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  #1  
Old 04-20-2011, 09:46 PM
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dreambeatlegend dreambeatlegend is offline
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Default Self Taught Drummer Needs Technique.

Hey I'm 20 years old and I've been playing since I was 8.. for about the past 3 years I've been without a kit, but I just got a new set and im back in the saddle.

I pretty much just figured out everything up to this point on my own. And my techniques are all developed through listening to drummers and trying to mimic the sound they created. This has got me pretty far but I want to be better. I started practicing rudiments and those seem to help alot.. but I have alot of bad habbits im finding out.

I wanna hear from other drummers from the same kind of background, and how they have or are continuing to transition into more technical play.
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Old 04-20-2011, 10:12 PM
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ahector ahector is offline
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Default Re: Self Taught Drummer Needs Technique.

Hey, I have a similar background... started playing when I was 14, took a couple lessons when I started but didn't get much out of it (my fault, I wasn't a serious student)... but other than that, I was completely self taught for many years after that. Learned most of what I know on my own.

If you can see a teacher/instructor in person, you'll get a lot out of it. Having another person in the same room as you who can observe what you're doing and pick it apart is very valuable. And you just can't reproduce that kind of feedback by reading books, watching videos, or listening tor recordings.

You don't have to sign up for ongoing lessons. There are teachers who will let you come in once or twice for a session... Last year I looked up the drum department at a local music school here in Minnesota (McNally Smith). I emailed them, and got a hold of the head of the department, a guy named Gordy Knudtson. He told me he offered private lessons (kinda pricey compared to the guy at your local music shop, $50 a lesson, but looking back it was totally worth it). I saw him about three or four times. This was in spring 2010, and I'm STILL working on stuff he taught me, and will be for years. He saw a lot in my playing that I didn't until he pointed it out.

Watch videos, and go see drum clinics in person (and live shows! although most concerts aren't set up for you to get a very good look at what the drummer is doing). Pay attention to what other drummers look like. How they sit, how they move, what they are doing with their arms, their wrists, their fingers, their legs, ankles, and feet. You can hone in on so many individual details.

Make a point to work on your listening skills. Being a skilled musician means being a skilled listener. You must listen to yourself and whoever or whatever you're playing along with.

Think about drumming and music as much as you can. You can work out coordination and composition in your head while you're at work or school or whatever else it is that you do in your life.

If you ever get frustrated with your playing or your progress as a musician, take it not as a sign that you suck and you can't play how or what you want (we all feel like this sometimes). Take it as a sign that your listening skills are further along than your playing skills. Your hearing just leveled up! This is the way you want it. This may sound scary, but the key to progress is never being satisfied. That doesn't mean you don't appreciate what you can do and that you don't have confidence in yourself. It doesn't mean that you can't sit back and admire or enjoy your own playing. You can and should do these things. It just means that you have the clarity to see that it could always be better.

Hope that helps!
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Old 04-20-2011, 11:23 PM
shadowlorde shadowlorde is offline
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Default Re: Self Taught Drummer Needs Technique.

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Originally Posted by ahector View Post
and got a hold of the head of the department, a guy named Gordy Knudtson. He told me he offered private lessons (kinda pricey compared to the guy at your local music shop, $50 a lesson, but looking back it was totally worth it). I saw him about three or four times. This was in spring 2010, and I'm STILL working on stuff he taught me, and will be for years. He saw a lot in my playing that I didn't until he pointed it out.

.. the Gordy Knudston that has a whole book and video about open close technique? if it is .. .. did he teach you open close?
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Old 04-21-2011, 12:36 AM
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ahector ahector is offline
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Default Re: Self Taught Drummer Needs Technique.

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.. the Gordy Knudston that has a whole book and video about open close technique? if it is .. .. did he teach you open close?
Yep! I can only barely do it at this point though... I haven't been hitting it hard. I'm still trying to get my fingerstrokes down (i.e. the "close" part).

I remember in one of the lessons he said "Ok, show me some fingerstrokes" and I was like "Uhhhhhh". And then it hit me. I couldn't play finger strokes. I mean I sort of could, but most of my 12ish years of drumming up until that point was all arms and wrists. There were fingers involved, of course... but I had never really taken the time to try to develop my ability to play ONLY with my fingers, using as little wrist as possible.

I knew what fingerstrokes were, and I even knew how they worked in the open-close technique. I watched his intro videos online before I saw him. But for some reason it didn't click with me that I needed to get that kind of technique in my arsenal until that moment.

These are the kinds of realizations you have when you see a teacher!
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Old 04-21-2011, 03:23 AM
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dreambeatlegend dreambeatlegend is offline
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Default Re: Self Taught Drummer Needs Technique.

thanks ahector

I think i will look into lessons... I could use someone looking objectively at my playing habbits and technique. probably just the thing I need cause your right watching videos and reading books have no immediate feedback.
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Old 04-21-2011, 04:45 AM
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Skwerly Skwerly is offline
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Default Re: Self Taught Drummer Needs Technique.

Same boat here. self-taught player of twenty-ish years. I *know* my technique rots, and have been considering lessons. Waiting for tax return. :P
__________________
Technique trumps everything.
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  #7  
Old 04-21-2011, 05:33 AM
audiotech
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Default Re: Self Taught Drummer Needs Technique.

It's never too late to start lessons, but sometimes it's much more difficult to dig yourself out of problem areas when they are already burned into your form.

Dennis
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  #8  
Old 04-21-2011, 06:22 AM
DumDrum DumDrum is offline
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Default Re: Self Taught Drummer Needs Technique.

I had the same problem... until last year, I had played completely by ear, never having lessons before, and I'd hit all these ceilings in my drumming... took a long, long break and when I came back I decided to bite the bullet and go see a private instructor and start learning the rudiments and proper technique. I took about 3 or 4 lessons from a drum corps guy and let me tell you I was so awful at first... I could barely play a simple paradiddle up to speed and i had to re-learn a lot of things... but I stuck to it and less than a year later I feel so much better when I play.. it's really surprising to realize how much a little thing like your grip can so greatly affect your drumming... I would recommend lessons and in fact Im still looking for a good instructor in my area myself... Best of luck to you!
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  #9  
Old 04-21-2011, 06:47 AM
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dreambeatlegend dreambeatlegend is offline
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Default Re: Self Taught Drummer Needs Technique.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DumDrum View Post
I had the same problem... until last year, I had played completely by ear, never having lessons before, and I'd hit all these ceilings in my drumming... took a long, long break and when I came back I decided to bite the bullet and go see a private instructor and start learning the rudiments and proper technique. I took about 3 or 4 lessons from a drum corps guy and let me tell you I was so awful at first... I could barely play a simple paradiddle up to speed and i had to re-learn a lot of things... but I stuck to it and less than a year later I feel so much better when I play.. it's really surprising to realize how much a little thing like your grip can so greatly affect your drumming... I would recommend lessons and in fact Im still looking for a good instructor in my area myself... Best of luck to you!
I know what you mean about grip. and learning to relax your shoulders... I play rudiments on a practice pad while sitting on an exercise ball :) it works.. gotta make sure you have the right size exercise ball though one the same height as your throne
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