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Practice makes.....

Cauldronics

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There were 3 years in the '90s when I'd practice almost every day for 6-8 hours. I got everything so refined that I was living in the Matrix after taking the red pill (seriously focused on extra fine detail all the time), but it was too much to lead a normal life. My goal was to become a studio drummer and I developed the chops but never did the legwork and networking. I was good enough back then.

I don't really practice anymore but I'd like to get back into it. Before the pandemic I had band practice 2-3 nights a week and that was keeping my chops decent, and before that I'd put in 5-10 hours a week along with band practices.

Permanence being part of the topic, a lot of the years of practice have become part of my playing. It's very much worth putting yourself through boot camp whether self-imposed or you take lessons or both. A marine never loses the foundation of what he's taught.
 
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Pat A Flafla

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There were 3 years in the '90s when I'd practice almost every day for 6-8 hours. I got everything so refined that I was living in the Matrix after taking the red pill (seriously focused on extra fine detail all the time), but it was too much to lead a normal life. My goal was to become a studio drummer and I developed the chops but never did the legwork and networking. I was good enough back then.

I don't really practice anymore but I'd like to get back into it. Before the pandemic I had band practice 2-3 nights a week and that was keeping my chops decent, and before that I'd put in 5-10 hours a week along with band practices.

Permanence being part of the topic, a lot of the years of practice have become part of my playing. It's very much worth putting yourself through boot camp whether self-imposed or you take lessons or both. A marine never loses the foundation of what he's taught.
I can identify with this a lot. I had big dreams and good chops, but quickly realized how much non-musical junk is inseparable from the business and the lifestyle. I didn't even realize how much I loathed networking until I realized that it meant leaving my wife at home to act like I enjoyed the company of boozehounds, junkies, and philanderers.
 

Cauldronics

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I can identify with this a lot. I had big dreams and good chops, but quickly realized how much non-musical junk is inseparable from the business and the lifestyle. I didn't even realize how much I loathed networking until I realized that it meant leaving my wife at home to act like I enjoyed the company of boozehounds, junkies, and philanderers.
Exactly! Sums it up very well. I wasn’t good at networking either. Looking back I would’ve benefited from a manager who’d connect me to people who took it seriously.
 

BennyK

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I know plenty of drummers who " got good " and have rarely, if ever, left the basement .

It's just not fair .
 

pwc1141

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I know plenty of drummers who " got good " and have rarely, if ever, left the basement .

It's just not fair .
Never did that basement thing and perhaps never "got good" but have had thousands of gigs over the years ....not fair perhaps but then not much in life is ....:)
 

wayne

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I know plenty of drummers who " got good " and have rarely, if ever, left the basement .

It's just not fair .
That cant be good for you!. Air in the basement would be stale and damp. Tom, you have to convince them to get outside now and then!
My days on the drums are over, and i dont mind at all. Every now and then i i give them a whack!
The business was good to me.
 

CherryClassic

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I must confess to have never had any practice routine and never practice. I will review any set list if it's available before a gig and that's it. What I play is based far more on experience and using ears on stage rather than technique. Mea Culpa.
Yes, I'm basically the same. I've gotten into a grove that I know I need to break out and improve on. I need to know the songs better and, in some cases, know when AND how to end. What I do to play a song with feeling is good and the dancers like it but there is just this little thing that's lacking in the back of my brain that I know I should improvise on. What really bugs me is when someone throughs in a new song or seldom played and I'm thinking, what beat should I be playing. That happened to me yesterday, I played a standard country shuffle, but it didn't feel good. I wanted to change it but being unsure, I was afraid it would have been a disaster. TODAY, I'm going to YouTube. LOL

sherm
 

drums1225

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Many years ago (maybe in the early to mid 90's?) I read a quote from Steve Smith in Modern Drummer, in response to an interviewer who asked him what he could possibly be practicing at that point in his career. Totally paraphrased, Steve said, "I'm not practicing new things or working on chops, but rather I'm working on playing everything I already know better and more effortlessly." He talked about studying motion with Freddie Gruber, and getting as much (or more) sound out of his kit while making less physical effort.

This was what I needed to hear at the time, and it made a lasting impression. Frankly, most drummers can benefit from this train of thought. In my teens and early 20s, I had always focused on chops, licks, fills, double bass, complicated beats, independence, etc. In a sense, I was "gathering vocabulary" as most young aspiring musicians do, but the fact is, these pursuits are rarely aligned with developing a great pocket. I had more than enough vocabulary for the paying gigs I was going for, but I still wasn't getting the calls.

After reading that interview with Steve, I asked myself the hard questions: "Does everything I can already play sound and feel great? Were all my grooves in the pocket? Are my subdivisions where they need to be?" The answer was "D) None of the above". When I listened back to recordings of myself (which I've always done with brutal honesty), they almost never sounded how I wanted them to sound, or even how I perceived them to sound while playing.

I began to focus on effortlessness, more efficient and fluid motion, and playing with a more relaxed sense of confidence. I began listening almost exclusively to groove oriented music (and drummers) that reflected the direction I wanted my playing to take. Over time, the results started to reveal themselves. I starting cringing less and less during playbacks, and eventually, started nodding in approval. My ears have always far outpaced my playing ability, so I could never delude myself into thinking I'm better than I actually am. By the same token, I don't get caught up in thinking I suck as much as I sometimes think I do. Once my playing started to hold up under my own critical listening, the better gigs started coming.

The overall point is, most drummers don't need more vocabulary to get to the next level; they just need to "speak" their current vocabulary with better diction, better syntax, and to communicate more clearly and consistently. And that ain't comin' from books!
 
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JazzAcolyte

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The overall point is, most drummers don't need more vocabulary to get to the next level; they just need to "speak" their current vocabulary with better diction, better syntax, and to communicate more clearly and consistently. And that ain't comin' from books!
Two words: Stick Control.
 

drums1225

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Two words: Stick Control.

Books have their place, and Stick Control is one of the best drum books of all time, but too many drummers make the mistake of thinking that mastering exercises from books will make them good drummers. There are so many answers that books just can't provide. Books can't teach feel. They can't teach taste. They can't teach pocket, swing, or musicality. All the things that are most important in a band situation.

My two words? Record yourself.
 

JazzAcolyte

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Books have their place, and Stick Control is one of the best drum books of all time, but too many drummers make the mistake of thinking that mastering exercises from books will make them good drummers. There are so many answers that books just can't provide. Books can't teach feel. They can't teach taste. They can't teach pocket, swing, or musicality. All the things that are most important in a band situation.

My two words? Record yourself.
Fully agree with you, and I record myself all the time. I was just saying that Stick Control is an example of a book that can help with diction, syntax, etc.
 

Drdrumdude3009

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On the subject of effortlessness, same goes for being a goalie. Heroic, acrobatic saves look great, but as the body ages, that doesn’t wear well. Getting into position, anticipating the shot and cutting the angle for the shooter is what makes an aging goalie play well into their 50s and beyond is the secret. Had Peter Criss worked like Steve Smith, he may not have lost the KISS gig (according to Gene and Paul). We have to do things smarter, which is what we gain over brute strength. I can hit hard without over exertion; of course I had better practice doing it better ;)
 

Tornado

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Had Peter Criss worked like Steve Smith, he may not have lost the KISS gig (according to Gene and Paul)

Expectations for drummers grew a lot from the time KISS started and when he was fired, and then even more throughout the 80s until today. Depending on who's story you believe, Danny Seraphine was let go from Chicago for performance reasons as well. There was some audio posted from that recent KISS live disaster where their backing tracks were "exposed". In that, you could hear Eric Singer playing live with a click like a freaking machine. He was so dead on, and felt great at the same time. Peter Criss can't do that (I don't think so anyway). I think a lot of the names we knew from the 70s just never adapted to a world of drum machines setting a new standard for time keeping.
 

Drdrumdude3009

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Expectations for drummers grew a lot from the time KISS started and when he was fired, and then even more throughout the 80s until today. Depending on who's story you believe, Danny Seraphine was let go from Chicago for performance reasons as well. There was some audio posted from that recent KISS live disaster where their backing tracks were "exposed". In that, you could hear Eric Singer playing live with a click like a freaking machine. He was so dead on, and felt great at the same time. Peter Criss can't do that (I don't think so anyway). I think a lot of the names we knew from the 70s just never adapted to a world of drum machines setting a new standard for time keeping.

Drum machines made drummers into clocks. I tried playing along to a live KISS song and couldn’t! It went all over the place time wise!
 

Pat A Flafla

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There are so many answers that books just can't provide. Books can't teach feel. They can't teach taste. They can't teach pocket, swing, or musicality. All the things that are most important in a band situation.
And that's what I got out of playing with recordings in my youth.
 

wayne

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IMO,try to hook up with a player that is much better overall than yourself. These guys can be hard to nail down, but the internet is a great tool we never had in the old days.
Dont look at it as "teaching" but more "picking up"
In a half hour you should be able to hook onto something you can work on, but try to keep your expectations simple, and take your time.
 


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