“Playing with albums is the only thing you ever need to practice”

lefty2

Platinum Member
A big no. I am a case in point.
I am a self-learner who started out playing only to recordings. Over and over, for years. It gave me a good grounding, good sense of time, some taste for fills, and good enough to start with a band, but then I topped out because I couldn't get my hands to do certain things.... I needed to condition my hands with some basic rudiments.
As an example, I heard how a 'motown pickup ' started many Motown songs, but couldn't work through many of them properly without knowing a decent six stroke roll.

'the only thing" is such an absolute and it doesn't exist in many pursuits.
I hear you I thought everything was a single stroke And that bouncing the sticks was cheating I thought every note had to be actually played. It was only in recent years that I've developed double and triple stroke rolls. In the seventies I just mimicked what I heard on the records And everything was singles to me I had no rudiments.
 

GretschedHive

Gold Member
I haven't watched it yet, although I've seen many of his other videos, but the guy's professor of jazz drum set at the highly acclaimed University of North Texas, and has played with the likes of Christian McBride and Jimmy Heath and Hank Jones and so on, so it might be worth--for some people--actually taking the few minutes to see what he has to say rather than just going by the title. YMMV.
 

JimmyM

Platinum Member
I haven't watched it yet, although I've seen many of his other videos, but the guy's professor of jazz drum set at the highly acclaimed University of North Texas, and has played with the likes of Christian McBride and Jimmy Heath and Hank Jones and so on, so it might be worth--for some people--actually taking the few minutes to see what he has to say rather than just going by the title. YMMV.
Nah...that's too hard :) but the guy messed up with the clickbait title if that isn't what he meant.
 

GretschedHive

Gold Member
Nah...that's too hard :) but the guy messed up with the clickbait title if that isn't what he meant.
I'm with you! How dare these makers of videos give them titles which might entice people to watch! The unmitigated gall! (Would it really kill them to mitigate the gall at least slightly?) Next thing you'll be trying to tell me that album covers aren't always 100% accurate representations of the music inside!

And with that, I flounce off to listen to what I'm confident will be a collection of songs delivered by the dulcet tones of Frances Davis.

MilesDavis_SomedayMyPrinceWillCome.jpg
 
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jda

Well-known Member
that first song he plays to with headphones on, I recognize as Freddie the Freeloader from Miles Davis Kind of Blue

3:10
 

Caz

Senior Member
I’ve been trying exactly this on bass guitar.. I’ll let you know how it goes :)

On drums I’ve enjoyed being more of a nerd, sometimes I have to pull myself away from that and back into the real world. There are different levels to playing along with records though, for me listening is a big part of making it beneficial. This doesn’t need to be fully transcribing. I also feel for jazz it’s important to spend time with full albums as he says.. it’s good to really spend time with the musicians on that session.
 

Anon La Ply

Renegade
Playing along with records can help you be functional in your first jam. I'd been playing along with Machine Head for months and the first song up in my first ever jam happened to be Smoke on the Water.

But Arne is right. If you don't do the exercises, you can run into technical roadblocks later on. It's fine if your aim is to be functional, but it's hard for a self taught player to compete in a competitive field against trained players with steady time, great hands, feet and coordination and who can sight read. Some of the young players (by my standards) who have come out of music school blow my mind. Dirty Loops. Cory Wong's band. Louis Cole. Young players being able to access teaching resources online has definitely raised the bar, technically.

Tempo control and driving a band are two other issues if you're just playing with recordings. Players on records tend to keep steady time, so how do you handle it if another player in your band is rushing? Since I played along with records, I'd also play along with rushing players. Or I'd lead the charge haha.

The other issue is that, when you play along with records, it sounds good if your groove is roughly correct, even if it's as limp as a dead lettuce. IMO that balance of holding tempo while driving a band with the kind of energy that makes others want to play, with appropriate volume and tonal choices, can benefit from tuition and playing music with other people. At least as a foundation.

Gosh, that was long haha
 

lefty2

Platinum Member
I grew up playing along with Purple's made in Japan album. Machine Head was a constant in my brother's 8 track too.
 

Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Diamond Member
for me playing with records was the start.....but I did't get better until I took lessons and played in school band

so I think:
playing along to recorded music is 1/4th of the recipe
taking lessons and learning other styles and percussion instruments is 1/4
playing with live musicians 1/4
learning to read music is 1/4

take any of those away, and you are only the sum of what is left

the best drummers/musicians I have met/worked with are the ones who did not look for one "miracle cure" or easy path to playing
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
As far as building a usable 'library' of parts and fills, I'd agree that recordings are an excellent source for parts that producers and artists have deemed to be 'right' before releasing the tracks.

As for practicing along with recordings, it certainly doesn't hurt. But it's not a substitute for playing with live players. There's a dynamic between musicians playing together that doesn't exist when playing to a recording. For a drummer in particular, playing with other musicians is the goal, so practicing with other musicians is the way to achieve that.
This covers a lot of what I was going to say, but I also like to point out that there's a weird sense of things sounding better than they actually are when you're rocking away with your favorite band and drummer in your ear. At one point I started recording the room so I could listen back to my playing in isolation and let's just say it wasn't as rockin as it felt at the time.

One thing that can help with that is to get ahold of some play along tracks that have no drums so you're in charge of the drum part and not just "tracing" someone else's.
 

JimmyM

Platinum Member
I finally watched that video, and what he says makes perfect sense, but right after he tells you all the other stuff you need to practice in his classes, he says that playing with records is all you need to practice? Did he deliberately word it that way to stir the pot on drum sites? ;)

Killer drummer, though. Get past the clickbait and he’s got good tips for getting the best out of records.
 

GetAgrippa

Diamond Member
Playing along with records can help you be functional in your first jam. I'd been playing along with Machine Head for months and the first song up in my first ever jam happened to be Smoke on the Water.

But Arne is right. If you don't do the exercises, you can run into technical roadblocks later on. It's fine if your aim is to be functional, but it's hard for a self taught player to compete in a competitive field against trained players with steady time, great hands, feet and coordination and who can sight read. Some of the young players (by my standards) who have come out of music school blow my mind. Dirty Loops. Cory Wong's band. Louis Cole. Young players being able to access teaching resources online has definitely raised the bar, technically.

Tempo control and driving a band are two other issues if you're just playing with recordings. Players on records tend to keep steady time, so how do you handle it if another player in your band is rushing? Since I played along with records, I'd also play along with rushing players. Or I'd lead the charge haha.

The other issue is that, when you play along with records, it sounds good if your groove is roughly correct, even if it's as limp as a dead lettuce. IMO that balance of holding tempo while driving a band with the kind of energy that makes others want to play, with appropriate volume and tonal choices, can benefit from tuition and playing music with other people. At least as a foundation.

Gosh, that was long haha
Playing along with records can help you be functional in your first jam. I'd been playing along with Machine Head for months and the first song up in my first ever jam happened to be Smoke on the Water.

But Arne is right. If you don't do the exercises, you can run into technical roadblocks later on. It's fine if your aim is to be functional, but it's hard for a self taught player to compete in a competitive field against trained players with steady time, great hands, feet and coordination and who can sight read. Some of the young players (by my standards) who have come out of music school blow my mind. Dirty Loops. Cory Wong's band. Louis Cole. Young players being able to access teaching resources online has definitely raised the bar, technically.

Tempo control and driving a band are two other issues if you're just playing with recordings. Players on records tend to keep steady time, so how do you handle it if another player in your band is rushing? Since I played along with records, I'd also play along with rushing players. Or I'd lead the charge haha.

The other issue is that, when you play along with records, it sounds good if your groove is roughly correct, even if it's as limp as a dead lettuce. IMO that balance of holding tempo while driving a band with the kind of energy that makes others want to play, with appropriate volume and tonal choices, can benefit from tuition and playing music with other people. At least as a foundation.

Gosh, that was long haha
Grea nice to hear from you again- hope all is well. You are right about Cory Wong and Dirty loops. Following Nate Smith I discovered Fearless Flyers then following Cory Wong found Dirty loops. All of Cory’s work is fantastic. All aforementioned really good stuff. I hope you are still making music.
 

dcrigger

Senior Member
I think the guy is spot on. Don’t even think the title is all that click bait-y.

Don’t get me wrong - I love reading. I love the fantastic shortcut to learning music, that reading provides. And I love all of the short-cuts we have available to us in the form of educational materials - and advice and exercises and processes to utilize to more quickly become functional.

But there just is no mistaking that music is aural. Hearing sounds. Organizing sounds. Then producing similarly functioning sounds.

And I believe we are more than capable of learning entirely aurally - primarily through imitation. Heck - that’s exactly how we learn to speak and understand language.

And sure, just like with language - it’s a lot faster to make use of the resources available, than just trying to figure it all out by ear.

But it would be possible to do it that way.

And more importantly - it would be impossible to learn to play using just the books and exercises - because the technical study and exercises are entirely about HOW to play something - but give ZERO insight into “why?”.

This idea of learning a bunch of technique, a bunch of playing building blocks- along with listening and listening and listening to a bunch of music to attempt to grasp how and why to use those building blocks and then… somehow hoping that when playing with other musicians these two studies will come together - or that the time spent with other players is the time and place to starting working on putting it all together simply makes no sense to me.

Speaking for myself - after having acquired some basic technique (again, I’m not putting doing this the slowest way possible) - Harr 1&2, Chapin, some Stick Control - I primarily used “playing with records” as my guide to what I needed to learn.

If I wasn’t able to fully play something I had set my mind to playing - because it was too fast, or too complex or in a meter I didn’t have a handle on - I would paraphrase, simplify my part into something I could play. And then I would work on what I couldn’t do…. oftentimes by seeking out supplemental material to practice, but sometimes by just working on it day after day along with the music.

From there, it was rinse and repeat - from the time I was about 12 until now… I continue to let the music I want to play lead the way as to what to work on… what to get better at.

But going back to being age 13-14 - this meant, because of playing with a lot of records, when I first played with other players, I wasn’t just starting on playing music (combining technique with musical exposure)… I had done tons of that already. I used playing with players to hone those skills, not create them.

Before ever playing my first rehearsal with the school jazz band, I had logged in 100’s of hours playing alongside the drummers of the Basie, Rich, Ellington, Kenton, and Ellis bands.

Same bit - upon playing with my first rock band, I had again logged countless hours playing with Hendrix, the Fudge, the Doors, the Who, Blue Cheer, the Turtles, the Beatles, the Stones, the Ventures and on and on.

I can’t imagine playing any of those styles having just listened to them and not having extensively played them.

And I’m absolutely not talking about playing songs - early on I played with tons of bands they played songs I didn’t know. But I knew - because of the hours playing with similar records - what a drummer should sound like playing that song’s style. If there was a need to learn the specifics later - great. But first and foremost, it’s about learning the vocabulary of that style’s drumming and having some experiences with actually playing that style. This is how jams are successful and how auditions/try-outs are won. Being “good” overall - not just just in demonstrating the ability to “learn” 5 songs.

And all of this is times 100 when it comes to learning to play jazz - because is is NEVER about “playing it like the record” - the ability to be ever “in the moment” and to be able to work one’s way inside a musical setting is paramount.

Personally I know no other way to learn to do that - to practice doing that - except “playing along to records”. Not passively - but full involvement every time. Committing to really playing with that ensemble - like you were there on stage - on in the studio with them.

Sometimes as though the original drummer isn’t there - sometimes as though, he is - but always learning from him, using him as a source of “this is how I did it - now, figure out what you’re going to do. Copy me exactly. Or do your own thing” Or both. It’s our choice. The whole point is to experience trying a number of things and discerning which ones we think work better or worse.

I can’t recommend enough - that everyone should watch this video.
 

opentune

Platinum Member
I don't understand the video.
2:54 - "technique, rudiments, independence are all super super super important"
3:00 - "however, the only way you have to practice is playing to music"
A sort of oxymoron. How can you do [2:54] ......without practicing [2:54]?

Just about everybody has to acquire some basic technique, but that in itself requires practicing technique.
 

jda

Well-known Member
What Starclassic series- maple?_ is he playing there..
 

C. Dave Run

Gold Member
There are two distinctly different things in practice and music.

Practice is refining your tools, honing your skills, sharpening your blade if you will. This is where we intentionally set out to learn or improve.

Playing music is utilizing those tools and skills. Its putting everything to work. This is not the learning process, rather the outcome of said learning.

People who dont want to practice and only play the music, there is nothing wrong with that. Just know that those of us who do like to practice, we can tell you dont.
 

Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Diamond Member
There are two distinctly different things in practice and music.

Practice is refining your tools, honing your skills, sharpening your blade if you will. This is where we intentionally set out to learn or improve.

Playing music is utilizing those tools and skills. Its putting everything to work. This is not the learning process, rather the outcome of said learning.

People who dont want to practice and only play the music, there is nothing wrong with that. Just know that those of us who do like to practice, we can tell you dont.

yeah...it is like learning...and application

and even in application there is learning, but that is a different kind of learning

but saying that there is only one way to become a good artist is instantly limiting
 
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