Interesting quote from Dave Elitch regarding rudiments

Thomas

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Renowned drumming instructor Dave Elitch posted some interesting thoughts on his Instagram account today:

"I’ve always thought that there has been far too much emphasis on rudiments as a topic of study and how they are fundamentally out dated and largely irrelevant in regards to playing the drum set in a contemporary music setting in the 20th, let alone 21st century. You want to play drum corps or pipe band? Go for it, just don’t fool yourself into thinking it has anything to do with playing the drums. It doesn’t."
 
Renowned drumming instructor Dave Elitch posted some interesting thoughts on his Instagram account today:

"I’ve always thought that there has been far too much emphasis on rudiments as a topic of study and how they are fundamentally out dated and largely irrelevant in regards to playing the drum set in a contemporary music setting in the 20th, let alone 21st century. You want to play drum corps or pipe band? Go for it, just don’t fool yourself into thinking it has anything to do with playing the drums. It doesn’t."
Somehow Dave Elitch has fooled himself into thinking that rudiments don't have anything to do with playing the drums.
I use rudiments every time I do any kind of drum fill on my drum set. And thanks to the rudiments I can start the fill on either hand and end the fill on either hand.
But I guess he is correct in one small area of drum playing. I don't remember practicing a rudiment called "the money beat".

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Yeah, I dunno. I think you can make the argument either way but neither the simple "yes" or "no" response come anywhere near to any sort of useful truth.

It's a pretty nuanced topic, but here are some thoughts:

-Not all rudiments are created equally. Some are practically necessary in the journey, others are fairly optional.
-There aren't just 26 or 40 of them. There are an infinite number. If you can get good utility out of a sticking that you come up with, it doesn't really matter whether its an officially recognized thing or not--it's pretty much equivalent.
-The biggest disconnect when it comes to drumset is that we have four limbs, not two. Can we count RLK as a rudiment? I think so. In a drumset context that is way, way more fundamental than a pataflafla.
-There's a huge gulf between being able to play a rudiment on a practice pad to being able to use them comfortably around the kit. And there's another huge gulf between that and the ability to orchestrate a rudiment in a way that produces novel expressiveness.
-Being able to play a single rudiment at the level of novel expressiveness is arguably more important than being able to play every other rudiment below that level.
-You only need to bring a handful of rudiments up to the level of novel expressiveness to be a world class drumset player (that's not all it takes of course), and world class players generally only ever get a small number of them up to that level.
 
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Go for it, just don’t fool yourself into thinking it has anything to do with playing the drums. It doesn’t."

I play them on a drum, or on a drum set, so it kinda has a little bit to do with playing the drums.

Let's go over them:

Some are simple articulations/embellishments, used all the time in all forms of percussion: flams, ruffs, drags, four stroke ruffs.

There are the basic forms of roll, single stroke, double stroke, multiple bounce, all used all the time to make long tones on various percussion instruments.

A bunch of them are various forms of short rolls: 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 13, 15, 17 stroke-- heavily used in contemporary playing in various forms.

And various forms of paradiddles: single, double, triple, paradiddle-diddle, all their inversions, with flams and drags added-- heavily used in contemporary playing.

Flam rudiments, flam taps, flam accents, pataflaflas, Swiss triplets, flam drags, all frequently used as vocabulary, or with the hands on different instruments, in the form of common drum set coordination. And overall excellent for conditioning the hands to play overlapping rhythms.

Flamacue is kind of odd ball, except it's such an ordinary snare drum literature item it's kind of dumb to just pretend it doesn't exist.

So where's the fooling ourselves part? Ratamacues?
 
Rudiments are the words we use to construct sentences. The next step is to create ideas and orchestrations with them.

I've never liked this metaphor. Some rudiments are more "building-block" like than others. There are a finite number of words, and an infinite number of stickings. You can't form a valid sentence by saying the same word 8 times in a row. Most importantly, the ideas that we construct on the drumset are not all composed of rudiments (most aren't, actually). A 4/4 beat is not a rudiment. Spangalang is not a rudiment. Even for complex fills and solos, while it is possible to restrict yourself to just rudiments, in general a lot more goes into it than snapping rudiments together like legos.
 
Renowned drumming instructor Dave Elitch posted some interesting thoughts on his Instagram account today:

"I’ve always thought that there has been far too much emphasis on rudiments as a topic of study and how they are fundamentally out dated and largely irrelevant in regards to playing the drum set in a contemporary music setting in the 20th, let alone 21st century. You want to play drum corps or pipe band? Go for it, just don’t fool yourself into thinking it has anything to do with playing the drums. It doesn’t."
I grew up with kids that 'played' but didn't enter the band program, work on the rudiments, learn to read music and play in a large ensemble, etc. They all had this opinion and all sounded pretty much the same.
 
If I remember correctly Dave Weckl stated that he only paid attention to 3 rudiments...the single and double stroke as well as flams. That made me feel good thinking I didn't have to take the time to go through the G.L.S. book. Of course I'm also thinking I sure hope that he's ok by ignoring all the others because I'm lazy and only want to pay attention to 3 as well and I think he's done perty gosh dern good. 🎶
 
Somehow Dave Elitch has fooled himself into thinking that rudiments don't have anything to do with playing the drums.
I use rudiments every time I do any kind of drum fill on my drum set. And thanks to the rudiments I can start the fill on either hand and end the fill on either hand.
But I guess he is correct in one small area of drum playing. I don't remember practicing a rudiment called "the money beat".

.

I can't ever remember thinking about my time being spent on rudiments as being detrimental to my drum set playing....

in fact, having spent a huge amount of time on rudiments has:
- allowed me to have the hand strength last 3 hour gigs of money beat
- allowed me the independence and chops to play Latin beats
- allowed me the facility to figure out and apply complicated beat patterns around the kit
- forced me to listen to some music that I never would have before
- has helped develop a train beat that consistently gets comments from other players
- has helped me develop 4 way independence

do I directly use inverted cheese pataflafla's on drum set?

no (well...sometimes I try to...)

but I do use the skills it took to develop those on drum set every-time I play

statements like this always make me lose a bit of faith in educators, and feel sorry for the students who had short-sighted, close minded teachers like that....
 
An interviewer asked Buddy what he practiced, and instead of the usual blowoff, Buddy replied “singles and doubles.”
 
I have found that the most important part of the rudiments is alternating the left and right while practicing any rudiment.
It has helped me a great deal while playing the drum set. If I am about to start or end up on the wrong hand while playing, I can seamlessly switch to the other hand. Almost without even thinking about it. (Did that make sense to you all?) It is hard to explain. I guess it is called being truely ambidextrous or is it called independence.

As a young man I practiced many hours playing rudiments around the drum kit. Creating fills and drum solos is extremely easy for me. I only wish I had included using the bass drum as part of the rudiments.

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There’s a particular trend in drumming these days to be an iconoclast for the sake of being an iconoclast, and I think Dave tends to want to innovate simply for the sake of innovating.

With that said, I think there is important context from Dave’s instagram post missing in the OP, and it comes directly after what Thomas quoted:

It’s imperative that we make smart choices when it comes to what we choose to practice. So many times when I’m working with someone, they are working on things simply because they can’t do them and that’s not a good enough reason in my book.

I can’t speak for Dave, but from what I know of his teaching, deliberate practicing and intentionality are huge for him, so drilling the rudiments thinking it will automatically translate to the kit would be like a burgeoning martial artist carrying out Mr. Miyagi’s training regimen, waxing cars and painting fences with the idea that they will magically start whooping ass by the end of the summer.
 
I play them on a drum, or on a drum set, so it kinda has a little bit to do with playing the drums.

Let's go over them:

Some are simple articulations/embellishments, used all the time in all forms of percussion: flams, ruffs, drags, four stroke ruffs.

There are the basic forms of roll, single stroke, double stroke, multiple bounce, all used all the time to make long tones on various percussion instruments.

A bunch of them are various forms of short rolls: 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 13, 15, 17 stroke-- heavily used in contemporary playing in various forms.

And various forms of paradiddles: single, double, triple, paradiddle-diddle, all their inversions, with flams and drags added-- heavily used in contemporary playing.

Flam rudiments, flam taps, flam accents, pataflaflas, Swiss triplets, flam drags, all frequently used as vocabulary, or with the hands on different instruments, in the form of common drum set coordination. And overall excellent for conditioning the hands to play overlapping rhythms.

Flamacue is kind of odd ball, except it's such an ordinary snare drum literature item it's kind of dumb to just pretend it doesn't exist.

So where's the fooling ourselves part? Ratamacues?

i have heard Art Blakey use ratamacues before.....

and the people fooling themselves are the ones taking the advice of someone who will dismiss a musical endeavor as being "useless"

I learned how to play all of the wind instruments in college. Was that useless to my drumming? Absolutely not. In so many ways. I learned about their idea of phrasing. I now consider our hands to be like an embouchure of a sort, which hrlps me teach percussion better....
 
There’s a particular trend in drumming these days to be an iconoclast for the sake of being an iconoclast, and I think Dave tends to want to innovate simply for the sake of innovating.

With that said, I think there is important context from Dave’s instagram post missing in the OP, and it comes directly after what Thomas quoted:

It’s imperative that we make smart choices when it comes to what we choose to practice. So many times when I’m working with someone, they are working on things simply because they can’t do them and that’s not a good enough reason in my book.

I can’t speak for Dave, but from what I know of his teaching, deliberate practicing and intentionality are huge for him, so drilling the rudiments thinking it will automatically translate to the kit would be like a burgeoning martial artist carrying out Mr. Miyagi’s training regimen, waxing cars and painting fences with the idea that they will magically start whooping ass by the end of the summer.

Good point.

.
 
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