Sorta disappointed in what I hear out there...

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
A friend of mine suggested I do more to network with other drummers across social media, and over Facebook, he suggested some people to 'friend' and invite them to like my page. Of course, once they accept your friendship, more people become available, and a lot of drummers know alot of other drummers, so I've been happily friending drummers and seeing what they do over the last couple of days. I have noticed that, like here, drummers are a likable lot. Every one of them accepted my friend request, and I've avoided ones who flat-out say they don't like a certain type of person, so far so good.

I don't want to be judgmental though, but when I get to the ones who are brave enough to post videos of their playing, I'm left a little disappointed. Some of them say they teach, or they say they've won certain awards, or they're "session" people who only "record". There are all kinds of people out there, and I guess that's a cool thing. But I haven't really come across any yet that can lay down a convincing 2 & 4 groove like they mean it.

I see alot of stick twirling, and I hear alot of extra notes that disrupt the groove. I hear a general lack of dynamic balance between the parts of the kit. Like one plays the hi-hat excruciatingly loud, but the bass drum is rather soft. Or the snare dominates everything else.

I get that we're all in this together, and everyone is at a different point on the learning curve. I suppose my problem is that it would be nice if people didn't use social media to make themselves better than they actually are? Is that mean?

Example: if you play covers, or at least do a video of you playing along with a favorite recording, maybe show me how great you cover by really nailing the part on the record I'm also hearing in your video? After all, if someone were to hire you to be in a cover band, they'd be interested in knowing you can actually cover the part. Maybe this isn't fair, but I just heard a horrendous covering of Steely Dan's Peg (which isn't easy, so maybe don't play that one?). Heck, if I were potentially looking for someone to cover me for a gig I couldn't make, I'd need to know that your time is good, and you can deliver the fundamental basics to a band.

Perhaps I'm getting back to what I always say: you've got to listen to what's out there so you know what you need to produce. Heck, Zoro made a great DVD on the Motown stuff and that was a virtual correct lesson on what to do to be in that genre. Billy Ward covered alot of rhythmic timing ground in his Big Time DVD. Steve Jordan's The Groove is Here clearly demonstrates effective, and deceptively simple grooves that would make any band happy.

I think there are too many people buying Benny Greb and Jojo Mayer technique videos learning how to move their fingers at mind-bending rates - but perhaps this has always been the problem anyway. And alot of the people I've found on the internet claim to be in bands, so you'd think the grooving thing was al little more natural?

Am I being too critical? I'm all for fun, but you gotta cover the basics. Actual bands need good time more than they need a magician. And really, you might as well accept your fate that you will play Mustang Sally, like it or not.

I'm sure as I expand my friends list with drummers from all over the world, there will be those who groove hard and can really play with and for a band. And I'm sure, just like here, I'll run into the person who just wants to play solos in his bedroom too, and that's ok too. Just say so.

OK - I'm putting on my flame suit now....
 

mikyok

Platinum Member
Not harsh at all, you're a drummer for a living, you know what it takes to get there and more importantly stay there.

If you put anything in a public domain you're leaving yourself open to ridicule if it's not good enough. We also live in a world where you can't say anything bad about anything because it might hurt someones feelings. Blow enough smoke up someones arse and think they're on fire!

Best way to network is face to face, take all the audio and video editing out and make em play with a band. It sorts the players out from the bedroom warriors.
 

Mongrel

Silver Member
I appreciated your post, and moreso your passion for the craft, Bo.

Starting to sound like it may be safe to out some of my own stuff up....lol.
 

roncadillac

Member
I see it too and I don't even personally use any form of social media (unless being a member here counts lol). It's precisely why I play my 2 piece bass/snare kit with 1 ride behind a 9+ piece all original theatrical rock band where my 1-2 hour long sets consist of mostly "boom bap" and shuffles... Because I get satisfaction from serving the music. Don't get me wrong, I've played in bands requiring busy drum work and I can do it but don't prefer it. In my 18 or so years playing drums I've covered a wide variety of styles with several bands yet I've always listened mostly to 90s hip hop so I have a soft spot for simple effective repetitive groove.

Sometimes I nonsensically shred like a d-bag for fun in my house, we all do. I just chose not to share that with the world and not let that be the basis of my playing.
 

V-Four

Senior Member
... I suppose my problem is that it would be nice if people didn't use social media to make themselves better than they actually are? Is that mean?...
I believe this is called advertising. When was the last time you've seen anything as good as (or perform as) it was advertised.
I'm sure this goes for social media drummers as well, although I try to avoid the social med., but I imagine it's no different.

T.
 

beyondbetrayal

Platinum Member
I think this is the norm. The same reason I don't believe any video or recording anymore. When I see a guy play live that is where my respect is earned. Heck 99% of YouTube, Instagram, Facebook drummers probibly do 100 different takes with countless punch ins. I can't handle watching the camera angle change ever 10 seconds to hide another punch in. I could play some pretty killer guitar solos if I did 2 notes at a time punching in and no one would know either. ( I am not good at guitar). Oh and the sample replacement and editing of audio too. I have now seen guys that can edit/quantize their playing and edit their video speeds to sync up really convincingly with the audio.

I am constantly seeing guys mention how they are "endorsed" that is the first give away as they don't even know that they are the ones endorsing the company. But when you are getting %50 of MSRP from some price that is inflated 300x from a no name company that isn't a deal.

Everyone in this day and age want the likes, views, to be known etc. I actualy haven't posted any videos lately and have improved my playing more than ever. Although the music I play isn't your standard 2/4 groove the same principals apply.
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
Well Bo it's because you're a musician. I think there are musicians who play drums and then a bunch of drummers (I'm the later). Like at church there was some young players with chops galore but couldn't keep a steady beat. When I played with an orchestra it was simple stuff, that I could read, so lots of chick boom and rarely any kind of solo (it's metronomic and sadly I find it boring-maybe it's cause of my ADD?). But if you want to stay in orchestra you have to be metronomic. But when I watch videos of my favorite drummers they often mix it up-I remember a video of Gavin Harrison taking a simple beat and showing how to mix it up to make it interesting. So I think drummers "reason" if it works for them it will work for me-which I think is naive. As you mentioned JoJo and Benny, etc always mix it up. This hits on something I'm doing now-so glad you brought it up. I'm looking for lessons.

I've been looking locally in Columbia SC for a drum teacher. Lots of music stores offer and some individuals (I think need someone to sit down with me rather than Skype-but I probably would find a better teacher online), however I see 1-30 years in business and I have no idea of the background of any of them. Most run 35-60 bucks a lesson, but I don't want to have to spend 300 bucks going through 6 teachers trying to find one. How can I run this gauntlet-phone calls and specific questions?
 
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PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
I think that sometimes (a lot of times, actually), a video fails to capture the energy of an actual performance. For example, here is a video of a show I played last Friday. The energy that whole night was incredible. So many people stopped me either in breaks or after the show and told me how much they loved it, and quite a few people hung out for a couple of hours listening. But how did I know it was really good? My wife didn't play on her phone all night. She actually watched us! :geek:

However, the video that someone took simply doesn't capture the energy that was there that night. Here's the video (I think you may need to be logged into Facebook to see it).

 

KamaK

Platinum Member
I don't want to be judgmental though, but when I get to the ones who are brave enough to post videos of their playing, I'm left a little disappointed.
The ability to separate "wheat from chaff" is of critical importance to any discipline. Not only do experienced players provide a standard to which inexperienced players can aspire, they also provide a critical and sympathetic ear so that an inexperienced player's deficiencies/shortcomings can be (diplomatically) communicated to them.

TLDR: Your experience is a blessing and is essential the arts.

On the flip side... and this is not a criticism of you, rather a similar challenge that I find myself needing to constantly reconcile..... When I hear a good and experienced drummer, I instantly think.... "What a great musician, it's a shame they're stuck playing Mustang Sally (or something equally mundane). I wonder why they're doing that instead of something more interesting?", despite maintaining the social facade with the mantra that "every man's wife is beautiful and their children are smart".

Bottom line is that (your) experience is the knife with which the bullshit is cut.
 
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GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
Sadly I think percussion instruments often "appear" as though you don't need musical training to play. Which is true of about any instrument-my parents loved music and encouraged it in all of us-so we had organ, piano, guitars, saxophone, drums that my brothers and I all would noodle on. Now Mom made all of us take piano lessons which as predictable none of us now play piano LOL. My middle brother got really good on his own on guitar and my Dad cultivated (he loved guitar) it by taking him across the State to take lessons. My oldest bro and I loved the drums-though I also liked the saxophone. Now neither of us took lessons nor really cultivated it so for decades it has stagnated. A number of posters emphasis on understanding music/music theory is really spot on to become a musician who plays drums. But my point is, now I remember, I think it's common to have lots of "untrained drummers" who have gained some confidence and rudimentary understanding so start gigging and even teaching. Heck when I was 9 or 10 years old I was teaching kids (8-10 years of age) rudiments in my neighborhood and I'd only been playing a year or so. Didn't even know rudiments to teach till I bought the book to teach out of LOL. What's weird it all seemed so easy back then-I could play anything it seems. But putting the cart before the horse-I think you see that phenomenon.
 

cbphoto

Gold Member
geez. I wish I could twirl my sticks.

Bottom line is that (your) experience is the knife with which the bullshit is cut.
Nice. I’m taking this to the bank.

Another great quote from my side of the fence:
Buy a camera, and you’re a photographer. Buy a violin, and you own a violin.

Perhaps this fine chart can provide some insight to Bo’s rant:

2BBEC7D1-F7DD-40DC-8274-943AECFBAAD4.png

Edit: When I get interns from the local university and community college, I show them this chart and ask, “Where are you on this timeline?” It’s a good method for truth detection and assessment of the intern.
 
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8Mile

Platinum Member
I'm getting burned out on drumming on social media. It's all linear grooves, beat displacements and odd times. You'd think every gig out there is designed to have the drummer express his or her creativity at all times. I love that stuff, but you can't play that on most gigs.

On a recent episode of the Modern Drummer podcast, they were talking about this column in the current issue that featured a drummer (forget who) incorporating one-handed cymbal chokes that have a rhythmic value, like an 8th note duration that starts on the "&" of a beat. Mike Dawson wrapped up by joking, "I wonder which Tom Petty song I'll try this on tonight."

That's pretty much how I feel about most social media drumming at this point.
 

donzo74

Junior Member
Mike Dawson wrapped up by joking, "I wonder which Tom Petty song I'll try this on tonight."
You Got Lucky - there are tight cymbal chokes on beat one throughout that song. It can be done. It's all about context and taste. =)
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
Wouldn't it be difficult for a drummer to show off their groove without a band around them?
Pull up some Steve Jordan, Keith Carlock, or Abe Laboriel, Jr. on YouTube. Their solos are way more groove than chops, in my opinion. Cooler still, I’ve injected some of their ideas into my playing and bands have dug how the groove isn’t disrupted. That’s a good measure of knowing if an idea works or not.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
You Got Lucky - there are tight cymbal chokes on beat one throughout that song. It can be done. It's all about context and taste. =)
Doing it to do an actual cover of the song is one thing. But when I hear stuff just fir the sake of it being there - if it disrupts the original intent - then that seems wrong. Sure, make it your own and express yourself, but there’s a fine line between that and pissing all over it like an alpha dog, no?
 

Old Dog new Cans

Senior Member
There's a big discrepancy between fame and talent/skill. There's a 3 year old kid on YouTube who is the highest paid internet sensation and has millions of followers and billions of views. . .That certainly doesn't mean he's skilled at what he does.

Musicians are showy for sure, not always talented.

20 years ago, things were just different. The internet has completely changed certain things. People write a song on their laptop, put it on YT, and 2 months later they have a record deal??

Also, it seems to me, drummers just WANT to play TOO many notes. Back to the showy. Drummers are meant to keep the beat, in the first place. Too much overlapping syncopation showing how cool it is to play 11/8 in the middle of 4/4 or similar, just to say "I did that". Believe me, I appreciate talent, hand speed, strange time signatures, whatever. But it often just seems too much.
 
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