While the ability to read drum notation is still very important, the ability to look at the drum set – or any other instrument you might be playing – as one of your childhood toys is even more important.
When you were a child you probably did not care too much about rules and constraints. You found the easiest and most beautifully simple way to express your feelings and emotions the most appealing.
First and foremost, you should reevaluate your judgment on what is “good” and what is “bad” music. If there is a tune that was made public or is played in front of a public, than either the author or even the public believes that the melody-rhythm combination in question is valuable.
It might not be in your style, or it might not meet your criteria regarding musical abilities. But it definitely meets those who listen to it and play it. Every music conveys a message to someone, and we do not have the right to decide what message is correct or not and what tools should be used or not.
By opening up your ears and heart to all sorts of music, you will have the opportunity to find interesting elements in that kind of music and maybe “steal” some of those and reproduce them in your own tunes. Remember, ignorance is bliss.
There is no point in playing paradiddles, ratamacues, flam drags and all sorts of seemingly meaningless rudiments if you do not apply them in your everyday playing. You have been playing the paradiddle for a year and still do not know what it is good for? I have seen cases like that before: well, apply it in your rhythms, in your fills, build up a drum solo. The list is endless; all you need to do is to make your practice practical: use what you have learned.
Evolution is not brought by the people who live the same way every day and are satisfied with their current state. Evolution is the product of those who always question things, who are not afraid of entering the void, who are comfortable with trying out new things.
If you want more creativity and freedom in your drumming, try something that you have never tried before. Maybe play a beat backwards. Or chop off an eighth note from a 4/4 beat and only play the first seven eighths on a loop.
Have you ever thought of just deliberately changing the function of one of your limbs in a beat? Let’s take a standard rock rhythm scenario. Instead of playing the hi-hat, move your right hand and play eighth notes on your floor tom. It will give your beat a whole new feeling – and this is only one example.
By letting go of conventions, you will soon discover that the drumming world has a lot of undiscovered treasures to share with you – you do not even have to be too brave (there is nothing to fear). You just have to be a bit playful when learning how to play drums.
When playing in a band, it is not only you who can come up with interesting rhythm patterns. Even if it is the drum that is mainly responsible for the rhythm in the music, every instrument has a rhythmical function apart from their melodic one.
Thus, a lead guitarist can come up with a riff which has a rhythm that changes the whole song. And you can play along with that fancy new rhythm, creating something new, something wonderful – again. Remember, creativity in your drum beats holds no boundaries.
Successful Drumming is a step-by-step program which builds on each lesson and holds you by your hand as you learn. You can easily track your progress and see the improvements you made overtime.