When taking drumming advice, is someone's "playing level" important or not..?


Silver Member
I remember someone saying in that unpopular opinion thread that a mediocre player can still give decent drumming advice, or something like that..

I thought thats an interesting statement of which i think that technically the statement is true..

But, in reality, when taking any drumming advice, is the level of playing from the person who gives the advice for yourself important or not..?

I tend to say yes..

Because, for example, someone can maybe tell me exactly how a car should be driven and how to behave properly in traffic, but when that same person drives like an idiot, always has accidents and each half year needs a new gearbox, then for me gets difficult to follow any advice that person gives regarding driving a car..

In the same time, playing music is not the same as driving a car..

If someone can drive a car can be measured more easy by the amount of accidents someone has or if someone needs a lot of repairments on their car (because of their driving skills) or not, while saying if someone can play or not is much more subjective and can not really be 'measured'..

For example, someone can completely suck at all the rudiments and technical things, but still be the best and most authentic drummer for the band they have..

Another way to ask the same question could be..:

Are you taking all the drumming advice you can get, regardless from who, or are you very selective..?

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
It's selective, but based on my own insight and gut.

Drumming is a very wide subject, so someone might very well we very knowledgeable in one area and virtually clueless in another. If they truly know their stuff they'll probably be honest aqbout what they don't know.

Some people don't know that they don't know, but a tendency to want to force those opinions on others for validation tends to give that away,


Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
I think it is feasible. I used to watch a friend who was a professional bowler, and I was OK, and be able to tell him during tournaments what he was doing wrong. He trusted my advice and would make small adjustments. If I wasn't sure I kept my mouth shut. If you are playing uneven double stroke rolls, although I may not play as well as you I can still hear when they are uneven and pass that along. It's up to you to weed through any advice and choose what works for you.


Silver Member
Hi Oldskoolsoul. IMO, you can learn something from a beginner to an old timer. It's up to you evaluate and feel comfortable on what was said or shown. Ask follow up questions or if you don't quite get it ask them if they can show you a different approach with the same out come. Always be appreciative to the person for the advice.


Senior Member
Hello Oldskoolsoul - I like your posts they are very insightful. For this one, there has to be a better logic in your discernment, and I got lost on the car comparison. But if we go that route does a mechanic with a long traffic history not have some trade secrets (information) like an effective drum tech who has very little music ability?
Keep an open mind my friend. Most times we have to “pick the bones out” of information clustering.
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Silver Member
Wouldn't it depend on what the question was?

Wanting to know a good midlevel kit is quite different than I'm going on a 25 city tour what should I bring for gear?

I don't have a technical background so I don't give technical advice or ask technical questions.

But I have been around awhile, play regularly, pretty much weekly at church, did some gigging early on, and most importantly have made a lot of mistakes. So "I know what I know".

When someone offers an opinion on a subject that I relate to I listen-no matter where they may be.

Now, whether I take that advice or not will be weighted in favor of the more experienced player, but I still listen\read all the advice in the thread.


Platinum Member
Be humble, a different set of ears can hear things you can't and a different pair of eyes etc

What I find more frustrating is when you're asked for drumming advice and you can see what you're saying going in one ear and out the other but you know what you're telling them will help them.

Old Dog new Cans

Senior Member
Knowledge and ability aren't exactly the same. Someone may be able to explain it better than they play it. Someone may be far beyond in ability but doesn't have the ability to teach. It's situational I think? All in all, I would want advice from someone with Experience.


Gold Member
Enjoy advice from everyone, also especially non drummers as they think about parts/beats completely differently to us.

Speaking for myself here but sometimes a good bit of advice can massively simplify something and in some cases improve it.

Us players sometimes have the tendency to overthink stuff so it’s nice to have that opinion.

I welcome advice from anyone regardless of their level/involvement with drums, if it fits/makes sense then I’ll take it on board.


Gold Member
What about this scenario:

You’ve just finished playing a festival gig. Nice stage, great sound system, band was spot on, and a random person approaches and says, “You guys sounded great! I loved your drumming, when are you guys playing again?”

After a brief exchange, another random person approaches and says, “The band sounds great, but have you considered adjusting your gear to improve your posture? Your approach causes uneven-sounding strokes on your floor toms.”

After a brief exchange, yet another random person approaches and says, “It sucked bro. Not metal enough. Your kick was lost, had no punch. Are you using a towel on your beater?”

What will you do next time in the woodshed?


Platinum Member
It’s like anything else on a public forum. You take what’s said and assess for yourself. I was fairly new on a motorcycle forum a few years back. There was a heat problem on a particular bike, which I owned. No one had effectively solved the problem, which made riding the thing impossible in anything over 90 degree temps. Kind of a problem out here in the desert. Debates when on and on. I played around with a bunch of home made wrappings and shields, ideas I got from watching our building maintenance guys and a few roughly manufactured things of my own and solved it.

I was pretty new to riding, but posted my solution, thinking others would be excited. Nope! Massive backlash from the “experts” telling me why my solution wouldn’t work. Didn’t matter. I was out riding and they were arguing over why my solution was wrong. There were old timers on the forum who were highly respected. Had one of them said what I had, it would have been a game changer.

It’s a common perception. Right or wrong, “experience” carries its own weight...for good reason, but new ideas usually come from those who don’t know something won’t work.

I don’t contribute much to drum technique. After 35 years, I still feel I struggle too much with getting things right. Heads, sticks, tuning...I’ve gone through some of those to know what I like, but that’s what I like. Doesn’t mean anything in the greater scheme of things, unless it’s me doing the gig with my drums.


Platinum Member
Are you taking all the drumming advice you can get, regardless from who?"
I don't consider drumming ability a factor because I learn stuff from Ringo all the time.

:) :) :)

But seriously, I just don't know. I mean, I'm open to it; however, I can count the number of drummers in my county on one hand. We never talk to each other, not the way guitar players do anyways. I talk with other drummers at my church, but I'm seen as the "old dog" there with the most experience. I have "borrowed" a couple of their ideas for certain fills, but they've borrowed a lot more from me just the way that I've borrowed ideas from more experienced drummers than myself. Church drumming is just a different world though. Don't get me started on church guitar players.

BTW: I love Ringo.


Platinum Member
I see you've given this some NPOV thought. I tend to agree with you. "Drumming advice" also relates to the question-as somethings any novice mediocre drummer can answer but for best advice or a critique would come from a pro. I like to preface my advice that I am a mediocre self taught drummer so I don't sound like I'm being authoritative . I like to know something about the persons giving the advice too (be selective)-why go down rabbit holes with bad advice though given with good intentions (the road to hell is paved with good ones LOL). Now I'm cordial accepting all critiques or suggestions but I'm selective which ones I give the most credence. Seems on the whole a mediocre player will inevitably give mediocre advice-though even a blind squirrel can find a nut ever so often.


Senior Member
In sports, the best athletes don't necessarily make the best coaches or trainers.

Just because someone is great at what they do doesn't necessarily mean their advice is better than that of someone who's not as accomplished - especially if the advice is for someone who's a novice.


Platinum Member
A new driver, since drivers were brought up, might be able to drive a stick and the experienced can't. Therefore, the experienced driver can learn from the new driver.

Advice is just that, advice. Take it or leave it. But if you ask for it, be open minded enough to at least try all of it and then decide for yourself.


Platinum Member
In sports, the best athletes don't necessarily make the best coaches or trainers.

Just because someone is great at what they do doesn't necessarily mean their advice is better than that of someone who's not as accomplished - especially if the advice is for someone who's a novice.
Along the same lines, just because a person is good at something and/or knows a lot about a subject doesn't mean that he/she can actually TEACH it. I experienced this all of the time in college. I was in a classroom with some brilliant minds, but they couldn't teach for crap.


Well-known member
Is the advice solicited or not? If it's not, then I personally don't care where it's coming from. If it is, I will listen to anyone. After 42 years and spending millions of hours studying with great teachers, I apply my own filter if I deem it worthwhile or not.
I always thought what Bill Bruford had to say was (typically) interesting:

Robert [Fripp] has always had quite strong feelings about drummers, really, which I liked. He used to make very broad statements and general ideas like, "Why are you playing the cymbal there?" There would be no real good reason why I was playing the cymbal there. "Don't lean on cymbals." You know the way drummers quite often lean on cymbals? Sometimes it does a drummer good to listen to refreshingly candid comments from people, like guitarists, who have maybe no knowledge of drumming in the sense that we have. They are, therefore, not hidebound by its convention. They're able to say, "Well, what are you doing this for? It's absolutely meaningless. I can't understand it." Quite often these people are right.