'm 50/50 whether to just cancel the lesson at the minute, but i'm very aware that if I start cancelling them I may end up just giving up completely, uugh! (Sorry to be dramatic I just needed to vent somewhere, and this board drew the short straw)
Any advice is welcome!
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Old 10-31-2017, 03:19 PM
WallyY WallyY is offline
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Default Re: Despondent with lesson

Any advice would be minimally useful for getting over confidence and adherence issues, but I'll leave these here so you can have an easier understanding of weighing the cost to benefit, which will maybe give you the intrinsic motivation you need.

https://danielfitz.com/self-actualiz...ionism-sucking

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transt...sses_of_change
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Old 10-31-2017, 03:29 PM
Beckiii Beckiii is offline
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Default Re: Despondent with lesson

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Originally Posted by WallyY View Post
Any advice would be minimally useful for getting over confidence and adherence issues, but I'll leave these here so you can have an easier understanding of weighing the cost to benefit, which will maybe give you the intrinsic motivation you need.

https://danielfitz.com/self-actualiz...ionism-sucking

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transt...sses_of_change
Thanks for the links, I've not read the second one (i'm at work and it's long!) i'll have a look later HOWEVER that first one- I really needed to read that! Thank you!
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Old 10-31-2017, 03:43 PM
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Default Re: Despondent with lesson

I remember feeling like that when I first started making awful noises bashing on a drum kit left at my house. I can't remember the time frame to get past it but I do remember being mad at my limbs because they wouldn't do what I wanted them to. Very frustrating. But at some point with lots of practice you will break through that initial wall and things will begin to flow better. It takes a lot of work but it is tottaly worth it. Keep in mind this is true for any instrument. Almost everyone you know has picked up an instrument of some kind, realized music is hard, and put it back down. That is litterally the inital difference between musicians and everyone else.

Good luck and keep trying!
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Old 10-31-2017, 04:15 PM
Beckiii Beckiii is offline
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Almost everyone you know has picked up an instrument of some kind, realized music is hard, and put it back down. That is litterally the inital difference between musicians and everyone else.

Good luck and keep trying!
I did exactly this with the guitar when I was (a lot) younger, my parents bought me one, sorted me out private lessons but I don't think I ever made it to the second lesson- as I've gotten older I wished that i'd carried on with it

Drums are something I've wanted to play for years so I know I need to stick with it or in another 20 years ill be saying the same as I do with the guitar!
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Old 10-31-2017, 04:35 PM
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Default Re: Despondent with lesson

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...but I can't help thinking i'm not progressing as fast as I should be- left my last lesson feeling like i'm the worst student and am honestly not looking forward to this lesson.
And how fast, exactly, should this be?

That's a purely rhetorical question, to get you to stop and think about what you're really asking of yourself.

I don't know if you're a beginner, or picking back up, and don't know if you're younger or older, so what I'm going to put out here may or may not apply.

If you're older and learning, you may encounter something called "Mathematics Anxiety," where you panic that you're not learning fast enough, and this gets in the way of learning. This happens when you're building new pathways in the brain via learning. I went through this in my Music Theory studies.

Assuming you're a new drum student, know that this is the first of many walls. But there are things you can do to help make this better.

HONESTY: Ask yourself if you're honestly putting in the work related with the lessons. If you are, then move on to Patience.

PATIENCE: Do not be rough on yourself. This is supposed to be fun, even though it can also be a challenge. All of it will take time, work, and patience.

JOURNAL: Keep a journal, so that you can make note of your "wins." For example, you've learned the Paradiddle, and have practiced it so that you can play it at 40bpm. Great! Write that down. You can reference it every day, week, or however often you need.

So today you can play the paradiddle at 80bpm. Remember the 40bpm paradiddle win? You won't, unless you have written it down.

I'm taking guitar lessons right now, and have encountered this, as well as a few other things. And yes, when my teacher shows me something, sometimes it just flies right over my head, and I'll have to ask for additional explanation. Sometimes there are things that are difficult that require lots of practice.

As my teacher says, if you can pick up 20% of what I'm showing you, then you're a genius.

You'll learn things, then re-learn them, and then re-learn them again. Sometimes things will resonate with you easily. Other times, not so much.

Back to the wins...

Writing them down helps when you forget them. I've been in the position a hundred times before, where I think that if only I could learn that drum break, rudiment, guitar riff, bass line, etc., then I'll be a superior player once I master it.

So I take notes and ask questions. I put in the work. I master that one thing that was once so important to me.

And when I finally master it, I don't feel any better. I just take what I've mastered and then put it under some kind of assumed knowledge heading, where that's no big deal, because EVERYONE can play that. Even if it's not true, I might believe it. Then, on to the NEXT awesome thing that will supposedly change my life.

As you get better, the wins become fewer and fewer. The plateaus get longer and longer. Then you work harder to get smaller wins, a place I call "micro-tuning your abilities." Then there's regular maintenance, where you're working on what you've learned just to keep it at a certain level. Then your win is simply maintaining.

If you're putting in the work, and just need more time, then give yourself a break on the criticism department. When you become a solid drummer, you will still be critical of yourself. You may still not be satisfied. The day you're satisfied with your abilities is the day you stop learning and growing.

Even one day when you're on a stage, and people tell you that you did a great job, you have to smile and say "thank you," while swallowing the fact that you, AND ONLY YOU, noticed that you made that one little, inconsequential mistake that nobody could ever possibly hear. And yet you know it exists.

Remember that you won't master it all. I know many drummers who don't play metal, and therefore don't put any rehearsal or brain power toward double pedal heel-toe rolling technique. Knowing who you are as a player and where you want to go will help you focus your learning more. Right now, I assume you're at the beginning, so it is important to take all of those things in.

Finally, never compare yourself to others. You can look at others to learn, to get ideas on what to learn, and things like that. Just never compare. Focus on your TRUE competition, for there is a worthy competitor out there who wants you to fail. They want you to sweat. They want you to give up. They will be your roughest competitor until the end. They will be relentless, judgmental, and petty. They will rough you up. They will torture you.

That person is you. Show them what you've got!
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Old 10-31-2017, 05:49 PM
Beckiii Beckiii is offline
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Default Re: Despondent with lesson

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Originally Posted by DrumWild View Post
And how fast, exactly, should this be?

That's a purely rhetorical question, to get you to stop and think about what you're really asking of yourself.

I don't know if you're a beginner, or picking back up, and don't know if you're younger or older, so what I'm going to put out here may or may not apply.

If you're older and learning, you may encounter something called "Mathematics Anxiety," where you panic that you're not learning fast enough, and this gets in the way of learning. This happens when you're building new pathways in the brain via learning. I went through this in my Music Theory studies.
Thank you! I think i'm putting to much pressure on myself, at the end of the day I started this because it's something I've always wanted to do- I have no expectations of fame and grandeur so I shouldn't be worried about the speed I'm learning- i'm putting in the effort so as long as i'm progressing in a forward momentum and having fun that should be enough!

I'm very much a beginner and i'm 29 so closer to my thirties than my teens. Mathematics anxiety actually makes a lot of sense, I also find in my lessons it's almost as if the less I think about what i'm doing the better I do it- almost as if as soon as I over-engage my brain I start second guessing what i'm doing which completely throws me off.

Deep breaths I'm gonna kill this lesson later!
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Old 10-31-2017, 06:02 PM
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Default Re: Despondent with lesson

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Deep breaths I'm gonna kill this lesson later!
That's it!

I put a lot of pressure on myself at times, especially with the guitar lessons, because I'm studying with someone whom I've admired for most of my life. I think part of it was feeling the need to impress the teacher.

Like you with the drum lessons, I'm taking the guitar lessons for me, and not because I have some outrageous plans to join a band, write a hit, or take over the world. It's just for me, and yet there I was, sweating over it.

There an illusion of movement, as well as stagnation. When I sense movement, or improvement, I write it down.

But when things feel stagnant, I remind myself that I got to play a musical instrument today.

My guitar teacher told me, "You'll never master the guitar. Never. Nobody will. You could spend your life working on nothing more than to fully master the G Major scale, and it will never happen."

I think the same is true of drums. I'll never be a true master, and I think that few get close. But I also think that, in the end, we have to work to become masters of ourselves.

Kill it, and grill it!!!
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Old 10-31-2017, 07:07 PM
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Magenta Magenta is offline
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Default Re: Despondent with lesson

I am a former world champion of Putting Pressure On Oneself.

Of course you want to be good. Why on earth would you bother even learning to play drums if you didn't want to be good? And in order to be good, you have to put in the time and effort, which is what you're doing. You don't become good simply by really really wanting to.

There is a difference between making things happen and letting them happen, and it's when you let them that the magic occurs. However, if you haven't put in the graft, the magic won't miraculously appear. It's the old 99% perspiration thing. It's normal to feel despondent at times, but just you wait till you nail something you've really struggled with - it makes it worth all that blood, sweat and tears. And you WILL nail it, I promise.

Honestly, it does take time because it's an awful lot more difficult than it seems. How easy is it to tap the table or the steering wheel - and how hard is it to do exactly the same thing on a drum kit? It really isn't just hitting things, it's way bigger than the sum of its parts.

And not for the first time, I implore you not to let your perception of yourself and what you think you should or shouldn't do, get in your way. Believe me, you may be in a minority but you definitely aren't the only one doing what you're doing!
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Old 10-31-2017, 07:18 PM
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Default Re: Despondent with lesson

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Originally Posted by Beckiii View Post
So, for a couple of months now I've been taking lessons (hour a week with a local teacher) and have managed to knab myself an acoustic kit super cheap off of gumtree that I can bash around on at home, at the minute feeling very much like I've hit a brick wall, I can do the things I've been shown (albeit quite slowly) but I can't help thinking i'm not progressing as fast as I should be- left my last lesson feeling like i'm the worst student and am honestly not looking forward to this lesson.

Anyone else get a crisis of confidence like this?
I'm 50/50 whether to just cancel the lesson at the minute, but i'm very aware that if I start cancelling them I may end up just giving up completely, uugh! (Sorry to be dramatic I just needed to vent somewhere, and this board drew the short straw)
Any advice is welcome!

Great answers here, I will only add that yes after years of lessons I still often get that last minute cancellation anxiety. But consider this, if you walk out of the lesson feeling like you "totally aced everything" and "you got this, EASY!".....well then, what did you pay for? A good teacher should always be pushing you beyond the comfort zone,
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Old 10-31-2017, 07:43 PM
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Default Re: Despondent with lesson

The best way to look at it is you'll never be as good as you want to be and you can apply that to anything in life.

That's the thing that keeps you coming back for more and wanting to be that bit better than you were the day before.

Keep at it you'll surprise yourself!
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Old 10-31-2017, 08:25 PM
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Default Re: Despondent with lesson

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Originally Posted by Magenta View Post
I am a former world champion of Putting Pressure On Oneself.

Of course you want to be good. Why on earth would you bother even learning to play drums if you didn't want to be good? And in order to be good, you have to put in the time and effort, which is what you're doing. You don't become good simply by really really wanting to.

There is a difference between making things happen and letting them happen, and it's when you let them that the magic occurs. However, if you haven't put in the graft, the magic won't miraculously appear. It's the old 99% perspiration thing. It's normal to feel despondent at times, but just you wait till you nail something you've really struggled with - it makes it worth all that blood, sweat and tears. And you WILL nail it, I promise.

Honestly, it does take time because it's an awful lot more difficult than it seems. How easy is it to tap the table or the steering wheel - and how hard is it to do exactly the same thing on a drum kit? It really isn't just hitting things, it's way bigger than the sum of its parts.

And not for the first time, I implore you not to let your perception of yourself and what you think you should or shouldn't do, get in your way. Believe me, you may be in a minority but you definitely aren't the only one doing what you're doing!
Where's the "like" button?
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Old 10-31-2017, 08:41 PM
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Default Re: Despondent with lesson

Studying drums is kinda weird. On the one hand, you really want to learn how to play, so you have this entire punch list of things you want to be doing on the drums. On the other hand, other than you wanting to do it, there's nobody that's expecting you to become a better player.

When I was in college, it was a much different vibe when somebody comes in with a tune they wrote that's a samba in 7/8, and I wasn't well-versed in sambas, let alone one in 7/8! So the external pressure really made me learn quickly. But yours is all internal since you don't have any external pressure forcing you to do this.

So I say just take it a day at a time, and maybe even play things slower so you can really understand them - and don't speed them up until you're ready. It's supposed to be a fun thing too, so if you think there's too much pressure, then take a break. Sometimes I can make myself practice an hour a day, other times I wouldn't practice at all and then hit the drums for six hours in a day and get the same amount of playing in. (Whether or not I'm working on things I can't do is another story ;)

Just make it fun so you find yourself wanting to put the time in every day - maybe your additional pressure is coming from the fact you've tried guitar and didn't dig that? To which I say, just let that go. You're on another instrument, which is different from the last one, so you may have to find another way of approaching it. This is all your journey - how do you want to travel down the road?
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Old 10-31-2017, 10:13 PM
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Default Re: Despondent with lesson

A couple of months is not much time at all. Think about it, you are 29 and you say you see yourself playing drums 20 years ahead ....thats another 240 months.
Lower your expectations about the rate of learning and just know that every week or month there is more progress. Have fun with it, rather than pressurizing oneself about it. Progress will also come in bursts, sometimes a threshold is crossed and suddenly something clicks. One day you can't play a paradiddle and the next day it happens.
Enjoy the journey not the destination.
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Old 10-31-2017, 10:16 PM
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Default Re: Despondent with lesson

Thanks you lovely lot!

I had my lesson, and it was 100% not as bad as I was making it out to be in my head (surprise surprise!)- my teacher said I'm working at a good pace and smashing through things he's getting me to do so I'm feeling a lot better about it, bit of a wobble at the end of the lesson but nothing some practice won't sort (who knew switching between drums could be so confusing?!)

I just have to remember to keep it fun.. and deep breaths! I got this!
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Old 11-01-2017, 12:31 AM
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I got this!
You SO have.

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Originally Posted by Beckiii View Post
(who knew switching between drums could be so confusing?!)
Most of us! It's astonishing how much difference a change in movement or in sound can make, and it can really knock you sideways. Now you know this, you'll be more prepared for it and you'll deal with it when it happens. This is a REALLY BIG THING.
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Old 11-01-2017, 12:45 AM
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Thanks you lovely lot!

I had my lesson, and it was 100% not as bad as I was making it out to be in my head (surprise surprise!)- my teacher said I'm working at a good pace and smashing through things he's getting me to do so I'm feeling a lot better about it, bit of a wobble at the end of the lesson but nothing some practice won't sort (who knew switching between drums could be so confusing?!)

I just have to remember to keep it fun.. and deep breaths! I got this!
You have got this. Absolutely. There's absolutely no reason why you can't play very well with practice.
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Old 11-01-2017, 01:10 AM
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Default Re: Despondent with lesson

Glad your lesson went well. Just remember, if you put in the work during the week, your teacher will notice whether you nailed everything perfectly or not.

Unless your taking from a big name teacher with names on a wait list, it's likely not everyone of his/her students practices a lot, if at all. A number of years ago while living in a non drumming friendly space, I took guitar lessons from someone I thought was probably one of the better teachers in the area (Seattle) and when I told him my work schedule was getting busy enough to have stop the lessons, he was disappointed saying "your one of the guys who actually practices". I wasn't a very good guitar player, yet I did practice.
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Old 11-01-2017, 04:15 AM
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Glad your lesson went well. Just remember, if you put in the work during the week, your teacher will notice whether you nailed everything perfectly or not.

Unless your taking from a big name teacher with names on a wait list, it's likely not everyone of his/her students practices a lot, if at all. A number of years ago while living in a non drumming friendly space, I took guitar lessons from someone I thought was probably one of the better teachers in the area (Seattle) and when I told him my work schedule was getting busy enough to have stop the lessons, he was disappointed saying "your one of the guys who actually practices". I wasn't a very good guitar player, yet I did practice.
If someone didnít practice, it would concern me. Iíd change what I was asking them to practice until we found something that clicked.
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Old 11-01-2017, 04:39 AM
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Default Re: Despondent with lesson

There will always be brick walls.

My band recently tackled 'Walking On Sunshine' by Katrina and the Waves. Basic groove is here but I am not completely happy with that. It sounds a bit empty, so I've been working on adding the hats on the eighths. At which point it all falls apart.

So I've been doing the only thing that can possibly work. Slowing it down to the point where I can play it cleanly, and playing with the metronome, which is something that I almost never do. Yes, it's frustrating AF, but I know that it will come eventually, and it's just a question of putting in the work (and the right sort of work) and waiting for the result to arrive, as I know it will.

Remember: If this stuff was easy, then anybody could do it.
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Old 11-01-2017, 06:11 AM
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My band recently tackled 'Walking On Sunshine' by Katrina and the Waves. Basic groove is here but I am not completely happy with that. It sounds a bit empty, so I've been working on adding the hats on the eighths. At which point it all falls apart.

So I've been doing the only thing that can possibly work. Slowing it down to the point where I can play it cleanly, and playing with the metronome, which is something that I almost never do. Yes, it's frustrating AF, but I know that it will come eventually, and it's just a question of putting in the work (and the right sort of work) and waiting for the result to arrive, as I know it will.

Remember: If this stuff was easy, then anybody could do it.
Wait a minute, the reason the "Walking on Sunshine" groove sounds so good is because the entire band is playing their parts and they all lock together to become bigger than the sum of their parts. You shouldn't have to fill it up with extraneous notes, right? Anything extra you play will just make more sonic clutter. I stay true to the original on really popular tunes because you could easily kill it (not in a good way ;)
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Old 11-01-2017, 06:34 AM
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Wait a minute, the reason the "Walking on Sunshine" groove sounds so good is because the entire band is playing their parts and they all lock together to become bigger than the sum of their parts. You shouldn't have to fill it up with extraneous notes, right? Anything extra you play will just make more sonic clutter. I stay true to the original on really popular tunes because you could easily kill it (not in a good way ;)
Bo, I'm the biggest believer in avoiding extraneous notes, but if you listen to the original, there are eighth note high hat hits, and also tambourine hits which I want to incorporate (in the place of some of the hat hits).

If anything the sheet music that I linked to earlier errs by leaving out the hat hits.

My approach is always to try as far as possible to recreate what is on the recording. If I need to, I will simplify if it means I can maintain the feel. Very occasionally I will add some cymbal or high hat barks for emphasis, especially if the recorded version uses a bigger band than the one that I am in.

I'm arguing with you here, but out of complete agreement. :)
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Old 11-01-2017, 06:40 AM
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Bo, I'm the biggest believer in avoiding extraneous notes, but if you listen to the original, there are eighth note high hat hits, and also tambourine hits which I want to incorporate (in the place of some of the hat hits).

If anything the sheet music that I linked to earlier errs by leaving out the hat hits.

My approach is always to try as far as possible to recreate what is on the recording. If I need to, I will simplify if it means I can maintain the feel. Very occasionally I will add some cymbal or high hat barks for emphasis, especially if the recorded version uses a bigger band than the one that I am in.

I'm arguing with you here, but out of complete agreement. :)
Ah. No worries then. Perhaps if you guys interpreted it as a waltz?
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Old 11-01-2017, 06:46 AM
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Default Re: Despondent with lesson

I was thinking more of post apocalyptic surf death metal polka, with a touch of Polynesian Nightmare thrown in for good measure.

To the OP: You may want to follow* this lesson:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nECoe4eCp_o

* For certain values of follow.
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Old 11-01-2017, 07:25 AM
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I was thinking more of post apocalyptic surf death metal polka, with a touch of Polynesian Nightmare thrown in for good measure.

To the OP: You may want to follow* this lesson:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nECoe4eCp_o

* For certain values of follow.
Really Beckiii - this guy is FOR REAL! He's one of my drumming inspirations too!
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Old 11-01-2017, 12:37 PM
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I was thinking more of post apocalyptic surf death metal polka, with a touch of Polynesian Nightmare thrown in for good measure.

To the OP: You may want to follow* this lesson:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nECoe4eCp_o

* For certain values of follow.
If there were emojis on here I would use the laughing face, I watched it and spent the first part very confused like... hey... I recognise that guy... what is happening

hopefully you have these 17 toms... haha!
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Old 11-13-2017, 06:48 PM
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feldiefeld feldiefeld is offline
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Default Re: Despondent with lesson

Hi - I'm a bit late to this thread, but I have to chime in. Please don't give up! It sounds like you really enjoy drumming and you're just frustrated.

It takes a long time and a lot of work to get good and that is the talent that you need---the ability to focus on doing the work and practice.

It will get easier if you keep at it.

-MF
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Last edited by feldiefeld; 11-13-2017 at 06:49 PM. Reason: misspelling
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Old 11-13-2017, 07:06 PM
RIneuron RIneuron is offline
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Default Re: Despondent with lesson

I want to echo one point made by a previous poster: If you are having trouble mastering something, slow it WAY down to where you can play it accurately and reliably. And do that a LONG time (e.g. 30 minutes). Then GRADUALLY speed up with a metronome. You will be amazed how this helps with "muscle memory." 30 minutes may not seem long, but it takes a lot of discipline and persistence to do this.
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