Cant we just be drummers

KevinD

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i think it is really important to remember why we started playing in the first place... For me, since I was 10 years old the main goal has been to have fun. I started out in school as a trombone player... that was just not as fun as playing the drums, so I switched and it stuck.
In the past 40 years I've found myself in all sorts of situations but if I wasn't having fun I would walk away from them.

A couple of years ago I was working (drumming) a lot, I had two recurring gigs in NYC, ( I live in NJ now) each very different, but both requiring a good deal of prep and the charting out and learning of tunes, plus rehearsals (yeah, they were paid gigs but still..). Additionally, I was involved in a recording project 90s miles away, same deal. On top of that, my day job was pretty busy. Then of course there is everything else that life throws at you.

While I was grateful for the playing opportunities, it was stressful, and "too much like work." So, after those commitments were over I made sure I didn't get myself into multiple situations like that anymore.

When the Covid thing hit and I really had very little to do, I found it to be really refreshing to just go to my drum room and hit things for a while, no deadlines or structure and nothing to live up to... I just had fun... At some point later on in the fall I got together with two guys who are (in their words) long time "grizzled bar band vets" we had no goals, no pressure, just got together and jammed for a couple of hours on Cream, Hendrix and tons of other stuff from the past 50 years (including one of my favorite tunes "Lights Out" by UFO -which is a blast to play) ...I probably butchered a lot of the stuff BUT It was a lot of fun to just play...

SO my point is, it doesn't matter how you sound, or whom you feel is setting the bar these days... It doesn't even matter who you are playing with as long as it is fun. So don't worry about any external pressures, just think about what you want to do once you get behind your drums and have fun with it.
 

David M Scott

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I dont care what other people do or what drums they play. I find the groove, add fills where needed and if they dont like they can go to the showers. Strike 4 they are out ! Mongos an idiot !
I hear you loud and clear. I started with Jazz and Swing in 50s and still incorporate some of those fills in all my drumming including Country and Soft Rock. Sometimes I get "looks from the other..
"musicians ?" who only want a drummer doing those basic
closed Hi Hat 1/8s and 1,1-2
on the Kick and Snare backbeat. Is it me or do the younger Rock oriented players believe they, particularly Guitarist think they can run all over the place cause the Dufus at the drum kit will keep the band in time ? Then go buy a drum machine Bucko so you only have to listen to a constant Ostinato !
Mongo out

An idiot? A philosopher, I say.
 

Corbin L Douthitt

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Stoped playing drums for 25 years 6 months ago got back even built a studio in my back yard put my old Sonor tear drop together and I could not even remember what size sticks I use to play found 2 different ones in the basement and started to play , It was terrible !!!! I would like to state reason for quitting , self employed carpel tunnel settling in Drums became second . Ok so I sold my Buisness and hear I am . Joined Drum Forums and stated watching you tube , Wow ! But has drumming gotten so you need to play like this guy you need to do the fills you need to do this and that and on on on . Many of the drummers just played back in the day , One fella said If I wanted to read music I would not have picked drums . Ringo admitted he did not play the fills the same He said the guys where alwys telling him what they wanted ??? Recorded studio seldom sounds the same as live even the speed of song and here we are . Just Saying
I stopped for several years- started back- learning, listening to songs on a radio, playing to them- also helps with you time keeping... IMHO- LISTEN to the music.. PLAY to the music- not to the drum part. Play it like that's how they should have recorded it;-) Play to relax and enjoy.
 

Slingwig26

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Unless your a Pro supporting other artists then your in it for yourself.

If it brings you joy, what else do you need?

According to Buddhist thinking, happiness and sorrow are our own responsibility – and completely within our control. " meaning who cares what others do or think; You make yourself happy or sad; you and only you have control.

takes all kinds is absolutely correct

Now let’s see those Teardrops.
And a flute with no holes isn’t a flute and a doughnut with no hole is a danish.
 

Ludwigboy

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Stoped playing drums for 25 years 6 months ago got back even built a studio in my back yard put my old Sonor tear drop together and I could not even remember what size sticks I use to play found 2 different ones in the basement and started to play , It was terrible !!!! I would like to state reason for quitting , self employed carpel tunnel settling in Drums became second . Ok so I sold my Buisness and hear I am . Joined Drum Forums and stated watching you tube , Wow ! But has drumming gotten so you need to play like this guy you need to do the fills you need to do this and that and on on on . Many of the drummers just played back in the day , One fella said If I wanted to read music I would not have picked drums . Ringo admitted he did not play the fills the same He said the guys where alwys telling him what they wanted ??? Recorded studio seldom sounds the same as live even the speed of song and here we are . Just Saying
I was away from drums for 35 years; when I came back, I practiced timing and rhythm and played to CD's for practice...took about 6 months of stick-to-itiveness ; played on our churchs' worship team which gives me lots of experience...2 1/2 years later, I am a better drummer now than when I was 21...maturity, focus , life experience and PATIENCE was the key... I encourage you to keep at it and get your timing and rhythm back; as for fills, keep it simple until the timing and rhythm are good... and most of all ...do it for the enjoyment of it....just my humble opinion
 

RogersLudwig

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Unless your a Pro supporting other artists then your in it for yourself.

If it brings you joy, what else do you need?

According to Buddhist thinking, happiness and sorrow are our own responsibility – and completely within our control. " meaning who cares what others do or think; You make yourself happy or sad; you and only you have control.

takes all kinds is absolutely correct

Now let’s see those Teardrops.
Reminds me of the saying, " If you choose to not find joy in the snow, you will have less joy in your life but still the same amount of snow."
 
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hsosdrum

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Reminds me of the saying, " If you choose to not find joy in the snow, you will have less joy in your life but still the same amount of snow."
Or you can choose to live in a place where it doesn't snow.
 

SonicTitan

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Just play, get the basics down tight, learn and progress at a comfortable pace for you.

Your flava/style is part of your personality and will shine through regardless. It's all about how you feel while playing in the end.
 

5 Style

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I have to constantly tell myself not to compare myself with other drummers... When I do I just get depressed as I've neither developed the chops or the more advanced musical concepts that I feel like I probably should have considering all of the years that I've been doing it. Sometimes though, when I'm paired with the right other musicians, playing original music I feel that I do a pretty good job of really taking in what's going on and creating a part that has the proper groove, dynamics, texture, etc to really compliment the music. I often get the feeling that other drummers who I know could play circles around me, likely wound't make much of the music that I've played on sound any better.

Stuff like really being able to listen, having taste, versatility etc aren't the kinds of things that are so easy to show off, but they might actually be what's valuable when you're actually playing music, which is what really counts...
 
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DamnSingerAlsoDrums

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Not having my band close at hand means 99% of my playing in the last year have been on my own. Now mind you, I have a "pro" (in very big quotes) career but I'm very much still in the discovering phase of my learning. Discovering what grooves and tempos come to me more organically, discovering my limitations (this one is pretty easy) and discovering how I can overcome them by applying elements of my strengths to new material.

I play along to A LOT of playlists. Some that I've carefuly cured to boost my self confidence (mostly stuff I'm pretty ok at) some that contain songs that target specific weaker area I need to work on and sometimes, just for kicks, I'll open a playlist I've never heard of a random genre/mood, just to see what I can come up with on the fly. To force me to be adaptative in my playing and train the ear to recognise and complement different melodies, song structures, chord changes etc etc.

Needless to say in the last category, it can be pretty hard to play everything as-is as you go along, although in a pop/rock/indie/americana setting, wich comprise most of what I play, a lot of of the same patterns are somewhat easily recognisable/reproducible.

But it is a great exercise to make something up that still works even if it is not note for note. Sometimes I'll play as if I'm the second drummer in the band I'm listenning to and I try to supplement the existing track. Sometimes I'll play as if I was hired to do and "alternate take". And other times I'll just challenge myself to see how quickly I can reproduce the existing drum part.

Drum parts are choices the drummer/producer/arranger made. Songs are living entities, most of the great songs we know and like have tons of different versions anyway (outtakes, live, demo versions, covers etc). There ain't no set in stone rule here unless you are playing in some sort of tribute band or a wedding/top 40 band that really stick to the source material...

If you play on your own, don't be affraid to get crazy with it. Try the songs you like backbeat only, no cymbals, all-out fill-fest, double time, half time, whatever you want. There's something to be learned in playing with a restrictive economy, playing over-the-top or playing creatively just as much as in reproducing the original with Xerox precision.
 


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