Drumming Fundamentals

sabian guy

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The other day a non drummer friend asked me how much is there to drumming other than just hitting wooden tubs. I knew this was a pretty dumb question because there is alot to it but it got me thinking, what is the most important things to know for someone starting drums or someone that wants to know what is involved in drumming?
 

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snappy

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As far as playing the set:
ostinatos, independence
and being precise
with the space
between the notes.
 
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CC Cirillo

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That drums are every bit as much an instrument and discipline as violin or piano or banjo... just a little sexier.
 

Pibroch

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That drums are every bit as much an instrument and discipline as violin or piano or banjo... just a little sexier.
Exactly! When I complemented a creative jazz drummer recently on how beautiful he was making the individual parts of his kit sound, he thanked me and added:

I’ve had to tell a lot of my students: the drum set is a musical instrument, so play it like you’re a #*@^ing musician!
 

Nacci

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It is never a good idea to overload Neophytes with information. If someone is learning to add do you tell them that this will all lead to advanced calculus then start working out some complicated problem on the board? No, you line up 2+2=

You could tell this fella; no, there isn’t a lot to it, I could show you a basic 4 beat right now. That is usually enough to let them know that it is harder than they thought.
 
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BennyK

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Maybe he was just twisting your tail ... like Cindarella's sisters , some can't deal with the fact that we drummers have abilities they don't .... drum machines very cleverly marketed to this psychology ....

OR

maybe not and he's genuinely curious . It all starts with doing it right with James Brown on the dance floor, then we move to the drums .
 
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Tmcfour

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For me this breaks down into two different versions of the same question.

Mechanically, the most important thing is steady timing and staying in the time signature. The rest will come with practice and experimentation/experience.

Philosophicaly, Modern music (anything that as a music form was born in the twentieth or twenty first centuries) would not exist without the drums or something mimicking the drums (electronics to beat boxing). Whether a producer programming beats or the drummer in a band we are what makes modern music modern.
 

multijd

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The other day a non drummer friend asked me how much is there to drumming other than just hitting wooden tubs. I knew this was a pretty dumb question because there is alot to it but it got me thinking, what is the most important things to know for someone starting drums or someone that wants to know what is involved in drumming?
In the beginning it isn’t so much about ”knowing” as “doing”. Traditionally the rudiments are taught to develop our ability to manipulate the sticks in a variety of patterns both physically and musically.
Reading as a way of communicating musical ideas quickly and remembering them.
Playing steady time with a metronome at ALL the tempos.
Understanding musical form.
Being fluent in musical styles.
Playing with dynamics (sensitivity, touch).
Developing the instrument as a musical voice (personal sound).
All of this should be accompanied by a lot of listening to all kinds of examples of the specific things the student is studying and music that stretches their imagination and understanding.
 

JDA

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Style.
Gotta have it. What do we look for in another: watching another drummer.
Something that makes us pay attention.
Could be a little piece could be big piece. Just some piece.
Of Style.
Style is your individual shaping playing the drums.
It's all we have; our individual interpretation.
How we meld a lot of things- that have come before us (with our twist on it.

Occasionally a drummer comes "out of nowhere" with an entirely "new style".
Or a new mix of new influences.
You may be one of those. Or you might not. It's still ok. You still will have your own style. No two fingerprints entirely the same. (unless that's changed in recent years (clone thing)
 
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Roch

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My approach is to know what my job is and how it fits in with the whole band's sound..I keep to what I know I can confidently play while watching and listening to the other players, solid time is the most important...have your volume sitting where it doesn't over power any of the other musicians, and don't over play..never show them what you don't know...
 

Pibroch

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And it’s bassist, and ... every other member of the band. Oh, and those responsible for the sound in an amplified performance or a recording. IMO
 

Tigerdrummer

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The other day a non drummer friend asked me how much is there to drumming other than just hitting wooden tubs. I knew this was a pretty dumb question because there is alot to it but it got me thinking, what is the most important things to know for someone starting drums or someone that wants to know what is involved in drumming?
I am fairly new to learning drums and have played other isntruments and read music. I have found the more I learn about drums the more I realize that I have lots to learn. Tempo, dynamics, and timing. Whatever you want to learn start slow and build up.
 

Tornado

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The rudiments.....at least the most important dozen or so. Why? Because drumming is a language. And to begin that language you need to be able to communicate with the building blocks of that language.....rudiments.
Came here to say this. If you don't know these, yeah, you probably are just hitting wooden tubs.
 

dcrigger

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I'm astounded that in 18 replies no one has typed the word "Rhythm".... not once.

Music at it's most basic is comprised of three things... Melody, Harmony and Rhythm. And in any given ensemble, the drummer is literally the point man when it comes to essential element.... rhythm.

So what do we do besides hit wooden tubs.... We Are Masters of Rhythm. We are the one the other musicians turn to for the last word in "where's the rhythm?", "what's the rhythm?", "how is the rhythm supposed to feel?"

Every instrument utilizes all three elements, of course.

But at their core - violinists, singers, wind players are all about melody

Pianists, guitarists - harmony

But drummers, it is all about rhythm.

Being Masters of Rhythm.
 

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