Natural Talent / Lessons / Desire …..

Rock Salad

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Why would you think I can play insanely fast one handed rolls ?
Actually I can do a one handed roll but not in in any kind of musical context and certainly not around the kit .
Not rolls exactly, just fast clean sustained singles on each hand. All you blues guys do it especially on the turnaround. You can triplet fast enough with each hand that you can fill in one handed. Which can be really pretty insanely fast for one hand.
And if you are learning rudiments Houndog, that should be the speed that you work for those rudiments BTW, at your max of one handed singles. That's kinda what I do and my ears are opening up a lot from it. One auto didact to another

p.s. I would love to get some lessons from you!
 
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Matched Gripper

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Starting lessons was my last effort to overcome my hurdles , I’m about to throw in the towel on improving . It’s gotten extremely hard to motivate when my progress is nowhere near what I want .
There are songs I’ve struggled with for years
. It takes about 2 years for what I work on to make it onstage …

I’ve been working on doubles with my foot for 5 solid years and still nothing ….

UGH ………
It’s not a race, it’s a journey. Put in the time, effort and focus and relish the blessing of having the opportunity to be a drummer and a musician. If you do that, progress will come.

I would suggest bringing another teacher into the mix. I had the privilege of having some great teachers from the beginning who got me started on the right track and, most importantly, showed me how to teach myself.

In the meantime, check out this cool paradiddle lesson - how to use the diddle to change directions on the drum set.

 

Houndog

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Not rolls exactly, just fast clean sustained singles on each hand. All you blues guys do it especially on the turnaround. You can triplet fast enough with each hand that you can fill in one handed. Which can be really pretty insanely fast for one hand.
And if you are learning rudiments Houndog, that should be the speed that you work for those rudiments BTW, at your max of one handed singles. That's kinda what I do and my ears are opening up a lot from it. One auto didact to another

p.s. I would love to get some lessons from you!
Im certainly not fast one handed …
 

Rock Salad

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Pffft.


Seriously, check out Dorothea. She has such good words and clear concept
 

drums1225

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Ah, the ol' "nature vs nurture" debate. There's a case to be made for either, but something nobody has mentioned, is having an ear for music vs. not having an ear for music. In my experience, ears are the biggest determining factor in one's musical potential. For one to be considered "musically inclined", I would say that good ears are the price of admission.

Then there's physical dexterity. I think we can agree that people range from highly dexterous to downright clumsy. So, when you combine these traits (what I sometimes call hand/ear coordination), the dexterous person with an ear for music has a tremendous head start on a less dexterous person without an ear for music. Things will generally come more easily to the former, while the latter will require a lot more time and effort to achieve similar results. Over time, that natural advantage can dissipate if the less "gifted" player works harder because, no matter how "naturally" talented one is, it takes work and desire to achieve a high degree of proficiency.

Lessons are a huge help in learning fundamentals, technique, concepts, and most importantly, to help you avoid common pitfalls and bad habits without having to go through them yourself.

Many of the students I've taught in the past 33 years had absolutely no "natural" musical inclination. I can teach anyone technique, reading, rudiments, coordination, vocabulary, etc., but if they don't have a good musical ear, it's a steep uphill battle because, in effect, they are limited in their ability to learn on their own.
 
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hsosdrum

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Ah, the ol' "nature vs nurture" debate. There's a case to be made for either, but something nobody has mentioned, is having an ear for music vs. not having an ear for music. In my experience, ears are the biggest determining factor in one's musical potential. For one to be considered "musically inclined", I would say that good ears are the price of admission...

...Many of the students I've taught in the past 33 years had absolutely no "natural" musical inclination. I can teach anyone technique, reading, rudiments, coordination, vocabulary, etc., but if they don't have a good musical ear, it's a steep uphill battle because, in effect, they are limited in their ability to learn on their own.
My former wife (the daughter of a very successful jazz and session musician) once told me that when she was growing up she wanted to play piano. She took lessons, practiced diligently and was able to read music. She said that when she sat down at the piano she could play all the notes and rhythms, but no music came out — she was just repeating what she had learned by rote, and wasn't connecting it to the human feeling that turns it into music.

Part of having an ear for music is being able to hear and understand pitch relationships and rhythms, but part of it is also having something that's yours and yours alone inside of you that needs to be expressed musically.
 

Swissward Flamtacles

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Talent,practice, personal expression...it's all connected and valueable and should not be treated as either-or. Desire and motivation need to be maintained, too. If you don't see any results because you lack the technical foundation, if you're not exposed to new and fascinating music, if you have a wrong mind set, if you can't make sense of what you hear on recording,... your motivation will go down. A teacher can help with all of that.
 

BennyK

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A good teacher will immediately identify the students' weakness , a better teacher will motivate them to do something about it .
 
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drummer5359

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Pull up a chair, this might take a bit...

A neighbor's dad who played multiple instruments showed me basics on drums (and bass) when I was nine or ten. My guitarist brother, my neighbor who was also a beginner on bass and drums, and I would regularly jam with his father, playing mostly traditional country. When the father wasn't home we would rock.

I would listen to the latest album by the Stones, Rod Stewart, Steppenwolf, and emulate what they were doing as best that I could.

When I got to high school I met two other drummers. (It was a very small school.) The three of us would help each other. Still, I had no formal training, but I had a lot stronger desire to play than the other two.

In 1975 my nineteen year old brother was playing in a band with guys in their mid to late twenties. They got stuck last minute without a drummer and I played my first gig at the age of sixteen.

At that point I threw myself into drumming hard, practicing three or four hours a day, and I finally got a proper teacher. My mom passed away that year, and my father got sick as well. At age eighteen I was on my own, living in a one room apartment. I had no place to practice and no money for lessons. But, I was a working musician, gigging regularly before I even graduated high school.

When I was twenty I moved to south Florida and started gigging two to three nights a week right away. I was mediocre, but relentless. I met a bandleader who took me under his wing and taught me a lot about music. He was not a drummer, but he saw something in me and helped to make me much more professional.

For several years in a row in my mid twenties I was gigging four to six nights a week. I still had limited technical ability, but those years of steady gigging polished what I had.

In 1991, six weeks before my thirty second birthday I was in a brutal motorcycle accident. My left leg from the knee down, left hand, and wrist were all crushed in the impact. For a while it was questionable whether I would ever walk again, much less play drums. I returned to Pittsburgh. When I was finally able to, I used drumming as part of my physical rehabilitation. I finally got a proper teacher during this time. I started to learn things that I wish that I had learned twenty years before. My physical disabilities limited me, but I returned to playing and was in a busy oldies band playing through the rest of the nineties up until 2003 when my day job offered me a major promotion which required a move to DC/Maryland. I found some chances to sub in DC, Baltimore and occasionally in Pittsburgh, but for several year my work schedule precluded being a regular member of a band.

In 2008 I had a major stroke, I was back to square one. Again I used drumming as a part of my physical therapy and I returned to lessons. I also returned to my day job, but it was clear that the stress would eventually kill me. (I had a couple of mini strokes in the spring of 2009.)

I retired from my day job in the fall of 2009, we moved to Pittsburgh in 2010. By the end of 2010 I was busy gigging again. I stayed busy as a musician until the end of 2019.

My new band should be ready to start booking soon.

So what is the moral of my story?

I'm a good drummer, but not a great one. I'm at least good enough that my playing has been in demand for over forty-five years. I have some natural talent, but I'm not naturally gifted like some musicians that I know. I have worked hard to improve over the years, and that strong desire is my greatest strength. Being a drummer helped me recover from some serious challenges, for that I'm very grateful.
 
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TheElectricCompany

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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.
No joke, over half the local drummers I see here in Houston are exactly the same. Some people have all the passion in the world and no talent. Others have enough talent but no gift. Finding the right balance of all three is difficult for any instrument.
 

Core Creek

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Ah, the ol' "nature vs nurture" debate. There's a case to be made for either, but something nobody has mentioned, is having an ear for music vs. not having an ear for music. In my experience, ears are the biggest determining factor in one's musical potential. For one to be considered "musically inclined", I would say that good ears are the price of admission.

Then there's physical dexterity. I think we can agree that people range from highly dexterous to downright clumsy. So, when you combine these traits (what I sometimes call hand/ear coordination), the dexterous person with an ear for music has a tremendous head start on a less dexterous person without an ear for music. Things will generally come more easily to the former, while the latter will require a lot more time and effort to achieve similar results. Over time, that natural advantage can dissipate if the less "gifted" player works harder because, no matter how "naturally" talented one is, it takes work and desire to achieve a high degree of proficiency.

Lessons are a huge help in learning fundamentals, technique, concepts, and most importantly, to help you avoid common pitfalls and bad habits without having to go through them yourself.

Many of the students I've taught in the past 33 years had absolutely no "natural" musical inclination. I can teach anyone technique, reading, rudiments, coordination, vocabulary, etc., but if they don't have a good musical ear, it's a steep uphill battle because, in effect, they are limited in their ability to learn on their own.
I think this nails it well.

In my 15 years of teaching I encountered a few truly talented musicians who almost always failed to apply their talent and ended up eventually quitting. I think I came to drumming (and other musical instruments) with an amazing ear, but not much dexterity at the beginning - so it took a lot of work to get my body to do what my ears could hear. But once that foundation was established it’s been relatively easy sailing.

I also agree with what someone else said here that once a foundation is set, playing with other musicians (and if possible, musicians better than yourself) can play a large roll in developing - being able to listen to what others are doing and react to it. Isn’t that the main point of playing music?

But yeah, the best musicians are those who are listening to what everyone else is doing and responding to it. But if you haven’t developed the vocabulary to “talk“ with them, having a good ear only makes you a music critic, not a musician.
 

jansara

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Many of the students I've taught in the past 33 years had absolutely no "natural" musical inclination. I can teach anyone technique, reading, rudiments, coordination, vocabulary, etc., but if they don't have a good musical ear, it's a steep uphill battle because, in effect, they are limited in their ability to learn on their own.
Well said. This is the elephant in the room that tips the scale heavily towards nature, not nurture, pun unintended. A musical ear can be refined, but not created where one doesn't exist. It's a major part of what defines and separates those who can from those who can't.
 

jeffintampa

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I don't think many drummers are great without being born with great "chops". Or what my first teacher, (Bob Drumm, (first chair West Point) a terrific rudimentarian, and high school band director Dixie Hollins HS called "natural drummers wrists". That, when Ringo appeared on the Ed Sullivan show playing match grip, went mostly out the window. Some can play both grips equally as well nowadays, but, for me it's usually what isthe most comfortable for the style of music.
I think very few learn without some kind of lesson, either in person, which is best, but only with the right teacher, or some kind of YouTube or something. Being self aware of your ability and progress can be difficult.
So, talent? Makes it easier to get better faster. And a good teacher can inspire and correct bad habits from forming. But practice is the key. I have some born with talent, and knew I wanted to play since I was a baby, and was fortunate to have had a good teacher early, but there's only one way to keep the chop up.
And it's never too late to learn. There is so much on the internet for free, just make sure it's right for you.
And, oh yeah, practice.
 

michaelocalypse

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Anyone can do pretty much everything to some degree. Yes, some people have to practice more than others to get to certain "achievements." Fortunately, most pop/famous music is fairly simple, so pretty much anyone can achieve "good enough" on drums.
 

IVER

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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 .
Other than watching online lessons and attending drum workshops, I am completely self-taught. I regret this for two reasons - lessons would've made me sight-read, and I would've learned rudiments properly. However, I compensated by developing my ear and practising for hours. Always had passion for music, and listened to most musical genres, so I learned to feel as I played. But because of my lack of reading, I've had to turn down some gigs with good players because it required reading on stage, so I don't recommend this route for young drummers starting out. I guess when it comes to nature/nurture, I'm a nature case.
 

hawker

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I'm 72 and have been playing since I was 12. I certainly got better and made a full time living at it for six or seven years. I took lots of lessons from 12 until my early 20s in college. I am a good drummer but not even close to great. I think it is because I don't bring a lot of natural talent to the table. Perhaps it's a bit like sports? I've known some baseball players who were the absolute best in little league, high school got a full ride to college and quickly into double A ball and then triple AAA. Syracuse, Rochester and Charleston, WV. Guess what....they never even made it to the Big Leagues. Hard to believe and I'm sure a bit frustrating or even depressing for the player himself.....but what was lacking was most probably some innate talent that separates Babe Ruth and Willie Mays from the rest of the league. Or Buddy Rich or Steve Gadd....from me. :) Sigh.
 

hawker

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I’ll be danged it is !!!
I spent a long long time working on the 6 stroke roll , I still have to warm it up and it just doesn’t find its way into my playing .
I would bet it DOES work it's way into your playing...but you're just not aware it's a six stroke roll. I might be a six stroke with a flam at the end or some other some other fill that wouldn't sound as good if you didn't know hot to train your hands/brain to pull off a six stroke roll. I was recently watching a Buddy solo at a very slow speed...I was fascinated at how many rudiments actually jumped out at me although I wasn't exactly hearing rudiments when listening at full speed.
 


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