Since I keep saying ‘become a musician who plays the drums’ like a broken record, I feel it’s time to be a bit more specific about it 😉
I collected ten fundamental principles that you can use as a guide to assess if you are really making music with your drumming.
If you don’t have at least 6 or 7 of these under your belt then there’s definitely some work to do – sorry to break it to you 🙂
Of course we are all a permanent work in progress, but check these out and use them to find your weak spots so that you get a clearer idea of the direction in which you are going, long term.
And so that you can contribute to music to the best of your abilities.
Here we go:
– Having a great time feel and a solid sense of time.
– Having a great sound.
– Having all the technical skills necessary to express your ideas and emotions.
– Having full control of enough parameters and solutions, so that you can perform any variation required by the song, even the most nuanced, with no effort.
– Using dynamics, space and contrast to create emotions and tell stories.
– Developing your unique voice, your own style, and being recognizable.
– Being truly in love with music: always playing for the song, and never to show off.
– Knowing hundreds of records inside out. Being open minded, always evolving, doing research and practicing with a 360-degree approach. Including learning a melodic instrument.
– Listening, being aware of what’s going on around you, interacting with the other musicians.
– Being present, letting go, being in the flow. Not thinking, trying or forcing anything.
As you can tell they are pretty much listed in order of importance. Although in many ways they mix with one another and therefore are all very significant.
I have also created a Pdf version for you to share or print and post in your practice space:
I can’t stress enough how important all these points are, and we are going to talk more in detail about each of them in the future.
It doesn’t matter how obvious they may sound, just check and make sure you are actually using these ideas. The most obvious thing a drummer should do is keeping time: yet, paradoxically, we know how many drummers are weak on that department…
If you want to learn more on these subjects, then I recommend you check out ‘Altitude Drumming’, a comprehensive drum course that expands on each of these topics, and many more, in a dozen advanced drum books: