Ahhh, Drummers.. near and dear to my heart. This was my first instrument when I was but nine years old (I am in my 40′s now). If there is one thing that is common when you hear a tune on the radio, its the high quality of the drummer. I can honestly say that in America, a lot less emphasis has been on the guitar and more when it comes to percussion. Drummers have really come of their own in the last 15 years. Would be percussionists want to be able to play and sound like that. The problem in Alaska is finding an instructor that can teach the nuances of fine drumming technique.
What is fine drumming technique? Well for example: playing from the wrists instead of the arms (people that play with their arms only come in one volume, LOUD), the ability to play multiple timings (6/8 with the legs, 2/4 with the arms), Double Kick (this can be overplayed really easy), cymbal chokes using the same hand you struck the cymbal with (not as easy as it appears), the ability to shift to several different time signatures and still maintain a steady tempo, the ability to read AND write sheet music (not just the drum score, any score in any key), the ability to play a fast 2/4 country shuffle at 120 beats per minute (this can be amazingly hard). Etc, etc.. (I could go on, but it would be as interesting as reading a dictionary).
My drum students learn how to count very early. Every limb has something to do and a timing that goes with it. Without the ability to count, a drummer plays everything by ear. Is this bad? If you have the inability to count it is. An ear players only source of timing is approximating what they hear. They are limited to single timings (strait 4/4, 3/4, 6/8 for instance). If you can count, you can do multiple timings at the same time. This is called POLY-RHYTHM, and I teach it.
Additionally, if your an ear player only, forget about reading music. If you cant hear it, you cant play it. It doesn’t matter if it written down in intricate detail. That is a shame.
The true drummer is the EXPERT at timing in all its facets. They can increase or decrease the timing of the group they are playing with at a whim. They can announce timing changes because they have the ability to ‘look ahead’ from what they are playing in present time and announce changes as they come. They are situationally aware, able to strike any cymbal or shell accurately by using their peripheral vision and keep their other band mates in view. A good drummer can break a stick and recover without anyone realizing it. Basically, a good drummer is the heartbeat of the group. They give a group performance LIFE!
Are you ready for drum lessons?