How should I balance learning from books and learning from music?

Joffry

Active member
Books are a nice help but not completely necessary ... especially if you use them incorrectly the way most do.

Listening on the other hand is the absolute most important thing.... Listening to the music that came before us and listening to those who are playing with you.

Listening and getting out to see music live (tough lately yes) are the most important steps to getting you ready for next step which is playing with people.

You will never in your life learn more about playing this music than you will playing with others and being challenged to speak the dialect.

It is literally the only true way to learn what your weaknesses are.

Using play along tracks in my opinion is one of the worst things you can do when learning this music... it is a terrible representation of what will happen when the band hits.

Don't play exercises on the bandstand
"especially if you use them incorrectly the way most do". What do you mean by this? What things do people do incorrectly when using books in your experience?
 

Auspicious

Well-known member
I need to talk about something, I wonder what % of the people vising this site are really going to become a professional drummer and what is the % of people just playing for fun, to pass the time. (just like me)

--> Suggesting that playing against a play along track is almost a waste of time.. and playing with people is the only way to go, I think it's close to outrageous.

Same thing yesterday, a user had a meltdown about the only way to go for a beginner is with a teacher. I mean a person can live his life by having fun following a play along and without teacher, it's possible.
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
I need to talk about something, I wonder what % of the people vising this site are really going to become a professional drummer and what is the % of people just playing for fun, to pass the time. (just like me)

--> Suggesting that playing against a play along track is almost a waste of time.. and playing with people is the only way to go, I think it's close to outrageous.

Same thing yesterday, a user had a meltdown about the only way to go for a beginner is with a teacher. I mean a person can live his life by having fun following a play along and without teacher, it's possible.
Excellent point-I made reference to this on another thread regarding a person wanting to change their 'rubbish playing'. It depends on a persons goals-like do you want to just bike on weekends or train for some marathon, play an instrument for fun or become a professional, etc. There are to many famous drummers who started self-taught-I qualify start because they mostly also then got educated/lessons/experience. I think there is correct ways to do things given disciplines-like breeding dogs you have to stay true to the breed-so same to music. But that doesn't mean non-pros can't have a go and often bring entertainment to small communities or just homes. Even worms gotta eat. I have no desire to be a pro-I wouldn't go on tour with my dream band-I admire those who do but that just isn't where I'm at. I still want to improve but realistic to where I'm at. I still don't consider myself a musician. It's taken me longer to improve wondering around like a lost ant but I have slowly improved-poor technique and all -it sounds better to me. I'd probably drive any drum teacher crazy-I seem to have that effect on people ROFL. Auspicious I'd keep doing what your doing-your reading and going through books-I've never touched one. I can read music -regular or drum notation just fine-but just slowly. But I can't sight read like I do a book-forget about it. In orchestra I could read and follow the music fine except drum notation I can read only slowly it throw me off. If I hear a drummer playing the music I can follow the drum notation pretty easy it seems. My wife who sight reads really well and plays multiple instruments-though none really well-it's mechanical with her-read and play. She would help me translate it to snare so then I'd memorize it and then I could follow the music pretty easy to follow related to other instruments in orchestra. It has driven me crazy-I think it's a dyslexic thing. I can't follow a book and play along-I'd have to slowly translate, incorporate/memorize and then play it. I tune in aurally rather than visually.
 
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Sebenza

Member
I need to talk about something, I wonder what % of the people vising this site are really going to become a professional drummer and what is the % of people just playing for fun, to pass the time. (just like me)

--> Suggesting that playing against a play along track is almost a waste of time.. and playing with people is the only way to go, I think it's close to outrageous.

Same thing yesterday, a user had a meltdown about the only way to go for a beginner is with a teacher. I mean a person can live his life by having fun following a play along and without teacher, it's possible.
Yes, learning to play an instrument can be enjoyed all by yourself, and can be done without any hands on input from teachers (it's just gonna take longer to reach your goals) but I'd have to say that the real fun is where you play with others. The interaction, the surprises when something happens you didn't expect, the different paths different people will lead you onto, the bonding that happens when you share a stage and the friendships that come with it....the list of good things that can and will happen when you play music with other people is long! And no play along is going to be able to match that, I'm afraid.
 

Auspicious

Well-known member
@GetAgrippa

Thanks, I'll continue with my method certainly and ask for help if required. The sticking exercises in Stick Control are quite good, I learn how to invert my leading hand all the time (on the pad only) and that is transferring into all the limbs behind the kit, like magic. Just by practicing the lines of the book every morning, only that. And it's difficult to gain speed, it's not easy.

My muscles and control are improving tremendously.

I see comments where I should buy a book and do something else around 2 pages.. I just play the book as it is for the moment and it's working. My motivation is kind of high too.

--> I don't know if there is a right way in art, I am really not sure about that.. but I am sure that money and art can't mix.

@Sebenza
I believe you about playing with others, I tried it and it's very special. Although, to get there, the amount of efforts to get out of my comfort zone, for my specific personnality, you can't imagin how a big deal this is and seriously acting against my motivation. I can spend 8 hours in front of a computer, alone, with headphones.. but ask me to go meet a group of strangers of some sort. 🥶

Very very difficult for me.

I don't wish to hijack the thread with my stories hehehe. especially if the OP has a healthy social life.
 

Spreggy

Silver Member
I need to talk about something, I wonder what % of the people vising this site are really going to become a professional drummer and what is the % of people just playing for fun, to pass the time. (just like me)

--> Suggesting that playing against a play along track is almost a waste of time.. and playing with people is the only way to go, I think it's close to outrageous.

Same thing yesterday, a user had a meltdown about the only way to go for a beginner is with a teacher. I mean a person can live his life by having fun following a play along and without teacher, it's possible.
<--melter-downer, lol. :)

Question asked: "how do I get better at such and such?"
Answer given, from someone at the top of this field in MG's case: "Do this, not that".
Your reply: "But I just wanna have fun!" Fine, but why ask questions? And why play jazz if it's not to play with people? That's like learning public speaking because you want to orate in your basement to no one. Which is cool I guess.

One assumes that if a question is asked, an answer that works is wanted. Not everything can be handled with an app.
 

Auspicious

Well-known member
I am just sensible to very tough recommendations, I felt trapped as if there was no way around at all.

I am a difficult client with ideas when people try to set a rigid established approach and if there is pressure. It's ok with certain personalities.

--> Especially these days, the government has a very martial approach, increased authority, that's also playing.
 

Spreggy

Silver Member
I am just sensible to very tough recommendations, I felt trapped as if there was no way around at all.

I am a difficult client with ideas when people try to set a rigid established approach and if there is pressure. It's ok with certain personalities.

--> Especially these days, the government has a very martial approach, increased authority, that's also playing.
You know what? I owe you an apology for my last post. It's really not my place to question your approach and your journey. Sorry man.
 

Auspicious

Well-known member
You know what? I owe you an apology for my last post. It's really not my place to question your approach and your journey. Sorry man.
Ahh bah no problems, I think you are 100% right with your teacher advice in fact! Like others told me before on many occasions!

:)
 

Kenanel

New member
If I were you, I would combine reading this tutorial with practicing and playing musical instruments. For example, make a detailed list of things to do: an exercise in the morning, then breakfast, then you can go to a rehearsal, then you can read a textbook and write out notes from it. In the evening, you can take time for an individual trial and go back to reading before going to bed.
 
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John Riley

DRUMMERWORLD PRO DRUMMER
Hi Everyone,

I'm inspired by the music I hear. When I don't understand what's happening, or can't figure it out, I'll consult the players involved or look for a book by an expert on that topic. For me the sound of the music comes first, books are the supplement not the primary source.

I'm happy to be taking part in the 2021 MSM Virtual Percussion Summit July 12-16. The faculty is incredible. Please check it out.

Thanks,

John
 

jazzerooty

Junior Member
I feel fortunate to have had professional experience prior to learning to read. I learned from James Brown records. Cream. Hendrix. The Rascals. I even copped some Buddy Rich. What finally drove me to lessons was the effort to become a jazz drummer. I had to learn to read. But it became a trap. I became obsessed with drum books, rudiments, etc. And though my facility expanded, my playing became hesitant, over-thought, etc. Learn your stuff, but that's only the beginning. Learn your artistry through the music.
 

Joffry

Active member
Hi Everyone,

I'm inspired by the music I hear. When I don't understand what's happening, or can't figure it out, I'll consult the players involved or look for a book by an expert on that topic. For me the sound of the music comes first, books are the supplement not the primary source.

I'm happy to be taking part in the 2021 MSM Virtual Percussion Summit July 12-16. The faculty is incredible. Please check it out.

Thanks,

John
Thanks Mr. Riley. I must say I was pretty shaken to see that you'd replied to my thread considering some of the books that have compelled me to ask this question were written by none other than you haha!
 

Suburbankidz

Well-known member
There are some wonderful replies on this thread

I can read music pretty well (or at least I thought I did LOL...boy was I wrong), but my instructor is adamant that I listen to as much music as possible and learn by ear as well. He's adamant that I learn to play musically. It's tough going listening and trying to apply what I was hearing, but I'm being exposed to some older jazz and rock styles and artists that were just names to me, and others that I didn't know existed and it's amazing amazing stuff! I'm getting quite a history lesson! And it isn't easy! He keeps saying, "Use your ears! Listen! Listen! What do you hear?" It's slow going and it's not easy. I keep at it though. Practice, practice, practice
 
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