Ten years later, what's changed with your playing?

NouveauCliche

Senior Member
Just thinking back on what has happened to me/with me over the last ten years of playing and thought it'd be interesting to share and learn from you.

- Been in two bands long-term (one since 2010 with a three-year hiatus, one for the past four years)
- Slimmed down from my ridiculous seven- or eight-piece kit to a four-piece
- Picked up a LOT of Latin chops, both through playing in a Latin rock band and by expanding my listening
- Played three regional theater runs
- Went back to basics with timekeeping and burying the click
- Incorporated electronics into the kit
- Assistant worship pastor at my church (song selection, arrangements, technical direction)

If you put ten-years-ago me against today me, it'd be like the "you're amazing / you're hired" comic strip. I feel like a four-on-the-floor groove machine now. It's been good.

How about you?

Career wise - tons. Lots and lots - doing stuff now that I never thought I'd be doing, including being able to hire three full time employees for our music/media company.

Playing wise - I don't play traditional grip anymore....I've sort of shifted from Jazz funk to almost like straight up funk and that's what comes out. I've gotten about 1000% more confident doing solos than I ever was in my younger years (for better or worse haha).

It's been a wonderful decade and I'm looking forward to the next one!
 

SomeBadDrummer

Gold Member
I had almost constant growth during the first 45 years since starting playing drums. There's always something new to learn and I certainly don't claim to know it all, but in the last ten years (after those first 45) there has been a lot less growth. I'm pleased (and a little surprised!) that my stamina and speed are as strong as ever, even as I've now crossed 65*. But in terms of technique or adding new things to my drumming vocabulary, I can't think of anything in the last ten years that deserves mentioning. And in terms of gear and logistics, again, nothing really new.

I'm always open to new things as they apply to my particular gigs, but there's really been nothing new on those fronts. I'm still having fun playing, and that's always been the most important thing for me.

* I played a high-energy, 4 1/2 hour gig last night, and didn't slow down or even drop a stick, although I was sweating like a pig. A pig that made $50! OINK!!
Wow. You almost made minimum wage. I say that not in mockery but in astonishment. That’s what I made in the 1980’s playing dinner music for rich people at the Ritz, things like Girl From Ipanema and Sonny. Damn
 

SomeBadDrummer

Gold Member
  • Running a commercial recording studio producing local bands ---(10 yrs.)---> Running a software company solving problems for the big brands
  • Developing software for fun (and for running my studio) in my spare time ---(10 yrs.)---> Recording stuff that makes me happy in my spare time
  • Playing festivals over summer time, multiple gigs a week ---(10 yrs.)---> Playing no gigs at all
  • Playing like a Delmag Dieselbär ---(10 yrs.)---> developed my left hand over last two years 1h/d on a practice pad, improving my chops big time, playing much more relaxed and a tiny bit more playful (still prefer a steady, band-oriented, supportive beat)
  • TAMA Superstar 12/16/20 ---(10 yrs.)---> DW Collectors 12/13/16/18/24
  • Using cheapest mics in a dead studio, doing everything with plug-ins ---(10 yrs.)---> Using decent mics in a well balanced room, using plug-ins homeopathically
  • Smoking 25 cigarettes and 5 joints and having 3l of coffee a day, weighting close to 70kg, looking like a bird scarer ---(10 yrs.)---> no tobacco at all, one cup of coffee in the morning, developed average amount of muscles and an overall normal body
  • Existing in a loud, stinky and overwhelming city, watching skinny girls walk by ---(10 yrs.)---> Living on the quiet and calm countryside, watching birds, hedgehogs, raccoons and bees
  • Being a single for ~20 yrs. ---(10 yrs.)---> found the love of my life, getting married next year
Wow, I am simply astonished by this response 🤩
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
Wow. You almost made minimum wage. I say that not in mockery but in astonishment. That’s what I made in the 1980’s playing dinner music for rich people at the Ritz, things like Girl From Ipanema and Sonny. Damn
I was j/k about the $50. :)
 

SomeBadDrummer

Gold Member
  • Running a commercial recording studio producing local bands ---(10 yrs.)---> Running a software company solving problems for the big brands
  • Developing software for fun (and for running my studio) in my spare time ---(10 yrs.)---> Recording stuff that makes me happy in my spare time
  • Playing festivals over summer time, multiple gigs a week ---(10 yrs.)---> Playing no gigs at all
  • Playing like a Delmag Dieselbär ---(10 yrs.)---> developed my left hand over last two years 1h/d on a practice pad, improving my chops big time, playing much more relaxed and a tiny bit more playful (still prefer a steady, band-oriented, supportive beat)
  • TAMA Superstar 12/16/20 ---(10 yrs.)---> DW Collectors 12/13/16/18/24
  • Using cheapest mics in a dead studio, doing everything with plug-ins ---(10 yrs.)---> Using decent mics in a well balanced room, using plug-ins homeopathically
  • Smoking 25 cigarettes and 5 joints and having 3l of coffee a day, weighting close to 70kg, looking like a bird scarer ---(10 yrs.)---> no tobacco at all, one cup of coffee in the morning, developed average amount of muscles and an overall normal body
  • Existing in a loud, stinky and overwhelming city, watching skinny girls walk by ---(10 yrs.)---> Living on the quiet and calm countryside, watching birds, hedgehogs, raccoons and bees
  • Being a single for ~20 yrs. ---(10 yrs.)---> found the love of my life, getting married next year
Wow, I am simply astonished by this response 🤩
I was j/k about the $50. :)
:D
I was j/k about the $50. :)
Whew!
 

Quai34

Junior Member
- I played in two rock bands, not completely my cup of tea but learnt how to do incorporate keys in songs where they were none.
- I discovered bands that I was not familiar with like Weezer, Steely Dan or Burtton Cummings.
- I was able to convince several guitarist to let me deal with their sound in the PA and not pushed their amps of 11 towards the public but lateral to the stage, towards them, angled towards their ears.
- I made them realized that they had lost a lots of hearing!!!! When they came back from their audiologist and told us, "Hey guys, we have to really play less loud, I have a strong hearing lost, I count on you", everyone was dead laughing!!!"
- I build my Studio/Den and my Practice room.
- I started my own Funk/Dance band, first in years and I was very happy with, especially to disover I could be a good band leader plus good Musical Director plus recording Guy.
- In the process, I was able to convince guitarists and bassists to stop using their crap old copies of big brands and to play my stuff, that they agreed were way better than them (you just have to convince them, just TO TRY!!)
- I build my drums kit, 3up, one down, learning a lot on wood, materials, hoops, and with 30 cymbals on the kit, so, I learnt a lot on cymbals too.
- AND MOST IMPORTANT: I MEET YOU GUYS ON THIS FORUM, BEST EVER (It has to be the best to accept a French keys player in a drums forum, seriously!?? and a guy who always forget to check spelling before posting that leads to pretty funny things sometimes, I know, when I read again my posts, I always correct them!)
 
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Cmdr. Ross

Silver Member
I got rid of my G.A.S.. I had an epiphany one day looking at my studio with drum shells, parts & whole kits spread out like roaches running from a light on.
Gathered up only what I know I used, bought a rolling tool box for the parts & accessories I was keeping & started photographing the rest.
Had it all sold within the month.

Later when the pandemic hit, I worked on my hands like never before. Signed up for some online instruction & did the "Year of the Hands" from Rob Brown. Changed my playing forever in the most positive way I can imagine.

Messed with double bass more than I thought I would. I'm far from where I'd like to be, but it's a work in progress.
 

SharkSandwich

Junior Member
10 years ago:

- I had just joined my first cover band...and we're still together
- I was more interested in how my kit looked over how much the gear weighed
- I had never played to a click
- I had never used IEMs
- I was more interested in licks over feel
- I've increased my stamina
- I've gone from using a double pedal to a single pedal
- I still have trouble tying a tie

I wish I could say I was way better player now but I look at old videos and I sound the same 😐
 

iCe

Senior Member
Cool topic to reflect back on my playing!
It is exactly 10 years ago that i picked up drumming again. Around 2005/2006 the bands i was in disbanded and i 'lost the love' for playing in bands. Put money, time and effort into it just to turn out it was for nothing (how i looked at it back then). Did play some drums at home, but my parents moved (still lived at home) and didn't had a practice room available anymore. Went to university in 2007 to get my bachelors degree and during those 4 years i rarely touched a drumset.

Did play with a coverband on Christmas Eve in 2007, but that was just a one off. In 2008 we did it again just for the fun of it and all the way up tot 2012 i believe (afterwards i quit). Anyway, pretty basic songs and my playing had become rusty over the years of inactivity. Anyway, in 2011 i graduated and decided it was time to pick up the sticks again.

I sold most of my previous cymbals (Meinl Classics) and the chinas (Wuhan) were long cracked, so decide to get me a set of Zildjian A's: still use the 14" New Beats and the 21" Sweet Ride today, but retired the crashes. Started the search for a band and found an ad of a guitar and bass player looking for a drummer. Had similar tastes and after some e-mails back and forth we set up a date. Decided on rehearsing YYZ and jammed to some of their songs. Playing YYZ i noticed how rusty i had become and also with the other prog stuff, but delved right in and was glad to be playing again! Eventually the bass player left, had a few others, but to this day we lack a bass player and can't be bothered to find a new one hehe...

Anyway, looking back:

- Recorded the album 'Throck!' with my project Quivermore in 2014 (it's on Spotify for those who are interested)
- Did a few gigs with a coverband
- Joined briefly the band of a friend of mine to help out at a gig when their drummer suddenly left, but didn't want to stay on permanent basis (Quivermore was my main interest)
- Early 2016 i helped them record their EP since the drummer had health issues and joined them after the drummer left: he couldn't process that the band has asked another drummer to record the EP. I didn't want to join, but due to his health issues it was very uncertain if he could record the album and the band didn't want to throw money away in the event he didn't showed up. Which had happened a couple of times before they had to cancel a gig last minute
- Left that band early 2019 because i didn't 'felt' the music anymore; didn't enjoy the rehearsals anymore, the lack of process with songs and didn't want to do these gigs and battle of the bands were you played for like 20 people who weren't interested at all (and more than the half were other bands). Realised that i only want to do what gives me joy and that is prog rock and metal
- Finally have a 'dream setup': 2 bass drums, bunch of toms, rocket toms, all the cymbals and sounds i want
- Became a much more conscious drummer after watching Todd Sucherman's DVD's and started to analyse my playing more and more
- Started regularly recording my own playing to look back how i play and analyse what can be improved
- Started using the hi-hat foot pedal more and more since 2017 or so and has helped improve my timing and coordination immensely
- And finally; i let go that everything needs to be the same brand, so a couple of other brands have joined my cymbal setup hehe
 
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Ten years ago, I was halfway through my dozen years without a kit. Not once in all that time did I sit down behind a set of drums. Now I've got a kit I'm very happy with—although GAS is a very real and perpetual danger for me—and rarely does a day go by without at least a few minutes of happily playing. And it's an odd thing: after several years back, I'm still not nearly where I was when I was in my early 20s, in terms of speed or consistency, but I think I also do at least a few things better, like ghost notes and finesse around the hi-hat. It's a work in progress, right?
 

Trigger

Senior Member
In terms of drumming skills, I've gotten worse at everything except:

  • Double kick. I used to top out at 140bmp. Now i can go all the way to 230. Unfortunately, I'm not 24 anymore so I barely listen to that kind of music, and nobody in their right mind wants to play that kind of stuff
  • Rudiments. Turns out, if you put a practise pad next to your work computer and do rudiments before every meeting you have throughout the day on zoom, you get your chops up pretty quickly.
Apart from that, I've been travelling the world for the past 8 years so I've been away from my kit, so naturally I've gotten worse. My mentality towards drums has changed hugely since learning guitar. I've realised that very, very few people want to hear a 'lead drummer' and that drums are very much a supporting instrument. This will be reflected in my next kit being a downsize from my current 8pc kit to a 4pc with nice mics.
 

Rock Salad

Junior Member
Ten years ago I believed it took about ten years to become a good rock & roll drummer and I didn't think I had the time.

Now I still think it will take that long but I am almost halfway there
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Less fills, less gear, less crashes. I really dig not crashing where most would, if it provides the effect I'm going after

More aware of time

Done with buying gear

My playing has become more mature. (read: the musicians I play with like it better)
 

SomeBadDrummer

Gold Member
- I discovered bands that I was not familiar with like Weezer, Steely Dan or Burtton Cummings.
- AND MOST IMPORTANT: I MEET YOU GUYS ON THIS FORUM, BEST EVER (It has to be the best to accept a French keys player in a drums forum, seriously!??
Awesome response
 

SomeBadDrummer

Gold Member
Less fills, less gear, less crashes. I really dig not crashing where most would, if it provides the effect I'm going after

More aware of time

Done with buying gear

My playing has become more mature. (read: the musicians I play with like it better)
Yes I agree more maturity equals better judgment in everything
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Also, I am more relaxed and not playing at my limit. If a HH pattern sounds forced 1 handed, I don't like sounding forced so two handed usually translates better. I used to force through it lol. I'm not a heavy dense player so headroom and space is a beautiful thing to have. I absolutely love hearing space/breathing room in regard to the drums.
Yes I agree more maturity equals better judgment in everything

Maturity....been there, done that, know which way works for me
 

Mr Farkle

Regular Poster
Less fills, less gear, less crashes. I really dig not crashing where most would, if it provides the effect I'm going after

More aware of time

Done with buying gear

My playing has become more mature. (read: the musicians I play with like it better)
This past weekend I played with a jazz musician who is way better than me. I got so nervous, at times it was all I could do to play quarter notes. A few songs in he complimented my playing and eventually asked if we could play regularly. He also complained about a guy he knows who is always “all over the kit”. If I had not freaked out I would have played like that other guy. That was an eye opening experience.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
This past weekend I played with a jazz musician who is way better than me. I got so nervous, at times it was all I could do to play quarter notes. A few songs in he complimented my playing and eventually asked if we could play regularly. He also complained about a guy he knows who is always “all over the kit”. If I had not freaked out I would have played like that other guy. That was an eye opening experience.
Great post we can all relate to.

I think that we think we suck because we focus on the quarter note when we are unsure.

We are THE ONLY PEOPLE who think it sucks focusing on the quarter note, like it's something to be ashamed of. Meanwhile, that's exactly why you got asked to play. Drummers need to understand that.

The maturity I was talking about...a lot of that came from the realization that SPACE SOUNDS SO GREAT. It's easier too. So less notes sound better than more notes generally speaking in lyric based music, not music based music. And it's easier and sounds better. So why do I hamstring myself by doing 32nd notes with my forehead on the snare? When space is what the other musicians crave? Because we think in terms of "lead drums", instead of knowing the role of the drums in a band. We need to create space so the sweeter sounding instruments can fill it up.

We don't highlight the frame of the car. It serves a hidden function. Same with drumming. (Applies to me, not everyone)

Why do we shy away from space? I think it's a security thing. IOW, if I am secure that space is great, I don't feel the need to fill it up. Unless it would elevate the song. It's great to hear breathing room.
 
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