Things you have to "unlearn" and "relearn"

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
After 20+ years of playing in churches, fighting with church sound guys, choir members, and praise team members, I'm having to "unlearn" playing quietly. I've grown overly-sensitive to volume which isn't a terribly bad thing, but every other drummer I watch is not terribly sensitive about volume, and it has been requested of me to play louder overall. Granted, I'm not talking about arms flailing around, but primarily just a solid commitment to a note. I feel like being really overly sensitive is something I need to "unlearn" a little bit and start laying into the notes a little more, and it's more challenging than I thought I'd be. Also, I'm terribly boring to watch IMO.

Have you had to unlearn something from your playing just so you can relearn it?
 
A few years back my job sent me to Roanoke VA for a year. I couldn't find a hard rock band so joined a blues band. Had to pull out the rusty never wad great at it swing beat again. That took some time.
 
Ooh , great topic !
I broke a lot of bones in my hand a few years ago. Pretty much had to re-learn how I hold sticks.
Steve smith was a huge help to me
 

Ryan Culberson

Well-known Member
Much like Push Pull, I’ve spent the last 20+ years trying to unlearn all the formal instruction and technique development of the first 20+ years of my drumming life. I feel like I’ve only recently (last 5 years or so) been able to let the old me go and become proficient in my “new” approach to the instrument.
 
I had to retrain my kick foot and it's still not there. First issue was timing and inability to do doubles.
The current issue is that it's too much ankle technique and from 120 to 160 it can't establish timing.
 

cbphoto

Diamond Member
After years in churches, I had to relearn aggressive playing, while smiling and looking sharp.

Then I had to unlearn attracting women. Looking sharp and smiling while playing is a no-no.
 

someguy01

Platinum Member
I had to relearn my kick foot (R) after the plate, 12 screws, and a bone graft made it so I have 5 degrees of dorsi flection and a calcaneus that does not unhinge.
It's been a go, for sure.
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
My stroke forced relearning of everything. At first, my playing sucked, but after many months of work, I eventually benefitted from the process, as the major concentration was microtimimg. I’m sure I‘m now much more sensitive to small timing stuff than I was before.

Essentially, my left side was responding a fraction of a second behind my right side. I started off recording myself as my mental perception whilst playing also differed from reality. From there I adjusted - basically (in my mind) deliberately shooting early with my left side. It felt & sounded weird for the first few weeks, but sounded better when I listened back to recordings on each occasion. I must have recorded hundreds of 30 second reference clips.

I worked this through with help from my stroke consultant (who BTW was intrigued by the process, because microtiming isn’t something that affects standard function in patients). He informed my that with enough repetition, the forced early left stuff would become my new normal, & that in time, I wouldn’t have to concentrate on it. He was 99% right.

Although my circumstance was a bit different, I’m sure it has some take aways for others.
 

Push pull stroke

Platinum Member
My stroke forced relearning of everything. At first, my playing sucked, but after many months of work, I eventually benefitted from the process, as the major concentration was microtimimg. I’m sure I‘m now much more sensitive to small timing stuff than I was before.

Essentially, my left side was responding a fraction of a second behind my right side. I started off recording myself as my mental perception whilst playing also differed from reality. From there I adjusted - basically (in my mind) deliberately shooting early with my left side. It felt & sounded weird for the first few weeks, but sounded better when I listened back to recordings on each occasion. I must have recorded hundreds of 30 second reference clips.

I worked this through with help from my stroke consultant (who BTW was intrigued by the process, because microtiming isn’t something that affects standard function in patients). He informed my that with enough repetition, the forced early left stuff would become my new normal, & that in time, I wouldn’t have to concentrate on it. He was 99% right.

Although my circumstance was a bit different, I’m sure it has some take aways for others.

This is part of why I keep drumming, because it’s so good for the brain
 

yammyfan

Senior Member
After 20+ years of playing in churches, fighting with church sound guys, choir members, and praise team members, I'm having to "unlearn" playing quietly. I've grown overly-sensitive to volume which isn't a terribly bad thing, but every other drummer I watch is not terribly sensitive about volume, and it has been requested of me to play louder overall. Granted, I'm not talking about arms flailing around, but primarily just a solid commitment to a note. I feel like being really overly sensitive is something I need to "unlearn" a little bit and start laying into the notes a little more, and it's more challenging than I thought I'd be. Also, I'm terribly boring to watch IMO.

Have you had to unlearn something from your playing just so you can relearn it?
This is my precise situation. Like, exactly.

I don't play with enough authority when I'm trying to play at a moderate volume. Even when I think I'm hitting hard I'm not, according to the videos I've seen. It's really, really challenging to overcome.

I don't have an answer for myself other than "try harder" but it's interesting and comforting to know that I am not alone in this.
 

Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Diamond Member
I had to unlearn my disdain for country music when I joined a country band....

still a work in progress...
 

lefty2

Platinum Member
For most of my life I thought bouncing the sticks was cheating so to speak, I thought you had play every note. So never learned dbl and triple stroke rolls, I played everything single stroke. I work on them now regularly but don't use them much in bands I'm in classic rock and country .
 
Last edited:

I-P

Active Member
Jonathan Curtis has got me really focusing on my fulcrum which wasn't bad to begin with, but his instruction has me adjusting and isolating that area.

I'd you read this Jonathan thank you for the lesson and effort. 😁👍
 

mikyok

Platinum Member
Once I got into Moeller I had to relearn pretty much everything and start from the basics. I'd been self taught for for 15 years. Always keep an open mind when it comes to learning.

Playing off the bass drum head and how to play cymbals. The latter has saved me a small fortune down the years and didn't take long too get the hang of.

The basics was probably the main thing I've had to relearn. You do your studies and when your young you think you need to show off. In reality you go much further as a drummer if you keep things as simple as possible.
 
Top