Drumming is an art, just like any other creative pursuit, and it takes practice, dedication and motivation to become a great drummer. Being inspired to drum can come from many places – a drummer from a favorite band, a family member who plays a djembe or even just the mystical draw of rhythm itself. No matter how or where a person first began drumming, it can appear the road to greatness is lined with challenges, obstacles and mistakes. But, ultimately, getting there is half the fun… right?
Diversity and flexibility - the range of any musician rests solely on his or her ability to branch out into other forms of music. The addition of Latin sounds to rock has spurred the drumming careers several of today’s modern drummers. By learning the basics of different genres, your own style and creativity will develop formidably, and you’ll be able to astonish audiences who can’t help but ask you to, “play some Skynyrd.”
Understanding the phrase – music is the aural representation of a written story, in a sense. There is a beginning, rising action, climax, falling action and resolution to any song. Great drummers understand the role that rhythm plays in the phrasing of a song, how to build excitement and end a song on an emotional note. You are the drivers of the musical experience; you are the creation of music itself. No pressure.
Steady confidence – not only is drumming a basis for time-keeping in a song, but, it is also the foundation for the other instruments. By understanding and mastering rudiments and drumming techniques, not only can a drummer keep a song’s rhythm steady, but, the other musicians can easily rise to their fullest potential, knowing the drummer has created a strong foundation. Plus, you get to decide when the song ends. That’s power.
Warming up – drumming is a physical activity that engages the entire body. Because of this, it is important to loosen up those muscles for your own comfort, as well as for the benefit of the song. Warming up before drumming increases your chances at not only sounding better, but, looking better. Nobody wants to see a drummer painfully hunched over the drum set, it just ruins the vibe.
While any drummer can probably add a few more mistakes they have seen or experienced to the list, ultimately, drumming is not only a passion, but, a reason to pursue excellence. Many drummers get pulled into the vortex, seeking the “cool” status that drumming creates. But, it is those great drummers who go beyond the mystique and truly dedicate themselves to the craft that are remembered forever.