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Thread: ZERO creativity, but can copy well

  1. #1

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    Default ZERO creativity, but can copy well

    Hello. Been playing for 18 months. Only took a couple lessons plus countless YouTube videos.

    Problem is that I can't play something from my own mind. There's no creativity, no natural ideas or patterns. But give me a song to learn and I'll get it done well.

    It's becoming embarrassing trying to play with other musicians at the local studio. They'll say "wow, what an amazing cover-sounds like the original," (I'm giving myself a bit too much credit hah) but as soon as they say "let's jam" I literally can only spit out dragging inaccurately paced 1/4 note kick snare patterns. I try venturing out to a HH bark or a tom hit and it turns into shambles. But put on a song I learned to cover and it's like a machine again.

    I thought maybe the 1st time I played with other people it was a shared problem, but this has continued throughout my entire drum learning path.

    Put me in front of a kit on my own and watch as garbage spews out. Give me headphones and a song I know and I' m not so bad. I keep trying to explain this to people at the studio and they're like "WTF are you talking about? How can you play like that but not be able to do anything but barely do kick snare, kick snare at 100BPM?

    Are there just certain brain types that can be copycats and nothing else?

  2. #2

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    Default Re: ZERO creativity, but can copy well

    i find it best not to over think it. I've played in original bands for about 10 years now and when i started i was very much stuck as to what to play, but now i ust get a feel for the bass groove or the rhythm of the melody and try to emulate it on the kit. Sometimes i ust slap my hands on my knees along with the bassist then try to translate it to the kit. It might be good to keep note of some beats and fills from songs you like and use them as a starting point for original stuff, add in an extra kick or snare hit to change it up a bit. At the end of the day there are very few true original ideas. Everyone is influenced by something
    “The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side.”
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  3. #3

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    Default Re: ZERO creativity, but can copy well

    I'm the complete opposite. I have to approach everything my own way. I probably couldn't copy something exactly to save my life.

    all the best...

  4. #4

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    Default Re: ZERO creativity, but can copy well

    I'd chalk it up to inexperience. Keep getting together with other players and keep jamming. You can only get better.

  5. #5

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    Default Re: ZERO creativity, but can copy well

    I teach my kids independent "creativity" exercises. It goes something like...

    Sing a rhythm in your head. Maybe one to a jingle like like the Green Acres theme. You probably aren't old enough to remember that. Ha-ha! Anyway, then you play it around the drums and cymbals. Then you play time to that rhythm while singing it in your head. Then you play it on the drums again.

    This should help open you up a bit. It forces you to be creative.

    Good luck!

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  6. #6

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    Default Re: ZERO creativity, but can copy well

    ldvg, there is a difference between copying someone else's playing, and understanding why it is being played. That sounds like the problem that you are having. I had this problem myself, for a while. The information that you are looking for will come with more experience. In some ways, you are trying to run before you can walk. On the other hand, if you are able to play with other good musicians and they are willing to help you become better, they might be able to offer some of the musical information that you need to take you to the next level.

    All the best to you, and don't get discouraged!
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  7. #7

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    Default Re: ZERO creativity, but can copy well

    Thanks for the input all.



    pastor_bob ,I think that's a good summary, I don't understand fully why things are done or when to use each part of the kit. I don't know stick patterns or anything.

    arghhh

  8. #8

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    Default Re: ZERO creativity, but can copy well

    i agree with Marko: it's inexperience.
    If the only grooves/songs you've ever played/covered were polkas, you can bet blues jams will be problematic and vice-versa.
    And YES to the Idvg question of copycat brains and creativity.
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  9. #9

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    Default Re: ZERO creativity, but can copy well

    +1 to inexperience. It takes time and the only way you will get better at playing with other musicians is playing with other musicians.

    I'm like KG, I never learn anything exactly. Just not who I am.
    Jesse

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  10. #10

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    Default Re: ZERO creativity, but can copy well

    I've never been a 'cover' guy. I don't do cover songs. When my original band does a cover tune I might reference the original recording but by and large I do my own thing.


    Keep hacking away with the jams, OP. You'll get better. Maybe lay off the covers and just rip your own tunes.

  11. #11

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    Don't worry, I'm like this with everything I do, not just music
    - Zack

  12. #12

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    Default Re: ZERO creativity, but can copy well

    Quote Originally Posted by marko138 View Post
    I'd chalk it up to inexperience. Keep getting together with other players and keep jamming. You can only get better.
    ^^ The more you play with people better than you the better you will get. Take criticism for what it is and try new things. Break down time signatures (4/4, 6/4, 6/8, etc) and do different things with it. Play the snare and the and of 2, or the and of 1. See how it sounds. Crash on the and of 4 (called a push). Of course not every idea will fit every song but you should be comfortable moving things around within your given time signature. That's a very difficult skill to master but will help you play a lot of different styles well.

    The main thing to remember is, in your drumming journey you are still a toddler. 18 months is a foundation, not a career. You have a lot of drumming ahead of you so don't get discouraged. And don't try to get ahead of yourself. It can be frustrating but music is about discovery and when it happens it's a wondrous thing. Keep charging forward.
    Robert

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  13. #13

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    Default Re: ZERO creativity, but can copy well

    Quote Originally Posted by kay-gee View Post
    I'm the complete opposite. I have to approach everything my own way. I probably couldn't copy something exactly to save my life.

    all the best...
    I am the same way. I listen to a song once or twice, and then I just ignore everything and do my own thing. And also, when in doubt, never underestimate the foundation and reliability of the Money Beat!!!!
    Last edited by Kazaamski; 08-14-2013 at 01:55 PM.
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  14. #14

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    Default Re: ZERO creativity, but can copy well

    Quote Originally Posted by ldvg View Post
    pastor_bob ,I think that's a good summary, I don't understand fully why things are done or when to use each part of the kit. I don't know stick patterns or anything.
    ldvg, I've been there, and I decided to read a book on basic music theory to help me understand things a little more - basic song structure, and generally why things are the way that they are. It really helped me, and I suddenly found that I could handle a basic groove in multiple genres.

    I just takes some time, and understanding, and you should feel good because you are already doing things that many who have only been drumming for 18 months can't do yet.
    Quoting gonefishin: Just have some bacon with ya when you go pick her up..........youre an instant chick magnet.


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