Copyright 2006 Daniel N Brown
There are many ways to increase the quality of your drumming and they can all be summarized into these 3 vital steps…
1. Develop Confidence
Many wanna-be musicians will choose the drums because they are shy and want to remain in the background (that’s where I was when I started drumming back in 1976).
The truth is your body may be in the background, but your musical presence will definitely be noticed!
If you are going to be the drummer in a band, then you will be the anchor of the band. The other musicians will be relying on you to provide strong beats that will keep everything together. Everything you do behind your drum set will not only be heard, but felt, simply because you will be the all-important time keeper.
This notion of wanting to be a drummer so you can hide behind a drum set is ridiculous. You’re gonna hide from no one! That’s why it is imperitive to develop confidence in your drumming, and the first way to do that is to forget about the notion that you are hidden. Your mind set should be to establish your place in the band. Know who you are and why you’re there. The rest will then fall into place.
2. Love Your Instrument
If any musician really wants to master their instrument they must absolutely love it. What do I mean “love it?” The best way to understand this is to relate loving your drums to loving a person.
Many people think “love” is a feeling, but it’s not a feeling. For example; I love my wife, but I don’t always like her (I suppose she can probably say the same thing about me).
Love is an action word. It means to adore, care for, learn about, edify, be loyal to, be devoted to, be committed to, support, protect, and promote. When you do these things the feeling of love automatically comes.
So, how can you tell if you really love your drums? You can tell if you love your drums by the priority you put on them. They must have some priority in your life , otherwise your drums are just a little hobby that you will only be mediocre at.
3. Remain Humble
If a drummer really wants to increase his or her level of playing it is critical to remain open minded.
The mind is like a parachute, it only functions when it is open. That’s why it is so important to remain humble. Arrogant drummers never grow beyond their current level of drumming because they don’t think there is any more they can learn. How foolish! There is always more to learn… and any advanced drummer can learn from an intermediate, or even a beginner!
As you continue to learn you will then be able to teach. When you begin teaching, you will be amazed at the additional things you will learn (if you are currently teaching you will understand).
It’s critical to continue to learn and grow if you want to increase your level of drumming, and remaining humble is the only avenue through which you can do this. As with anything else, you must absolutely be confident in what you’re doing and knowledge can make you confident.
Please don’t mistake confidence with arrogance. Confidence is what makes a good drummer a great drummer. Arrogance is what makes a good drummer a lonely drummer! I don’t know about you, but I certainly don’t want to play music with some cocky jerk who thinks he or she is better than everyone else.
When you develop confidence in your purpose as a drummer, learn to love your drums by giving them some priority in your life, altogether with remaining humble, your level of drumming will increase considerably.