INSTAGRAM / YOUTUBE DRUMMING CULTURE: LOVE IT? HATE IT? WHY?

Mr Farkle

Regular Poster
I‘m not on Facebook and only consume on Instagram, no posting. I’m a frustrated fan of YouTube.

The Internet takes anything that it gets a hold of and turns it into a commodity. In general, if your product (that’s you if you’re a teacher) becomes a commodity the price goes down and only the top tier folks make good money. The flip side is that there are potentially more consumers. In my own business, graphic arts, the internet has been a mixed bag but that’s after technology in general pretty much destroyed the business as I once knew it.

As a consumer, it‘s love-hate when it comes to drumming. I run into a lot of great information that I didn’t know to ask and that my drum instructors didn’t realize that I was missing. That said it takes an inordinate amount of time to run into that information and then I leaned that I need to fact check the source to make sure it’s not useless or incorrect. I would say it’s 95% dross and 5% gold. Is that worth my time? I’m not sure, especially when compared to something like John Riley’s books which are 95% gold. Still I consume it.

I just started paying attention to YouTube live feeds. Tim Metz and Steve Holmes, two drummers who I admire, have been doing those recently. The ability to ask those guys a question in real-time is pretty cool.

Drummerworld is gold.
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
Drumming culture on YouTube and Instagram bores me in terms of watching yet another drum solo featuring gospel chops from a 9-month-old baby who can't even walk yet. (I swear it's not jealousy; it's just that I don't really like drum solos anymore).

However, when it comes to getting good deals on used gear, I enjoy those videos on Facebook and Instagram. I REALLY like drum demos and "shoot-outs" on YouTube from Drum Center of Portsmouth, and I'm pretty sure that Nick D'Virgilio from Sweetwater's videos could sell me a swimming pool in the middle of winter. I like his presentation and personality.
 

Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Platinum Member
Old guy in a middle aged guy's body here:

I love Youtube in that it allows me to expose my students to many cool things instantly. When I was young and learning - in the 70's80's - if I wanted to experience cool drumming stuff, I had to physically take my self to a situation that I had to spend time researching to see if it was worth my time. Now, I can just call up _____________ video showing this cool aspect of drumming.

I hate Youtube because it allows for hacks, bad advice and other stuff that would have normally been "filtered out" by having to prove ones self on some level before gaining cred. My students can surf at will, but will come across a lot of bad advice etc...

so I have to make sure that I educate my students about what to look for for legit content, and then they can look at whatever stupid stuff they want

I have no personal experience with social media on purpose, but I know what it is about, and I would say that from what I hear, it is 99% drama, and 1% useful information. I don't use any social media in my teaching, but I do use it to make group announcements about schedules and logistics...well, i have my section leaders do it...
 

Seafroggys

Silver Member
The problem I see with YouTube is that when someone has a little bit of success and is asked to "become a partner" then their content creation not only has to be original, it has to be constant. that puts a burden on most people (not backed by a company.. i'm referring to solo acts here). They have to keep producing new videos on a tight regular schedule, eventually their content is inevitably going to decline in quality and they will be just putting stuff out there just to maintain a schedule. They will spend more time checking comments, recording and editing than actually playing... There are some channels that have managed to keep creating good content and have avoided being pressured into constantly producing new things...

This, and even those content creators have complained about just that, but they're forced to do it, not because they want to.

The Youtube algorithm is ruthless....if you don't put out regular content, it will stop showing your stuff. So it just becomes a cycle of regurgitating the same stuff in different ways. I see this with some fitness channels I follow. I love Athlean-X, but dear god that shit gets so repetitive so fast. He's put out like 30 videos on "you MUST do these warm-ups" that are technically all different....but if you did all of these "must-do" warmups your warmup will last 2 hours long.

The channels that maintain the highest quality are the ones that don't put out regular stuff, but somehow still manage to be popular by word-of-mouth mostly. Bill Wurtz is a great example of this. CGP Gray as well, even Lindsey Ellis.
 

Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Platinum Member
I don’t like when drummers say they’re “covering” a song when they’re simply playing along to an album.

I also don't like when they are getting cred for being brilliant drummers, and they are really just "tracing someone else's picture"

I want to see them in their own project, interpreting some original writing...dealing with other musicians who might want the drum part to be a certain way...getting rejected; having to be democratic; lugging gear into seedy clubs;
 

C.M. Jones

Drum Authority
I'd been drumming several decades before I'd ever heard of YouTube, so the domain hasn't influenced my playing in the least. I don't even have a YouTube account, but if drummers want to promote themselves through that medium, it's no business of mine. It's their image and their time, and viewers have the right to watch or ignore the content of their choosing. If you don't want to see something, don't click play. Pretty simple, really.

As for Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other platforms, I've never used them, and I don't wish to. What happens therein has no impact on my life. My opinion of them is beyond neutral. It's embodied by total indifference.
 

Sakae2xBopster

Regular Poster
I‘m not on Facebook and only consume on Instagram, no posting. I’m a frustrated fan of YouTube.
I started a YouTube channel two years ago, all of it my own content. None of it drumming, so far (with the exception of a short Michael Jerome solo from a concert I really enjoyed).
This is a tiny little channel from a no-name old-guy non-influencer (i.e. me). Still, I never expected I'd have 62,000 views at this point. I guess it proves that some people will watch anything!
 

incrementalg

Gold Member
This, and even those content creators have complained about just that, but they're forced to do it, not because they want to.

The Youtube algorithm is ruthless....if you don't put out regular content, it will stop showing your stuff. So it just becomes a cycle of regurgitating the same stuff in different ways. I see this with some fitness channels I follow. I love Athlean-X, but dear god that shit gets so repetitive so fast. He's put out like 30 videos on "you MUST do these warm-ups" that are technically all different....but if you did all of these "must-do" warmups your warmup will last 2 hours long.

The channels that maintain the highest quality are the ones that don't put out regular stuff, but somehow still manage to be popular by word-of-mouth mostly. Bill Wurtz is a great example of this. CGP Gray as well, even Lindsey Ellis.
Haha...I thought the same thing about Athlean-X. I love much of his stuff, but how many warm ups and stretches could I possibly do? “Have this issue? Then do this 20 times a day...each side.”
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
The only thing I hate is it didn't happen when I was younger.

When I was playing all the time, the internet was still an infant. File sharing wasn't quite a thing. Everyone having access to decent recording equipment wasn't a thing yet. Digital video cameras weren't there yet. You tube was still several years off.

All the best shows I ever did and most of the best songs my bands ever came up with were simply lost to time. There are very few recordings of what we did, and most of what was recorded are of poor quality, save one song that we spend a lot money on.

The bands I was in worked hard to write and rehearse and do great shows, and while we attracted a lot of record company interest, it stopped at interest. We were a little too weird, or not word enough, depending on whom you talked to.

Now, I pop on youtube and I see bands that are subspecialty similar to the bands I was in back in the 90s. They don't need to be on a major label, they can make a video, get on YT gain interest, put together a tour, put out an album on a small label, etc. Maybe they don't make much money, I don't know, but they're doing better than we ever did.

A video randomly came on YT the other day, and I couldn't believe how similar the lyrics were to a song one my bands did back in 1999. No, I'm not saying they copied us, just they have the means to get it out to ears and eyes, and we didn't.
 

Rattlin' Bones

Gold Member
I guess by the "Drumming Culture" you mean those little girls from Japan and Asia who are so amazing at the age of 8, or the guys/gals who play 1000 BPM.

I am not into all that. Those children grow up. They usually gain other interests. Those adult guys/gals on Youtube are pretty boring if you ask me - in their basements spending a fortune on recording equipment and then tweaking the final sound. Adding kick drum tracks and the like.

I do use Youtube often to learn about different grooves and how to play them. How to play big jazz band swing. New Orleans style. A wealth of good info and free instruction there. I have a lot of Youtube play along sites saved with just jazz or blues guitar/bass/keys track. 9-10 minutes of playing at various speeds so I can practice to music. I like the ones with 2 bar/ 4 bar/ 8 bar trading.
 

NouveauCliche

Senior Member
Being active on social media has led to some wonderful opportunities I may not have otherwise had - especially in working with manufacturers - so it's become a necessary evil.

Youtube can fantastic for things like gear reviews - there are great lessons and channels on there from various drummers.


The internet is a tool like anything else - I have no feelings about it more than I would a hammer: It's handy when I need to use it, and out of mind when I don't.
 

doggyd69b

Drum Expert
The only thing I hate is it didn't happen when I was younger.

When I was playing all the time, the internet was still an infant. File sharing wasn't quite a thing. Everyone having access to decent recording equipment wasn't a thing yet. Digital video cameras weren't there yet. You tube was still several years off.

All the best shows I ever did and most of the best songs my bands ever came up with were simply lost to time. There are very few recordings of what we did, and most of what was recorded are of poor quality, save one song that we spend a lot money on.

The bands I was in worked hard to write and rehearse and do great shows, and while we attracted a lot of record company interest, it stopped at interest. We were a little too weird, or not word enough, depending on whom you talked to.

Now, I pop on youtube and I see bands that are subspecialty similar to the bands I was in back in the 90s. They don't need to be on a major label, they can make a video, get on YT gain interest, put together a tour, put out an album on a small label, etc. Maybe they don't make much money, I don't know, but they're doing better than we ever did.

A video randomly came on YT the other day, and I couldn't believe how similar the lyrics were to a song one my bands did back in 1999. No, I'm not saying they copied us, just they have the means to get it out to ears and eyes, and we didn't.
Look at Null Positiv a German band that has no record label and produces everything themselves...the quality they have makes you think they have a big label behind them...
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
This guy wins. He obviously understands how to mix drums and social media. This kind stuff I'll happily watch.

I'm not sure if I can link a TikTok video so here goes nothin'.

 

doggyd69b

Drum Expert
Old guy in a middle aged guy's body here:

I love Youtube in that it allows me to expose my students to many cool things instantly. When I was young and learning - in the 70's80's - if I wanted to experience cool drumming stuff, I had to physically take my self to a situation that I had to spend time researching to see if it was worth my time. Now, I can just call up _____________ video showing this cool aspect of drumming.

I hate Youtube because it allows for hacks, bad advice and other stuff that would have normally been "filtered out" by having to prove ones self on some level before gaining cred. My students can surf at will, but will come across a lot of bad advice etc...

so I have to make sure that I educate my students about what to look for for legit content, and then they can look at whatever stupid stuff they want

I have no personal experience with social media on purpose, but I know what it is about, and I would say that from what I hear, it is 99% drama, and 1% useful information. I don't use any social media in my teaching, but I do use it to make group announcements about schedules and logistics...well, i have my section leaders do it...
I have had guys with cred give me wrong advice as well, for example the one and only lesson I took I was told that I was holding the sticks wrong ( the guy insisted on me using that sideways jazz grip when I use traditional grip) there was nothing wrong with how I held the sticks... I can play the way he wanted me to but it was not comfortable to me. ..Some wiser person told me that I should play the way that it is more comfortable for me. Today I probably run circles around that so called instructor with my "wrong way" of holding the sticks..

Another non drumming related example. when taking the MSF (motorcycle course in the U.S) they told me that when entering a turn I have to slow then accelerate to get out of the turn. in most cases that would have ended badly ( none of them understand and are against trail braking, yet they call themselves experts). Trail braking has saved me every single time.
Yes Youtube is full of bad advice but there is also lots of good stuff out there. I just hate those that fit things into one size fits all kind of situation : "The 5 things you have to do as a new drummer" "You must do this everyday to improve speed" I don't learn that way, I usually don't know it and one day it just clicks out of nowhere.. so for example my bass drum speed went from 80-90 bpm to 150-180 overnight because I figured out what I needed to know (what motion I was doing wrong). Legit content is subjective...
 

Cmdr. Ross

Silver Member
Not really into YouTube for drums, other than using it to check out gear and occasionally educational videos.

Instagram for me is better as you follow things/people who’s playing that you appreciate so you effectively get what you ask for in your feed first. Most of the things I follow on Instagram are either drumming or travel related.

If I see something I don’t appreciate or like I simply keep scrolling, or if there’s a drummer who’s playing no longer speaks to me I unfollow.

Some people / creators can get carried away with it all and building / maintaining a ‘brand’ and keeping their egos in check, but that’s their problem and not mine. I can choose to simply unfollow if I wish.

These points are me as well.
Rick Beato did a video on this very thing and how it's changed how musicians see other musicians. He talked about how the "art of the audition" is lost & that a YouTube video of your chops doesn't tell others how well you'll get along with them.

I follow a few drummers on Insta and do so because they have something to offer me other than just watching them bash away (like Sara Thawer is one who teaches first, then entertains).
I learn a lot from her & others like her. If all they offer is "gospel chops", I just keep scrolling.

Bottom line is, the YouTube/Twitch/Instagram drummer is pretty much here to stay. I'll adapt & keep on keeping on.
 

incrementalg

Gold Member
These points are me as well.
Rick Beato did a video on this very thing and how it's changed how musicians see other musicians. He talked about how the "art of the audition" is lost & that a YouTube video of your chops doesn't tell others how well you'll get along with them.

I follow a few drummers on Insta and do so because they have something to offer me other than just watching them bash away (like Sara Thawer is one who teaches first, then entertains).
I learn a lot from her & others like her. If all they offer is "gospel chops", I just keep scrolling.

Bottom line is, the YouTube/Twitch/Instagram drummer is pretty much here to stay. I'll adapt & keep on keeping on.
Great point about chemistry and being able to play with other musicians and not just along to a track.
There was one youtube drummer with some of those play along “covers” that I watched. I saw someone comment that this person is a nightmare in real life. Out of curiosity I googled them and came across some interesting things on Reddit. Take that stuff w a grain of salt, but the unanimous consensus was that other musicians tried to form bands with this drummer and they were indeed a nightmare. Apparently that drummer could/would only play cover songs along with the musicians IF they played along to the track itself. And said drummer melted down when pushed to actually drive the band.

Driving a band’s rhythm section is very different from playing along to tracks.
 

Cmdr. Ross

Silver Member
Great point about chemistry and being able to play with other musicians and not just along to a track.
the unanimous consensus was that other musicians tried to form bands with this drummer and they were indeed a nightmare. Apparently that drummer could/would only play cover songs along with the musicians IF they played along to the track itself. And said drummer melted down when pushed to actually drive the band.

Driving a band’s rhythm section is very different from playing along to tracks.

Exactly!
There are a couple YouTube "drummers" I've payed attention to over the years & have noticed they do great at play-a-long's, but no band is ever mentioned.
IF they do play with others, they don't last long and are back to doing play-a-long's on their channel with 100,000 followers.
 
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