Are you home trained, are learned in school?

Aeolian

Platinum Member
I think there is a difference between having a formalized conservatory education, studying everything you can get your hands on including getting other drummers to show you things, and being completely empirical and figuring it out completely on your own. I suspect with the addition of occasional formal lessons, most folks are in the 2nd group.

I took piano lessons as a kid which taught me reading and basic music, does that make me formally taught? Does it count on another instrument? I took music theory in high school, which we mostly did in the piano lab but I did several of my assignments on guitar. I took some lessons from a jazz guitarist and several months of others with a Vegas journeyman, does that make me formally taught or just someone who picked up some things along the way? I've constantly hit up pro drummers with questions about technique and grooves and gotten them to show me many things. Does that count as lessons or formally taught?

The conventional wisdom is that Wes Montgomery was not a schooled musician. True, he never attended a conservatory or had regular lessons with a dedicated teacher. But he studied harmony and music on his own and knew it as well as most degree'd musicians. And used that knowledge (along with a substantial helping of talent) to become one of the legends of jazz guitar.

In this day of youtube and instructional materials all over the place. And the availability of great drummers to watch and talk to. The line between self and formally taught is getting blurred.
 

mikel

Platinum Member
I would have more facility, Mik - and facility is the brick wall that I run into all the time. On the plus side, it keeps me tasteful by not getting too carried away but I don't have anywhere near the variety and scope that I'd like (as MJ said, "to apply it to whatever was needed and more importantly to my own musical ideas"). Unfortunately, I'm too ADD to undergo the level of training needed to undo my hardwired inefficient grip and stroke, so que sera sera.

I'll go with you to the extent that the workarounds of largely self taught players have often resulted in innovation and strongly personalised sounds over the years - Ringo, Bonzo, Ginger, Moonie, Paice etc. Sadly, the workarouds of Polly only resulted in a suburban level of innovation :)

In today's pop and rock there is more emphasis of "professionalism" (a concept I've never cared for) and "perfection" (ie. lined up on a grid). That works against self taught drummers so I'd find it hard to recommend self teaching to a young player at this time. (Now that I've said that there'll be a grunge revival in two years).
Hi Poll. You always talk sense, and I cant escape your reasoning. But.....who is to say the "Correct" technique is for you? There are many ways to hold the sticks. I have seen many websites and posts advocating that you make the kit fit you, not the reverse. Also, being old, I still see rock and roll as as experimental, a bit of pixie dust, and "If it feels right it is right"
If you aspired to be a session drummer or play in an orchestra I would agree whole heartedly, but In rock and roll I prefer to make the music fit me, not the reverse.
 

Mark_S

Silver Member
Both, though now at 34 if I could go back to the beginning when I was 14 and have the teacher I have now, and generally waste less time, I would be a far far better drummer. Hindsight; don't you just love it.
 

drum4fun27302

Gold Member
I have been classically trained in music(stArted at 5) in saxophone. Then picked up the drums as a teenager , got a scholarship to Berklee (sax). Played professionally . But I am really a drummer. Before Berklee , I took drum lessons at the local conservatory (jazz drums). 1st year was snare drum only ( rudiments). 2nd year, moved to the kit and swing , then big band.
I have been self taught since then. I would really love to find a "hard knock" kinda teacher locally that can tell me " this and that sucks" and you gotta work on that. But not yet. So, if any of you read this , I am here :).
 

saisagar

Member
Studied Drums for 1.5 years. Kit-less practice pad only...
Left drum school for Academics. Practiced on a drum kit.
Still can't read drum notes...
 
A

Anthony Amodeo

Guest
Studied Drums for 1.5 years. Kit-less practice pad only...
Left drum school for Academics. Practiced on a drum kit.
Still can't read drum notes...
how did you study drums for a year and a half and not learn to read?

I teach 9 year olds to read in basically one lesson all the time

it will probably be the easiest thing you ever do in your life ........I' m serious

it will greatly benefit you and your lines of musical communication
 
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alparrott

Platinum Member
I started out playing trumpet and saxophone what seems like forever ago, so I can still read music. I took a year of lessons when i was starting out, but would love to get back into lessons again. Having said that, a lot of my playing comes from just watching, listening, shedding; lather, rinse, repeat.
 

Anon La Ply

Renegade
I'm still working on my degree in dive bar gigs.
I'd day you're up to doctorate level now, Larry. Here's a suggestion for your thesis: An analysis based on the premise that the pungency of beer odour in a venue's carpet can be used to gauge likely audience enthusiasm in next week's gig ... of course you may not wish to take suggestions from a dive bar dropout :)


The conventional wisdom is that Wes Montgomery was not a schooled musician. True, he never attended a conservatory or had regular lessons with a dedicated teacher. But he studied harmony and music on his own and knew it as well as most degree'd musicians. And used that knowledge (along with a substantial helping of talent) to become one of the legends of jazz guitar.
It's the substantial helping of talent is the kicker. Take Dennis Chambers. Self taught. Great technique. Doesn't work out like that for most, though.


But.....who is to say the "Correct" technique is for you? There are many ways to hold the sticks. I have seen many websites and posts advocating that you make the kit fit you, not the reverse. Also, being old, I still see rock and roll as as experimental, a bit of pixie dust, and "If it feels right it is right"
If you aspired to be a session drummer or play in an orchestra I would agree whole heartedly, but In rock and roll I prefer to make the music fit me, not the reverse.
If I wanted to I could claim that I'm playing exactly what I want to play the way I like it but I know in myself all the things I'd like to play but can't because my grip and stroke is limiting.

I agree technique can be an individual thing (which also touches on Aeolian's point). You see it in sports too - a tennis player might have an unorthodox backhand or whatever and they make it work. The key is efficiency for the individual, and that's where my grip and stroke aren't as efficient as I'd like. But I can't face the hours needed on a pad to clean it up ... maybe when I'm 60.
 

mandrew

Gold Member
I started with lessons in 6th grade, all the way through 1 year of college. From then on, I developed myself based on what I had learned. would still like a lesson or two!
 

oldrockdrummer

Senior Member
6th through 12th grade school marching, concert, and jazz band. took 3 years of private lessons and taught private for three years. started gigging in 9th grade. still gigging today
 
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