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 essentially, 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 person one and the fills are person two, a bit like a question and answer scenario.

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 through their kits and if you ever found yourself in the fortunate position of having an 'actual conversation' with one of these guys, 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!