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Thread: Beginner / Ameteur periods

  1. #1

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    Default Beginner / Ameteur periods

    Hello,

    When is someone not a beginner and therefore an ameteur, or even a pro/expert?

    I figure there's a lot of subjective answers to this, but thought I'd see what other people think.

    Since this question is somewhat ego driven (but sincere), I'll say that I've been playing for over a year. I practice about 4 hours a week. I own my own snare, cymbals, and Roland kit and play mostly in studios on acoustic rented kits.

    I jammed with someone who had been playing bass for 20 years and I kept insisting I was a beginner but he said I wasn't. Hearing that actually creates some confusion and frustration because then I think that I'm expected to be able to perform at a certain level that I may not be able to.

    Obviously 1 year is a fraction of time compared to a lifelong student of drums. Someone may play for 10 years and only stick to one style and have 'limited' talent' and be considered a beginner..how does it work?

    What do you guys consider beginner/intermediate/ameteur/pro/expert/etc?

    Last edited by ldvg; 02-19-2013 at 12:00 PM.

  2. #2

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    Default Re: Beginner / Ameteur periods

    ldvg, it isn't the length of time that you've been playing that determines whether you are a beginner, intermediate, or expert drummer. If the bassist doesn't see you as a beginner, then accept the compliment, and keep working to improve. Obviously, you have some talent, or he wouldn't have said that you weren't a beginner after 1 year on the drums. Congratulations on receiving the affirmation that your practice is paying off!
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  3. #3

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    Default Re: Beginner / Ameteur periods

    I'm curious to see how many different opinions you get on this because it's not a easy 1 to answer.

  4. #4

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    I consider someone a beginner only when they are just beginning. Once you can hold down a groove and change it up, I would say you're intermediate. You might not be great or even that good, but you have moved beyond the stage of not being able to keep a beat.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by pastor_bob View Post
    ldvg, it isn't the length of time that you've been playing that determines whether you are a beginner, intermediate, or expert drummer. If the bassist doesn't see you as a beginner, then accept the compliment, and keep working to improve. Obviously, you have some talent, or he wouldn't have said that you weren't a beginner after 1 year on the drums. Congratulations on receiving the affirmation that your practice is paying off!
    +1

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by pastor_bob View Post
    ldvg, it isn't the length of time that you've been playing that determines whether you are a beginner, intermediate, or expert drummer. If the bassist doesn't see you as a beginner, then accept the compliment, and keep working to improve. Obviously, you have some talent, or he wouldn't have said that you weren't a beginner after 1 year on the drums. Congratulations on receiving the affirmation that your practice is paying off!
    +2
    True drummers (musicians, for that matter) are never content with their skill level. This is what makes us better and better all the time. Once you've decided that you're as good as you need to be on any given instrument and feel like you won't get any better (i.e. you're the best), you might as well call it quits. In other words, what's the point(?)
    Also, there is a big difference between what makes an "expert" and a "pro", IMO.
    After all, pro is short for professional. If you're not playing professionally in a well paying situation, then how could you be a "pro"? I'm a painter as much as I am a musician; I sell lots of paintings- Am I a professional painter/artist? No. I still have a day job...
    That doesn't mean you can't become an expert, however.
    I would say after a year+ of drumming you are far from beginner status. But what more you'll have to learn to become an expert is (as you said) quite subjective.
    But until you're getting paid on a regular basis to play your drums, you cannot be considered professional by any means.
    Sorry, I tend to blather on and on, much to do about nothing. Doubt there's any real answers in ^ there anywhere.
    Great question, though!
    Last edited by gentleman_disaster; 02-19-2013 at 02:23 PM.

  7. #7

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    Default Re: Beginner / Ameteur periods

    Thanks for the input.

    Sparrow, I like that answer.

    Pastor, it was a hard compliment to swallow, it just put so much pressure on me (whether it was imagined pressure or real I can't say).

    Gentleman, yeah, sorry I should have been more clear when I said pro/expert. I just casually threw them out there meaning the same thing. Yes, a pro should be getting paid and most likely is probably an expert as well.

  8. #8

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    Well to me once a drummer starts to find his way around the kit well and has a good meter i think he/she has left the beginner stage and has come closer to the intermiediate stage

    When the drummer can pretty much pick up a beat or a beat to a song comfortably or able to jam with anyone playing pretty much any style with a good meter I think the person is in the intermiediate stage.

    When the drummer can perform with pure confidence, comfortable with thier volume/playing style, does not get imtimidated by any persons (band members/studio engineers) or situations (stages/audiences) I think that drummer is a pro.

    this is all just my thoughts about it of course. I'm sure there's lots more to it but I'm in a rush thinking about a good question. Will be back
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  9. #9

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    A pro, by the strictest definition, is someone who plays drums for a living and usually there's a list of other qualities associated with that term including attitude, versatility, etc.

    After that it's all subjective. Other musicians will generally grade you on a curve, relative to the other drummers they have played with in their lives. One person's definition is not the same as another's and there's really no laundry list of qualities you can use to check off the markers on your particular musical journey. Play the best you can play, learn as much as you can, network like a fool, and be open to anything. The rest is up to fate.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by MattDrums View Post
    A pro, by the strictest definition, is someone who plays drums for a living and usually there's a list of other qualities associated with that term including attitude, versatility, etc.

    After that it's all subjective. Other musicians will generally grade you on a curve, relative to the other drummers they have played with in their lives. One person's definition is not the same as another's and there's really no laundry list of qualities you can use to check off the markers on your particular musical journey. Play the best you can play, learn as much as you can, network like a fool, and be open to anything. The rest is up to fate.
    Best answer.

  11. #11

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    I don't think it's about length of time. It's about proficiency. I'm not even so sure the $$$ thing is always the part of the equation that defines "pro". There are a few "pro's" out there, that is to say they get paid for playing drums, that aren't very good. I should know, I'm one of them.
    Last edited by inthpktplayer; 02-19-2013 at 05:05 PM.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by ldvg View Post
    Pastor, it was a hard compliment to swallow, it just put so much pressure on me (whether it was imagined pressure or real I can't say).
    I fully understand that ldvg. What needs to be realized is that compliment, or no compliment, you have some idea of your own skills (wherever they may be). The compliment that you received might be from someone who saw that you were too hard on yourself, and thought you desired a pat on the back to boost your confidence. Or, he felt that you were too hard on yourself, and that you were indeed better than you knew. In either case, you still have a decent grasp on what you have learned to do, and just accept that maybe you are better than you thought. That alone will make it easier to go into the practice room and become even better!
    Quoting gonefishin: Just have some bacon with ya when you go pick her up..........youre an instant chick magnet.


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  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by inthpktplayer View Post
    I don't think it's about length of time. It's about proficiency. I'm not even so sure the $$$ thing is always the part of the equation that defines "pro". There are a few "pro's" out there, that is to say they get paid for playing drums, that aren't very good. I should know, I'm one of them.
    Aw, I bet you're pretty good , better than you think you are!

    What type music do you play?
    Take care and seeya!

    Jim

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by jgraham798 View Post
    Aw, I bet you're pretty good , better than you think you are!

    What type music do you play?
    Classic Rock/Blues. Not your typical stuff though.

    You can check it out here http://www.reverbnation.com/#!/onkilter

  15. #15

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    Lots of interesting potential answers to this question.

    I think there is definitely a difference between a beginner or not. I think if someone can replicate simple grooves and beats by ear, and has good foundations for a good feel, you're past "beginner" stage.

    Past that, there is a world of subjectivity. Using myself as an example... Not kissing my own a$$, but I know my way around playing metal. I consider myself to be quite good at metal drumming. Sit me down and ask me to play Jazz? No way!!! I can play blast beats at 260 BPM but I'm still getting my head around a shuffle. Stylistically, there's a world of possibilities. As far as what's seen as technical requirements, there's a world of possibilities.

    I try to ignore titles like that, to be honest. If someone were to ask me how good I was overall, I honestly don't know what I'd say.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by inthpktplayer View Post
    Classic Rock/Blues. Not your typical stuff though.

    You can check it out here http://www.reverbnation.com/#!/onkilter
    Wow! You knocked it out of the park in those songs and the kit sounds fantastic! I see now how you got your screenname.

    I thoroughly enjoyed all of those songs on your site. Do y'all have a dvd recorded that I could buy?

    You play the style of music that I love. No Time....The Guess Who were some of my favorites and they were playing in the first concert I ever went to!

    I even love the YardByrd period of music like your last song, but i like y'alls version better.

    In "Down on Me", I thought I was listening to Stevie Ray Vaughn when your lead played the solo part.

    Excellent playing and I really enjoyed the music!!

    Thanks!

    JIm
    Take care and seeya!

    Jim

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by jgraham798 View Post
    Wow! You knocked it out of the park in those songs and the kit sounds fantastic! I see now how you got your screenname.

    I thoroughly enjoyed all of those songs on your site. Do y'all have a dvd recorded that I could buy?

    You play the style of music that I love. No Time....The Guess Who were some of my favorites and they were playing in the first concert I ever went to!

    I even love the YardByrd period of music like your last song, but i like y'alls version better.

    In "Down on Me", I thought I was listening to Stevie Ray Vaughn when your lead played the solo part.

    Excellent playing and I really enjoyed the music!!

    Thanks!

    JIm
    Thanks so much for the kind words. We try to put on a good show and we really put quite a bit of thought into what tunes we cover. We don't have a CD/DVD for sale. You can probably download the tunes we have up on ReverbNation. Thanks for checking it out.

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by ldvg View Post

    When is someone not a beginner and therefore an ameteur, or even a pro/expert?
    Indeed, it is subjective. Your perspective will change relative to your current status, meaning when I was an intermediate player, the beginners and pros looked one way to me but now that I'm more of an advanced player, I see these same players differently. You get more of a refined ear so to speak. You see/hear, not only more of the nuances, but get more of the bigger picture. Think of a chef that has been cooking for years and he understands how all the ingredients and spices and so on work together. He knows all of the intricacies and nuances of the craft, not just how to cook a meal. Anybody can cook a meal.
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  19. #19

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    Well, I try to be versatile as I can, and I do get paid for what I do. If a session playing friend can recommend me to fill in for him and the guys who I had played with say to me that I was highly recommended in the first place, then I guess I'm doing something right. It kind of helps that I teach, plus when I teach, I always tell my guys and girls that they need to be diverse, learn their instrument and chops well, and turn up for their band rehearsals and performances on time (in fact before time as we drummers are always having to set up before everyone else). But honestly, I really wouldn't have started calling myself somewhat professional until I was hitting my mid to late 20's, having had some cover band and original band experience by then and could hold my own with more experienced players, both live and in the studio.

    Mind you, at the moment, as far as tuned percussion is going? Lol.....I'm still at my amateur stage. I'm always still learning stuff, it never ends.
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  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Drumbledore View Post

    I'm still at my amateur stage. I'm always still learning stuff, it never ends.
    Not me. I pretty much know everything at this point. Nothing more to learn.
    - Tom

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  21. #21

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    Like GD, then Matt said...there's a big difference between "pro" and "expert".

  22. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by drummer View Post
    Not me. I pretty much know everything at this point. Nothing more to learn.
    I want to be you!
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  23. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by drummer View Post
    Not me. I pretty much know everything at this point. Nothing more to learn.
    Ooh, so can I hit you up for a tabla lesson then? I need to know how to do this....



    I'll do all my practicing the day before I come in for lessons, I promise!

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    668: The Number Of The Guy Next Door To The Beast.

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  24. #24

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    You know, even Queen had their amateur stage.....

    "...it's the Paradigm Of The Cosmos!" Stewart Copeland on Youtube

    668: The Number Of The Guy Next Door To The Beast.

    "A random act of kindness; it keeps my heart in shape!" - Late8

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