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Critique My Drumming

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  • Critique My Drumming

    I hope this is the right place for this. If not, we can move it to the lounge.

    I'm testing the waters on making videos and all. The cam is as far away as I can get it and I still can't get the entire kit in the picture. I'll work on that.

    The quality is pretty poor also but I'm tweaking that in to get a good balance of file size and video quality.

    Sure would love to hear from you all about my drumming. Anything I can do to improve. Something you think I'm doing wrong.

    Don't sugar coat it, please.

    I just found these loops on the TD-10 tonight so, this is the first time I have done this.

    I have only been playing the e drums for about 6 months and the acoustics for a few months longer. All in all, almost a year since I started playing drums.

    Thanks in advance for the help and comments.

    The TD-10 has some pretty neat loops built in to the module. This is the first time I played to this one.
    Last edited by KapperDog; 09-06-08, 02:46 AM.

  • #2
    Good solid start I reckon!

    Timing is a bit shakey in a few places but that will improve after you've been playing a while.

    I noticed you don't seem to play crossed, if not, which side do you have your ride? If you're playing left hand on the hi hat, right hand on the ride it may take a bit longer to get the coordination going but in my opinion is the way to go as you won't end up with a weak hand (I unfortunately seem to have ended up with two weak hands!)

    Making videos and listening back to your playing is the quickest way to improve, good luck and keep us posted!



    • #3

      I like the fact you're doing this with French Grip. I think I'm getting the hang of it now, but it took me the longest time to get the fingers right and I still have paranoia that its not quite there, so its useful to watch it done from this angle.
      My kit:


      • #4
        Sounds great. Like Fat Rich said you just need a little work on the timing. Don't rush the fills and lay back into the groove.


        • #5
          This is awesome. I'm already learning from you guys. Every post teaches me something new. I can't say thanks enough.

          However, with learning comes new questions. LOL I hope you don't mind.

          @Fat Rich. I think you're right about the timing improving with experience. I thought about using the click but I felt I should develop on my own and not learn to be dependent on a crutch. Do you agree or should I use the click?

          I'm not sure about the pros and cons of cross arm vs open arm yet but, I just did what was comfortable from the start. I have tried cross arm a few times but, it feels uncomfortable. I wonder if I should force it. I do notice that most drummers play cross arm.

          My ride is on my right. Crash on the left and I'm adding another cymbal (of some type) between the toms.

          Can we talk about "weak / strong hands"? What's a weak hand? Is that when I try to play along with music like The Almond Brothers or The Who and about 1/3d of the way through, my left wrist is cramping and I'm grinding my teeth as I try to maintain that rapid beat on the hi hat? LMAO

          I agree that recording yourself and listening is absolutely required. I have a pretty nice little studio and I have a few friends I jam with and I have recorded everything we have done... almost from the beginning. The program I use automatically names the file with the date and an incremental number and we are past 500 recordings. My/our own playing has totally replaced everything else I listen to when I'm in my car. I burn every session to a CD and listen to it over and over. Kind of anal about most stuff that way. LOL

          @Luc. I never heard of a French Grip. I thought I was using the Traditional Grip. I did a quick Google on "Drum Term French Grip" and got a nice page explaining the 3 types of grip. Beginner stuff for sure but someone might benefit (like I did) so here's s link...

          Learn to hold your drumsticks the propper way. Learn the different types of stick grips, Tradtitional, matched, french, all these grips have their place on the drums!

          After looking at that site and watching my video I believe you are right. It looks more like a French Grip than the Traditional.

          Another lesson learned.

          @MR. I know I rush my fills. I have noticed it in the past. Especially when I do 2 or 3 fills in a row. At the end of the third, I am way ahead. I am aware of the problem and I think that's another one of those things that will improve with practice. Any suggestions for improving that are sure welcome.

          What's a "Groove". Is that what I'm doing when I'm not doing a fill?

          Thanks again for all the input, gang.

          I can't tell you all how glad I am that I found this site. There just no other way that I can learn about this kind of thing. I don't jam out enough to get a good variety and even when I do, there's seldom another drummer there that I can learn from.


          • #6
            Yeah, a groove can be thought of as the pattern your are playing. But in a metaphorical sense, its that feeling when the whole band has synchronized and playing sounds effortless. That feeling of effortlessness is what your strive for.

            To stop rushing fills, practice with a metronome. Also start your fill with half a bar of the main beat. It helps you flow into a fill.

            Its all about practice really. You will get it.


            • #7
              Originally posted by KapperDog
              I did a quick Google on "Drum Term French Grip" and got a nice page explaining the 3 types of grip. Beginner stuff for sure but someone might benefit (like I did) so here's s link...

              Learn to hold your drumsticks the propper way. Learn the different types of stick grips, Tradtitional, matched, french, all these grips have their place on the drums!

              After looking at that site and watching my video I believe you are right. It looks more like a French Grip than the Traditional.
              That might be where I first read about the different types of grip.

              I try to practice with all 3 types during the warm-up singles/doubles practice, but it has to be said that when I get down to work on a groove, I tend to stick to traditional mostly. But I figure still nice to have the extra weapons in my arsenal for when I need them..

              If you decide to look into grips further, this guy's instruction on the 3 types of grip was pretty good in terms of explaining their uses:

              ... only problem is after watching it I still didn't really get French Grip (issues with what to do with my fingers). This video by Dom Famularo was a little better for that:

              Enjoy the videos and music you love, upload original content, and share it all with friends, family, and the world on YouTube.

              ... but I think there's still a niche out there for a good beginner French Grip lesson that shows exactly what the fingers are doing below the hand to efficiently bounce the stick. I think I've figured it out, but for all I know I may still be wrong...
              My kit:


              • #8
                As others have said, some timing issues. Fact is, everyone deals with timing issues to some extent! Listen really hard, and never make the mistake of thinking your timing can't improve.

                What I have to say now may be inappropriate given where you are along the path, but I would encourage you to try to "join in" the music rather than use it as a space in which to showcase fills. It's great that you have the "open hand" approach to playing. This frees you from the problems that arise from crossing hands as is done traditionally. You need to move your ride over to the left hand side of the kit and work on keeping the hat or ride going as you do right-hand fills on the snare and toms. You employed some syncopated fills that sounded good, but then did some standard "run down the tom" fills that didn't really fit (IMO) with the breezy syncopated swing of the loop you were running.

                You are off to a good start. I would just say, in a loop like that one, flow with the groove. Going too far off on a tangent separates what you are doing from the music itself.


                • #9
                  Guys like Stewart Copeland and Jeff Porcaro have said they listen back and wince at their timing issues! It's something you'll always be working on and improving, very soon you'll be at a point where people won't notice. I've heard said that if you don't practice for a day you'll start to notice the problems, if you don't practice for a couple of days your audience will notice.

                  I'd start off with a click, that'll soon sort out any rushing of fills but you're right in saying it shouldn't become a crutch so work on some stuff without too (and definitely record it) You could also program a click into your kit as a pattern that drops out randomly for a few measures and see if you're still playing in time when it comes back.

                  As for playing open, I'd stick with what you're comfortable with. As Stickinthemud said, a lot of drummers who play open move their ride above their hi hat but then you'll still end up with a weak hand, your right hand instead of most drummers left hand.

                  As you've discovered it will take a while to build stamina on your hi-hat / ride hand but that'll soon happen. Meanwhile the hand that's playing the snare is just pottering about playing 2 & 4 and a few ghost notes so doesn't get so developed. Practicing rudiments helps to bring it up to speed but I prefer to use it all the time around the kit too. Maybe it's because most left handed are seem to be a bit more ambidexterous (I can't spell it either), are you a lefty too?

                  As far as grips go, I wouldn't worry too much about which one to use (although I find traditional grip doesn't work for me playing open as it puts my left arm way too far to the left). I find I use American grip when hitting anything in front of me and it gradually turns into French grip as I get to the edges of the kit. Therefore I practice all rudiments in both grips.

                  What's most important to start off with is to find the pivot point of the stick and not grip too hard (a teacher will help you with this)

                  Hope some of this helps, most important is to enjoy your drumming!


                  Edit: Apologies to stickinthemud if it sounded like I was dismissing his suggestion of moving the ride, you should definitely try it out and see if you like it (and he's a way better drummer than me!). Also when I said don't worry about grips, I mean don't worry too much at the moment but don't be afraid to try new things as you improve
                  Last edited by Fat Rich; 09-07-08, 04:51 AM.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by stickinthemud
                    What I have to say now may be inappropriate given where you are along the path, but I would encourage you to try to "join in" the music rather than use it as a space in which to showcase fills.
                    That's not the first time I have been called a "hog". I'm working on it. LOL

                    I find that when I play alone or with 1 person I play real "busy". Lots of fills and changes. However, when I play with 2 or more people it's difficult to play that way so I am much more of a "metronome" and keep a more steady beat with a LOT less fills. I understood you correctly?

                    I'll try moving my ride to my left and see how things feel.

                    Fat Rich... I am pretty much ambidextrous and thought several times about trying a left handed kit just to see if it came more natural. I do run fills from right to left sometimes and it feels very comfortable. One drummer told me the kick pedal is the best way to tell if you are a lefty drummer or not. Not exactly sure what he meant by that.

                    Thanks again guys. This is all very very helpful to me.

                    My buddy came over last night and we jammed for a few hours. We were pretty tight all night long but, this had to be one of our best. I am lost [without vocals] so I was not sure where we were in the song for the first few minutes but at just about 4 minutes into the song, we just started to jam and you can tell I got into the groove much better.

                    This is just about as good as I can hope to be right now. If you [anyone] comment on something, reference the timer so I know where you are. Thanks.

                    This is Beer and Chip's first video. An open jam based on the Neil Young song, Down By The River.

                    I have my first public gig in a real bar next week so I better get good...fast. LMAO

                    I hope they don't throw bottles at us. I wonder if I should take some chicken wire just in case [Ref: Blues Brothers movie]. LOL

                    Thanks again for everything, gang.


                    • #11
                      The public gig will be an acid test for you. But remember even the greats started out not knowing their left from their right.

                      For timing, you have to remember that there are three ways to play the note or the beat: just before, right on, and just after. Mentally, I find that I have to lead the beat just slightly to stay on tempo. The drummer leads (with the bass) or drives, everyone else follows (or rides). Don't wait for the music - tell it where it's going.

                      Sticking is another concept to watch (which hand hits which note). It seems like you're doing okay with it but you keep going clockwise. Try some counter-clockwise fills, or even some that don't go in a circle. Sticking gets more important on a kit because you are moving around different drums.

                      The weak hand is the one that does less work. On a right-handed kit the right hand tends to lead more and do more of the work. You're well on your way to balancing that by playing left handed on the hi-hat, but you could still end up with the right hand doing most of the work. You could expand your non-traditionalism by moving pieces of your kit to non-traditional places. My kit is set up a little differently, although I have a couple more pads than usual.

                      You're doing really well for less than a year. Keep up the good work.



                      • #12
                        I have done some counter-clockwise fills in the past and they feel pretty comfortable. I'll start practicing those more and try some "out of order" fills also. Nice tip. Thanks

                        I have been reading posts here about the pro's and con's of setting up a kit differently than the traditional. Some interesting posts and opinions.

                        Couple questions about your kit.

                        What are you using for your Hi Hat? Is it the PD-100 on the left or is it the rubber pads above that? (Or, in between the rack toms. I have been reading about that. Never heard of it before reading it here recently).

                        Also, what are all the rubber pads used for (mostly). Curious if they are mostly cymbals, drums or percussion stuff like blocks and bells. Just curious on that.

                        Thanks again.

                        I am uploading a few more videos from that same night's jam. I'll post the links when they are finished.


                        • #13
                          Hi hat is the PD7 in the middle of the rack toms. Above that is a hi/lo cowbell pad, and the other pads include timbale, bongos, a couple of special cymbals like splash and sizzle, woodblock and guiro. Those extra pads trigger a TD7 controller. I combined my old kit with the newer TD10 so it looks like an explosion at a Roland factory or something. The PD100 on the left is the high rack tom.

                          I've recently purchased some VExpressions kits (Master 50 and System 1) which really make things sound better and seem to make me a better player too!

                          I have a tendency to play in circles also, so I have to make a concerted effort to break it up. Some of the guys here can play 'circles' around me too, so I try to learn from them as much as I can. youboob is a great tool for learning stuff - I'm surprised people put so many instructional videos out. It helps to hang around other drummers, even in a more arm's length place like this forum. Keeps you young.

                          You are welcome.



                          • #14
                            Thanks BB.

                            Here is one of the videos from that same night's jam. It's Pink Floyd's Nobody's Home.

                            Here is an example of being a hog. Most of my drumming in this song is one fill after another. Then, I start getting bored (or falling asleep LOL) and I run off to some slams where I only get the timing right about half the times I did it. LOL Certainly not my best but.... I think it's different. A couple of the slams fell right on time.

                            Sorry to put you all through this kind of torture but, thanks for viewing them. LOL


                            • #15
                              Killing the Blues from John Prine.