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"A good drummer listens as much as he plays." ~ Indian Proverb

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Drummer's Skills 

What's a drummer? What abilities do drummers have? What skills do drummers need? 

A. Drummer -- 1. someone who plays a hand, stick or mallet percussive instrument.  2. Someone who can't stop making rhythm!

B. Drummers, also known as percussionists, have very strong internal rhythms and energy flow.  This internal energy is the root of quality drumming.  Quality drummers have many special musical powers, here are some skills - powers - that are needed to become an advanced drummer.  The skills range in this list from the simple to the sophisticated.

Professional drummers are trained in hearing and have a highly developed sense of rhythm.  In order to perform their craft drummers must trust and develop their inner senses of "time" and "feel".  Drummers' rhythmic vocabulary is also a crucial skill.  A drummer's rhythmic vocabulary is akin to a writers verbal vocabulary.  In both cases, the vocabulary is the foundation for all their work.  Advanced and professional drummers also rely on their knowledge of musical form & theory to play with other musicians.

Some of the abilities that drummers have including:

Playing poly-rhythms

Marching, syncopating, swinging and phrasing

Changing or controlling various dynamics including tempo, texture, timbre, time signature and rhythms

A strong rhythmic vocabulary - knowing lots of rhythms

Improvising rhythms

Drum sight reading (not always essential, but can be very useful)

Quality drummers are expert musicians with an acute ear for rhythms and musical patterns.  Through the application of rhythmic elements & harmony drummers are the mood setters for the entire musical group.  Every culture has drums & drum music; probably every nation throughout history has drumming & drummers. 

 

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