So you’re a drummer, a skinsman, a stickman, the basher, the smasher. And you want to improve, build up your grove, tighten your timing and deliver some mean fills and thrills. Basically, you’re asking the following question:
What to do to become a better drummer
The answer to that question is an intricate one and can only be answered by you, although a few basic guidelines can be set up so you can have a clear picture of the essence of the vision you’re supposed to have and the type of stance you’re supposed to take. So, Number 1 advice, Numero Uno, the big one goes:
Be on time
In every aspect, way and view, be on time, always. First of all, take a more serious stance towards you band and music and don’t let anything change it. Don’t be late for rehearsals, don’t show up late, don’t be a smartass, don’t jam like a buffoon while someone in the band is trying to speak and don’t pretend you’re John Bonham because you’re not, your timing is probably bad and you’re probably not hitting those cans too properly either.
The other aspect of being on time is during playing. You ought to get yourself a metronome and practice away. No, you shouldn’t sound like a sterile machine, but your timing should be accurate enough to deliver the groove throughout the song. And that’s pretty precise. And speaking of practice, the next step goes something like this:
Don’t doodle and jam like a mindless monkey! Make the most out of your practice time. Set up goals, know what you are doing. If you want to master a specific pattern, song, groove, tempo, style or beat, focus on it, set up an achievement-like system and don’t cheat. Until you’ve truly mastered it, you cannot proceed to the next goal.
Practice sessions don’t need to be long either, only efficient and well planned. And here’s another trick – every band practice (once again, an efficient one) is worth 10 times more that solo house practice. And every live show in front of people is worth 10 times more than band practice. You’re a drummer, so you should also master basic calculating functions and do the math here.
Become a better drummer by exploring and being open-minded
This goes for all types of musicians, but also for drummers – be open minded and don’t be afraid to follow the music you feel you like, rather than limit yourself by genre boundaries. You shouldn’t push things too far and force variety, you should just explore as much as possible until you have found yourself.
It is only then, and when you’ve technically mastered drums enough to express yourself that you can develop a unique stamp everyone is dreaming of. That stamp is acquired by about 0.1% of all drummers in the world, if not less, so buckle up, it’s a long ride.
Strive towards music, not technicality
Music, song, tune, track, jam, that’s the key, not showing off in front of your friends. You need to keep a song in mind, and think about what you can do to contribute to the song, rather that how can the song be shaped up to feature a 20-minute drum wankfest.
When you think of your favorite bands before you became obsessed with wankfests (which can be pretty cool, yes, but only if done with taste, style, finesse and grace), as well as all-time favorites of many folks around the world, you should realize that the point of music is to resonate within the listener.
How to become a better drummer – Conclusion
So there you have it, the steps on how to become a better drummer. But the secret ingredient is working, and that would be your personal magic and musical stamp. If you keep all these in mind and actually work and not sit on your ass in front of a computer or stare at a mobile device, you just might progress.
So get off the aforementioned rear and behind the practice kit, it’s not going to practice itself.