12 Mistakes Drummers Make (Are You Guilty?)

12 Mistakes Drummers Make (Are You Guilty?)


Hey, everyone, it’s Jared here today and today I’m gonna talk
about some important things that are hopefully gonna
help you in your drumming. Now, writing lessons like this is, it’s actually really helpful for me as I’m no different
than you or anyone else. I make all of these mistakes and I’m always looking to improve. So when I write these types of things, it really forces me to research topics and look at myself in the mirror to see where I can get better. Now, I also talk to hundreds
of drummers each week and I watch their videos
to give them feedback and I’m seeing some recurring issues that I want to bring up here. So if you’re perfect and you
don’t make any mistakes, great but if you are like me
then you have work to do. So what I recommend you do is just choose a few of these issues and just work towards improving them and as always, like myself
and the Drumeo team, we’re here to help in any way we can. Now, the first one is they don’t practice a healthy foundation of
theory and technique. Now, if you’ve been hitting
a ceiling in your playing, one thing that could be causing that is your technical or
theoretical boundaries. You need to learn the basics of movement when you play the drums, basics of grip, rebound, sight reading. You don’t need to become a virtuoso but it really helps to know a little bit. How your kit is set up ergonomically, playing with a metronome and
other foundational concepts. They could have a huge effect on your ability to learn new things. Now, on the flip side of that, if you only become obsessed with things that you can measure, it’s a dangerous thing and
that is the second mistake. Now, music is an art form. It’s not always supposed to be measured in its quality or quantity. The quality is subjective, okay? You could be a technical
magician on the drum set but no one would want to
listen to your drumming. So if you can play sixteenth
notes at 300 beats per minute, what does that really mean? Does it mean you’re a good musician? I think it means you
can go fast on the drums but it’s not really an indication of your ability to play music or make art. So make sure you always keep a balance between practicing
technique and musicality. This is, that’s a huge
one for me by the way. The next thing that drummers always do is they try to buy results but
it ends up being shelf help. Now, in the past, when we
were selling DVDs and books, I saw this more and it
was truly shelf help. So I do enjoy when students
purchase the products from us because it allows me to
invest and reach more drummers but I really don’t want Drumeo to turn into a business
model like a gym membership. Most gyms honestly wouldn’t
even be able to function if every member was actively
using the facilities, okay? Drumeo is not like that. We want each and every student to get the most value
out of their membership and if you use one of the
other online lesson sites or a private teacher or anything else, know that there isn’t any correlation between how much a drummer
spends on their education and their actual skill level. Information as it relates to drumming which requires skill and knowledge to play is useless without action. So focus on getting the right
information, the right support and surrounding yourself with a positive and motivating community then get to work and start practicing. Now, another mistake drummers make is that they think they
can just teach themselves and they don’t even need a teacher and this might be slightly controversial because we are on YouTube
here and in the YouTube era, everyone thinks they
can just learn anything all on their own. Now, I’m guilty of this as well and sometimes I just wanna
watch a YouTube video and figure something out but really, it’s nice to have a teacher who can give you feedback that’s personalized to
exactly what you’re doing and this is something
we’ve done a lot at Drumeo through our Student Focus section where students will submit a video, we will film ourselves
giving them feedback and then they can take that to use it to improve on the drums. Now, I know there’s
always a financial barrier to some of this because you
can’t afford a private teacher or you can’t afford a membership to Drumeo but I do believe hugely in private lessons and online drum lesson sites like Drumeo that offer an immense
amount of ongoing support. The next mistake is that they think they don’t need to learn
how to read sheet music. Another one that’s gonna be
a little bit controversial ’cause everyone’s gonna
reference Dennis Chambers and talk about how he’s
never read sheet music and he’s one of the
greatest drummers alive but I think there’s just
benefits to knowing how to read and I always relate it back to
reading books or just words. Would you like to know how to
talk but not know how to read? Now, obviously, one is better than none but wouldn’t both be better than one? Now, you don’t need to become
a virtuoso at sight reading but knowing the basics can
really help you memorize new drumming vocab as well as make it easy to share musical ideas
with other musicians. So I really encourage you if you don’t have a high
level of reading, that’s fine, just get a basic level
going so you can share ideas and learn more things faster. Now, the next mistake is that students practice
for longer sessions instead of more shorter sessions. So there’s data on practice session length but I’m not really gonna
pretend to be all scientific but I know what this has done for me. So I’m just gonna give you
a shared experience here. I used to practice for two
to three hours at a time and now I have kids, I have other responsibilities
here at work at Drumeo and I simply just don’t
have that much extra time. So I don’t always just want to practice. Sometimes I just wanna sit
down and play and have fun. So from what I’ve read online, it’s better to have 20 to 60 minute blocks rather than two to three hour
blocks of practice sessions. Anything after two hours and you’re just gonna be
getting diminishing returns. So for me, if I practice
more than once per day, it will be around 30
minutes for each session. So you can let me know what you do. What works best for you? Do you agree with me that you should practice
more shorter sessions or you’re totally cool
doing longer sessions? Leave your comment below. The next mistake I see
is more from adults. Now, a lot of adult students
use self-deprecation as a hedge just in case they fail. Now, I know starting an
instrument later in life or picking the instrument
back up later in life can be daunting and you can’t
have this fear of failure because learning something new or trying to get better at
something new later in life, it is challenging and it’s the old saying, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks but we have so many great students who are learning later in life and as adults, we just have
limited time to practice. We have jobs, we have other commitments so we have to understand
that getting to the point of our drumming being somewhere
where we feel comfortable presenting it to an audience is just gonna take a little bit longer and you might be a little bit more self-consciousness about it and so you might feel that
making self-deprecating comments about yourself and your drumming is a good way to make yourself feel better but I really encourage
you to try not to do it. Just try and practice hard,
put as much time as you can and be comfortable with
the result you’re getting. Okay, the next mistake relates to gear. So many people try to buy their way to a good sounding drum set but I will tell you right now
I have around 30 or 40 kits and the factors that go into
making your drums sound good are the following, okay? The room that you’re in. The drumheads. How you tune them. The sticks, okay, wood or
vinyl, what is it, vinyl tip? Plastic tip? The drummer, how you
actually hit the drums and then the recording gear in there. So Taylor’s sitting over there. He’s making this kit sound a certain way and that way is the way
that he likes to hear drums. So you see what I didn’t say there? I didn’t really talk much
about the shell quality or whether it’s a wrap or
whether it’s a painted finish and I’m really not saying that
stuff doesn’t matter at all but I’m confident that if
I did blind tests with you, I don’t think you’d be
able to identify a $500 kit compared to a $5000 kit
correctly 50% of the time if we ran a hundred or a thousand tests. Now, this is coming from someone who loves high end drums, okay? Like I said, I have 30 or 40 kits and many of them are high end drum sets. So don’t get me wrong here. I’m the biggest proponent
of gear acquisition syndrome in the world but you have to keep in mind that you’re not necessarily
paying for a high end sound. The drum quality is only 1/10 of that. So focus on really having
dynamic limb independence, focus on developing
tuning, your tuning skills, the room treatment, okay, and staying really loose on the drums so they resonate freely when you hit them. Now, another mistake drummers make is that they try and learn
too many things at one time and there’s a business term I love and it’s that pigeonholes are
the ones stuffed with cash. Now, it’s also true
when learning something. Focus on niching down and focus on learning one thing at a time for a short amount of time and then moving on to the next
thing really, really quickly. So choose three songs, two techniques and a few new beats and fills to learn and once you got those down,
move on to other things and when I say get those down, it means you can play them off the cuff, the vocabulary has just become a part of your drumming sound and feel. At Drumeo, we’ve worked on something huge that I’m super excited about that really helps simplify
this process for you. Now, growing up, when I first started, I was 15, 16 when I first started and the mistake I always made
was rushing my drum fills. I had so many bandleaders tell me, every fill, you’re speeding up. So I was the worst at this and I honestly still
struggle at it something. Benny Greb discusses
this in his Drumeo lesson which I really think you should check out if you haven’t yet. So really focus on
playing with a metronome while you practice your fills, practice all different tempos so you don’t just get
comfortable in one zone. Now, another mistake is
that so many drummers, they practice exclusively
on an electric kit and think that those skills directly transfer to an
acoustic kit and they don’t. It’s simple as that. Electric kits don’t rebound the same. They don’t set up in the same way. They’re much more compact
making things easier to reach and so I see so many drummers who will primarily play on an electric and they go to play an acoustic and they almost have no dynamics. They’re used to just using volume knobs to make the snare or bass drum louder. So if you practice exclusively
on an electric kit, get a good one that allows
you to play dynamically and responds to how you’re playing if you hit the drum harder or
if you hit the drum softer. Now, if you know you’re gonna be playing an electric and an acoustic, set up the kits in the
most similar way possible so you can easily switch between both. There are also some newer
electric kits coming out where the toms have more
of a natural feeling so when you hit the floor tom, you want that stick to really sink in and not get a ton of rebound. Another mistake I see a lot is that drummers think
that learning stick tricks makes them a good drummer
and it really doesn’t. Stick tricks make non-drummers
think you’re a good drummer until they hear you play with a band and the feel of the
music is just terrible. So you should only do stick tricks once you have locked in the groove and it doesn’t take
away anything from that then add in the flair and the crowd is gonna love you even more. So there are some mistakes that I see so many drummers making. What mistakes do you make when you’re practicing or playing live? What things have helped
you make less mistakes? Now, I know I didn’t get
them all in this video and I just love to read your feedback. So please share it in the comments below so we can all learn from each other. Thank you so much for watching this video and I’ll see you again very soon.