Improving or Overplaying?

CherryClassic

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I arrived at a venue one evening, a play for tips and free food kind of place, not many people there and the rain was a downpour. I quickly grabbed a snare, stand and stick bag. The band leader didn't mind; all they had to bring in was a guitar and amp. I used brushes for almost all of the gig (not my strong point) and did enjoy it some. The guys in the band really liked it; it just wasn't as much fun for me. The thing is, if I had practiced using brushes 1) I would have been ready for the situation and 2) it would have been more fun for me.

Over practicing your norm, is not a bad thing.

sherm
 

pwc1141

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I spent years improving my under playing - or rather down playing. Concentrating on laying it down with less frills and learning to love being in the zone rhythmically......it was not easy to strip things down and lose ego but I feel much about my playing after the process.
 

Pibroch

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I've often found myself at an impasse...that being improving as a drummer & how to appropriately apply those improvements... I know this comes down to taste, but so much of what i come across as learning drum skills has zero to do with real world drumming skills..at least if you want to actually gig & make money. In short how do you improve as a musician without turning into an overplayer?
Your best bet may be to get lessons from a good teacher who is more skilled than yourself in the type of music you want to play. (Often the most obvious solutions are the best.)
 

Drumceet

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I’ve often felt a quilt at not pushing myself to become a better drummer. I can certainly appreciate that in other drummers, but I’m happy getting on my kit, playing for the song, being that time keeper, and falling into a trance.

I’m 46 and picked up the sticks at 9 years of age, and I know if I had practiced everyday for an hour, I’d be much further along. My original drum teacher said I had natural ability and that I progressed very fast, but why didn’t I raise the bar?

Being a weekend warrior means if I am going to pick up the sticks to practice at home, I’m not necessarily interested in getting faster. I like to work on my timing, pacing and rudiments. I love working on my triplets and various configurations, getting creative, but I never aspired to be Buddy Rich or Neil Peart, although I have a huge respect for their talent and ability. I just want to do me.

Admittedly rudiments was not something I really focused on in my 20’s, but since getting back into drumming and joining a regular gigging band, I’ve found myself getting reacquainted with rudiments and really practicing, as I am seeing the positive impact it has on my playing. I’ve really improved over the last year. I’m not necessarily faster, but I do a better job of working that left arm, giving it more responsibility, and throwing just enough in during a gig to respect the song but at the same time challenging myself. Concentrating on my rolls and accents as well as my groove has really pushed me to be a better player.

Less is more and over the last year I’ve worked so hard at stripping some of the overplaying instinct away, and relished in just being that timekeeper for the band.

I’ve got a big gig tonight and I’m going to continue working the other aspect of my playing. Warming up. Rather than hang with everyone and enjoy a drink, I’m going to sit backstage and get the practice pad out and concentrate on the task at hand.

I love playing the drums. I love seeing the audience dance, forget their troubles and smile up at me. It’s the best feeling.
 


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