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  #1  
Old 05-12-2011, 09:59 PM
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Default Drumline, not doing it.. Is that bad?

I did indoor marching band, and I hated it. I played bass drum and it was awful.. Now my instructor said if I learned these 2 pieces and played them good then I could have a spot as snare drum. The thing is, all the other snare drummers will be ahead of me, I am not that good at counting.. So it would cause lots of stress on my self. Although I believe I will kinda regret it, because it would help in my sticking/rudiments a lot.. But I might just practice those at home, stress free.

What do you think?

-Adam
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  #2  
Old 05-12-2011, 10:11 PM
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Default Re: Drumline, not doing it.. Is that bad?

I say suck it up and do it, all the work will pay off in spades.
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Old 05-12-2011, 11:07 PM
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Default Re: Drumline, not doing it.. Is that bad?

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Originally Posted by Ex Nihilo View Post
Now my instructor said if I learned these 2 pieces and played them good then I could have a spot as snare drum.
Awesome! Take the opportunity! It means that you've proven yourself to be considered among the elite. You've earned it...do it!

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Originally Posted by Ex Nihilo View Post
The thing is, all the other snare drummers will be ahead of me
So? That should inspire you to work your butt off and get better.

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Originally Posted by Ex Nihilo View Post
I am not that good at counting.

Good. Recognizing your weaknesses is the first step towards getting better.
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Originally Posted by Ex Nihilo View Post
it would cause lots of stress on my self
Why? Because it's challenging? Because you'd be pushing yourself? That's how you get better. Don't skip out on it because you're afraid of a little stress.

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Originally Posted by Ex Nihilo View Post
I might just practice those at home, stress free.
You'd certainly be practicing at home when you're on the snare line. Being in the drumline is a great motivator to get better quickly. Do it while you can--there are tons of people who only wish they could/did. You have an amazing opportunity opened up before you. If you're passionate about drumming, do it.

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What do you think?
Do it.
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Old 05-12-2011, 11:32 PM
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Default Re: Drumline, not doing it.. Is that bad?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ex Nihilo View Post
I did indoor marching band, and I hated it. I played bass drum and it was awful.. Now my instructor said if I learned these 2 pieces and played them good then I could have a spot as snare drum. The thing is, all the other snare drummers will be ahead of me, I am not that good at counting.. So it would cause lots of stress on my self. Although I believe I will kinda regret it, because it would help in my sticking/rudiments a lot.. But I might just practice those at home, stress free.

What do you think?

-Adam
The bold section seems to be a major problem in high school drumlines. Techs or teachers seem to have the attitude of "Oh, you're not good enough for snare or tenors, so we'll stick you on bass." This tends to get bass lines crummy music, and the good ones get bad rep.

But I suppose that's just generalizing.

Being in a drumline is one of the best things that you can do for yourself as a drummer and as a musician. Before I started playing tenors in my school's line, I didn't know what double-strokes were, or what diddles were, and I wouldn't have a poster in my room with the forty most important rudiments according to the PAS. I enjoy being in a line almost as much as I enjoy playing in a band or being at an open mic show.

I strongly suggest you put everything you possibly can into this. The return is equal to the expense.
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  #5  
Old 05-12-2011, 11:38 PM
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Default Re: Drumline, not doing it.. Is that bad?

Referring to someone who said bass drum had bad music in most High schools...
My high school had very challenging bass drum music, although I didn't know how to count so I wasn't very good.


Being in drumline was the most stressfull, and hateful time of my life.. I would go home, to a few hours a day, I lost friends because I never had time to hang out with them... I want to become a good drummer, but I want to have fun while doing so... Drumline would help dramatically too make me become better, but i don't know...
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  #6  
Old 05-13-2011, 12:04 AM
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Default Re: Drumline, not doing it.. Is that bad?

My guess is you'll regret it if you don't do it.
I never went to a school that had a drum line, and I wish I had!

But ask yourself, what are your goals with drums

1) Do you want to be in a band?
2) Do you want to play music with other people?
3) Do you any even the slightest desire to make some or all your living with drums?
4) Do you just want to play drum in your bedroom for the rest of your life and never join a band?

If you answered yes to either of the first three questions, get into that drum line!
If you answered yes to only #4, well, don't worry about it then.


Quote:
I am not that good at counting
If you have any hope of playing with other people outside of a bedroom jam, you will have to learn to count. It's one of a drummers main roles. Better to learn how to do it now, in a school setting, then find out it's too late when you joined that awesome band and they throw you out because you're not hacking it.

Quote:
So it would cause lots of stress on my self.
The music business, and life in general, is full of stress. If you can't handle this level of stress, well, then I do hope your answer to the above questions was indeed only yes to #4.

And there is nothing wrong with answer #4. Drums can be an awesome hobby too.
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  #7  
Old 05-13-2011, 12:36 AM
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Default Re: Drumline, not doing it.. Is that bad?

I think not doing it because you really don't want to do it, is just fine.

I think not doing it because you can't count, are worried that everyone else will be better and are concerned about it being "stressful", is the soft option.
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  #8  
Old 05-13-2011, 01:13 AM
azharleyriderxl azharleyriderxl is offline
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Default Re: Drumline, not doing it.. Is that bad?

What do you mean you can't count? It's marching, 1,2,3,4

Can you read music? It basically boils down to your willingness to learn and/or practice.

I was a center snare for 3 of my 4 years on the drum line. I knew how to read music and I practiced. I had to impress upon our youngsters what that meant. I had full discretion to sit someone out, if they weren't cutting it. Usually the first football game of the season the newbies sat out, after that, it 'clicked".

don't spread yourself thin and practice.
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  #9  
Old 05-13-2011, 02:04 AM
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Default Re: Drumline, not doing it.. Is that bad?

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Originally Posted by azharleyriderxl View Post
What do you mean you can't count? It's marching, 1,2,3,4
Even simpler than that...1,2!
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  #10  
Old 05-13-2011, 04:27 AM
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Default Re: Drumline, not doing it.. Is that bad?

Absolutely do it, you'll learn a ton and be glad you did it later. Pretty much anything worth doing requires hard work & sacrifice.
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  #11  
Old 05-13-2011, 05:10 AM
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Default Re: Drumline, not doing it.. Is that bad?

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Originally Posted by azharleyriderxl View Post
What do you mean you can't count? It's marching, 1,2,3,4

Can you read music? It basically boils down to your willingness to learn and/or practice.

I was a center snare for 3 of my 4 years on the drum line. I knew how to read music and I practiced. I had to impress upon our youngsters what that meant. I had full discretion to sit someone out, if they weren't cutting it. Usually the first football game of the season the newbies sat out, after that, it 'clicked".

don't spread yourself thin and practice.
Its more than 1,2,3,4. I believe the the majority of the Blue Devil's ditty is written in 7/8.
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  #12  
Old 05-13-2011, 06:44 AM
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Default Re: Drumline, not doing it.. Is that bad?

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Its more than 1,2,3,4. I believe the the majority of the Blue Devil's ditty is written in 7/8.
5,6,7.

An exception doesn't necessarily negate the rule......and in this case, it definitely doesn't negate the point. :-)

Regardless.....if you can't count or can't read....or indeed can't do a paradiddle, surely they are taught, no? Or do they just throw you in the deep and and it's a case of sink or swim?
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  #13  
Old 05-13-2011, 12:24 PM
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Default Re: Drumline, not doing it.. Is that bad?

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I think not doing it because you really don't want to do it, is just fine.

I think not doing it because you can't count, are worried that everyone else will be better and are concerned about it being "stressful", is the soft option.
Exactly. "What does not kill me, makes me stronger."

Too many people confuse being challenged with being "stressed". All the psychobabble on the TV and in the media about "avoiding stress" gives people a rationalisation for shying away from conquerable challenges.

To the OP; the anxiety you're experiencing is normal and completely within your capabilities to handle. We all have self doubt and worries that we won't measure up. Not a day goes by when I don't wish I were better at something. It's in how we respond to those doubts and to challenges that we show our real mettle and courage.

My advice: Suck it up, grab your beater and play the snot out of those BD parts, get the snare chair and make all those guys ahead of you take notice that there's a new kid in town who's willing to work twice as hard and take twice as many knocks to get where he's going. Don't see their extra knowledge and experience as a threat; it's a resource for you to devour and apply. Ask - politely - for their help and get everything you can from them. No one ever got anywhere worth going any other way. Hiding out in your bedroom playing on a pad would be a retreat. It's all about playing with the best players you can. Get in!
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  #14  
Old 05-13-2011, 01:11 PM
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Default Re: Drumline, not doing it.. Is that bad?

I am actually joining a band this summer, and getting Drum lessons starting summer. I think I will become a better drummer this way and more relax... I also determined my self to practice rudiments at least a hour a day.. The only reason he told me to try for snare is because I can do Diddles (Double Stroke) almost better then the Snare Drummers on the line right now. But I am going to try to improve, then maybe junior year try it out.
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  #15  
Old 05-13-2011, 02:34 PM
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Default Re: Drumline, not doing it.. Is that bad?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ex Nihilo View Post
I did indoor marching band, and I hated it. I played bass drum and it was awful.. Now my instructor said if I learned these 2 pieces and played them good then I could have a spot as snare drum. The thing is, all the other snare drummers will be ahead of me, I am not that good at counting.. So it would cause lots of stress on my self. Although I believe I will kinda regret it, because it would help in my sticking/rudiments a lot.. But I might just practice those at home, stress free.

What do you think?

-Adam
I think if its stress free you are not really learning anything. Its supposed to be hard. That's what makes it great and why not everyone does it.
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  #16  
Old 05-14-2011, 01:10 AM
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Default Re: Drumline, not doing it.. Is that bad?

I am really mad at myself for not even trying out for the drumline.. Now it's too late. Yes, you can "devote" time to practice rudiments, but you'll almost definitely fall short; If you practice for just your own benefit, you wouldn't be as motivated as if you had to live up to certain standards (drum line). I would totally do it if i could go back in time, i think you should too.
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Old 05-14-2011, 10:29 AM
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Default Re: Drumline, not doing it.. Is that bad?

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Originally Posted by Ex Nihilo View Post
I am actually joining a band this summer, and getting Drum lessons starting summer. I think I will become a better drummer this way and more relax... I also determined my self to practice rudiments at least a hour a day.. The only reason he told me to try for snare is because I can do Diddles (Double Stroke) almost better then the Snare Drummers on the line right now. But I am going to try to improve, then maybe junior year try it out.
Why not do all of the above AND play in the drum line? Having regular sessions where you can apply and correct your rudimental practice is a boon to technique development. You say you're going to take lessons; there is a whole drumline full of guys to help give you lessons inviting you to work with them and yet you want to miss the opportunity.

I simply think that it's really important for young players to do as much playing as possible in as many different situations as they can get involved in. If someone will let you pick up sticks and hit stuff, go there and do it. Don't eschew any opportunity to A) play with more skilled/experienced players B) play with other musicians C) work in an environment where your skills will be constantly tested and measured against your previous achievements and others and where you can receive instruction on how to improve your chops. Structure has its place. What I see a lot is DIY guys who come to me for lessons and have all kinds of strange habits that need fixing because they've been pounding away all by themselves for months or even years. But, what's worse is that too many young players know how to play a whole lot of drums, but not very much music. They simply don't have the ears because they haven't been playing with other people enough. Drumline gives you a chance to play some music with other people in real time. That is every bit as important (perhaps moreso) as plodding away at your pad day and night and the skills you learn there cannot be duplicated in the woodshed.

Last edited by Boomka; 05-14-2011 at 01:14 PM.
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  #18  
Old 05-14-2011, 02:33 PM
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Default Re: Drumline, not doing it.. Is that bad?

Go for it. You'll thank yourself later for sure.
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Old 05-14-2011, 03:55 PM
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Default Re: Drumline, not doing it.. Is that bad?

I was in drumline my senior year and though I enjoyed the social aspect of it, I could have done without all the other things involved, especially performing at football games in those outfits.

What I found great and useful from school was taking music theory classes, taking music theory classes and taking music theory classes. Did I say that enough? ;) I also cannot stress enough how useful weekly private lessons with a great teacher are.
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Old 05-14-2011, 05:38 PM
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Default Re: Drumline, not doing it.. Is that bad?

Dude I still remember your Is it bad not to learn traditional grip? thread. No offense but you just want to coast and magically excel while doing as little as possible. With this attitude you're not getting very far while your alternate summer plan is doomed to fail because it has none of the structure a guy like yourself needs.Geez man, you want to learn rudiments as fast as possible you join drumline. See there you go...it even works using your logic.

I am actually joining a band this summer, and getting Drum lessons starting summer.

When specifically this summer? A season has three months. If you can't answer this question directly, then you join drumline.

I think I will become a better drummer this way and more relax.

You think wrong. Besides you have almost no practical experience or background. What do you know about the requirements associated with becoming a better drummer? I don't want to be harsh with you...but come on.

I also determined my self to practice rudiments at least a hour a day.

You'll be off that regimen before you get to Friday of the first week...bank it. Besides what better way to measure progress than while in the company of others working towards the same goal in a serious get it done kind of way.

The only reason he told me to try for snare is because I can do Diddles (Double Stroke) almost better then the Snare Drummers on the line right now.

You have no idea why the director asked you to do this. You're 14 with minimal experience. Maybe he saw something in you worthy bringing out. Man, it's really good when the director takes a personal interest. So why are you bailing on that?

But I am going to try to improve, then maybe junior year try it out.

Try means no! Maybe means no!

Quit dancing around it and get your butt in the line. And if you bail on this anyway, how about doing everybody a favor and cease the posting all these threads, that you seemingly toss out there to validate a very obvious slacker dynamic.

Look ...away from the computer you're probably a cool guy ...but do you want to play or not? Not a single person here agrees with your approach. What does that tell you?
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  #21  
Old 05-14-2011, 06:21 PM
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Default Re: Drumline, not doing it.. Is that bad?

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Originally Posted by mattsmith View Post
Dude I still remember your Is it bad not to learn traditional grip? thread. No offense but you just want to coast and magically excel while doing as little as possible. With this attitude you're not getting very far while your alternate summer plan is doomed to fail because it has none of the structure a guy like yourself needs.Geez man, you want to learn rudiments as fast as possible you join drumline. See there you go...it even works using your logic.

I am actually joining a band this summer, and getting Drum lessons starting summer.

When specifically this summer? A season has three months. If you can't answer this question directly, then you join drumline.

I think I will become a better drummer this way and more relax.

You think wrong. Besides you have almost no practical experience or background. What do you know about the requirements associated with becoming a better drummer? I don't want to be harsh with you...but come on.

I also determined my self to practice rudiments at least a hour a day.

You'll be off that regimen before you get to Friday of the first week...bank it. Besides what better way to measure progress than while in the company of others working towards the same goal in a serious get it done kind of way.

The only reason he told me to try for snare is because I can do Diddles (Double Stroke) almost better then the Snare Drummers on the line right now.

You have no idea why the director asked you to do this. You're 14 with minimal experience. Maybe he saw something in you worthy bringing out. Man, it's really good when the director takes a personal interest. So why are you bailing on that?

But I am going to try to improve, then maybe junior year try it out.

Try means no! Maybe means no!

Quit dancing around it and get your butt in the line. And if you bail on this anyway, how about doing everybody a favor and cease the posting all these threads, that you seemingly toss out there to validate a very obvious slacker dynamic.

Look ...away from the computer you're probably a cool guy ...but do you want to play or not? Not a single person here agrees with your approach. What does that tell you?
Harsh comment man... maybe he's not looking to become a professional drummer.

Although I don't know how serious you're drumline is, if your director suggested you to do it then I'm sure you definitely could. I wish I could've been in a serious drumline, but my school had a small music program.
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  #22  
Old 05-14-2011, 07:29 PM
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Default Re: Drumline, not doing it.. Is that bad?

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Harsh comment man... maybe he's not looking to become a professional drummer.
.
Well, that's Matt point, as I tried to make earlier.

If he's not, fine, just admit it. It's cool, most drummers only play as a hobby. No one says you have to be good. Most people who take up drums in high school quit playing by the time they are out of college.

But if the OP was just thinking drums are a fun hobby, he wouldn't have bothered posting this question.

Overall, Matt is 100% correct. You can't say you're serious if you don't take it seriously.
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Old 05-14-2011, 07:37 PM
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Default Re: Drumline, not doing it.. Is that bad?

My is advice is to do it.
Worst case scenario: you don't like it or whatever and quit. No big deal.
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Old 05-14-2011, 07:48 PM
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Default Re: Drumline, not doing it.. Is that bad?

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Originally Posted by DrumEatDrum View Post
Well, that's Matt point, as I tried to make earlier.

If he's not, fine, just admit it. It's cool, most drummers only play as a hobby. No one says you have to be good. Most people who take up drums in high school quit playing by the time they are out of college.

But if the OP was just thinking drums are a fun hobby, he wouldn't have bothered posting this question.

Overall, Matt is 100% correct. You can't say you're serious if you don't take it seriously.
Yeah, but like I suggested to the OP, the drum line doesn't have to be the answer.
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Old 05-14-2011, 09:49 PM
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Default Re: Drumline, not doing it.. Is that bad?

Playing snare drum in my high school marching band was one of the best times of my life!
Like everyone else here, I say DO IT!
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Old 05-15-2011, 03:05 AM
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Default Re: Drumline, not doing it.. Is that bad?

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Originally Posted by DrumEatDrum View Post
Well, that's Matt point, as I tried to make earlier.

If he's not, fine, just admit it. It's cool, most drummers only play as a hobby. No one says you have to be good. Most people who take up drums in high school quit playing by the time they are out of college.

But if the OP was just thinking drums are a fun hobby, he wouldn't have bothered posting this question.

Overall, Matt is 100% correct. You can't say you're serious if you don't take it seriously.
Thanks DED...that is exactly my point.

The OP has posted 86 times and has already created an amazing 26 help me threads that ask everything from how do I clean a dirty drum head? to how do I twirl a stick? In each and every thread he has at the very least admitted his determination to be much better than he is now, while at the same time demonstrating his first inclination, which is to do as little as possible to attain this goal.

During his three month journey he has received sound advice from upwards of 50-50 really good guys...and he has gotten this info entirely for free... when we all know he would have paid good money had he enlisted the private sector.

I think at this point it's entirely fair for some to wonder why they're wasting so much time on a guy they're not altogether sure is serious as he claims...or if their own personal time has been well spent. IMO...there's nothing harsh about wanting to know why others continue to bother. As mentioned, yeah he seems like a good guy. But does he want to really play or not? If he wants to be something else behind a drum...cool But I suspect guys like Boomka and Caddy could be using their advising time more efficiently with other players who have demonstrated another kind of behavior and dedication.
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Old 05-15-2011, 01:54 PM
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Default Re: Drumline, not doing it.. Is that bad?

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Thanks DED...that is exactly my point.

The OP has posted 86 times and has already created an amazing 26 help me threads that ask everything from how do I clean a dirty drum head? to how do I twirl a stick? In each and every thread he has at the very least admitted his determination to be much better than he is now, while at the same time demonstrating his first inclination, which is to do as little as possible to attain this goal.

During his three month journey he has received sound advice from upwards of 50-50 really good guys...and he has gotten this info entirely for free... when we all know he would have paid good money had he enlisted the private sector.

I think at this point it's entirely fair for some to wonder why they're wasting so much time on a guy they're not altogether sure is serious as he claims...or if their own personal time has been well spent. IMO...there's nothing harsh about wanting to know why others continue to bother. As mentioned, yeah he seems like a good guy. But does he want to really play or not? If he wants to be something else behind a drum...cool But I suspect guys like Boomka and Caddy could be using their advising time more efficiently with other players who have demonstrated another kind of behavior and dedication.
Matt,

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!!! I thought I was the only one around who was really getting annoyed with this kid. I told him recently if you want to learn to play go find a teacher and do it. You can't learn all these things from sitting at the computer. It annoys me because even as I type this my 15 year old is awake at 7:47am on a Sunday and is practicing marimba, he will later go to a timpani lesson with a pro symphony timpanist and then on to youth orchestra practice. He knows what it takes for a kid to be successful. He's chasing the dream and it takes work!!!!!! He plays mallets, snare, timpani, accessories(he practices the tamborine and triangle) and the drumset.
The OP here seems to think by talking about drumming you become a better drummer.


Thanks again,
Big D
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Old 05-15-2011, 02:23 PM
Boomka Boomka is offline
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Default Re: Drumline, not doing it.. Is that bad?

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Originally Posted by Drums101 View Post
Harsh comment man... maybe he's not looking to become a professional drummer.
Harsh, perhaps. But the truth doesn't always come covered in whipped cream and chocolate sprinkles. Matt has simply laid out the nitty-gritty of the situation.

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I wish I could've been in a serious drumline, but my school had a small music program.
You're not the only one in that position. And, yet, here we have a young man who has an opportunity you don't have who seems to be dedicated to squandering it because he thinks - in all his worldly experience - that he knows a better way. To be honest, I don't think this one decision will make or break his drumming career. But we are the sum total of our decisions, and the further you go down the path of avoiding challenges and work - and rationalising about it - the harder it gets to climb back up. It becomes a habit of mind.

I started out as a percussionist playing in orchestras and concert bands. I didn't even take up the drum set seriously until I'd been playing percussion for 4 or 5 years, despite the fact that my father played drumset (and percussion) and having all the opportunity in the world. I now make my living from teaching and playing the drumset and I rarely get called to do the percussion thing. But, I draw on those early experiences every single time I sit down to play. My ears got opened up to so much different music playing in those situations, and as I was often playing with adults as a teenager I learned how to cope with scrutiny and high expectations. More importantly, I learned about how to operate in a musical group setting, not just from a playing standpoint but from the perspective of politics, interpersonal relationships and professionalism.

You just can't get that stuff in your bedroom, even playing the fanciest 25-surface practice pad. Nor can you get it from splashing your face all over the Youtube playing to your favorite tunes. You get it by playing with people, in the world. Matt's comments might be harsh, but they come from having suffered some slings and arrows and becoming better for it. Hell, he had the temerity to pick up stakes, move to another continent, set up shop in a country where he doesn't speak the language and work his tail off to get playing with whoever would have him. Matt's advice comes from the right place, even if it doesn't taste very good.

For kicks, let me throw this question out: even if the OP doesn't want to be a professional player, what does he lose by taking this opportunity?

Last edited by Boomka; 05-15-2011 at 05:14 PM.
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Old 05-15-2011, 02:45 PM
mediocrefunkybeat
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Default Re: Drumline, not doing it.. Is that bad?

Right now, I'm sitting in my room in my house at University. I can't get to most of my kit because it's locked away in a storage cupboard (and I don't have the key) and I don't have a practice pad (oversight on my part). It's also a Sunday, so I can't go and get a practice pad from the music shop and I don't really have any money to get one - even though I might.

The only soundproofed room is on campus and that's fully booked because it's the live room for the main studio. The other practice spaces aren't soundproofed and they're being used by various musicians practicing for academic recitals - so even if I could get to my kit, it wouldn't be too friendly.

I'm considering buying a cheap mouse mat, grabbing a small bit of old shelf I have in my room and glueing the two together to make a practice pad. I can't play otherwise and it's driving me nuts. I'm not even a serious player, but I have started to take my playing more seriously.

The fact that this kid is whining that he doesn't want to play in Drumline is maddening. We don't have them in the UK (at least not in schools usually). I think Matt is totally right on this - right now, I would kill to go and play in a Drumline - but I can't. I'm just holding on until I can practice tomorrow with my friend for her flute recital.
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Old 05-15-2011, 03:04 PM
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Default Re: Drumline, not doing it.. Is that bad?

Personally, if I was on that side of the fence I'd have found the militaristic side of it a turnoff. But so many great players did drumline early on and it obviously really sharpens up timing, technique and stick control.

On the other hand, as Dale said, there are other avenues if drumline isn't someone's bag. Plenty of great players had private drum kit lessons or started like Boomka with orchestral percussion. There are options.

When I was young, like the OP, my ambition exceeded my discipline so I get where the he is coming from. My advice would be to get private lessons, which is what I should have done in the early days.

I didn't even know you could learn formally at first, I just figured that people got good by playing all the time and trying really hard :) Trouble is, that approach will introduce a host of bad drumming habits if you're head's not screwed on (as mine wasn't) ... tensing up, limiting grip, clunky stroke ... lessons are the way to go if drumline doesn't appeal.
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Old 05-15-2011, 03:07 PM
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Default Re: Drumline, not doing it.. Is that bad?

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Originally Posted by Ex Nihilo View Post
... The only reason he told me to try for snare is because I can do Diddles (Double Stroke) almost better then the Snare Drummers on the line right now...
What?

Just... What? Really?

Putting the absolutely ridiculous premise behind that post aside, that alone should make your spot in the snare line a definite step closer to center.
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Old 05-15-2011, 05:13 PM
Boomka Boomka is offline
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Default Re: Drumline, not doing it.. Is that bad?

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Originally Posted by Pollyanna View Post
Personally, if I was on that side of the fence I'd have found the militaristic side of it a turnoff. But so many great players did drumline early on and it obviously really sharpens up timing, technique and stick control.
I'll admit, I'm not a big fan of the whole drum line thing. I love a good marching band, and I can dig on the Scottish thing, too, but generally, the drum corps scene is not my thing. Never has been. Not to say that I don't completely respect the time, effort and abilities of drum corps players. On the contrary.

However, I know it's not my thing because I've tried enough different stuff to know what I like and what I don't; what sort of thing suits me and what doesn't. And I think Matt's right to point out that it sounds/looks as though there's a pattern here. And for that reason, and because I think that young, learning players shouldn't have pretensions to being too discerning about what structured playing opportunities they take, I think the OP should get on with it. What's the worst that could happen?

But, generally, fair point Polly.
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Old 05-15-2011, 05:23 PM
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Default Re: Drumline, not doing it.. Is that bad?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pollyanna View Post
Personally, if I was on that side of the fence I'd have found the militaristic side of it a turnoff. But so many great players did drumline early on and it obviously really sharpens up timing, technique and stick control.

On the other hand, as Dale said, there are other avenues if drumline isn't someone's bag. Plenty of great players had private drum kit lessons or started like Boomka with orchestral percussion. There are options.

When I was young, like the OP, my ambition exceeded my discipline so I get where the he is coming from. My advice would be to get private lessons, which is what I should have done in the early days.

I didn't even know you could learn formally at first, I just figured that people got good by playing all the time and trying really hard :) Trouble is, that approach will introduce a host of bad drumming habits if you're head's not screwed on (as mine wasn't) ... tensing up, limiting grip, clunky stroke ... lessons are the way to go if drumline doesn't appeal.
I was in no way a big marching guy. I can't tell you how many DCI invites I walked away from because I couldn't get into the vibe. In fact I only marched three years out of four. But I also knew there was a put up or shut up threshhold even for a guy who's supposed to know something about rudiment training.

That's why I knew that in order to stay sharp, I had to walk into a brand new high school, to an established and award winning 32 member drumline my senior year ...and learn a pretty wild show in a band with 350 members. Nothing about it was fun and yeah it was stressful. Try walking into that as a senior when all these guys you've never met are giving you the eye because you're the WFD..., then taking the END snare out of respect to the seniority, then do the whole band initiation humiliation thing when you've already placed in the Drum Magazine Reader's Poll and had your mug in Modern Drummer 2-3 times. This guy doesn't know what stress and irritation is. And no I have little tolerance for the whining.

But I did it anyway because there is no better way to get rudimental drilling than this rather amazing shock therapy, where everything goes down in this very intense way, followed by a public performance for several thousand people on Friday, and a dog eat dog competition the following afternoon for four solid months. And then besides, the whole thing is absolutely free.

When it was over I went back to being who I was and nothing was damaged but a whole lot of bad musicianship.

If you're serious how do you not do that?

And especially if you're someone like this guy who's long on ambition and short on discipline...how do you not do it?

Many in other countries have no idea how great we Americans have it with those rather amazing band programs where all year long a quarter of a million school bands are doing things in every genre and discipline that other places can only dream of...and it's mostly or entirely free of charge.

How do you skip that stuff if you really want to play?
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Old 05-15-2011, 05:30 PM
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Default Re: Drumline, not doing it.. Is that bad?

From someone who did drumline for nearly 8 years, I will tell you this much: You're going to hate it, absolutely. You're going to wish during every day of practice that you could just quit. The drills suck, the pain sucks..

And then when you step out onto that field and perform for thousands.. maybe millions, until your hands bleed, everything's worth it.

I used to play in my university's drumline, and we traveled to some of the most awesome places for away games. New York City, Niagara Falls, Phoenix, AZ, Jacksonville, FL, etc. We even often were paid a per diem on these trips for "food money" (though often it was spent on booze). And nothing, nothing is quite as awesome as coming out of those tunnels and playing music for 60,000 people, plus the millions more watching on TV. I've been on ESPN too many times to count, and that alone makes it awesome in my mind.

My one regret? That I didn't pursue it even further and go into DCI before I turned 21. I auditioned for the Cadets and Crossmen, and was all but accepted into Crossmen (but this was when they were moving to Texas). I never pursued it.


If you don't do it, you'll regret it. I promise you.


Edit: And just as a side-note, the longer you pursue drumline, the more of a technical drummer you become. You learn polymeter, syncopation, precise dynamics, military precision, uniformity, etc. Suddenly, you're able to play complex 9/16 series of fivelet book-reports with an extra flam off your bass and ride bell in a shifted pattern on your drumset, and make the rest of your band shit their pants at your testicular fortitude.

Again, if you don't do it, you'll regret it. I promise you.
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Old 05-15-2011, 05:39 PM
Boomka Boomka is offline
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Default Re: Drumline, not doing it.. Is that bad?

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Originally Posted by mattsmith View Post
Many in other countries have no idea how great we Americans have it with those rather amazing band programs where all year long a quarter of a million school bands are doing things in every genre and discipline that other places can only dream of...and it's mostly or entirely free of charge.

How do you skip that stuff if you really want to play?
Moving from Canada to the UK has hammered this point home. There used to be a fair-to-decent orchestral thing going on in high schools here, but with each passing year it dwindles due to lack of funding/support and interest. There is nothing in the area around me at any high school that matches the kind of thing you see in American and - to a slightly lesser degree - Canadian schools. The financial support, the moral support, etc. just isn't there. And it's frustrating as a teacher because I want my students to get out and play, and the opportunities just aren't there.
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Old 05-15-2011, 05:53 PM
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Default Re: Drumline, not doing it.. Is that bad?

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Originally Posted by Boomka View Post
Moving from Canada to the UK has hammered this point home. There used to be a fair-to-decent orchestral thing going on in high schools here, but with each passing year it dwindles due to lack of funding/support and interest. There is nothing in the area around me at any high school that matches the kind of thing you see in American and - to a slightly lesser degree - Canadian schools. The financial support, the moral support, etc. just isn't there. And it's frustrating as a teacher because I want my students to get out and play, and the opportunities just aren't there.
I feel the same way. I'm qualifying as Primary School Teacher in the SE London area next year. I already know how much the kids at schools I volunteer in love music - but it's just not on the agenda as far as successive governments and councils are concerned. The big exception is a band I recorded back in 2009 (Smithill's Senior Brass) who are from Bolton and receive Council funding for music lessons and instruments. The results speak for themselves and when you remember that these kids are aged (on average) 15 or so and are from a fairly rough area (I live reasonably near) and otherwise would have very little to do. It's remarkable how much these schemes change lives and not just with music - with dance, theatre, art - it's incredible. I have so much respect for 'good' graffiti artists for the same reason.
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File Type: mp3 Africa.mp3 (5.96 MB, 92 views)
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Old 05-15-2011, 06:03 PM
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Default Re: Drumline, not doing it.. Is that bad?

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Originally Posted by mediocrefunkybeat View Post
I feel the same way. I'm qualifying as Primary School Teacher in the SE London area next year. I already know how much the kids at schools I volunteer in love music - but it's just not on the agenda as far as successive governments and councils are concerned. The big exception is a band I recorded back in 2009 (Smithill's Senior Brass) who are from Bolton and receive Council funding for music lessons and instruments. The results speak for themselves and when you remember that these kids are aged (on average) 15 or so and are from a fairly rough area (I live reasonably near) and otherwise would have very little to do. It's remarkable how much these schemes change lives and not just with music - with dance, theatre, art - it's incredible. I have so much respect for 'good' graffiti artists for the same reason.
Wowza, I quite enjoyed that rendition of Africa!
Thanks Mediocrefunkybeat!
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Old 05-15-2011, 06:06 PM
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Default Re: Drumline, not doing it.. Is that bad?

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Wowza, I quite enjoyed that rendition of Africa!
Thanks Mediocrefunkybeat!
That was actually a bit of University coursework - that I 'accidentally' did in advance. So, yeah. 'Mum's' the word.

Last edited by mediocrefunkybeat; 05-15-2011 at 06:32 PM.
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Old 05-15-2011, 11:31 PM
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Default Re: Drumline, not doing it.. Is that bad?

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Originally Posted by Boomka View Post
Moving from Canada to the UK has hammered this point home. There used to be a fair-to-decent orchestral thing going on in high schools here, but with each passing year it dwindles due to lack of funding/support and interest. There is nothing in the area around me at any high school that matches the kind of thing you see in American and - to a slightly lesser degree - Canadian schools. The financial support, the moral support, etc. just isn't there. And it's frustrating as a teacher because I want my students to get out and play, and the opportunities just aren't there.
I've noticed this, I saw it happen. When I was at secondary school about 20 years ago (I'm about 33), the school band was popular and it's what got me into music. I started off playing the Cornet which I studied with the classical music teacher, and a couple of years after got into drums with the other music teacher. It was like a sub-community of the school; we'd all escape to the music room at lunch (it sometimes got a bit rough outside).

Anyway as the years went by, I noticed less and less interest from the new students and at the same time a decline in behaviour. I'm sure I actually watched the big change in attitude that seems to of happened over here... though I won't go into that, I'll just start ranting! Maybe I'm just getting old.
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Old 05-16-2011, 12:13 AM
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Default Re: Drumline, not doing it.. Is that bad?

I would have loved to have your chance when I was a kid, come on man, do it.
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