Lessons w/out Reading Music

Live Gig Shots

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I am looking for on line drum instruction for the basics without reading music. I took lessons ass a kid but could never make it stick. (no pun intended)

I play by ear but do a lot wrong. Thank you-
 

Hop

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Just about all the lesson places on the web will have written transcriptions but have the benefit of the video walk-through/demonstration and YouTube is your friend here...

If you're looking for technique any of the "big guys" providing lessons all do walk throughs so even if you don't read you'll get the visual/kinestitic approach covered.
Check out Mike Johnson at Mike's Lessons ( https://www.mikeslessons.com/ ), Check out Drumeo as well which has got a ton a free stuff like these great hour long sessions with top pro's giving away a ton of valuable info, + Drumeo has a bunch of very good lesson packages/lesson services ( https://www.drumeo.com/ ). These are two of the best established on the web/video circuit.

If you're looking how to play songs then check out Rob with Drums the Word ( https://www.drumstheword.com/ ) for his reasonably priced lesson packs or check out his YouTube site for some previews( https://www.youtube.com/user/DrumsTheWord ).

Those first two listed above are probably the two big dogs on the block for lesson resources but there are plenty others...

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCp8sD6X7-DDW54Ms8yFkYIw
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCHf-VVmaLtXPb0-DjVxdSIg
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3U-7K6MwcbUexAh0e9R9HA
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCexuh6KUMdsc55r1AY_Zekw
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1OcxsYR_iN98hnoHPGL_Fw
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCX2m6l5gmOASq5R2FV2EXnw

There's a ton of resources to help with reading music as well... you don't have to be a super reader to get the most of these lesson's but it will help you figure out what note, what drum, when to place the note..
here's one place to check out (but a simple search will turn up many other videos) https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCo7chhm9S0OaLA1iowhcMMg
 

Live Gig Shots

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Hop said:
Just about all the lesson places on the web will have written transcriptions but have the benefit of the video walk-through/demonstration and YouTube is your friend here...

If you're looking for technique any of the "big guys" providing lessons all do walk throughs so even if you don't read you'll get the visual/kinestitic approach covered.
Check out Mike Johnson at Mike's Lessons ( https://www.mikeslessons.com/ ), Check out Drumeo as well which has got a ton a free stuff like these great hour long sessions with top pro's giving away a ton of valuable info, + Drumeo has a bunch of very good lesson packages/lesson services ( https://www.drumeo.com/ ). These are two of the best established on the web/video circuit.

If you're looking how to play songs then check out Rob with Drums the Word ( https://www.drumstheword.com/ ) for his reasonably priced lesson packs or check out his YouTube site for some previews( https://www.youtube.com/user/DrumsTheWord ).

Those first two listed above are probably the two big dogs on the block for lesson resources but there are plenty others...

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCp8sD6X7-DDW54Ms8yFkYIw
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCHf-VVmaLtXPb0-DjVxdSIg
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3U-7K6MwcbUexAh0e9R9HA
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCexuh6KUMdsc55r1AY_Zekw
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1OcxsYR_iN98hnoHPGL_Fw
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCX2m6l5gmOASq5R2FV2EXnw

There's a ton of resources to help with reading music as well... you don't have to be a super reader to get the most of these lesson's but it will help you figure out what note, what drum, when to place the note..
here's one place to check out (but a simple search will turn up many other videos) https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCo7chhm9S0OaLA1iowhcMMg
Thank you kindly for the extensive reply and help! George
 

Tuckerboy

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George,

+1 for the recommendations Hop gave you.

I respect the drummers that can pull it off successfully and I am generally amazed on how they do it, there's no way I could remember all the material and the time involved in learning and figuring out new parts is mind boggling. Some people just have that natural groove instinct, I don't. Even though you don't read, I recommend finding a teacher that you like, as I'm sure a good teacher could work with you and help you progress without you having to read music. Learning how to really listen to the music will help you immensely, much easier said than done. Listen to the entirety of a song that is giving you problems, listen again, paying special attention to only the drum parts, listen again paying attention to only the guitar parts, etc. and gradually you should be able to put the whole picture together.

I'm not going to be that guy that says you have to learn to read music, because you don't, but it can and will open up a whole new world of options for you. If you think about the basics, almost everything we play is either constructed of the single stroke roll, doubles, and the triple stroke roll. At some point if you do decide to venture down that path, Pat Petrillo has an excellent DVD out called Learn To Read Rhythms Better and it starts with the basics and expands from there. Lionel Duperron has also has an excellent workbook/DVD pack out called the Rudiment System and it goes through all the rudiments and has exercises to apply those rudiments in a musical form to the drum kit. It includes three or four books, beginner to advanced exercises and it's such a great rudimental learning tool IMO. I guess I'm starting to sound like that guy, but I only advise you this because I know it works and I know it can only help you progress to where you want to go musically. It can be quite frustrating and time consuming but it's worth the effort involved. Repetition is the key my friend. I used to make a lyrics page when I was trying to learn a new song and then make notes of important groove changes and signature fills but I now find it much easier to recall to just look at sheet music or just transcribe the majority of it. I have so many projects going off in different genre realms, there's no way I could remember all the material without having it in front of me. For me anyways, it changes everything when you can figure out and understand what you and the others are actually playing. Sorry if I come across as brash or sound like "that guy", my intentions are only to help you. Keep an open mind and never stop learning new ideas, both for drumming and for life.
 

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Live Gig Shots

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Tuckerboy said:
George,

+1 for the recommendations Hop gave you.

I respect the drummers that can pull it off successfully and I am generally amazed on how they do it, there's no way I could remember all the material and the time involved in learning and figuring out new parts is mind boggling. Some people just have that natural groove instinct, I don't. Even though you don't read, I recommend finding a teacher that you like, as I'm sure a good teacher could work with you and help you progress without you having to read music. Learning how to really listen to the music will help you immensely, much easier said than done. Listen to the entirety of a song that is giving you problems, listen again, paying special attention to only the drum parts, listen again paying attention to only the guitar parts, etc. and gradually you should be able to put the whole picture together.

I'm not going to be that guy that says you have to learn to read music, because you don't, but it can and will open up a whole new world of options for you. If you think about the basics, almost everything we play is either constructed of the single stroke roll, doubles, and the triple stroke roll. At some point if you do decide to venture down that path, Pat Petrillo has an excellent DVD out called Learn To Read Rhythms Better and it starts with the basics and expands from there. Lionel Duperron has also has an excellent workbook/DVD pack out called the Rudiment System and it goes through all the rudiments and has exercises to apply those rudiments in a musical form to the drum kit. It includes three or four books, beginner to advanced exercises and it's such a great rudimental learning tool IMO. I guess I'm starting to sound like that guy, but I only advise you this because I know it works and I know it can only help you progress to where you want to go musically. It can be quite frustrating and time consuming but it's worth the effort involved. Repetition is the key my friend. I used to make a lyrics page when I was trying to learn a new song and then make notes of important groove changes and signature fills but I now find it much easier to recall to just look at sheet music or just transcribe the majority of it. I have so many projects going off in different genre realms, there's no way I could remember all the material without having it in front of me. For me anyways, it changes everything when you can figure out and understand what you and the others are actually playing. Sorry if I come across as brash or sound like "that guy", my intentions are only to help you. Keep an open mind and never stop learning new ideas, both for drumming and for life.
Tuckerboy I could not agree with more. Your advice/insights will be helpful as I Look to see which way I will head. I am soon to be 63 and basically wanting to learn core fundamentals . I have the time to devote if I can work on follow through. If I allowed others to hear/see me play they would probably say I was not that bad. I play in my garage only.
 

Hop

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George,
I know you said you didn't want to read but it is really, really helpful, especially since you mentioned that you wanted to learn more core fundamentals.
If you're looking to improve your sticking and learn some rudiments (which are easy to tranlate to the kit) , my favorite book is Buddy Rich's Modern Interpretation of the Snare Drum Rudiments.
It is written so well that I'd say you can use it for self teaching, it starts with the note values and works up to simple counting and sticking variants of the rudiments.
I think it should be in every drummers learning library and if you want to take a sneak peak it is on the web : https://www.scribd.com/document/284270420/Buddy-Rich-s-Modern-Interpretation-Of-Snare-Drum-Rudiments-pdf

It can be purchased through Amazon as well for a "cleaner" copy that in the link above, https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0825629802/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER
If you get stuck on the stickings or sound there are plenty of YouTube videos to help you over the hump.


EDIT: I think the Buddy Rich book is now available with a set of companion DVD's, so look for that version if you want the video help!
 

Live Gig Shots

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Hop said:
George,
I know you said you didn't want to read but it is really, really helpful, especially since you mentioned that you wanted to learn more core fundamentals.
If you're looking to improve your sticking and learn some rudiments (which are easy to tranlate to the kit) , my favorite book is Buddy Rich's Modern Interpretation of the Snare Drum Rudiments.
It is written so well that I'd say you can use it for self teaching, it starts with the note values and works up to simple counting and sticking variants of the rudiments.
I think it should be in every drummers learning library and if you want to take a sneak peak it is on the web : https://www.scribd.com/document/284270420/Buddy-Rich-s-Modern-Interpretation-Of-Snare-Drum-Rudiments-pdf

It can be purchased through Amazon as well for a "cleaner" copy that in the link above, https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0825629802/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER
If you get stuck on the stickings or sound there are plenty of YouTube videos to help you over the hump.


EDIT: I think the Buddy Rich book is now available with a set of companion DVD's, so look for that version if you want the video help!
I have seen the book and will add it to my books. I decided to talk to a drum teacher about concentrating on snare/reading. Thanks!
 

Hop

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Good on you! Looks like he has some good experience. Let us know how the lessons work out for you.
 

Live Gig Shots

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Hop said:
Good on you! Looks like he has some good experience. Let us know how the lessons work out for you.
My first lesson was very rewarding. Found out my grip was a self made traditional. My teacher noticed after awhile the stick was under my middle finger. We decided that to start I will use the matched grip. Reading came easier than I thought. Once home I used a metronome and counted out loud. I am using James Cotton's The Performing Percussionist book. The new Downbeat has Randy Weston at 90 and still touring on the cover. Inspirational.
 

Hop

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I used a metronome and counted out loud.
That is a very important habit to develop and maintain in the learning process...

Sounds like you're well on your way!
 

Tuckerboy

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Live Gig Shots,

How are your lessons progressing? The fundamentals will be extremely beneficial for you and it will expand your drumming vocabulary, the reading aspect is all about practice and repetition. Although there are many types and hybrids of grip and fulcrum techniques, they need to be performed correctly to facilitate growth and development for speed and control. Try not to get discouraged if something seems too difficult, it will take some time but eventually it will become easier and easier and everything you're practicing will naturally fall into place. Years ago, my grip changed after practicing only on pillows and it took me a long time to correct it. Repetition is the key for learning new ideas, but try not to continuously practice things you already know and venture into the unknown. Counting out loud until a particular rhythm or groove is engrained is key. For me, starting out slow, and counting it out until it feels natural is the only way to go. There's nothing wrong with slowing things way down and concentrating solely on technique, you'll have a better understanding, better technique, and your speed will naturally progress. Playing things at a slower tempo is often harder for me. Once you've grasped the idea of what you are practicing, say your practicing the single or double stroke roll on your pad or the snare drum, make it interesting and move it to the kit and play a couple of measures of a groove you like and know and then do a fill with singles or doubles around the kit. Once that idea is learned, you can expand on that and slowly incorporate different ideas and variations and go from there, I'll bet you'll come up with some neat ideas, grooves, and fills. I can send you some examples if needed. One thing that has helped me is to start playing or practicing open handed (leading with the non dominant hand). I'm not saying you need to play that way, just eventually practicing that way to fully develop your weaker hand. Maybe throw on some of your favorite jam tunes and just play the hi hats or ride with your non dominant hand, and after time slowly add in the snare and bass drum parts. You can also play a groove with your dominant hand and when it's time to do a fill, start and lead the fill with the other hand. You'll have to start slow and it won't seem natural but keep practicing it and you'll see the benefits in your playing. After a short time, you should notice that you're able to do things around the kit with much more ease. Don't neglect your feet, you can practice and translate everything you're learning over to your footwork too. I would use a metronome for all your practicing too, don't be intimidated by it. Sometimes, just sit down at the kit and turn on the metronome at a comfortable pace and just start grooving to it and see where it takes you. The only rule to follow is to try and stay on time. If you have a tablet or smart phone, there is an excellent metronome app called PolyNome (its about $8.00 but worth every penny) and it allows you to save and program in rhythms and you can even add in the cymbal, snare, bass drum, and tom sounds if you like. There's a slight learning curve to it but it's a great app IMO. Don't worry about what everyone else is doing, use the practice methods that work best for you, and most importantly, have fun at it. Make your own signature sound and statement.
 

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Second lesson is tomorrow (Thursday 18th). Thank you for the interest and valuable information. Many of your suggestions I have implemented. I use a metronome app,I put on some electric blues (Pandora) and play the hi-hat as I was practicing on the pad. I alternate lead hands and play one had at a time. I like the idea of using the less dominate hand. My issue was(stopped months ago) was playing the whole kit loud and fast. I use my feet either on the floor or the kick as I count. I have an array of cymbals I play softly as well. Is it possible to loose ability to play the kit as a whole as I learn the basics? I try and man it sucks. I get lost trying to carry over counting or staying on count. Sometimes I just let go and pull a free form thing. I am going to learn to play!
 

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I don't think you'll lose much if any while you're concentrating on the basics and you can still apply what you're learning on the practice pad or snare over to the kit. As a supplemental source to your teacher, and something you can do at home and on your own time is Pat Petrillo's Learn To Read Rhythm's Better DVD disc. It only deals with reading and starts with the very basics and progresses from there, I think it would benefit you well. All the exercises can be repeated at your own pace and he counts each exercise out and performs them at two different tempos. I would be happy to send you one if you're interested.
 

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