Natural Talent or a Learned Skill??

Spreggy

Silver Member
We all have different genetic potentials, but you still have to practice and learn and groove some muscle memory and train the nerves to do the task. Nobody is born with that.

The person with the best set of traits to be the greatest drummer on the planet is probably working away quietly in a library somewhere unaware of his or her gift. That person can't touch your average Joe who practices a couple of hours each week.
 

fmass92

Senior Member
I don't know if I have natural talent but I think I picked up the drums quicker then most people thought I would have. My dad used to play drums and he said I'm better then he used to be and I've only been playing around 10 months (although we play completely different types of music so it's hard to compare in my opinion). I played in front of his friends' band and they were surprised when I said I don't get any lessons. I wish I did though because I could probably be 100 times better if I knew exactly what I was doing lol.
 

jazzin'

Silver Member
Nobody besides Buddy Rich. But you don't get guys like that every day. So getting to a high skill level takes practice. For some people they are higher on the learning curve than others. And some people ctan pick up things faser than other people. There can be, though, a level of naturalness just like people are naturally better at shooting or driving than others.
Even that is pure rubbish. He practiced more than most in history have practiced and he did so from a very, very, very young age. He was born on stage and attached to a drumset so to speak.

That myth of Rich hardly practicing came about later in his career from an interview in which he said he doesn't practice anymore, meaning at that stage he didn't practice because he was playing every single night for hours on end. That's still more practice than ninety-five % of people get at any age. It was also playing/practice which develops skill much quicker.
 

jazzin'

Silver Member
With that rationale, you would be saying that if you don't have a natural talent, you will never be as good as someone who does - or it will result in countless hours of fruitless effort?
It can also be this simple. Two people practice the same things, with the same focus and same hours etc in the same environment. One will get better than the other unless they are of the same natural talent.

Talent is very important but at a certain level, ie. the pro level, all players have extreme talent and they all work very, very hard. Some have slightly more talent and others work harder. It's all relative.

Brian Blade for example has amazing talent and an amazing work ethic. That's why he is the best player in the world bar none. Just saw him and Wayne Shorter play the other night.....The guy is phenomenal.

Saying that, whoever said Lang doesn't have an iota of talent is also wrong. He is one of the best players in the world and would have been considered an amazing natural talent. You do not get to the highest pro level without being extremely naturally talented.

Talent also lies in different areas. Someone may have a talent for metronomic perfection, another an extreme gift for creative phrasing and imagination and another in pure groove heaven. All have talent, and drive of they are to reach the top.
 

Pollyanna

Platinum Member
What would be strange is if everyone had exactly the same natural ability.

More interesting is what drives people to practice.

It's not uncommon for people with a lot of talent to practice long hours because what they play is satisfying - they are receiving encouraging aural feedback.

Those born into musical families have a big advantage over other players. Whether they use that advantage depends on their relationships/natural compatibilities with family, how the family presents the music to him or her (encouraging or pushing too hard), their own feelings about music, their patience to follow the dots to build on a solid foundation, their drive / capacity for sustained effort and inner strength to overcome adversity.

You also have people who simply love music or the music scene so much that, even if they have modest natural ability, they want to be a part of it and drive relentlessly until they get there.

Positive feedback along the way in formative years is critical to maintain motivation, although sometimes harsh criticism can spur a person to "I'll show you!" efforts.

The only all-encompassing formula rule is that there is no all-encompassing formula.
 

dairyairman

Platinum Member
You also have people who simply love music or the music scene so much that, even if they have modest natural ability, they want to be a part of it and drive relentlessly until they get there.
haha! that's me! i have no natural talent whatsoever, but i love music and i love playing so much that through brute force and playing constantly i managed to develop to the point where some people say i'm "talented".
 

heinzie5

Junior Member
i have no doubt some people are naturally talented. my very first introduction to percussion was in drum and bugle corps (alot like marching bands). my local drum and bugle corps where starting up a junior unit and i soon found myself in a room with a bunch of kids about my age who had never touched a drum before or had only been down to the practice hall for the past couple of thursdays and within a few weeks (without much practice between thursday nights) i was way ahead of the rest. that was about 9 years ago, i stopped playing marching percussion about 5 years ago and then took up drum kit almost 4 years ago and many people have been suprised i have only been playing for 4 years on kit.

i dont mean to brag, thats just how it happened :p
 

bigd

Silver Member
My son is a classical percussionist. He doesn't play a lot of drumset. He has a natural gift. When he plays marimba, timpani, xylophone, triangle, snare, what ever it is. He has the gift of being able to bring out the music of whats printed on the page not just play the notes. His touch on all of the instruments is incredible. That was not taught. It is just something that he has.
 

dairyairman

Platinum Member
i think you're onto something there. something like musical sense is probably something that's harder to teach than technical proficiency, and there are certainly some people who just "get it" better than others. maybe they were raised in a musical environment, have musical parents who encouraged them from a very young age, or are very drawn to music. whatever it is, it's their gift.
 

Pollyanna

Platinum Member
i think you're onto something there. something like musical sense is probably something that's harder to teach than technical proficiency, and there are certainly some people who just "get it" better than others. maybe they were raised in a musical environment, have musical parents who encouraged them from a very young age, or are very drawn to music. whatever it is, it's their gift.
For sure. We've all met them, probably played with some. Some of us might be those people with The Gift. Not me, haha. You see them pick up an instrument - any instrument - and within seconds they've already worked out how to produce pleasing sounds and phrases.

I think having "perfect time" (like perfect pitch) is a big part of it.
 

thedrumninja

Senior Member
I ask this because although my instructor says I am doing well, I watch other drummers and videos and feel like a complete spaz. For me to learn a groove or a beat, i have to work on it really, really hard. Some concepts just frustrate the hell out of me and I feel like I'll never get the hang of it. How long should it take for someone to go from novice to at least able to play with a group?
Piece of advice - stop watching other dudes If it undermines your confidence.

Set some simple goals in the areas you want to improve most and set up a simple daily schedule that'll get you there. Tempos for the basic rudiments, basic beats and try to construct a vocabulary of tasty fills.

Keep it simple, put in the work, don't get distracted and everyone will be wondering how the hell you are progressing so quickly.

You can be up and running with a group within six months. Get some guys on your level and you can challenge each other and grow as a unit.
 

toddy

Platinum Member
hmm, not sure. if you mean natural talent for understanding rhythms then yes that could well be the case for some people. if you mean natural talent which then translates into a higher possible potential, then yeah that could be true too.

i guess i don't really consider it to be that important imo. i've never worried about how much 'talent' other people have in general, i'm more worried about myself and keeping on track with my own practice. strong work ethic and dedication equals good times. some day.
 

bigd

Silver Member
i guess i don't really consider it to be that important imo. i've never worried about how much 'talent' other people have in general, i'm more worried about myself and keeping on track with my own practice. strong work ethic and dedication equals good times. some day.

I think this is a good statement. Be happy with what you are able to achieve. Some people are destined for the New York Philharmonic some are destined for the local corner pub. Just be happy with what you can achieve.
 

toddy

Platinum Member
I think this is a good statement. Be happy with what you are able to achieve. Some people are destined for the New York Philharmonic some are destined for the local corner pub. Just be happy with what you can achieve.
yep, and both are just as valid. playing music in a setting that you enjoy is what is important :)
 
I have no proof of this, but it is said that a lot of animals have genetically programmed skills that no one has ever tought them, yet they can perform tasks that one would thing would require practice.
What I am thinking about is birds building nests, spiders constructing webs or just finding their way home for Monarch butterflies.
So, maybe, some people can just drum.
 
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dairyairman

Platinum Member
So, maybe, some people can just drum.
who is that? i've never met anyone who was able to just sit down and drum with no practice or training whatsoever. i think that humans seem to have some kind of inherent need or desire to create music, but i wouldn't go so far as to say drumming is instinctive.
 

Coldhardsteel

Gold Member
who is that? i've never met anyone who was able to just sit down and drum with no practice or training whatsoever. i think that humans seem to have some kind of inherent need or desire to create music, but i wouldn't go so far as to say drumming is instinctive.
That's only slightly what I did.

Of course, if you count playing Rockband for a full year before I first hit a real drum on a set, then my point is invalidated, but still. :p
 

Sirwill

Silver Member
To become respectable, you must practice, you also have to be a natural just to get to that point. The first ever time I jumped on a drum kit, I was able to play that common "boom, tap, boom boom tap" with the 8th note hi hat. Something that could take a few hours or days practice to learn came to me as soon as I laid sticks on the kit(run on sentence?). I was playing Smoke on the Water the following day. You can get as good as you want at rudiments, but the feel of playing drums is something you are born with, not something you can be taught.
Nuff said. The hand and foot coordination to be a drummer, you are born with. If you are born with it and educate yourself on the art of drumming you will master it more quickly. But always remember "a master is a student for life"...
 
You guys are kidding yourselves if you think no one is more talented than anyone else, and that being a great drummer is just a matter of work. I've played professionally for forty years, and you'd best believe there are gifted drummers, just like there are gifted athletes and artists and singers. There are also a few unfortunates who will never be able to play well. This is just a fact, and not meant to discourage anyone.
 

Hedon

Senior Member
how about plain intelligence? there are some non musicians that when i talk to i have the feeling they'd be good at anything theyll attempt to do. and obviously the opposite as well. these people you just KNOW could be good drummers/guitarists.. not necessarily "talent" at coordination or having fast twitching muscles, but just generally understanding everything faster than average.
like, i guess dennis chambers could be a good bass player? vinnie could slay on the guitar if he wanted to? just a feeling
 
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