I can’t stand metal, scream metal, death metal, rap, drum ‘n’ bass, punk and a few others. They are all hideous to my ears – but they are not rubbish, they’re not ‘crap’, they’re not talentless. All of these genres have a valid and important place in music – they may be the last thing I’d ever consider adding to my Spotify playlist, but each has as much value as the rest.
Disliking something does not strip it of its value!
The guys who drum within these genres are as talented as any other – and it’s horses for courses, as they say; different skills are needed for these different genres. And whilst I am besotted with Dave Weckl, I’m hardly likely to see him spending huge amounts of time developing his super-fast double pedal technique, as I might find Aesop Dekker doing! Each drummer develops the skills he needs for his own line of work.
Those drummers that play the genres that I can’t stand all have talent and as much value in the drumming world as drummers I love. And I need to ensure I hold on to that outlook if I want to constantly improve as a drummer myself.
This approach is paramount to my creativity, my chops, my technique and my vocabulary – if I only ever listen to the genres I love, I limit myself as a drummer. How can I end up depping, particularly at short notice, if I don’t have at least a rudimentary knowledge of these styles? How can I pick up great fills, inspirational chops and grooves, and put them into my playing if I never listen to anything but fusion or jazz? So on the work front, then, I would also limit myself to working with bands and musicians from only the genres I prefer.
And of course, I limit myself creatively!
It’s essential to becoming a rounded professional drummer (in the sense of professional playing, not earning money) to listen to as many genres as possible – not all the time or to the detriment of your favourites – but every now and then. It will do wonders for your creativity, your musicality and technique. Everything has value in the world of music – even those hideous boy bands, I’m afraid! – so don’t limit yourself by ignoring this very important fact!
This article was written by Ian Bee, a professional drummer, Liberty Drums Artist and tutor from Bletchey in Buckinghamshire. If you would like to learn more about Ian, please visit his website: www.ianbdrums.co.uk
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