Long Term Tips


Platinum Member
+1 for playing for the song, not for you.
+1 for protecting your ears.

DEFINITELY +1 for having fun. Set aside some time every time you have a chance, and be creative on the drums. Explore. Find new sounds and experiment with them. Simply changing stickings on old patterns, incorporating a rudiment into a drum fill, or moving notes from one limb to another can be a breath of fresh air if you find yourself going stale.

Embrace the fact that the drumset is the most player-unique instrument ever. Unlike the guitar which is built around a standard scale, tuning, and number of strings, the drumset can consist of as few or as many pieces of gear as you want, arranged however is comfortable for you, and mixing brands, sounds, heads, electronics, sticks, etc. is all okay.

Having said that, don't use gear as a crutch. You should be able to play well and musically on a crappy small house kit or on your weapon of choice.

Check your ego and be eager to learn something from every musician you meet, even if it's what not to do.

Take lessons. Look at other drummers on the net. Get books.

Not every drummer knows how to read music (just like not every person in Texas knows Spanish), but you have to admit, it can be a big help. I can point at several gigs and say matter-of-factly if I couldn't read music, I would have got fired or not got the job.

Some things seem to give drummers tunnel vision, like double pedal speed, double strokes, etc. They obsess over perfecting these things and being the best. Long ago I accepted that I would have limitations in my playing in certain areas, but would work on them in a balanced manner rather than focusing solely on them.

I love to get out of my comfort zone and try something new, whether it's taking lessons on Latin music or trying to compose a part to a song with a Celtic 6/8 feel.

Again... have fun!


Silver Member
Ten rules I recommend for you, young Jedi Soccer 383:

1. Get a teacher.

2. Good technique = long term health, sensitivity to the music and the development of your own voice on the instrument, and a phone that rings for gigs.

3. Be a musician first. You are the time, you are the frame of the house, you are the support for the singer and the soloist. Everybody plays on your foundation, so be a sturdy foundation. Treat others like what they have to say on their instrument is important, and your phone will ring.

4. Avoid gear fads, put most of your time and money into developing you.

5 thru 10 are all the same, over and over again: Get a Teacher!

edit: One other thing. Avoid buying the extra-caffeine coffee for the ride home from a gig, because you'll be up all night posting on Drummerworld instead of getting some sleep!


Platinum Member
My 2c worth:

1. LISTEN to the other musicians and complement what they are doing

2. UNDERSTAND the lyrics and the mood of the song ... help to project the feelings that the song is trying to express. You're a team.


4. GROOVE MORE - even when playing with a metronome


Bo Eder

Platinum Member
Hello and welcome!

I've been playing for over 30 years and I'll not add to the great advice already given here.
But maybe this little bit I'll paraphrase from the great Max Roach:

If the band isn't playing a tune particularly great, or if the soloist just doesn't have anything to say, rush! You'll get to the end alot quicker to end the misery up on the bandstand!

Just kidding, of course!

Funky Crêpe

Silver Member
I think the advise of not over playing, although good, can harm a turely great player. If you want to be great, then by all means learn how to play fast linear stuff and all of that. I heard so many people saying, "play simple and for the music"......which is good in most cases, but in a fusion, jazz, or hip hop setting....you NEED to be able to do that. I think thats why drumers get a bad rap, because some drummers can ONLY play simply you know? Why some people say that we are not true musicians....well learn how to be melodic and play crazy beats and they will think opposite. But as always, you must know when to keep them in the bag...but you DO need to be able to do this stuff.

Just trying to be different because a lot of the comments are like...."play easy"...."play simpley"...."now, easy does it chap". At the end of the day, we are drummers who have the ability to push the limits, get to pushing them! You have been playing for two years, so you should have a good grasp of the stuff. I don' know what age you are or your situation (whether you want to seriously persue this)....but if your young, then get as developed as you possibly can, i think people saying "the most important thing is to play simpley" is a kind of fuddy duddy thing. During playing live, yes this is true....but in the woodshed? Try and learn how to demolish the kit...look at jojo mayer, such a grooving drummer, but can seriously shed when he wants to. And there are a few genres of music these days where you can really express yourself and use this stuff.

But by all means, in every situation, play for the music. But then again, i am young myself, and this question wasn't directed at me! :)

Kind of what Larryace says above me.....I was in a situation that called for crazy fills, and i just couldn't do them. Playing groove is good, but so is knowing how to let loose


"Uncle Larry"
Another thing I remembered reading...I think it was John Riley that wrote: (I'm paraphrasing)
Onstage, play within your limitations. It's better to nail an easier passage then trying and failing to nail the more difficult passage.
The rehearsal room is the place to venture outside your comfort zone.
Some may disagree, but I think it's good stuff.


Silver Member
Great advice so far.......,on the learning to feel the song or Playing in the pocket,,the lose relaxed grip is very important ,,I guess thats where a good teacher is highly recomended...............,Learn the basic,.Have fun,the hearing is SOOO important,for years i didnt have plugs,and it cost me some hearing no doubt about it...And kudos to watch your drinking and playing!!The bars can be a blast,but if your drinking, your playing WILL suffer,not to say i dont have a beer maybe 2 but, i drink alot more water,,and a DWI is not cheap........Good luck to ya !!!!!!