What drumming advice would you give to a younger you?

Vintage Old School

Gold Member
Memo to my younger self:
Never skimp on a throne. Quality + Support = Longevity
Invest sooner than later in a cart to load your gear in and out.
Exercise/stretch more.
Eat wisely. More about moderation then any specific diet.
Find a mentor to teach you the ins & outs of business management and legal contracts.
Never lose sight of how important relationships are. Error on the side of grace with others.
When the time comes give back to the younger up & coming generation of players.
 

Pootle

Active member
Ok son if you really want have a go at “making it” as a drummer you go for it. Give yourself 5 years and if it doesn’t work out make sure you have a plan B.
I really regret not at least having a go, I went to university and got a “proper” job and drumming for me has always been a hobby, playing in local bands etc. Maybe it all worked out for the best as the chances of any success in the music industry are realistically so small.
 

2bsticks

Platinum Member
Learn to walk before starting to run, meaning I was too interested in learning cool chops, speed, trying to be flashy etc. I wish I had worked more with a metronome, listen better and play for the song... However, I do that much better now and I'm 66 so I am grateful to still be able to play as much as I am.
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
How to create a HORRIBLE bassist in two easy steps. 1) Find a guitarist who isn't very good. 2) Give him a bass.

I don't say "her" because I've never met a bad female bassist. Maybe it's just been coincidence, but all the female bass player I've met have been bass players, not guitarists faking it on bass. Even if they could barely play the instrument, they understood that it was a rhythm instrument, not lead guitar.
Two things:

1. A LOT of guitar players I know try to play bass, and they are horrible. I wish I could get a piece of painter's tape and put it on about the 7th fret and say, "You can only cross that line one time an hour." So many of them overplay and think that playing way up on the neck makes them better. Instead, their notes get lost in the mix with the other guitar players.

2. My wife plays bass. She plays the root notes 90% of the time and plays to my kick drum 98% of the time. Best bass player ever.
 

Channing

Member
Two things:

1. A LOT of guitar players I know try to play bass, and they are horrible. I wish I could get a piece of painter's tape and put it on about the 7th fret and say, "You can only cross that line one time an hour." So many of them overplay and think that playing way up on the neck makes them better. Instead, their notes get lost in the mix with the other guitar players.

2. My wife plays bass. She plays the root notes 90% of the time and plays to my kick drum 98% of the time. Best bass player ever.
Maybe I’m in the minority here but I actually find a lot of bassists underplay. The bassist in one of my bands plays a lot, he does wacky stuff and really drives the rhythm in a lot of our songs and I love it. Most bassists can’t play like him and usually when I play with other bassists in other situations, I don’t even really notice the bassist or what he’s playing and tend to pay way more attention to the guitarist. But in my band, with my bassist, I actually feel like a real rhythm section.

The other band I play in, an indie rock original band, the bassist is my fiancé who is a metal guitarist first, then decided to play bass because we needed a bassist and he wanted to be in a band with me and to play more shows. He plays a six string bass which is kind of goofy for an indie band but whatever. IMO he underplays, because I never really notice anything he does. The bandleader/songwriter seems happy with his playing though so that’s what really matters.

I guess what I’m trying to say is I don’t personally see a correlation between bassist= playing really simple and guitarist = overplaying. My fiancé’s main band is an instrumental prog metal band where he plays like 30 notes a second and changes time signature every three measures or something, so he certainly could play a lot more than he does when playing bass in the indie band, but he just doesn’t because he’s trying to be tasteful.
 

Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Well-known member
Maybe I’m in the minority here but I actually find a lot of bassists underplay. The bassist in one of my bands plays a lot, he does wacky stuff and really drives the rhythm in a lot of our songs and I love it. Most bassists can’t play like him and usually when I play with other bassists in other situations, I don’t even really notice the bassist or what he’s playing and tend to pay way more attention to the guitarist. But in my band, with my bassist, I actually feel like a real rhythm section.

The other band I play in, an indie rock original band, the bassist is my fiancé who is a metal guitarist first, then decided to play bass because we needed a bassist and he wanted to be in a band with me and to play more shows. He plays a six string bass which is kind of goofy for an indie band but whatever. IMO he underplays, because I never really notice anything he does. The bandleader/songwriter seems happy with his playing though so that’s what really matters.

I guess what I’m trying to say is I don’t personally see a correlation between bassist= playing really simple and guitarist = overplaying. My fiancé’s main band is an instrumental prog metal band where he plays like 30 notes a second and changes time signature every three measures or something, so he certainly could play a lot more than he does when playing bass in the indie band, but he just doesn’t because he’s trying to be tasteful.
commentary below is for original band situations:

being a bass player my self, as well as a drummer, I agree. I think if you worry too much about things like "playing too much" or "not playing above the 5th fret", you are not being a musician. You are just a cog in someone else's machine. The best musicians play what works for the song, and not some goofy definition of what is acceptable, usually created by non musicians, or people who don't play the instrument. If the style calls for notes, play notes. If it calls for open string quarter notes, play those. I think the best players listen to the music, and not to people...

Same with drumming. In my indie/surf punk band, I play some notes, and also groove. But it is always driven by what I am hearing, and not by some outer definition of what I should be doing.

in cover bands, it is definitely different, but only because the cover should be driven by the original part...unless it is a parody band like Dread Zepplin or Wierd Al. In my country/rockabilly band, I play as close to the original recording/feel as possible. Very little variance there.

and back on thread topic, I would have definitely told the younger me about ear protection. While it seemed like a cool thing to be leaving concerts with whiplash and that muffled dead ear thing as a young metalhead, I sort of regret the ear thing now. The whiplash still happens...
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
commentary below is for original band situations:

being a bass player my self, as well as a drummer, I agree. I think if you worry too much about things like "playing too much" or "not playing above the 5th fret", you are not being a musician.
I realize that your comment is for original band situations. In those cases, heck, do whatever.

However, maybe my point would be clearer if you heard someone play slap bass during "Fishin' in the Dark" by the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band which I have heard...and it ain't pretty. Believe me when I say that "playing too much" is a thing. All in all, play for the song.
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
Maybe I’m in the minority here but I actually find a lot of bassists underplay. The bassist in one of my bands plays a lot, he does wacky stuff and really drives the rhythm in a lot of our songs and I love it. Most bassists can’t play like him and usually when I play with other bassists in other situations, I don’t even really notice the bassist or what he’s playing and tend to pay way more attention to the guitarist. But in my band, with my bassist, I actually feel like a real rhythm section.

[...]

I guess what I’m trying to say is I don’t personally see a correlation between bassist= playing really simple and guitarist = overplaying. My fiancé’s main band is an instrumental prog metal band where he plays like 30 notes a second and changes time signature every three measures or something, so he certainly could play a lot more than he does when playing bass in the indie band, but he just doesn’t because he’s trying to be tasteful.
I mean if you are talking prog rock, pretty much everything's off the table. If that's the kind of music you are into, of course anyone who ISN'T playing under 30 notes a second IS underplaying. However, there's a whole lot more of us who don't play this kind of music; there's a slew of people playing covers, and my point is it's better to be a solid player than one who is all over the neck whenever the song simply doesn't call for it.
 

oldskoolsoul

Silver Member
..What’s wrong with cover bands?..

Nothing, if you play with people who first, second and third care about music and their passion for that..

I am speaking about coverbands where the bandleader (and other bandmembers) speak like this..:

"I only play this music because thats what the people like.."

"I laugh about all those original 'artists', because i am laughing my way to the bank.."

"I play whatever people like, because thats why i am hired and thats why i am laughing my way to the bank.."

There is no sort of coverband-musician i am more allergic to than these sort of coverband-musicians (especially when they also show some narcissistic behaviour along with what they say)..

And since i wasted about 7-8 years from my life playing 100 gigs a year with such people, i would advice my younger self to really run as fast as i can away from them..

In general, people who first, second and third care about money, will never be my friends btw..

All that money-talk when playing music, to me is very demotivating and puts me very quick in a bad, dragging mood..

I just want to stay away from that and surround myself with people who actually care about passion and creativity, positive things like that..
 

TMe

Senior Member
...being a bass player my self, as well as a drummer, I agree. I think if you worry too much about things like "playing too much" or "not playing above the 5th fret", you are not being a musician.
If somebody can actually play, then go for it. I'm referring to guys who can't play guitar well enough to be in band but think they can play lead guitar on bass because, after all, it's just "guitar for dummies".
 

Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Well-known member
I realize that your comment is for original band situations. In those cases, heck, do whatever.

However, maybe my point would be clearer if you heard someone play slap bass during "Fishin' in the Dark" by the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band which I have heard...and it ain't pretty. Believe me when I say that "playing too much" is a thing. All in all, play for the song.
oh yeah...I have heard many people, on many instruments, butcher a song/style/feel, and think they were doing the opposite. Hell, I have heard people do that to their own original material...

I just feel that the "play less notes" thing is sometimes the mantra of those who don't want to put any effort into learnign the instrument, but want the accolades of being good on their instrument
 

Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Well-known member
If somebody can actually play, then go for it. I'm referring to guys who can't play guitar well enough to be in band but think they can play lead guitar on bass because, after all, it's just "guitar for dummies".
ugh..that mind set...funny cause I know some guitarists who think the same way about drums too :"all you do is just hit them"
 

Channing

Member
I just feel that the "play less notes" thing is sometimes the mantra of those who don't want to put any effort into learnign the instrument, but want the accolades of being good on their instrument

People who can play a lot of notes and extra stuff and still make it sound good are the ones who are actually good at their instrument. See emo drummers like the drummers for Foxing, American Football, Have Mercy, Free Throw, etc. They play all kinds of extra stuff but it sounds great. But if you try to do that and you don't know what you're doing it sounds like garbage.
The thing that separates an ok drummer from a terrible one is knowing how good you are/aren't and only playing what you're able to pull off tastefully. Some people can pull off quite a lot. Most of us can't and hopefully we know that about ourselves.
 
Top