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Thread: I Feel So Stupid

  1. #1

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    Default I Feel So Stupid

    My teacher has me working on stick control, and doing accent exercises. I feel like it is taking me forever to progress. Granted, I don't have all the time in the world to practice - it's not like I can sit down and practice the basics for 4-6 hours a day. On the other hand, it's not like I'm not practicing at all. I've been playing now for about 2 1/2 years, and granted my current teacher is taking me back and teaching me things that were left out by my first teacher, so I keep telling myself that when all this comes together I'll be light years ahead of where I was - at least I keep telling myself that. The truth is that I feel like it takes me so long to learn basic accenting rhythms that I am getting frustrated. I guess I still haven't seen how this will integrate into overall playing, so I am having a hard time focusing and memorizing the rhythms.

    Can anyone offer any tips here, or is this just a matter of sucking it up, and paying the dues?
    Quoting gonefishin: Just have some bacon with ya when you go pick her up..........youre an instant chick magnet.





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  2. #2
    PearlDrummer18 Guest

    Default Re: I Feel So Stupid

    I think everybody goes through the "am i progressing fast enough" stage. I know i certainly have. lol Not much i can give you on advice...sorry PB i wish i could help. But i will tell you to just hang in there and just take the things he/she is teaching and just do the best you can. I think that's all anyone would expect. Good luck PB!!

  3. #3

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    Default Re: I Feel So Stupid

    There are a lot of factors at work:
    1. It is harder to see progress working on many things at once than 1 or 2 things "only" at a time.
    2. People have different levels of "natural" talent. Having taught many years, I was able to see this up close. It doesn't mean you're not talented. It might however mean that you have to work harder in some areas than perhaps those that were given a bit more "natural" talent on a whole.
    3. I often say, "Seeing your own progress is like trying to watch a flower grow." My guess is that you probably are progressing more than you think. It is just hard to see.

    Now for the tips:
    1. Tape yourself playing now and then tape yourself playing 6 months or a year from now. This may help you be able to see your improvement.
    2. Talk to your instructor and ask her if you can just work on a couple of things at a time with the goal in mind being to learn each "REAL" well as opposed to just OK.
    3. Keep the "fun" in your playing. Aside from just exercises on a pad, be sure it's balanced out with playing along with fun songs that you like.

    I might think of some more later PB but I hope this helps at least a little for now.

    BTW... I think it shows great humility for a pastor to open up like this and ask "us" a question. You are a very wise man and I have the utmost respect for you!
    - Tom

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  4. #4

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    Default Re: I Feel So Stupid

    Hey PB did not think i could advise you here since its seems you have alot of insight..well yes sucking it up and paying your dues would be the suggestion here, as you know by now I have been away from drumming a long while, BUT as the old saying goes " like riding a bike" due to my early years of drum lessons in school, the basics are still there thank God,..i just have to practice...and you know by now my saying...practice make perfect and perfect makes permanent.
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  5. #5

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    Default Re: I Feel So Stupid

    Thanks guys, I really do appreciate the encouragement. The drum throne at the music store where I take lessons suddenly telescoped down and bottomed out as i was starting the lesson (I guess I didn't tighten it enough after I adjusted it - or I need to lose weight), and I have been suffering through some significant lower back pain for the last few days. My lack of progress plus my current pain is leading to my discouragement.

    Drummer, your suggestion to ask my teacher to slow down and let me become proficient at 1 or 2 things makes a lot of sense. My teacher tells me that I am doing very well, and that I am progressing better than I think, but I do feel like she is moving me forward to the next thing before I feel that I have become proficient at the last thing. As a consequence, I feel like things are piling up, and I am not able to really fully learn one thing before we are moving on to the next thing.

    Now granted I am older than most students, so over the course of my life I have learned what I can do, and what I can't do. I know that I am having to overcome the feeling that if I was really a drummer, I would have started earlier in life. On the other hand, I love making music, so drumming and guitars are a source of joy in my life.
    Quoting gonefishin: Just have some bacon with ya when you go pick her up..........youre an instant chick magnet.





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  6. #6

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    Thanks Marty. Sometimes it just helps to have someone say that continuing to practice will produce the breakthrough.
    Quoting gonefishin: Just have some bacon with ya when you go pick her up..........youre an instant chick magnet.





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  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by pastor_bob View Post
    I know that I am having to overcome the feeling that if I was really a drummer, I would have started earlier in life.

    anyone comes to terms with their talents at different times in their lives and at their own pace. the important thing is that your doing what you love. and i know exactly what your going through right now because its happening to me now as well. only thing i can add to the previous comments is never give up and it always pays off.
    Practice doesn't make Perfect, Practice makes Permanent!

  8. #8

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    Thanks Tama, the encouraging words are appreciated.
    Quoting gonefishin: Just have some bacon with ya when you go pick her up..........youre an instant chick magnet.





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  9. #9

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    Default Re: I Feel So Stupid

    Rudiments and the like are especially difficult to see real progress in, but if you keep them up, it WILL help. I believe in you!

  10. #10

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    Default Re: I Feel So Stupid

    Being another older person who only started having drum lessons 2 years ago (and never having previously had a desire to play drums - but have always wanted to play an instrument) I think I can understand some of the frustration you are feeling.

    With me it's a case of at last having found an instrument that I am able to play (having tried wind, string and keyboard) and then wanting to learn it all and learn it all yesterday. Here I was thinking oh yes I'll have about 3 months of lessons and then go back to learning keyboard. What I actually love about drums is that I don't get bored. I am the type of person who once I have learnt something I go on to something new. The vast scope with drums and having a really great teacher both personality and knowledge wise have all helped. He knows I am only drumming for a hobby but still treats me as a serious student.

    I have found over the two years that I seem to go through lulls where I don't feel like I have got very far. One thing that I find helps is actually going back some steps and going back over something that I previously didn't achieve fully. My teacher doesn't expect a song or practice piece to be gone over repeatedly until perfected, only until it is understood, so going back over these and being able to get a bit further with them is exciting and gives a real sense of achievement.

    The other thing I have found is that talking about drumming (which is where the forums come in) is really encouraging (most of the time - I get just a tinsy winsy bit jealous when I read about people being in bands and actually being "real" drummers).

    Well, that's my few words on the subject (you can tell I'm a female)

    Kate Oz (who also has a djembe)

  11. #11

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    Default Re: I Feel So Stupid

    PB ,youre already light years ahead of where you were 2 1/2 years ago . We joined here about the same time and I remember you had just started .I remember watching your first video and have seen a more current vid and theres a lot of difference in them .

    Like drummer said , youre playing for fun . Its not like Genisis is gonna give you a call and ask you to sit in for Phil while he's out on medical leave . My point is that youre not giving up your day job to play drums and have plenty of time to get the hang of things. When its time ,it will happen .

    I think youre doing just fine and should keep doing what it is youre doing . I got 2 thumbs up for ya .
    Last edited by gonefishin; 10-09-2009 at 08:22 AM.
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  12. #12

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    Default Re: I Feel So Stupid

    I've been drumming for around 3 years, I got up to that stage about 8 months ago when everything my drum teacher gave me for weeks was rhythm reading and accent studies. I was wondering whether I was actually progressing, but I just reminded myself that my drum teacher was giving me this stuff for a reason and that I had just better do as he says. After I got through that stuff I realized that the accent studies helped my fills a lot. With accent exercises, you can do accents on the toms, on the cymbals with the bass drum, and so on. As for the rhythm reading and stuff, I found it helped my syncopation a lot more. Now I'm with a different teacher, and he's giving me the same stuff! I feel like I'm being pushed into the ground, but it kinda feels good at the same time because I know when I get back up I would have learned some awesome stuff to put in solos and things!

    So just hang on, do what you teacher tells you to do and when you finish doing all this stuff I guarantee you will be loads better.
    - Zack

  13. #13

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    Default Re: I Feel So Stupid

    wow bob even you have the troubles? i always felt like i should be asking you for lessons, you have very positive powerful energy and passion for drumming that i respect! anywho, over a decade later and im still learning many things from drummers everywhere, so if i can ill offer some possible help, and talk about how my process works.

    1) i play after having something filling to eat- usually something filling like spaghetti or potatoes. this keeps my mind focused and helps me 'find' where my hands and feet should go when im having trouble doing it. stay almost full when your playing, it helps your mind stay on track

    2) leave your body and soul in another place. when i drum i cant think of other things around me, only when im concentrating on the drums whole heartedly can it make sense to me. if i have trouble isolating my mind from the outside world, i have a blindfold i use to help me focus a bit more. then its just me and the skins, feeling my way to the right technique and which drum it goes on.

    3) keep a water bottle and a fan nearby, chances are your going to need them. it does get intense sometimes, frustration does a number on the mind and body. many times i have calmed myself with the simple help of a glass of water and a little breathing. i probably would have had shorter practices had i not had the comfort of it.

    4) make a good playlist! i always start out warming up to songs that are easy to play and with simple beats. i pick my playlist of songs that i play each day very carefully, being sure none of them are too similar to each other- because they are all different, im working many different parts of my abilities day to day. it may seem impossible at first, but the thing about drums are you're always doing more than you could do yesterday.

    5) break songs or exercises down, stay on a certain note until you understand how to connect the dots, than worry about speed. without a basic foundation, it wont get you that far. ive felt the frustration of wanting to be faster but really having skipped so many steps it took me a long time to re-learn certain things. and im still not at the level i wish to be, but thats okay because there's nothing but time. im glad im not the best drummer, im just glad i get to embark on the journey to be as good as i can.

    6) in conclusion, believing in yourself is so much of the battle. i think its amazing where your at for this far. tape your practices, and watch what you were doing with your hands afterwards. we really do learn a lot from watching each other, but more so from ourselves. you're on the right track with your drum teacher, it sounds like he's gonna tell you everything you need to know to get on the fast track. just hang in there and i know it will work out for you. best of luck
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  14. #14

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    Keep in mind, there's always room for improvement, no matter how long you've been playing and/or how skilled you become. Progress or lack thereof, from your own perspective is likely much different than what others may perceive, or what you might perceive if you had a chance to view your drumming today, then again in six months like someone else mentioned.

    Remember to keep it fun and try not to get frustrated - I can't think of a single drummer (including myself) who hasn't gone through this very thing at least once, and often multiple times.
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  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by drummer View Post
    ...I think it shows great humility for a pastor to open up like this and ask "us" a question. You are a very wise man and I have the utmost respect for you!
    As do I.

    PB, you need to keep on keepin' on. Tom's suggestion to record yourself and compare it to older recordings is really the best way you can monitor your improvement. I feel the same frustration at the lack of improvement.

    I have been trying to get back to the level I used to be at before I gave it up. I was on top of my game and always recieved compliments for my playing. But being a father of 3, I have no practice time. I was even sidelined further in a motorcycle accident last month.

    A friend recently found an old recording of my band. While my playing was alot busier and even overplayed in places on that recording, it is so much more melodic and meaningful now. Dare I say, more musical. The parts and rythms played fit the music, and the meanings of the hymns. My mother-in-law teases me that I went from "devil music" to playing at church. LOL!

    I still may not rip out a fast Neal Peart inspired fill like I used to, but the point is that I grew musicaly and didn't even know it.
    Kevin
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  16. #16

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    PB, I used a great book back in high school when I was marching snare that is great for progressing rudiments. Its called the Rudimental Cookbook by Row-Loff Productions. I think you can order from their site for about $15. The book has all of the rudiments and exercises for each, but also has 25 snare solos that incorporate more and more rudiments as you progress. The final solo in the book called "And the Kitchen Sink" uses all of them.

    I tend to get bored playing the same repetative exercises over and over and when you don't incorporate them into playing situations they are easily forgotten. The solos are cool and fun to play and will advance your rudiments by using them in a playing situation. The solos range from beginner to super advanced. One solo might be all about flams and will use several different flam rudiments throughout, another might be all paradiddles and doubles, one will focus on accents and gohst notes (your current struggle), etc. I would highly reccomend this book to anyone wanting to advance their rudimental skills.

  17. #17

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    You guys are awesome! I really appreciate the encouraging words and your willingness to share the struggles you have gone through too. I know we recently had a member announce that she was giving up drumming, and I know that we had begun playing at about the same time, so maybe this is a normal crisis point. I'm a single guy, so maybe it's just that I have no one to rub my shoulders, pat my back and tell me it's going to be fine! I know I'm just a hobbyist when it comes to drumming, but when I decide to do something, I never go into it with the thought of being so-so. I really want to be good, but I guess there's a little fear down inside of me that worries that i won't. I will have to overcome that fear.
    Quoting gonefishin: Just have some bacon with ya when you go pick her up..........youre an instant chick magnet.





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  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Halon451 View Post

    Remember to keep it fun and try not to get frustrated - I can't think of a single drummer (including myself) who hasn't gone through this very thing at least once, and often multiple times.
    Amen! Experienced it several times throughout my career. It's very normal.
    - Tom

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  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by pastor_bob View Post
    I'm a single guy, so maybe it's just that I have no one to rub my shoulders, pat my back and tell me it's going to be fine!
    I'll pat you on the back but you're gonna have to get someone else to rub your shoulders buddy. LOL
    - Tom

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  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by drummer View Post
    I'll pat you on the back but you're gonna have to get someone else to rub your shoulders buddy. LOL
    Deal
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  21. #21

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    dont feel bad though. remember your a role model for most of us here
    ZildjianLeague/LP/Aquarian/Mapex/Pearl
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pearl MCX Man View Post
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    Quote Originally Posted by amdrummer View Post
    if double bass is cheating then so is using two sticks

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  22. #22

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    Hey PB, Truley it is encouraging to see you struggle it shows that you really do love and desisre playing the drums. If you remeber a while back when I was at a low(ready to just give up on music) It really was the wake up call I needed. I was always worried about progressing and results, And that had me frustrated to the core. When ever I teach someone guitar I assure them that taking breaks sometimes helps more than practcing every moment you can(IMHO It helps to approach the challenge from different angles) As already stated by others: Just keep on keeping on and in time you will see the results. And muscle memory is not as apparent as mental proggessions.

    As you know with the position you hold in your church, Patients is easier advised than excepted. F/T

  23. #23

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    I appreciate all the wisdom that is being offered here, and FT, you are right that it's a lot easier to talk about patience than to practice it. Patience has never really been one of my strong points. I guess I have learned to use it in my capacity as pastor, but not so much in my pursuit of drumming. I will have to chill a bit!
    Quoting gonefishin: Just have some bacon with ya when you go pick her up..........youre an instant chick magnet.





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  24. #24

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    Default Re: I Feel So Stupid

    Honestly man, you always offer alot of great advice and seems you things into a good perspective, so apply that to drumming. Be patient, good things come to those who wait. Don't expect to wake up one day magically better at everything your teacher teaches. If your teacher is a good one, Im sure he is, he knows what he is doing and knows that all of this will pay off int he long run.

    Think about it like suicides during basketball practices, everybody hates them, they kill you, you never wanna do another one and never think they help at all....but now theres 20 seconds left in the game and you need one more burst of energy...wheres that come from? xD

    Yea im a dork

  25. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by pastor_bob View Post
    I really want to be good, but I guess there's a little fear down inside of me that worries that i won't. I will have to overcome that fear.
    Definitely.

    You don't have to be crazy-techincal or anything. As long as you feel the music you play and you truly enjoy drumming, then you're a good drummer in my book.
    - Zack

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