Sick of sucking.

Bradastronaut

Senior Member
Ok so my predicament here is this...
I suck. I never used to, i used to be (well in my opinion) decent...my teacher would have said so aswell :p but i spent near enough a year away from a kit, and i had only been playing for a year to start off with, which probably makes it worse.
Now im back on my kit, but am getting realy frustrated at how i cant play any of the stuff i used to, i still know HOW to play it, but it seems my technique on the drum set has just dropped rediculously. Like i can still do everything on the pad, infact my rudiments are a lot quicker and accurate than they used to be since i have still had my pad to work on , but on the kit is a completely different story.
all i want out of my playing is a SOLID, energetic and silky smooth punk rock/reggae/ska style. Although i would like do delve into drum and bass, linear grooves and afro cuban, but i dont wanna go into them until i am completely solid and fluent in the styles of music i listen to most. However...
I DONT KNOW HOW TO GET THERE.
i have several problems i would like to address which stop me from getting there.
my fills between the toms and snare are horrible, i just cant do them, sticks fall out my hands, not getting enough power out the hits on the toms, missing the toms even! i only have one 10" and a 16" floor tom and i just wanna master getting around them so i feel comfortable doing rolls on and around every part of my kit.
I keep missing the hi hat and cymbals coming out of and inbetween fills! this isnt often, but its often enough to frustrate me, i dunno what it is cause i know where they are and i use them plenty!
How long should i practice a beat or fill for at a time until i move onto another? should i start off rediculously slow (like 60bpm) and move up to the speed in which i will need to play it at (such as 210 max)
and would it be possible to acheive the style i want by 6 months time if i have an hour a day practice and maybe 2/3 hours on weekends?
 

Boomka

Platinum Member
I DONT KNOW HOW TO GET THERE.
How do you get to Carnegie Hall?

Practice, practice, practice.

You get there the same way you got there the first time. You start with basics and you get really good at them. Then you build on that. Get a good teacher to help oversee your progress. There are no shortcuts. There is no magic bullet. There is no rushing ahead. There is desire and dedication to slowly and steadily building up your abilities. Full stop.

and would it be possible to acheive the style i want by 6 months time if i have an hour a day practice and maybe 2/3 hours on weekends?
It's hard to tell. But I guarantee if you practice well for that amount of time each day/week, you'll be substantially better in 6 months time.
 

Travis22

Senior Member
Boomka nailed it, it's just a matter of practice and you need a teacher. Yes, do start slow and work up to speed, otherwise it's kinda like trying to run before you can even walk. I do think if you do practice to improve your skills that you will be tons better in 6 months since you already have a basic idea of how to play, so do get discouraged.

As for getting around your kit, make sure everything is in a comfortable location for you. Maybe adjust the angles of the toms or even the heights, as well as your cymbals. Set your kit up so that moving among the instruments feels fluid and natural and you don't have to reach or shift around on your throne.

One other thing that might help with your "power" when playin your toms is practice rudiments ON your toms. They don't (or at least mine don't) have the same rebound like a snare, so therefore take a little more technique to do things on. I'd be willing to bet that if you spent 5-10 mins doing snare stuff around your toms (They have a book out that is written to help with this exact problem. Can't recall the name right off hand, but I have it at home and I'll post that for you tomorrow if someone doesn't beat me to it) that you would notice an immediate difference upon playing a groove then going in to a fill. I know I did.

Good luck and keep your head up.
 

Pocket-full-of-gold

Platinum Member
How do you get to Carnegie Hall?

Practice, practice, practice.

You get there the same way you got there the first time. You start with basics and you get really good at them. Then you build on that. Get a good teacher to help oversee your progress. There are no shortcuts. There is no magic bullet. There is no rushing ahead. There is desire and dedication to slowly and steadily building up your abilities. Full stop."
This!!...................Nothing more needs to be said, except to reiterate:

"There are no shortcuts. There is no magic bullet. There is no rushing ahead. There is desire and dedication to slowly and steadily building up your abilities. Full stop

In fact, there should be an requirement prior to DW membership being granted, that this concept is grasped and understood by all (joking of course.....but only just).

Put in the work and you'll see the results.......simple isn't it. :)
 

Bradastronaut

Senior Member
Thanks for the advice and encouragement guys!
I have a tama imperialstar with hyperdrive toms, i have them set nice and flat and its realy easy to reach them, no strain and my wrists stay in the same position when playing them as the snare, meaning movement is a lot more efficient (for me atleast), so i think its mainly a technique issue :p
I know there is nothing wrong with my grip, my teacher watched that closely when i was getting lessons, its plenty loose, i basically copied off of what grips and movements some of my favourite drummers were using (thomas pridgen, dave raun, brooks wackerman) and took it from there ,my double stroke rolls are pretty good aswell id say!
i think this month ill focus on the basic beats, drumming 101, learn as many variations as i can at as many different tempos as i can, along with starting serious rudimental practice (singles, doubles and paradiddles) on a pad and around the kit, starting at 60bpm and knocking it up a beat every day! along with the same thing for my feet (i have a double pedal in order to gain control over both feet, im not a metal drummer, i hate that style of music! :p)
im thinking maybe practice each beat for 2 minutes at a time?
 

Mark_S

Silver Member
I know exactly what you mean - I'm having the same problem here too. I've spent too long the last couple of years just ticking over in a covers band once a fortnight, no practise in between (oops). Now I'm in a rock band with faster songs (around 150/160bpm) and my fills suck... I tense up when I do simple 16th note tom rolls, and I find it hard to get the volume out of the toms, especially compared to the volume I'm getting with rim-shotting every snare hit on 2 and 4.. Maybe I shouldn't do that - but it just seems natural for this kind of music..

I was going to ask a question about that actually, but maybe this is all related?

I'm sure I never used to have this problem, not as much anyway, but that was years back when I was in 3 bands all of which practised once a week - so maybe I didn't notice the lack of pad practise so much.

The rudiments around the kit sounds like a good plan.

Good luck with it your end! :)

PS, FYI here is a similar post with some more info:
http://www.drummerworld.com/forums/showthread.php?p=748765
 
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mxo721

Senior Member
...I look at it like this, there is beauty in suffering for this. when I first started I was like, ok I'll just learn 2 basic beats and play along to c.d's, but I really, really enjoy, learing new stuff, and YEH...the learning part sucks, but when you get there....it's worth it because, if it were simple....EVFERY ONE would do it. you are one of the ones that wants it. keep playing.
 
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