As I said last column I am switching the format. The next 10 columns are going to be random essays about drumming.
The most basic aspect of drumming starts with learning and mastering the fundamentals of drumming. This will enable you to
have complete control over what you are doing which allows for you to play from within your soul. Anyone can be a drummer but can they play with feeling and interpret music so they are adding more than just a beat to a sound or a piece of music. The basic fundamentals in my opinion of drumming are:
1. Stick Control
3. Feet control
4. Meter or "TIME"
6. Know the history and study the greats
7. The drive to keep getting better.
Before you ever play a note these fundamentals should be part of your drumming vocabulary. These fundamentals have been discussed in my previous columns so you can refer to those to get a more in depth overview of them. The reason for this column is to explore why and how these form the basics of your playing that allow you to overcome obstacles and challenges as you forge forward learning to be a great drummer. It is the same for any athlete, businessman, carpenter or any vocation you choose.
Sure you can be a great drummer without ever thinking about fundamentals.
Eventually you will be beaten by someone who has history, knowledge and has a mastery of the fundamental concepts surrounding thier vocation. How many top rate professionals do you think reach the top of their respective fields without knowing the fundamentals of their business. If you plan on making a living playing the drums then it is your vocation. Let's look at some examples of this.
For an example I am going to use professional basketball players. A basketball player is very similar to being a drummer. You are an individual but in order to succeed you have to be part of a team and work with others. It is the same as being in a band as a drummer.
The fundamentals are the aspects that have set Michael Jordon, Magic Johnson, Kobe Bryant and Tim Duncan apart from the rest of the great players that have played in the NBA for the last 30 years or so. They all, besides being great offensive players were first team defensive players, excellent passers, great rebounders, valued the team, could shoot free throws, understood the pace of the game and had studied and wanted to be better than previous generations of players they had grown up and idolized.
They understood the value of being able to be strong in all of the basics or fundamentals of the game in order to become the best.
They knew if they mastered the fundamentals they could be free to become the greatest because they has no weaknesses to encumber them and make them fall short in crucial situations.