Advertise With Us
Drumming: What's Your Favorite Flavor?
Are you a disciplined person? Do you enjoy reading music? Are you a creative type that enjoys free style playing?
Whether you choose to play drums for a hobby or to make a living, there are many alternatives to sitting behind a drum set. Some are more creative than others. It all depends on what you're looking for.
Here's how to find the best drumming job for you.
Once you have decided that you want to become a drumset player, the next step will be to decide what musical style or styles you want to play. You can either specialize in a specific musical style or expand your horizons and work with more than one style.
People who tell you to specialize will usually cite the old saying, "Jack of all trades, master of none" as their motto. They'll explain how it is "impossible" to become an expert in more than more discipline. Don't believe them! You are capable of becoming an expert in as many disciplines as you take the time to study. So whether you decide to specialize in one musical style or many, it's purely up to you.
I highly recommend that you expose yourself to as many styles of music as you can. That's the only way you're going to find out what you really like and what you have an affinity for. (For more information on musical styles, see my article, There's Gold in Them Thar' Rhythms! in the sidebar on this page.)
If you plan on working with one band for your entire career, than reading is not that important for you as a drumset player. However, if you would like to become a freelancer (that is, work with various musicians) or recording studio drummer, you'll definitely need to tweak up your reading chops. (Check out my Tiger Reading series of articles in the sidebar for more on that.)
Also, depending on the musical style you choose, creativity could be a plus or a minus.
If you tend to be extremely creative and you don't like to play repetitive grooves, look into jazz and jazz-fusion styles. They will allow you the most freedom to play what you feel. Most of the other styles are more or less limited to following a written drum part and usually allow creativity only on certain drum fills and breaks.
Snare drums are not all you will run across in a drum corps, there are cymbals, bass drums, various sized tenor-toms, and a whole range of marching tympani, bells, marimbas, etc.
Good reading ability is very important to the marching percussionist. Consistency and uniformity is the key to a good drum corps player. There is no room for personal creativity.
Reading is of the utmost importance to the orchestral percussionist, as is discipline. If you tend to be the creative type, you won't be happy working in an orchestra.
Warning: Although this music is considered creative and some ensembles may give you the opportunity to solo and play your own thing, many adhere strictly to the written chart.
World Percussion and Ethnic Drumming
Depending on the band you're in, the ability to read music may or may not be a requirement.
Something For Everyone
Until next time: Stay loose.
Become a Free Member of the largest, most Comprehensive Drum Site on the Web
Learn TigerBill's Innovative Tension Free Drumming and take your chops to the next level
Get TigerBill's Free Info-Packed Newsletter, Monthly Chances to Win Valuable Drum Stuff
& Much More...
* S I D E B A R *
Related Links on Site
Related Links on Web