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 Back to the Tempo Dispatch Archives  

ISSUE #48 \__\__\___THE____/__/__/ Dec 5, 2000
_______________TEMPO DISPATCH ___________
Newsletter For Drummers and Drumming Enthusiasts
Copyright Bill Powelson 2000 all rights reserved.
____________'IT'S ALL ABOUT DRUMS'_______
Tips * Tricks * Hints * Ads * Freebies * Lessons *
_________NOW OVER 5,OOO SUBSCRIBERS!__________

TABLE OF CONTENTS: What is in this issue?

Feature Articles (LESSONS) this month:

   A.  "Spice Up Your FILLS" (PART II)


   A.   "Spice Up Your FILLS" (PART II)
   B.   SIMPLE FORMULA: Immediate Drumming Success!

|__________FEATURE ARTICLE___________|

"Spice Up Your FILLS" (PART II), is now free
to everyone . . .

    Last months feature lesson was a mind-blower
for many of the new, beginning students.  I fear
it may have frightened more students AWAY from
drumming, than it helped. 
    I've set it up as a VERY SPECIAL WEB PAGE
complete with sound files.

 Spice Up your Fills  Totally free.

     Enjoy that lesson in it's entirety . . . I think it will be well accepted in it's newer web page form.  It's much easier to understand, now that it's a full-fledged web page.      MERRY CHRISTMAS & HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL OF YOU!  :>) *******************************           Now . . . here's ANOTHER FREE LESSON . . . LESSON #2:  Tempo Dispatch, DEC 5, 2000: SIMPLE FORMULA: Immediate Drumming Success! (Study & Practice Tips For All Students.)      Follow this simple little 'prescription' for immediate drumming success . . . #1.  VERY IMPORTANT:  5 BASIC DANCE BEATS      Memorize the 5 basic beats, FIRST.  Put them on the 'top-shelf' of your mind.  Especially, DB #3 . . .  You'll want and need all those beats firmly entrenched . . . to a point where you can play them rapidly and repetitiously, without thinking . . . (like habits.)  I CAN'T STRESS THE IMPORTANCE OF THIS, ENOUGH.     *  LISTEN TO THE MIDI FILES OF EACH BEAT AS YOU PRACTICE AND LEARN . . . It'll cut the frustration by a factor of 10!  That's a promise!     *  Then . . . as you go through your day(s) . . . get into the habit of listening DEEP into the music . . . on your car-radio (or where ever.)  Listen for what you've learned in the lessons.  It will be within the music you hear EVERYWHERE, 99% of the time!  #2.  LEARN TO FEEL . . . that 'BACKBEAT' as you listen, (See TD#16),  . . . Feeling the Backbeat

     The 'BACKBEAT' tells us:      a. The TEMPO, and      b. The BASIC DANCE BEAT CATEGORY, (which is         usually dependent on tempo.) LATER, AT THE DRUM SET . . .        Once you've determined the tempo and the beat category of any song . . . you will quickly discover that you can easily play THAT song all the way through, though you may never have heard it before.  The 'fancy licks' will come to you very easily too, as you become obsessed with 'routine jamming' like this.  It's great fun and your skills will develop gradually as you PLAY along with music.      Hopefully, you'll begin PLAYING ALONG WITH RECORDED MUSIC, on a daily basis. This is the way ALL PRO-DRUMMERS develop. (Ask any WORKING pro-drummer and you'll hear this same prescription over and over again.) #3.  DON'T TRY TO COPY RECORDED DRUMMERS, NOTE FOR NOTE:     Just play the BASICS at first.  WE NEEDN'T COPY THE RECORDED DRUMMERS right away (they rarely copy themselves, on the 2nd, 3rd or 49th takes.)  The important thing is to 'FEEL' the tempo and the beat.  The 'fancy licks' (beat variations & fills) will follow in a VERY NATURAL WAY, as you learn them LATER in the 80 LESSON course.      SPECIAL POINT . . .     There's room for MUCH personal creativity here, and PERSONAL CREATIVITY is the MOST IMPORTANT PART of any ART form.       Rhythm theory is virtually a game without many steadfast RULES . . .  It's SO 'artistically free' that we TEACHERS must be VERY CAREFUL with our WORDING, haha. ................................................     The minute we teachers make or 'declare' a rule . . . some guy down the road will BREAK that rule on a recording and catapult themselves (and their bands) to fame and fortune.  ................................................ SAD TRUTH . . .      The recorded drummers may be doing things we as students CAN'T do, (at first.)      You'll hear them play extra bass-drum and snare-notes . . . and they will play unexpected 'fills' (ie; rolls) periodically as a song progresses . . .      That's OK!  . . . You WILL quickly gain a feel for the other things they are doing as you progress deeper into the lessons, and continuously 'jam' FOR FUN on a DAILY BASIS.  It's all in the plan!   Soon (in about 4 months or less) you'll learn to anticipate what the recorded drummers will do . . . then YOU'LL DO IT, AS THEY DO IT, almost instinctively, . . . BECAUSE, the recorded drummers are following PATTERNS . . . the VERY SAME patterns you'll be learning as you progress with the lessons in this course.      Once you know the patterns . . . you'll have little problem identifying the appropriate places to play them . . . and, they'll seem to come natural too . . . DEVELOPING "FEEL":     There's only one 'logical' way I know of, to develop that special, natural 'feel'!      "FEEL" grows a little with every song we play.  That's why I place so much focus on JAMMING WITH RECORDED MUSIC, from the very beginning.     Without 'feel', . . . No amount of study will produce the hoped-for results.  Our 'FEEL FOR THE BACKBEAT' is the KEY ELEMENT here . . .     See TD #16: "FEELING THE BACKBEAT". Don't miss that very special TD article . . . in the TD archives.  It contains the "MAGIC BEAN". #3.  DEEPER INTO THE COURSE . . .      You'll be learning all the 'fancy licks' in LATER lessons. You'll learn to READ NOTATION as you go . . . and you won't have to guess at the complex, 'fancy-licks' as so many self-taught working drummers have done.       Here . . . we are streamlining the entire learning process to a point where it's possible to get 4 or 5 YEARS of development into about a 4 or 5 MONTHS of VERY FUN study.      You'll be learning the same things the natural drummers are doing  . . . but you'll use a ROADMAP and  You'll be on AN INTERSTATE HIGHWAY . . . OR A FREEWAY, (not a bumpy dirt road.)      #5.  COORDINATION DEVELOPMENT / MUSCLE-SPEED & CONTROL      CONTROL is directly dependent on effort expended.  Most of the necessary muscle-development will occur NATURALLY as we JAM AND STUDY!  if we're having fun learning NEW techniques routinely . . . and if we jam for long durations.  We'll experience the 'FUN' (painless) way to develop speed and control, AND IT WILL DEVELOP QUICKLY. ADAPT TO LONG PRACTICE (JAMMING) SESSIONS . . .     REMEMBER!  The average 'gig' is 4 or 5 hours long. It doesn't hurt a thing to think of a 4 hour practice session as normal!    I'd would rather see a student practice once a week for 4 hours . . . than once a day for 45 minutes. WHY?     Because with longer jams, you'll experience some fairly INCREDIBLE, 'CREATIVITY FACTORS'!  Those factors will often occur ONLY after the 2nd or 3rd hour of jamming . . . (once the brain and limbs are totally focused as a team.)   These factors are the factors that will cause you to become obsessed (addicted) to long jams.     There's a 'natural' high to be experienced this way and there's nothing like it!  We call it a 'groove'.    No drugs necessary . . . ever!  :>) PLAYING FILLS . . . (The easiest way for beginners.)      When the recorded drummer goes for a 'fill' or fancy beat variation . . . all you have to do is STAY WITH THE BASIC BEAT OF THE MUSIC.   He/she will be following the SAME BASIC BEAT PATTERN you are (we hope) . . . and they will return to that beat pattern.  You'll only need to HOLD SOLID . . . and stay in-time  . . . The recorded drummer will always return to the beat, in-tempo or sync with you.      LATER . . . after playing any song several times, you'll learn to anticipate the fills . . . and inject your own fill attempts at the appropriate times . . .  It WILL come natural.  (That's what last months lesson was all about.)      'DOING', . . . IS THE BEST TEACHER OF ALL!  Our natural instincts will kick-in . . . and we'll instinctively 'feel' the fancy stuff . . . as we continue to play along with song after song.  Think of it as,"on-the-job-training". It's the same thing you'll be doing on the 'live' gigs, later . . . where, YOU WILL BE THE DRUMMER, and there won't be a recorded drummer to follow. IMPORTANT STUDY TIP:  (For Paid students)      *** Skip & Jump around, inside this course after the 5th lesson. ***      Once you have the Basic Dance Beats in your pocket, it's usually ok to SKIP and JUMP around within the course to topics that interest you most . . . at any preferred time. ONE SMALL EXCEPTION . . .      Some of the lessons . . . like the 'TIME SIGNATURE' lesson . . . WILL require the support of other 'more basic' lessons . . .       If you can comprehend a lesson . . . then it's probably ok to study that lesson as your interest dictates. We tend to learn at a FASTER rate when 'interest' is peaked. BUT:     The time-sig (TIME SIGNATURE) lesson in this course SHOULD be preceded by the following lessons, in the following order:         1.  The BASIC DANCE BEATS.     2.  NOTE-VALUES:  At least a vague comprehension.     3.  PERMUTATION THEORY I & II. . . (with 8th rock)     4.  WALTZ:  All  structures in the         Waltz Beat lesson.  Notice how those Basic         3/4 Waltz beats relate to the Basic 4/4 beats &         how PERMUTATION THEORY applies as well.     5.  Now, you're ready for the TIME SIGNATURE lesson.     *  ONLY THEN, will the time-sig lesson reach you with its full (mind blowing) impact. It's by far the BEST lesson in the entire course.  It may be the BEST drum lesson you'll ever take in your life.  That's why it isn't available for free. #6,  HOW FAST SHOULD YOU STUDY?     Think of ANY one-or-two lessons in this course as a FULL WEEK of study.  That's exactly the way I would normally teach them to you in my private ($30 per hour) classes. IMPORTANT!     Every hour of intense study, (or dry, boring practice), should be followed with at least 4 or 5 hours of JAMMING FUN. Don't skimp on the jams . . . or you'll be missing the whole point of studying. IN A NUT-SHELL . . .        *  Learn the beats & rolls from the web pages and 'midi files' . . .    *  Listen for those same beats & rolls in the music that's going on around you all the time.    *  Jam with music EVERY DAY. PLAY what you feel and constantly adapt the NEW techniques you've learned from the course . . .    Your talent will grow like a weed!  That's a promise. :>)

This topic could save you YEARS and give you renewed ambition.


Copyright Bill Powelson 1994 all rights reserved.