Hey Jessica, no I really never played professionally. You can go to http://www.themusicianfinder.com This might be helpful. Now remember rural doesn't mean abandoned. Gretchen Wilson came from a very small town. Ambition, dedication and hard work though. Bass players have always been hard to find & keep. Good luck!
Hi Jessica, Yeah Rudiments are the fundamentals. I'm 44 soon to be 45 and was heavily involved on another drummers site, but was really the only active female and things got to be pretty heavy..Great Guys, But certain things got in the way.. anyway I learned a ton from them..and miss them so much, but I can't go back, so I'm ttrying to find a place where I can chat drums and feel safe.
If you have any questions at all, I do all I can to help. Melinda
Yes. I've seen the electronic ones and they will def be a good choice if I can use headphones! I am pretty sure my neighbors will be a little upset if I start jamming in the middle of the night. Thank you very much for everything! TTYL
have you ever heard of Pauline Oliveros? She's an amazing composer who developed Deep Listening as a creative practice for musicians and others who want to expand creativity/consciousness through listening and related practices. The Deep Listening website is: www.deeplistening.org
There are lots of Deep Listeners in california. you can join the DL google group to get in touch with them.
happy new year!
jessica - you are a good player! your hand drumming skills are really impressive and you have a great sense of rhythm... yeah, ask away - i need to think about what i'm learning as well, and it helps to analyze the whys and hows.
i'm ear trained as well - i'm so glad of that - i think it's much more important than reading, though we need to read as well.
when you were playing on the video with the bongos, were you improvising?
do you know of the Born to Drum camp? i'm thinking of registering this year, and am looking for feedback from people who have attended... google it - i can't remember the website address - born to drum.something (net or org)
I think everyone is doing something different, but I guess largely it's probably based on what is in their muscle memory when they are improvising solos - so yeah, rudiments and beats (or rhythmic feels - grooves) would probably be the norm for soloing.
Soloing has never been my strength - I like playing WITH people, but folks are impressed by the crazy busy soloing.
Do you play in a band? I think that's really the key to getting out of your head and in to your body (feeling it).
If you aren't playing with anyone, I suggest finding some friends to play with. Don't worry about your skill level - people are always looking for drummers and you have lots to offer both technically and creatively. Any band would be lucky to have you with your interest in hand and stick percussion and the experience you have in all types of rhythms and feels.
let me know if you are ever in NC!
Your message was perfect timing. I have a question for you - my bass player is dying to play out somewhere asap. I'm on the fence. The rhythm and lead guitars want to get perfect on what we're going to play before we get out in front of people. What's your take on it? I haven't watched too many open mics so I don't know how perfect you have to be. Part of me thinks we need to be really tight on our music so that if someone is watching who could actually offer a gig we won't have to say, "well, these 2 or 3 songs are all we can do right now." In answer to your question, we play some improvised stuff which is actually the best stuff we play because we have an awesome lead guitar and then we play some standard stuff but even that tends to drift a bit from the original (which is good because I don't really know all of it, so I just go with the flow.)
Don't apologize for being long-winded. I'm incapable of short messages, too. My bass player and I are going to check out a local open mic soon and then if we feel we can do that will lean on our band to get them to play out. Although my instructor commented that he hated open mics because they were usually packed with musicians watching like hawks for any screwups. He said he enjoyed playing gigs more because there might not even be one musician in the bunch - just people who enjoy hearing music. The advice he gave me was to just have a really solid beat and not worry so much about fills, etc., just kind of frame the rest of the band (my words, not his). Of course, easier said than done - being new at this, I am very aware that I don't have much in my "bag of tricks" to pull out even when I realize the song calls for it. I guess that's where practice and lessons and books will help - add to my bag of tricks. I haven't done any videos yet, don't really want it recorded at this point, although we do record our practices. I know what you mean about listening to CDs and not necessarily playing along with them. I find it too intimidating trying to get every beat the way someone else has it. I get bogged down with the details. I want to get the basic beat and play it in a way that is comfortable to me so when I've gotten CDs I listen more than I play - like you. Okay - I have to comment - I am sitting here at the computer listening to sleet outside my window. Bizarre - this is North Carolina and just the other week we had 60 & 70's weather. The one good thing about being a drummer (unless you are trying to make a living at it) is that according to Craig's List everyone is always looking for drummers and bass players. Which gives you a foot in the door and people tend to try to work with you while you're learning (unless they're ready to play gigs immediately). My band is still "with me" so I'm doing my best to work at improving every week to be "worthy" (dumb word but the best I could think of) of playing with them. Some weeks I think I sound great, some weeks I find myself losing the beat right in the middle - usually because I know I should play a fill there and I'm trying to think of one and then oops I stopped playing because I was thinking too hard. Another quote from my instructor "if you have to think of what to play, don't play it." I guess that means if your muscle memory doesn't just naturally put it in, you'd better leave it out. I can't wait to get to that point where my hands will actually kick in on their own sometimes. Playing drums is the hardest thing I've ever worked at but also the most fun. I'm obsessed with it.
Ah - I knew I liked you. I was very much into writing myself until one day I decided I wasn't having fun anymore with it. Felt too much like pressure. Although periodically I tell myself that if the drumming totally bombs some day I could always use these experiences in a book. I think part of what I like about drumming is the contrast - I'm a calm, mostly quiet type person, yet I can make this huge noise and it's just another part of my personality.
Books - actually I have no idea what books my instructor uses as he tends to give me only a page at a time. He did work with me on a couple of Green Day songs that I did like. He tried to work on Superstition and on Message in a Bottle which were both a bit out of my league at the time (and still are). Personally, I like the Fast Track books - the second one especially - as there are "songs" in there that sound really good when you get them down and when I play them it gives me confidence that I will be able to someday play longer songs with that kind of feel and fills. I also have two of the Fast Track Song Books - I've been working on "Gloria" (you know, the old G-L-O-R-I-A song) to work on my speed. Another favorite of mine is Fast Forward Rock Solid Drum Patterns. It's obviously more rock, but I've actually been able to recognize the beats in the book in some music I listen to which makes it easier to play.
My band plays a lot of blues type music and another book I'm working out of is Blues Drum Basics by Tom Brechtlein. One of the songs in there is the first one I played completely - probably because it was only 56 bpm. My speed has improved with other songs, but that first song gave me some confidence as far as getting into the feel of the song. My other habit is getting magazines like Drum!, Rhythm and Modern Drummer and pulling out some of their music sections and keeping the ones I like the sound of to work on in my practices. I tend to like syncopated beats (although I don't play them a lot yet). And there's a book or two I keep around just to work on playing with all limbs that I use when my playing sounds like crap and I just want to hit drums without sounding bad. Do you have any favorites to recommend? Sometimes I feel like learning drums is a really scattered experience but I'm just believing all these things I am working on will all gel one day. My instructor, as I probably indicated, is awesome. I choose to believe him whenever he says I am doing well and he keeps stressing that drums are an ongoing process and as long as you keep working on things you will get better. It gives me enough hope every week to keep looking forward and working at things. My only hint to myself is not to constantly go on you tube to watch others because although it's inspiring at times, it can also depress me when I see how far I am from where I want to be. But if you read interviews in drum magazines, even the really good players feel like that at times.
Keep in touch. It's great to bounce this off somebody else in the same place, isn't it?
I think you hit on another key thing when you said you would play the fills like you mean them. My instructor was skimming through the cd of one of my jams and I said "Oh - don't listen to that one. They wanted me to play that beat and I thought it sounded all wrong." And he listed for a minute and said, "No, that beat works fine. But it's the way you're playing it - I can tell you don't feel comfortable with it." In other words, if I had played it with authority and intention it would've sounded just right. I was putting in all my doubt and hesitation about that particular beat so it didn't do what it needed to do. It just sounded wimpy. So playing like I mean it is one of my goals, too, and not just for fills.
Jessica - It's fun saying "my band", isn't it? Actually, my bass player, my husband and I went out last night to check out open mics. It seems like Tuesday is the most popular night for open mic. There's a place called First Round Draft where a bunch of the folks from the blues club have started an open mic. I was talking to the guy who runs the open mic and asking him about the set up and he was saying, "oh, we've got everything here - drums, amps, pa system. All you have to do is bring your guitar - in fact, you can play my guitar." And when I said that I was the drummer, eyebrows went up and it was "wow - cool. A girl drummer" I believe I'll get applause for just playing a four on the floor beat. :) It didn't look like too bad of a set up - plus the drums were tucked back in a dark corner so I could hide. It sounds like we'll have to have 4 or 5 songs ready though - we were thinking of 3 or so. I also found out why our lead guitar might be reluctant to play out - he'd apparently been in a bad accident and still has some short term memory issues. If you get him started on the song he's good, but sometimes he forgets how to start.
(I apologize in advance, but this is going to be a book, I think. I have lots to say). The second place my husband and I checked out was in Charlotte, but we didn't go in because we realized it was in more of a drug and mugger neighborhood - besides if we invited people we'd probably have to limit it to 1 person apiece and have them carpool - it was that small.
Before I left work yesterday, I was talking to one of the girls saying that it was too bad I couldn't check out this other open mic in South Carolina because it sounded great. They had great equipment - even lights and soundboard and if they liked you they invite you back and showcase you on another night. She asked me the name of it and I said, "The Money" and she goes "Girl! That's a strip joint!" Wouldn't that have been a shocker if we'd just showed up with friends and family! I about died laughing.
We had a good jam on Saturday - I felt like we all sounded good and I was working in extra cymbals and the open/close high hat stuff. The only one I kept totally bombing on was "White Room" And I totally hit the wall after four hours - we were actually working on White Room and there's a fill part where I hit a flam and then two kicks on the bass and another flam and I hit the first flam, kicked once and just couldn't pick my foot up again for the second bass kick. Now THAT is tired! Usually we just comment that we need to be ending and then end up playing three more songs. That was it for me right there. But it was a good night.
Have fun with your band - have they got a name? We're still tossing names around - these guys are nuts but I have to admit very creative!
(I just realized I hit the wrong button and posted this whole thing on my own site - tech-impaired, I guess)