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Old 06-11-2010, 03:50 PM
NotSoLittleDrummerBoy NotSoLittleDrummerBoy is offline
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Default Musicality Dilemma

I'm on the worship team at my church and I'm one of six or seven drummers there. To my knowledge, all of us are self-taught and the skill levels vary greatly. Lately, it's become apparent that we have some people who are OK at keeping time and basic rhythms but they're not so great at being a "musician". They can't seem to play musically. Song structure is a foreign concept. Dynamics are too. Understanding how the pieces of a song connect and relate to each other is confusing. If the songs chosen to be used for a given weekend are changed in any way from the way our practice tracks are recorded, they're at a loss for how to handle that situation and it completely throws them off of their game.

For me, music comes naturally. I understand it. I FEEL it. It moves me. It's a part of me to my very core. Because of this, I have trouble relating to their situation and confusion since I've never encountered it, at least not to the level that these folks do. I've evolved into a position of leadership and mentoring yet I don't know how to help with this situation. I've never been taught these concepts; they've just always been a part of who I am.

How do you teach these things? I've found some videos on the internet (YouTube, VicFirth, etc.) trying to explain them and demonstrating the concepts, but I'm not sure they helped much.

Any ideas?
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Old 06-11-2010, 04:37 PM
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ANIMALBEATS ANIMALBEATS is offline
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Default Re: Musicality Dilemma

Just ask Jesus, he shall guide you.
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Last edited by ANIMALBEATS; 06-11-2010 at 04:52 PM.
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Old 06-11-2010, 04:45 PM
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Travis22 Travis22 is offline
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Default Re: Musicality Dilemma

I see you dilemma. You did say you were the band leader, so maybe try organizing a drummers only practice once a week. You could use this time to talk about the things you see the newer players are struggling with and help them better themselves. Explain things like time signatures, phrasing, tempo, styles (swing, funk, waltz, etc.), dynamics, repeats...anything that can help a person better understand music.
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Old 06-11-2010, 06:13 PM
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fixxxer fixxxer is offline
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Default Re: Musicality Dilemma

Another option is an organization called Drummers For Jesus. They have chapters all over the U.S. Anyone is welcome to their (usually once a month) meetings. They bring in some pretty big names in drumming to do clinics and talk about drumming particularly for praise and worship. It might be good to expose your folks to this.
You can check them out at www.drummersforjesus.com
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Old 06-11-2010, 10:57 PM
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spencerbrooks spencerbrooks is offline
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Default Re: Musicality Dilemma

Experience and how long they've been playing is a big thing when it comes to playing with the band and not just "to the band," in addition to following the leader when it comes to changes on-the-fly.

If I'm playing with a worship band that doesn't stick to a specific arrangement without fail, I find it extremely important to learn the leader's body language and signals so I understand where the band is going. It might help to specifically outline that body language to the drummers so they at least understand how to follow an evolving song structure. In my experience, musicality and feel comes from time, experience and practice rather than watching a YouTube video that flips a switch in your head. It might help to stick to a set arrangement and really work with the drummers to polish their feel on that particular song, and after they have a few under their belt they may have a better grasp on what you're expecting.
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Old 06-12-2010, 03:35 AM
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Pollyanna Pollyanna is offline
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Default Re: Musicality Dilemma

It really comes down to listening. It also comes down to ability. The groove must come first

If a drummer doesn't have the ability to add richer elements to a song without disrupting the groove then everyone's better off if s/he just sticks to playing time. The other stuff can be worked on.

The easiest way to add a new dimension to a track is to look for places where the drums can drop out. You then have an instant high when the drums start up again.
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