Top 10 key drummer skills

WaitForItDrummer

Senior Member
Hi all,
I’m a beginner drummer (1.5 years) and wondering what you think key drummer skills include. To me, knowing how to read music is one of them, but some may disagree.

What is important to know how to do beyond basic time keeping and basic technique?
What is ‘musicianship’ for a drummer?

What would be on your list of top 10 key drummer skills?
 

picodon

Silver Member
There are many other threads on this but
1 listen
2 keep decent time
3 know and play what works for the song
4 technique
5 read music, I agree
Give the other 5 to the needy :)
 

BillRayDrums

Gold Member
Is there 10? I think it's considerably less.

1. Listen, all the time

2. Play in congruence with your surroundings. That means don't start chopping people's heads off in a quiet restaurant with your Bell Brass snare drum.

3. Be nice, all of the time. No one wants to be stuck in a van with a jerk should you ride to the gig together or be on the road.

4. Be sober, or as sober as you need to be in order to cut the gig. (I'm not one to judge)

5. Maintain your gear. Change heads, tune regularly, keep that gear in good working order. Having functional gear ready to go in one place is imperative if you fancy yourself a working musician. This also means keeping your car in tune.

6. Know the music inside & out. If you gotta learn to read charts then do it. It ain't hard.
 

DancingMadlyBackwards

Senior Member
Since you are more or less a beginner, I will look at this more from a facilities view point...in other words, not what to do when you are playing with others...but what to do so you *can* play with others.

You can find lots of info on the following areas

1. Kick Skills: Should have those dotted 8ths, str816th & combo things like "Walk This Way"
2. Stick Grippage; proper understanding of fulcrum, loose but stable grip
3. Wrists: loose wrists; comfortable; not tight and straight/stiff
4. Ride and Hat Skills: a nice pattern to have down is One Of These Nights; Eagles
5. Cymbal height for rotator cuff health and economical movement
6. Stick Control; Page 5 of GLS immortal manual
7. Throne height for balance and proper leg movement
8. Hat Pedal range of motion for proper balance and comfort when foot rests on hat pedal
9. Work on independence using some tricky "easier" songs
10. Learn how to shuffle well!

for number 9, an example of a decent independence song is "American Girl" Tom Petty

for 10, try SRV Pride and Joy

I find that shuffles...if you want to play blues or some blues or in a cover band...especially the texas shuffle...separates the boys from the men....
 

WaitForItDrummer

Senior Member
Re: Top 4e&a key drummer skills

Thanks all for solid suggestions -

I'm going through Stick Control (week four) and play in an amateur/garage band (lots of room for improvement), so all this is really useful both around technique, practicalities and listening skills.

This reminds me when I started to learn my first second language: didn't know what I didn't know and didn't know how to go about learning what I did know I didn't know... (Sucked really bad for about a year).

Does the ability to quickly remember new song structures, grooves, fill patters, etc... come in somewhere? Or does that just sort of fall out of years of experience?
 

picodon

Silver Member
Re: Top 4e&a key drummer skills

Does the ability to quickly remember new song structures, grooves, fill patters, etc... come in somewhere? Or does that just sort of fall out of years of experience?
Whether you remember quickly or slowly, you will get there anyway :)
And you will remember quickly what you're passionate about.
Being able to read and write (tabs, of course) is like a turbo charger in that respect.
 

WaitForItDrummer

Senior Member
Re: Top 4e&a key drummer skills

Whether you remember quickly or slowly, you will get there anyway :)
And you will remember quickly what you're passionate about.
Being able to read and write (tabs, of course) is like a turbo charger in that respect.
Thanks, can read/write music and tabs. Currently using this awesome iPad app called Reflow. You can quickly enter a pattern and replay the sound... That helped a load with trying to 'decipher' random things that sound good...

I guess as Guntersdad suggested, 'patience' is also an important skill...
 
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