Natural Talent / Lessons / Desire …..

Houndog

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Thoughts on Natural talent vs Desire …

Some think you either have it or not and lessons won’t help .
Some think anyone can play what they desire if they just put in the time .
Can lessons help you develop?

I’m not sure what my thoughts are .
 

RogersLudwig

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Having no talent at all, I benefitted and still benefit from lessons providing I find a teacher who can help. So far there have been two, Bob Levey and Donald Dean.
 

Tornado

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I think it's all on a spectrum. Very few people can't develop no matter what. Very few people just sit down and become amazing overnight. I think most people are in the camp of being able to play what they desire if they put in the time. Lessons are a big help, but only if the student actually practices. I know a lot of teachers are frustrated with students that for some reason pay for lessons but don't practice. I think some people try to justify their lack of practice by "I'd never be as good as 'x' player, even if I practiced 8 hours a day", all the while ignoring that "x amazing player" literally said he practiced 8 hours a day, and continues to practice constantly, in an interview.
 

toddbishop

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Lessons with bad teachers may not help, if lessons are someone's only musical outlet.

It doesn't take a lot of talent; it does take a lot of desire, love, work, exposure to good music and good information, availability of playing opportunities, being around other musicians.
 

esooy

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I think there are people who have natural talent and develop largely on their own, and people who are equally skilled but needed something more structured. I'm kind of a mix of someone who developed some things on my own, while really needing an experienced teacher for other things. Looking back, the things I worked on alone would have been much better, quicker, if I had a teacher for it. No matter how you predominantly learn, I think a good teacher is that extra set of ears that can hear things that we are not aware of.

I remember an interview with David Weckl about how much time he put in at practicing. It was an ungodly amount of time. I don't really remember what he said exactly, I just remember thinking how he would not even have time to go to classes, eat, or sleep (or pee).
 

Vistalite Black

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Who ever said “you either have (drum talent) or not and lessons won’t help”?

I Googled it … Not a single match.

Drums aren’t that hard. Most people can learn a couple of often-used beats in 24 hours.

Wait … Now I see “Desire” and you never said drums. If it’s about pleasing a partner, any person can be great … You just need 100% focus on your partner for about 20 minutes. Wish I’d learned that without lessons from a professional.
 

notINtheband

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I know of 1 drummer in particular who has played consistently and relentlessly since he was in middle school. He is now in his early 60’s. I have known him for about 20 years, and over that span I have never seen him play in pocket, always rushing or dragging, falling apart on the most basic rudimentary fills, and unable to play anything that isn’t based on single strokes.
When you hear him play in a band setting, 30 seconds in and you realize he is a really terrible drummer, and conclude he must be a first timer.
And he appears to have no idea this is the case.
His passion and dedication are beyond question. But one truly must have some level of ability to even become serviceable as a drummer.
 

BennyK

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Learning to play an instrument is similar to learning a language , a language with it's own vocabulary,grammar,syntax and sometimes even its own alphabet .

Some say that the best way to learn is to live among native speakers , listening and watching ,while others recommend an academic approach .

Whatever enables me to tell my own and listen to others' stories is the best way , and although there are those with a natural linguistic talent , somewhere along the way we'll have to put our shoulders to the wheel .
 
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Cauldronics

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Thoughts on Natural talent vs Desire …

Some think you either have it or not and lessons won’t help .
Some think anyone can play what they desire if they just put in the time .
Can lessons help you develop?

I’m not sure what my thoughts are .
It's some of both, but I'm pretty sure that most people have to work to develop talent while a much smaller margin are naturals.

Look at it like this: if you never took lessons, it might never occur to you that a technique, approach or concept could be used to make playing whatever you want possible. So lessons would definitely help in that case.

However, people who don't take lessons often come up with their own ways of achieving what they want to play, and they don't sound like everyone else because they had to use their imagination with whatever amount of ability they have, to make it sound the way it does to them.

For the naturally (very) talented few, they can just watch or listen to a drummer playing something and then sit down and immediately play it just as well or very close. It sucks, but that's how the gene pool works sometimes.
 
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Houndog

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I wish I’d have taken lessons when I started .
I’m learning now just how much I glossed over being self taught…..

I’ve always been told from day one that I have a certain something that people like .
But try as I might there are things I just can’t figure out .
I’m a Prog Rock fanatic but can’t really pull much of it off .
If you had a Rush tribute band I’d fail miserably at that .
But if you want to rock out some CCR , Im your guy ….
 

TPC

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I have a few drinking buddies and late at night we will often retire to the drum set. These guys had no experience in playing the drums for the first 50 years of life. I attempt to teach them the very basics of a "rock" rhythm (boom-smash boom-boom-smash). While they make progress and eventually can execute the basic independence required, it takes A LOT longer than I thought it would, and it never really gets smooth.

So my answer to the talent-lessons-desire question is that it's a mix of all three.

I also think it helps (like any "language") to start young - the younger the better. I started drumming as a toddler, actively seeking out wooden spoons and pots to bang on. My parents thought it so odd that they would get out the super-8 camera and film me doing it. Funny to watch now, but my point is, that some people have a much greater inclination to and aptitude for rhythm.
 

Tornado

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I remember an interview with David Weckl about how much time he put in at practicing. It was an ungodly amount of time. I don't really remember what he said exactly, I just remember thinking how he would not even have time to go to classes, eat, or sleep (or pee).
A lot of people will ignore things like this from guys like Weckl or Marcus Gilmore, or some other monster player that says exactly the same thing. Even that Nekrutman kid. It's always, "even if I did, I wouldn't turn out like that". Well, I guess you'll never know... Maybe not, but you'd be a hell of a lot better than you are now just watching cat videos on the Internet.
 

Tornado

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I know of 1 drummer in particular who has played consistently and relentlessly since he was in middle school. He is now in his early 60’s. I have known him for about 20 years, and over that span I have never seen him play in pocket, always rushing or dragging, falling apart on the most basic rudimentary fills, and unable to play anything that isn’t based on single strokes.
When you hear him play in a band setting, 30 seconds in and you realize he is a really terrible drummer, and conclude he must be a first timer.
And he appears to have no idea this is the case.
His passion and dedication are beyond question. But one truly must have some level of ability to even become serviceable as a drummer.

You're not wrong, but playing consistently and relentlessly badly is a sure way to remain bad permanently. That's the kind of guy who could use a good teacher if it isn't too late, and maybe it is.
 

CC Cirillo

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Natural talent, good teachers, and desire—you probably need all three to be on par with someone like, for example, Joe Morello. An argument can be made that a teacher (or specialized teachers) is/are needed for the upper stratosphere of technique.

I think you can also go pretty far with just natural talent and desire as well. A battalion of fantastic players both amateur and pro seem to fit in this category.

I’m in the low-level talent/minimal exposure to teaching/ high desire category.

The progress I see from shedding is at times minimal, but it’s there. With a teacher I would, I think, greatly accelerate, but I’d still fall far short if someone natural talent.

I do what I do, and it’s serviceable. I’ve gotten there on desire alone. No one is going to see me in a band and walk away raving about the drummer; on the other hand, they hopefully aren’t going to be saying the drummer ruined the band either.

I’ve never been fired.

Some of the most frustrating players I’ve worked with are those who have a lot of natural talent but no desire to nurture it. They tend to wank roughshod over the song.
 


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