How To Improve Your Drumming Through 'Conversation'

Drums are a solitary instrument and drumming is pretty much the only discipline that requires someone else to interact with to improve musically.  Obviously, you can play on your own or play along to your favourite artist on YouTube but in essence, you're on your own.  So, after you warmed up with your rudiments, you have to get creative when practising your grooves, see your drum kit as another person and have a chat.  The beat is one person and the fills are the other, a bit like a question and answer session.

If you are at the point of being able to hold a down a simple 4/4 beat, for example, 'Billy Jean' by Michael Jackson.  Ask a question with the beat and make you answer a simple one with a basic fill around the kit. As you get better technically, you can make your question or beat, a little more elaborate and your reply the same.  

I know I sound like I've been drinking but have a listen to some of the top players, Jo Jo Meyer, Chris Coleman and in particular Benny Greb.  They have some of the most amazing conversations with their kits, and if you ever find yourself in the fortunate position of having an 'actual conversation' with them, you'd instantly recognise their personality and the subtle references, accents and meter (rhythm) they apply to the drum kit.  

So, go on, have a talk with your drum kit...after a rudiment warm up first. 

Have fun!

Click on their names to see how their conversations differ.