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Thread: Advice needed: New student for lessons

  1. #1

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    Default Advice needed: New student for lessons

    So I got a call from a local music store that I do business with, and they had a guy who has experience drumming, but has never played Gospel/Worship music. He has been asked to play at his church. He told me he can keep a beat, but has always played heavy metal, and Gospel/Worship music is quite reserved for him. He said he is struggling with keeping time when trying to do fills during a song. His church doesn't use a click track or sheet music. I've got some ideas for him, but am open to any suggestions you guys may have as well.

    My first idea is to sit him down and see exactly what he knows. Secondly, I want to play some popular songs without drum tracks and show him how I would play them, but also give him an opportunity to play and see how he does during the song and give pointers from there.

    What other suggestions would you guys offer?
    Six piece birch Mapex kit, a Black Panther Blade snare drum, Sabian cymbals, and Vater Drumsticks.

  2. #2

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    Default Re: Advice needed: New student for lessons

    Update

    We just finished up. He can keep a beat, bit striggles with rudiments and stick control. He was using his entire arm to play, so we worked on wrist techniques and rudiments.
    Six piece birch Mapex kit, a Black Panther Blade snare drum, Sabian cymbals, and Vater Drumsticks.

  3. #3

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    I was in the same exact situation as your "student". I came from a classic rock/heavy metal background and I offered my drumming to a worship team. They knew from the get-go that I never played any secular music and my last band pretty much played for beer.

    The laid back attitude the team had towards the songs was the key to my success. Some teams don't share that attitude and I don't think I would of lasted as long as I did if it were any different. No charts and sometime no set list until I got to the church on Sunday. I had to learn on the fly many times which made me a better drummer.

    Youtube videos helped but the group never followed the original version of any song we played and they were proud of that fact so the videos only helped in a limited way.

    Here's what they did for me:

    Hand signals- The group leader and I established a few subtle hand signals that were given to me like a catcher signals a pitcher on what next pitch to throw. He usually flashed them down low not to cause any attention. I knew enough of each song to keep the tempo but the hand signals cued me on where the dynamics were at in each song.

    Examples of hand signs:

    The hand making a fist- End of song coming up next measure.

    The hand crawling up the web like a spider- Build the dynamics up.

    The hand crawling down the spider web- Bring the dymanics down. Go quiet!

    The hand motion like your shifting gears- Four on the floor- disco beat.

    As silly as these hand signals seem, they really helped me grasp where the pocket was and it didn't take me long to realize most of the songs shared the same pattern of dynamics and phrasing.

  4. #4

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    We use a lot of hand signals in our church as well. At the same time, we have been playing together long enough that we can go without cues as well because we can "feel" where the song is going.

    I told him tonight that there is nothing wrong with just sitting in the pocket while playing a song he doesn't really know. He doesn't have to play fills and be fancy. You can add all of the cool stuff after he learns the songs. He struggles with rolls and paradiddles, so we are working on those also. He can keep time, but he has a lapse when he attempts a fill, almost like he isn't sure of himself, but that lapse throws the beat off. I am working on having him simplify things, and will build him up from there.
    Six piece birch Mapex kit, a Black Panther Blade snare drum, Sabian cymbals, and Vater Drumsticks.

  5. #5

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    I think you have him headed in the right direction. The best thing he can do is listen to as much of that particular type of music as he can. The more the style gets in his head, the more comfortable he'll be. On the fills, maybe keeping them on the snare and hi-hat to start will help him stay in time during the fill and build his confidence(?).
    -Brian

    "Too many crappy used drum stuff to list"

    Play the SONG......not the DRUMS!!!

    "I think that feeling is a lot more important than technique. It's all very well doing a triple paradiddle - but who's going to know you've done it? If you play technically you sound like everybody else. It's being original that counts." ~ John Bonham

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by DrumWhipper View Post
    We use a lot of hand signals in our church as well. At the same time, we have been playing together long enough that we can go without cues as well because we can "feel" where the song is going.
    Yeah that works if you know the material and like you said most of you have been playing together long enough now you can go without cues and go by "feel" but I needed them to guide me through each arrangement since I wasn't familiar with any modern secular music. I had to wing it every Sunday and the drummer I replaced had to get back on the kit when I finally left the team and moved on to another church.

    The most important lesson I learned from my short stint at church was I had to play quiet so not to upset the elders. I got many compliments on my dynamics. I played a lot on the bell of the cymbals to create the "church bell" sound. It was very effective.

    What I found most challenging were the arrangements to the songs, especially during the "call to worship" portion of the service where the group leader may extend the ending to keep the "vibe" going as people are walking up to the front of the sanctuary.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by late8 View Post
    Yeah that works if you know the material and like you said most of you have been playing together long enough now you can go without cues and go by "feel" but I needed them to guide me through each arrangement since I wasn't familiar with any modern secular music. I had to wing it every Sunday and the drummer I replaced had to get back on the kit when I finally left the team and moved on to another church.

    The most important lesson I learned from my short stint at church was I had to play quiet so not to upset the elders. I got many compliments on my dynamics. I played a lot on the bell of the cymbals to create the "church bell" sound. It was very effective.

    What I found most challenging were the arrangements to the songs, especially during the "call to worship" portion of the service where the group leader may extend the ending to keep the "vibe" going as people are walking up to the front of the sanctuary.
    We have the people coming to the front thing going also. Our leader simply points one finger and rolls it over, meaning to keep going lol
    Six piece birch Mapex kit, a Black Panther Blade snare drum, Sabian cymbals, and Vater Drumsticks.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by DrumWhipper View Post
    We have the people coming to the front thing going also. Our leader simply points one finger and rolls it over, meaning to keep going lol
    That's exactly what our guy did too.

    This is what they were using before I showed up:

    433017E1-17D2-4C7B-A3DC-4B78C8757BA5_zpsodzkfbix.jpg

    357890BD-C5DB-4968-92EA-FE3490FC69C2_zpspe1xfu1q.jpg

    This is what I brought in:

    62881387-4F7B-404D-8C1B-5D38F9B12019_zpsfbazxnr9.jpg

    1AB4DCE3-5CD4-4400-A62D-3B1EA664B200_zpskwoqwshp.jpg

  9. #9

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    They probably didn't know how to act when a real kit showed up lol
    Six piece birch Mapex kit, a Black Panther Blade snare drum, Sabian cymbals, and Vater Drumsticks.

  10. #10

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    I pulled my kit when I found this broken stick the following Sunday. It was obvious that somebody was playing the kit besides me so I went back to playing that beat up SP lol!

    1DB3F3F6-E068-4F00-8AAC-474399A7FD25_zpsv41gin6o.jpg

  11. #11

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    Default Re: Advice needed: New student for lessons

    Who could blame you ?
    The evidence speaks.................someone playing the kit..................with excessive force.
    Gretsch USA & Zildjian
    (What Else Would I Ever Need ?)


  12. #12

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    Especially when both the tip and the shaft are broken lol
    Six piece birch Mapex kit, a Black Panther Blade snare drum, Sabian cymbals, and Vater Drumsticks.

  13. #13

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    Default Re: Advice needed: New student for lessons

    Quote Originally Posted by late8 View Post
    I pulled my kit when I found this broken stick the following Sunday. It was obvious that somebody was playing the kit besides me so I went back to playing that beat up SP lol!

    1DB3F3F6-E068-4F00-8AAC-474399A7FD25_zpsv41gin6o.jpg
    Oh man. That’s rough. You are definitely more trusting than I am to leave your collectors kit there.

    Did you consider taking the cymbals, pedals, and sticks home with you when you were done? That may have prevented people from beating on your set. But still, I would loose sleep over leaving a kit like that in a public space.

  14. #14

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    So here is todays situation. Student has a set list of songs from his church. They are really simple songs (to me anyways), but instead of wanting to work on them, he wants to work on some Metallica songs lol. Now, I have no issue being paid to help him learn Metallica songs if that is what he wants to pay for, but he wants me to show up at his church on Sunday morning while the praise team practices, and help him learn the songs and give pointers for playing the songs then. I feel like I know what I need to do in regards to telling him that we need to work on what he will actually be playing in front of a congregation on Sunday, and we can add all of the extras later, but I want to make sure I do it professionally and with tact.
    Six piece birch Mapex kit, a Black Panther Blade snare drum, Sabian cymbals, and Vater Drumsticks.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by -bongos- View Post
    Oh man. That’s rough. You are definitely more trusting than I am to leave your collectors kit there.

    Did you consider taking the cymbals, pedals, and sticks home with you when you were done? That may have prevented people from beating on your set. But still, I would loose sleep over leaving a kit like that in a public space.
    No I left everything set up. Rookie move...

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by DrumWhipper View Post
    So here is todays situation. Student has a set list of songs from his church. They are really simple songs (to me anyways), but instead of wanting to work on them, he wants to work on some Metallica songs lol. Now, I have no issue being paid to help him learn Metallica songs if that is what he wants to pay for, but he wants me to show up at his church on Sunday morning while the praise team practices, and help him learn the songs and give pointers for playing the songs then. I feel like I know what I need to do in regards to telling him that we need to work on what he will actually be playing in front of a congregation on Sunday, and we can add all of the extras later, but I want to make sure I do it professionally and with tact.
    That's a lot of dedicated time you're investing in this guy and that's really cool. So as far as learning Metalica, that's sure a change of pace lol!!

  17. #17

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    Metalica is easy to teach. I jist turn off the metronome lol
    Six piece birch Mapex kit, a Black Panther Blade snare drum, Sabian cymbals, and Vater Drumsticks.

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by DrumWhipper View Post
    Metalica is easy to teach. I jist turn off the metronome lol
    hahaha! That's too funny! Can I use that one?

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by late8 View Post
    hahaha! That's too funny! Can I use that one?
    Go for it!
    Six piece birch Mapex kit, a Black Panther Blade snare drum, Sabian cymbals, and Vater Drumsticks.

  20. #20

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    UPDATE: We finished up some work earlier. I am having to reel him in and keep him working on playing in the pocket quite a bit. He gets excited and wants to go off and play fills for days, lol (what drummer doesn't). I got him to sit behind my kit and play a simple beat. He rushed it a bit and has some leg action going on when he finesses the hi hats, but it isn't anything I can't correct. He gave me permission to post this. What are some things you guys see here that I can have him work on? I don't want to overlook anything while focusing on the main things I have him working on.

    https://www.facebook.com/LukeMatheso...7543028939077/
    Six piece birch Mapex kit, a Black Panther Blade snare drum, Sabian cymbals, and Vater Drumsticks.

  21. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by DrumWhipper View Post
    What are some things you guys see here that I can have him work on?
    I saw too much arm movement opposed to wrist movement and I don't know if this is attributed to your particular set up rather than one he plays at church. In my opinion, the distance from his elbow to the hihats illustrated by the yellow line I've drawn seems to be too far? It's tough to judge the distance between objects on camera due to the lens limitations and depth of field perception that cause optical illusions.

    He shoulders looked very rigid as he played and that tension transcended down through the arms, wrists, hands, sticks, snare and finally the hihats. Perhaps being on a video made him nervous?

    2.jpg

  22. #22

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    We've been working on his arm movement. It was MUCH worse last week. I'm working to get him to sit right and use his wrists. The biggest challenge I'm having is keeping him focused. He will play in the pocket and work on technique for a few minutes, then he wants to try to run off into a Metallica song that he can't keep the beat on. I appreciate that he has aspirations to play tougher music for his skill level, but I'm really having to work to get him to focus on learning the basics first.
    Six piece birch Mapex kit, a Black Panther Blade snare drum, Sabian cymbals, and Vater Drumsticks.

  23. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by DrumWhipper View Post
    We've been working on his arm movement. It was MUCH worse last week. I'm working to get him to sit right and use his wrists. The biggest challenge I'm having is keeping him focused. He will play in the pocket and work on technique for a few minutes, then he wants to try to run off into a Metallica song that he can't keep the beat on. I appreciate that he has aspirations to play tougher music for his skill level, but I'm really having to work to get him to focus on learning the basics first.
    Maybe to aid in his focus, a metronome with a pair of headphones? I didn't see anything that resembled earbuds in his ears so I'm assuming he's not using one?

    I use the DB90 metronome and run it into a small mixer so I can increase the gain to make the clicks louder in my headphones. The mixer also allows a second source of audio such as a MP3/CD player to be mixed together with the metronome with sufficient volume.

    C38613E6-7971-47D4-99EF-C57D938DA82B_zpsccww5cpw.jpg

    CF401F02-18A6-4FEB-A4A5-9C0DC9F5D0A3_zpslxbl1dpt.jpg

  24. #24

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    I have asked him to bring earbuds so I can let him listen to a metronome through his ears, but he has refused so far. I use Beats ear buds while I practice, but don't want to let him use mine lol
    Six piece birch Mapex kit, a Black Panther Blade snare drum, Sabian cymbals, and Vater Drumsticks.

  25. #25

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    I have asked him to bring earbuds so I can let him listen to a metronome through his ears, but he has refused so far. I use Beats ear buds while I practice, but don't want to let him use mine lol
    Six piece birch Mapex kit, a Black Panther Blade snare drum, Sabian cymbals, and Vater Drumsticks.

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