The importance of being realistic about time frames

Push pull stroke

Platinum Member
I have observed that real, deep improvements in my playing have taken many years, and have often happened so slowly that I didn’t even notice day-to-day (or even week-to-week) progress. Learning a song or a piece of music can happen in just a few days if I’ve got a gig coming up and am really motivated. But fundamental skills like fast linear playing, deep groove, power/control/speed, all seem to improve very slowly. Some of that is never being given a really solid technical foundation (the world of hand technique instruction is littered with mouthy idiots), but I think some of it is just that the fundamentals are tough to perform really well, especially if you want hands like Morello, linear skills like Weckl, groove like Purdie, etc..

But who else to aspire to be like? YouTube is just a click away *shrug*
 

Bozozoid

Well-known member
One of the comments by JoJo Mayer on his dvd was that...concerning a particular technique for the hands that for some it may take 7 days..some 7 months. I didn't want to hear that. I wanted it to be less vague in that you can achieve this in 11 hours exactly. I want an exact time frame as to when my hands will perform a given technique. Can't have it..you get it when you get it more or less. I don't want that..i want it concrete that in 2 days and 36 minutes your double stroke roll will mirror his.
 

Old PIT Guy

Well-known member
I definitely ignored the process for a some time. And really, it's all about the process because the end of one is the start of another.

A turning point for me was much less emphasis on specific areas of improvement unless it's something I need to shift the entirety of my playing. You get into the Blushdas and BD substitutions and leading with both hands it's because your drumming has shifted to finding ways to play the phrases you hear more musically and less about how smooth or fast this or that is. Those things are important too, but I find it's a sort of you get what you need thing if you're immersed in phraseology. Some of those changes can happen fast. And some of them slow because what you need requires remediation in order to accomplish it. This is a process I wish I'd found earlier.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
I'm not on board with wanting X amount of progress in X amount of time.

To me it's sidestepping all the beauty of the process in favor of quantifiable numbers.

It takes what it takes. Everyone is different. Tunnel vision-ing on the prize...I miss all the great stuff I'm ignoring.

I'll get to the prize when I get there. Meanwhile the present moment is really the only important moment in my life. It's the only thing I have some measure of control over.

I try to be aware that the present moment is all I really have.

My future depends on how good I do with the present moment
 

Push pull stroke

Platinum Member
Feet and speed like Longstreth or Kollias. Smooth 16ths like Porcaro. Bank account like Ulrich.
Well, I actually meant that, in the internet age, it’s easy to try to push ourselves to almost-unattainable standards, and we can be made miserable if we’re not careful to be realistic that it takes 5 years to get blazing fast feet, 15 years to get groove like Purdie, etc.. However, thanks for offering me those names. lol
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Do blazing fast feet really matter?

For me not in the least. I'll take fast hands though. I just don't care for that many BD notes from a drummer. TBH, I just want to be able to touch people's emotions in a way that makes them think. That never required blazing fast feet in the past. I'm not interested in a gymnastic workout, I want to play music that I don't have to do aerobic exercises to accomplish

I want to be just like ME as a drummer, not anyone else. I have my own ideas thank you very much. And they are not that great. But they are mine.

I'd rather focus on what I do bring to the table rather than what I can't.

I had a great compliment once where a young man said I was inspiring because what I played wasn't the big show off approach. I mainly just do what I do, play the song, provide a great feeling beat, use my experience, don't stick out, and make it as easy as I can for the guys out front. Well this one guy noticed. I think I took a lot of pressure off a young drummer that night.
 
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pocket player

Junior Member
Do blazing fast feet really matter?

For me not in the least. I'll take fast hands though. I just don't care for that many BD notes from a drummer. TBH, I just want to be able to touch people's emotions in a way that makes them think. That never required blazing fast feet in the past. I'm not interested in a gymnastic workout, I want to play music that I don't have to do aerobic exercises to accomplish

I want to be just like ME as a drummer, not anyone else. I have my own ideas thank you very much.

I'd rather focus on what I do bring to the table rather than what I can't.

I had a great compliment once where a young man said I was inspiring because what I played wasn't the big show off approach. I mainly just do what I do, play the song, provide a great feeling beat, use my experience, don't stick out, and make it as easy as I can for the guys out front. Well this one guy noticed. I think I took a lot of pressure off a young drummer that night.
WEll Said, i needed to hear that !! thanks
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
Drumming is a journey with no endpoint because it’s all about the journey really- life long learning.
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
This describes you to a "T" Art.

Art is a journey with no endpoint. It's all about the journey really- life long learning
Wow Larry I’m taking that as a compliment. Thanks man. I see the life long learner in you too.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
Well, I actually meant that, in the internet age, it’s easy to try to push ourselves to almost-unattainable standards, and we can be made miserable if we’re not careful to be realistic that it takes 5 years to get blazing fast feet, 15 years to get groove like Purdie, etc.. However, thanks for offering me those names. lol
Ah, I get it. I'm with Uncle Larry then, the length of time matters not to me. Every little piece of improvement to reach the end goal is equally if not more important (to me) than actually getting there. Being blinded by the final reward will make one miss all the little things on the way.

Feet for example. If ones goal is to get to 240bpm 16ths, should they only be happy when they get there? I say no, enjoy being able to go 1bpm faster today than yesterday. Eventually all those days will string together and 240 (the goal) wont seem such a big deal any more, and will probably lead to another goal.

It's like that saying about smelling roses along the way. If your eyes are only set on the prize, you miss everything else. Theres lots of good stuff to be found in the journey if one just looks around.
 

moodman

Well-known member
I started Stick Control in 1970, before long I could start my fills with either hand but I had to think about it, sometime in the last few years I find I do this without thinking about. I Started playing and soloing in 5/4 in 1964, always copying Morello, now I am more than at home in 5/4 and have my own beats, solos, I own it, but it took 40 years.
I'm sure many players progress a lot faster, but it is true that many things only come with time & dedication and everybody will do it differently.
 

rhumbagirl

Senior Member
Generally speaking, I think time frames matter more the younger you are, because the younger you are, the more branch points there are that are still viable career paths. After 30, no one is calling you for a punk rock gig. After 40, the Bon Jovi tribute act no longer calls. After 50, the country gigs are gone. That leaves blues and jazz.

Somewhere between 20 and 30, you may be going to college and/or working more than one job to make ends meet. Double kick technique might matter more to you. Before 20, especially for beginner drummers today, you might want to get good enough to put something on your YouTube channel.

I'm almost 55 and I've come to realize I'll probably die one day not having made the credits on someone's album. That said, I still practice as often as I can, more like going through the motions to keep the parts moving, concentrating on technique for the most part.
 

Jeff Almeyda

Senior Consultant
Generally speaking, I think time frames matter more the younger you are, because the younger you are, the more branch points there are that are still viable career paths. After 30, no one is calling you for a punk rock gig. After 40, the Bon Jovi tribute act no longer calls. After 50, the country gigs are gone. That leaves blues and jazz.

Somewhere between 20 and 30, you may be going to college and/or working more than one job to make ends meet. Double kick technique might matter more to you. Before 20, especially for beginner drummers today, you might want to get good enough to put something on your YouTube channel.

I'm almost 55 and I've come to realize I'll probably die one day not having made the credits on someone's album. That said, I still practice as often as I can, more like going through the motions to keep the parts moving, concentrating on technique for the most part.
I guess I’m the outlier. I’m 54 and I get called for metal tours requiring 200 bpm plus double bass.
I’ve toured more after 45 than before.
Back to the OP, yes, i agree totally. I’ve been working with Dave DiCenso for the past year and truly achieving real progress, especially after you’ve been at this awhile, takes time and patience.
When I was a kid, my hands practice routine for an hour session had a dozen exercises, now it’s maybe two.
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
I want to be just like those faceless players I hear on the XM country music stations. No flash. Nothing fancy. Just solid timekeeping and perfectly supporting songs that people love.

I’m always the biggest guy in any band, and I play the loudest instrument. The less I stick out the better.
 

Otto

Platinum Member
I find the greatest satisfaction I get from gaining some facility is usually not from the thing itself...but from some unexpected effect...like consistent quiet bass drum ghost notes I thought I could never achieve evolving from rudiment practice moved from hands to double bass...or a clean feel coming out of nowhere to find it was that 4 hr stint I put in a few years ago to develop some obscure artificial grouping sensation.

Never know when it comes back out to give yourself a 'whoa...where did that gem come from..."

Time is never wasted...it finds a way to make itself known for it essence.
 

doggyd69b

Well-known member
what I played wasn't the big show off approach. I mainly just do what I do, play the song, provide a great feeling beat, use my experience, don't stick out, and make it as easy as I can for the guys out front.
I don't usually like drum solos for that reason and because a lot of them are not musical at all, and FFS don't go for more than 2 min... anything longer is akin to torture.

I play to serve the song and if the opportunity presents itself I would add an accent (with a splash, ride or HH, or a small roll) but never to show off, I'm way too old for that.
 

EricT43

Senior Member
I find the greatest satisfaction I get from gaining some facility is usually not from the thing itself...but from some unexpected effect...like consistent quiet bass drum ghost notes I thought I could never achieve evolving from rudiment practice moved from hands to double bass...or a clean feel coming out of nowhere to find it was that 4 hr stint I put in a few years ago to develop some obscure artificial grouping sensation.

Never know when it comes back out to give yourself a 'whoa...where did that gem come from..."

Time is never wasted...it finds a way to make itself known for it essence.
This is a great insight, and it hits home for me. I've been playing for a while and I've hit a plateau of sorts with my playing. I've never been very quick around the kit, and for the last few years I've been thinking about speed a lot, for the hands and the feet. Well, to get faster, I need to polish my technique, to make it smoother and more effortless. So I've been working on that. Building my weak hand, things of that nature. Several years later, I don't feel like I've gained much in terms of speed, ironically. But my stroke is better, and the drums sound better when I hit them than they did 3 years ago. I'm more relaxed and I enjoy it more.

I recently played a St. Patrick's Day gig at a bar where they had 7 or 8 bands all using the same beat-up PDP drum kit. The sound engineer told me that the drums sounded better when I was playing them, clean and punchy. If that's the result of 3 years of working on "speed", then I'll take it!
 
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