Is ear training important for drummers?

mrthirsty

Junior Member
Hi, just thought I would ask how many guys here devote some of their practising to ear training, not just for rhythm but working on chords, intervals and scales.

I still work on ear training even though I don't sing or play another instrument that requires notes or chords. Anyone else think this helps their playing??
 

Longfuse

Senior Member
When I studied music there was a strong emphasis on ear training. It's a skill that has proved invaluable. As far as drumming goes, it'll improve your tuning skills if nothing else.

Why not go the whole hog and learn vibraphone or something? (applying what you already know to a tuned instrument).
 

Shirai

Member
I think that anything that increases your understanding of how music works, whether directly applicable to the drums or not, adds value to your musicianship, and thereby adds value to your playing. Ear training in particular helps a drummer communicate with bandmates better, helps you read a chart better, helps you understand your place in the music better.... I can't think of any drawbacks to developing your ear.
 
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Anthony Amodeo

Guest
very important for our musicianship to at least understand progressions, chord changes, intervals, etc......

be a musician not a drummer

this will not only help you approach a tune more musically but will make for more clear lines of communication with the instrumentalists you are playing with

if you are keen musically then you probably already recognize these things when they approach your ear....it is just knowing the technical terms for what you hear and understanding what will work harmonically as it progresses
 

Otto

Platinum Member
be a musician not a drummer
Agreed!

Understanding scales(including alternate modes) is helpful.

When you hear the vocalist struggling, its nice to be able to suggest a proper transposition to the better educated members to accomodate the vocalists range.

...and its fun being the lowly drummer who understands the circle of fifths.
 

MasterCylinder

Senior Member
When I was a music major in college I chose percussion performance as my concentration field; as a result, we studied music theory, composition and ear training along with piano in addition to drumset, marimba, vibes and the tympani.............I found all of this to be helpful.
 

Souljacker

Silver Member
very important for our musicianship to at least understand progressions, chord changes, intervals, etc......

be a musician not a drummer
A drummer is a musician, I get what you're trying to say, but you could have just said know your music theory.

Anyway, back on topic, I will be studying this area soon in college and I hope it helps.
 
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Anthony Amodeo

Guest
A drummer is a musician, I get what you're trying to say, but you could have just said know your music theory.
thanks for telling me what I could have said.

I said exactly what I meant

I know quite a few drummers that are the furthest thing from musicians......so you couldn't be more incorrect

good luck in college
 

Souljacker

Silver Member
thanks for telling me what I could have said.

I said exactly what I meant

I know quite a few drummers that are the furthest thing from musicians......so you couldn't be more incorrect

good luck in college
Yeah, sorry for nitpicking there, I know what you're saying.

I guess the definitions are quite open ended and loose.

Thanks for the kind wishes.
 

Anon La Ply

Renegade
Is it that important? Maybe for pros dealing with lots of other musos and charts. Not a whole lot at local band level.

I know the basic intervals by ear, chord structures, scale and mode structures etc but I'm pretty sure that most bands would prefer a less musically educated but groovier drummer if given the option.

Knowing some theory has helped but not as much as working on movements, timing, dynamics and tone production.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
very important for our musicianship to at least understand progressions, chord changes, intervals, etc......

be a musician not a drummer

this will not only help you approach a tune more musically but will make for more clear lines of communication with the instrumentalists you are playing with

if you are keen musically then you probably already recognize these things when they approach your ear....it is just knowing the technical terms for what you hear and understanding what will work harmonically as it progresses
This ^^^

And not just in terms of "being able to tune", hell, with my limited musical ability, I've re-written and re-arranged charts and ran bands. I had no idea of the stigma that drummers aren't supposed to do those kinds of things, but I did it, and continue to do it when I get the chance. Look to the work of Louie Bellson, Billy Cobham and Tony Williams, not only monster players, but monster composers as well. I think other musicians might hate it because the drummer already dictates how the band feels on any given night, but to be the music guy too? That's like phenomenal cosmic power!

Think about it ;)
 
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