If you could start over

Ronzo

Junior Member
Yes. I started out with a right-handed set up, then tried it out the other way one day. I think I saw Zac Hanson in a music video playing like that and figured it was the way to go.
I am a lefty as well and have my kit setup lefty.
So I understand, you are naturally left handed, your kit is setup left handed and you play open?
Or your kit is setup right handed and you play open? I tried that once and just moved the ride but could never get use to it.
 

Seafroggys

Silver Member
The only thing different is practicing a lot more in high school. Probably would have asked for a proper practice pad for Christmas or something, with a digital metronome. I didn't really take serious practice seriously until like my mid-20's.
 

ColdFusion

Active Member
I think my peak ‘drummer-regret’ moment was sometime in my mid-twenties just before I re-committed myself to playing drums for the long haul.

So at the time I probably had all the standard ones: ‘Should have stayed in band class’, ‘should have bought more workbooks’, 'should have practiced more in high school', etc. Interestingly though, the last twelve years of earnest shedding and studying seem to have more than made up for the things I might have missed out on.
As a matter of fact, the reason I decided to start tutoring others on drumkit is that I discovered along the way that most of my actual obstacles were in my head, and in my heart. My progress and real achievement were never based on how many books I worked through or which “masters I briefly studied under” at some big drum school in a faraway land. The key to annihilating regret, for me, was to infuse every moment of my practice and study time with my own energy. Choosing to ignore drum books and even YT drum lessons to develop my own routine, my own experiences, and my own style.

I cannot go back in time and begin my focused shedding earlier, yet I feel I have lost nothing along the way. In that regard I am always looking around for beginners and intermediate drummers who are still in the “dreaming” phase and not yet overwhelmed by all the marketing and editorializing, and yes even the terminology of books, websites and drummer magazines. My epiphany for no regrets drumming is to channel that inspired vibe and make it available to the student during those very long practice sessions.

So I guess another way of stating a response to the OP is that I hope to help other drummers avoid going through any unproductive, regrettable periods in their own development. Or worse, to find themselves old and still intermediate, and now making declarations and excuses about drumming in general for others to hear.

I would have devoted more effort into becoming a fake martial artist.
As an 11th dan pink belt in bullshido I can tell you it ain't all it's cracked up to be. Sure I have ninja stars and a pretty rad pony tail but I get beaten up a lot and I haven't spoken to a woman since 1987.
Lol, yeah let’s hope the era of the ponytailed fake samurai/mall ninja is coming to an end. I would never advise someone to adopt martial arts as one of their hobbies if they knew it was going to be fake!

At least now that westerners are discovering Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, they’re starting to realize how relatively easy, and rather effective martial arts can be. Finally the western world is starting to really learn what martial arts is about. Hollywood kind of messed it up for a generation or two.

The stereotypical “fake samurai” guy seems to be “larping” as a way of compensating for lack of real physicality or skill. One of the jokes being that if a fake samurai actually learned to lift weights he'd probably stop throwing those ninja stars around, lol. But I can’t imagine why anyone would do fake martial arts. I mean I guess the pugilistic American attitude is that it’s all about “winning fights" for glory or bragging rights, like on TV. And therefore anyone who practices martial arts must be larping a violent fantasy.
But there’s nothing in the first principles of Chinese kung fu that promote laziness, sloppiness, or fakeness. The first principles of the body are balance, flexibility, speed, power. The tools of kung fu train the body to develop a “mirror” understanding of itself as you advance and improve. As your body becomes lithe and strong, and your perceptions and reaction time improves, you come into one of the great epiphanies of wushu. You begin to understand that any one bipedal human opponent only has certain tools available to them (two arms, two legs), and if their tools aren’t agile and intelligent, there is very little chance they will succeed more than two “moves” if they chose to attack (out of anger) even a moderately trained person. That’s why all the old masters bear such a calm demeanor. It’s not unlike being a competent chess player. Even before the contest begins you are relatively sure of what your first, second, third moves (responses) will be.

And yes "moves" can mean dodging, circling, putting up a basic fence, etc. A tasteful mixture of western boxing and kung fu. It's not all automatically dragon chain punches and flying kicks, lol.
Hollywood martial arts is always choreographed, of course. Real world kung fu systems are based on physics and leverage, learning and adapting. Real enough for most who put in the work.

Also in defense of the sword nerds: Swords aren’t necessarily larping either. Some sword arts are not flashy, and very intuitive to learn, like the Katana/Wakizashi. And there are even leagues for Katana form where middle aged men with glasses will train for hundreds of hours after work and kill it in the competition and cutting play. Chinese gim sword is legit too. A very intuitive cutting art based on circles. And so much more…

One more point to bring this back around to music, some food for thought for you drummers. I was browsing the Seattle muso craigslist page one time and I saw a rant post from a non-musician who was accusing all CL musos of being "fake musicians", "dream on", "larpers". I thought how fascinating that many non musicians (music curious maybe) have the same lofty, dismissive attitude about "real music" as non-martial artists (secretly fascinated) have about "real fighting". This poster could not imagine how anyone on CL could have become a "real musician' without him hearing about it. That is, without his permission. So apparently musicianship seems rather magical and unattainable, to some people. But as we know the CL music section is much like this discussion forum. Players of ALL levels. In fact I think rants like the one he posted on CL only hurt the beginners and intermediate players by implying that they are wasting their time. The more experienced players just roll their eyes, and carry on.
 
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Hannahsketchbook

Active Member
Should have quit cello and joined band to play drums back in 5th grade instead of letting my teacher talk me into the viola and sticking with strings 😒
 

Vintage Old School

Gold Member
Ahh, the "If I could start over . . ." question. I would want to start over again only on the condition that I could take and retain everything I know now.
Outside of that it's been an interesting journey, and I'm still in the process of learning.
 

SmoothOperator

Gold Member
Over the years I have lived a couple of different resort/entertainment areas. I would have just stayed there, I would have met so many more people that would have been into entertainment.
 

bearblastbeats

Senior Member
I should have taken full advantage of going to my dad's band practices when I was young and having the opportunity to play.

Then, when he signed me up to be in band, I should have stuck with it but didn't enjoy playing only the snare drum.

I should have been a been a better team player with some bands that turned out to become big in the area and eventually toured and got record deals.

Not saying that I shouldn't of had a dog when I was in my late teens and throughout my 20s, but it hindered a lot of opportunities to move and/or tour with some decent sized bands.

Also the idea of college to pursue an engineering degree also hindered the prospect of touring.

I regret selling my 1st generation Yamaha Oak Custom thinking they would just make them always.

I should have been a better listener when I was younger instead of thinking I was always the leader or best player.

Sure, I could keep going on and on but I'm satisfied with what I've done with what I had. I still make music, I get to play out with cover bands and make a few bucks.

Now, I focus on trying to get my son to play as often as we can. My dad never put much into it for me and I plan to do better for my son.
 

AdamI

Active Member
I think my peak ‘drummer-regret’ moment was sometime in my mid-twenties just before I re-committed myself to playing drums for the long haul.

So at the time I probably had all the standard ones: ‘Should have stayed in band class’, ‘should have bought more workbooks’, 'should have practiced more in high school', etc. Interestingly though, the last twelve years of earnest shedding and studying seem to have more than made up for the things I might have missed out on.
As a matter of fact, the reason I decided to start tutoring others on drumkit is that I discovered along the way that most of my actual obstacles were in my head, and in my heart. My progress and real achievement were never based on how many books I worked through or which “masters I briefly studied under” at some big drum school in a faraway land. The key to annihilating regret, for me, was to infuse every moment of my practice and study time with my own energy. Choosing to ignore drum books and even YT drum lessons to develop my own routine, my own experiences, and my own style.

I cannot go back in time and begin my focused shedding earlier, yet I feel I have lost nothing along the way. In that regard I am always looking around for beginners and intermediate drummers who are still in the “dreaming” phase and not yet overwhelmed by all the marketing and editorializing, and yes even the terminology of books, websites and drummer magazines. My epiphany for no regrets drumming is to channel that inspired vibe and make it available to the student during those very long practice sessions.

So I guess another way of stating a response to the OP is that I hope to help other drummers avoid going through any unproductive, regrettable periods in their own development. Or worse, to find themselves old and still intermediate, and now making declarations and excuses about drumming in general for others to hear.



Lol, yeah let’s hope the era of the ponytailed fake samurai/mall ninja is coming to an end. I would never advise someone to adopt martial arts as one of their hobbies if they knew it was going to be fake!

At least now that westerners are discovering Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, they’re starting to realize how relatively easy, and rather effective martial arts can be. Finally the western world is starting to really learn what martial arts is about. Hollywood kind of messed it up for a generation or two.

The stereotypical “fake samurai” guy seems to be “larping” as a way of compensating for lack of real physicality or skill. One of the jokes being that if a fake samurai actually learned to lift weights he'd probably stop throwing those ninja stars around, lol. But I can’t imagine why anyone would do fake martial arts. I mean I guess the pugilistic American attitude is that it’s all about “winning fights" for glory or bragging rights, like on TV. And therefore anyone who practices martial arts must be larping a violent fantasy.
But there’s nothing in the first principles of Chinese kung fu that promote laziness, sloppiness, or fakeness. The first principles of the body are balance, flexibility, speed, power. The tools of kung fu train the body to develop a “mirror” understanding of itself as you advance and improve. As your body becomes lithe and strong, and your perceptions and reaction time improves, you come into one of the great epiphanies of wushu. You begin to understand that any one bipedal human opponent only has certain tools available to them (two arms, two legs), and if their tools aren’t agile and intelligent, there is very little chance they will succeed more than two “moves” if they chose to attack (out of anger) even a moderately trained person. That’s why all the old masters bear such a calm demeanor. It’s not unlike being a competent chess player. Even before the contest begins you are relatively sure of what your first, second, third moves (responses) will be.

And yes "moves" can mean dodging, circling, putting up a basic fence, etc. A tasteful mixture of western boxing and kung fu. It's not all automatically dragon chain punches and flying kicks, lol.
Hollywood martial arts is always choreographed, of course. Real world kung fu systems are based on physics and leverage, learning and adapting. Real enough for most who put in the work.

Also in defense of the sword nerds: Swords aren’t necessarily larping either. Some sword arts are not flashy, and very intuitive to learn, like the Katana/Wakizashi. And there are even leagues for Katana form where middle aged men with glasses will train for hundreds of hours after work and kill it in the competition and cutting play. Chinese gim sword is legit too. A very intuitive cutting art based on circles. And so much more…

One more point to bring this back around to music, some food for thought for you drummers. I was browsing the Seattle muso craigslist page one time and I saw a rant post from a non-musician who was accusing all CL musos of being "fake musicians", "dream on", "larpers". I thought how fascinating that many non musicians (music curious maybe) have the same lofty, dismissive attitude about "real music" as non-martial artists (secretly fascinated) have about "real fighting". This poster could not imagine how anyone on CL could have become a "real musician' without him hearing about it. That is, without his permission. So apparently musicianship seems rather magical and unattainable, to some people. But as we know the CL music section is much like this discussion forum. Players of ALL levels. In fact I think rants like the one he posted on CL only hurt the beginners and intermediate players by implying that they are wasting their time. The more experienced players just roll their eyes, and carry on.
I don't believe I've ever come across someone quite as humourless as you.

So congratulations on that, I guess.
 

Hannahsketchbook

Active Member
You know I posted earlier and said I wish I wouldn’t have let my orchestra teacher talk me into sticking with strings back when I was 9 or 10. Would have could have should have.

But really. At 34, with my dream job, and a beautiful new baby daughter I was feeling really lost in this current world. As much as I loved being a career mom I felt like something was missing. I didn’t want to be defined as only this. I didn’t want to feel like I was done working on myself. The world is a bit scary right now and I was sinking into a dark place. I’m as new as they get to drumming but these past few weeks have completely changed my mood. I can tell the positive affects on my daughter and my health. I’m in a better mind set to practice since I’m older and know the value. I’m driven and not trying to be a professional. It’s for me to enjoy.

Maybe I needed it at this time in my life. 🤷🏻‍♀️
 

1 hit wonder

Active Member
Just before my divorce I had the statement, "You don't know anybody." slapped at me in a demeaning taunt. Now I hear, "You're so much better than those people you're hanging around with (and playing music with).
I shoulda done it 12 years ago. I don't regret doing it now.
 

s1212z

Silver Member
A surprising number of posts here mention "playing open handed".
I have been practicing open handed lately, just for fun and for helping my percussion independence, but I'm not sure I will ever play that way.
What's your motivation? Is it _really_ that useful? (Please convince me to spend more time practicing! 😀)
I've play both left and right lead for a while now, just some general observations:

Adv:
-Improves endurance in your non-dominant hand and improves touch/texuture/dynamics in the dominant hand
-Help neutralize surface dependencies (e.g. dominant cymbal and non-dominant). So wrist vs finger technique development
-When returning to my original right hand dominance, due to the above, all is improved
-The obvious, you have a whole right side of the set available with a left side hihat
-Each side can 'teach' each other on what works for your hands. There is a balance aspect and of course help hand control for both technique and dynamics (etc.)

Bonus:
-Improved ergonomics in some scenarios
-More setup options, I can add rides on my far left which is great for musical choices. Can also keep a lower hihat without issue or put a cowbell somewhere
-Feel difference; rock groove or just hitting hard is more relaxed and sounds better. Get more consistent rimshots. Some ride or swing feels I prefer left side lead
-I prefer left lead brushes, perhaps not an option had I not practiced otherwise
-Another hand for extended songs at fast tempos is nice to have
-Some grooves would be otherwise be much more difficult or impossible without a open hand lead; cross over gap way too large.


Heads up:
-It's a time investment. Glad I started early but going through Afro-Cuban, swing, Brazillian with the coordination patterns took extra time and practice...but it get easier over time
-Try as I may, I still have my original dominant side that still has better endurance. But I don't feel bad, Simon Phillips, even after a full pro career after a switch says the same thing. Some coordinations I can still do better with right lead too, never expect it to be 'equal'. So I never found a reason to stop right lead either...in fact, one benefits the other plus like the ride options
-You have to find the creativity from the time investment...sometimes is happens in an improv setting out of no where or you get an idea for a part in a song. But it's not magic either
-It's not for everyone, mileage would vary depending how you hear your musical expression and what you want to do with the instrument. For some it would be waste of time, but for others beneficial. If just to replicate the 'other side', not worth it but if to have creative options, then yes.


As far as any general drumming regrets...lets see

Probably finding a lighter hardware solutions earlier...much earlier

I could have been alot less stubborn on grip earlier on, I 'forced' a single grip for everything which was dumb. There is a benefit to the German/American/French plus hybrids in difference scenarios and having that switch for the best tool in the tool box.

Could have made the opportunity to get a lesson from Morello or Shaugnessy before they passed but didn't

Probably collect alot of 'good' vintage stuff to sell higher later at a time when before the vintage craz started

I went from obsessively pursuing music as much as possible in my limited means to shutting it off completely for a period time. While I don't necessarily regret this, as I used this time productively for other things, cold turkey withdrawal is not necessarily healthy either...just a lesson in life balance whenever if possible.

That's just the top of my head...probably many more
 

Drummy74

Member
If I had to do it over, I would still start taking drum lessons at 10 years old, but I would have learned to play guitar, bass and keys.
Right now there are not any openings where I live for drummers. None. Most clubs are hiring solo acts.
So, I would have tried to learn other instruments. Then I could still be gigging some.
 

dairyairman

Platinum Member
I quit drumming when I was in my mid 20s and took it up again when I was about 40. When I look back I wish I hadn't dropped out for 15 years. What was I thinking?
 

Paul Blood

Junior Member
If I had to do it over, I would still start taking drum lessons at 10 years old, but I would have learned to play guitar, bass and keys.
Right now there are not any openings where I live for drummers. None. Most clubs are hiring solo acts.
So, I would have tried to learn other instruments. Then I could still be gigging some.
Add vocals to that list too!
 

SomeBadDrummer

Platinum Member
I quit drumming when I was in my mid 20s and took it up again when I was about 40. When I look back I wish I hadn't dropped out for 15 years. What was I thinking?
Hey welcome back! lol. Seems like a fairly common situation, and not just for drummers but musicians in general. Especially if it’s not your primary source of income, which is - I suppose - the primary reason people abandon (at least temporarily) the thrill of live drumming. But it’s hard to beat the adrenaline rush except for you know what.
 
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