Drumming: How To Fail

Drumming: How To Fail


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24 comments on “Drumming: How To Fail

  1. Jon Rizzo says:

    Thanks man. Definitely something that is way too hard to remember is to be better at being yourself and not comparing yourself to others. All of this social media and self-promotion becomes a huge blinder and pit of self doubt and condemnation sometimes. I’ll definitely keep this video handy whenever I’m feeling down about my own playing.

  2. Butch Cavouto says:

    Some great words. Practice is the most important thing you can do to keep on moving in a forward direction. A drummer is an athlete and one must practice everyday to stay at the level you are at presently. To advance, you better apply yourself even more. Have a goal in mind all the time to learn and master a lesson you are working on and stick to it until you get it right. Practice is the most important thing you can do. Be yourself and have fun!!!

  3. You know how to say it , teach it , play it ! I hope these Dummers pay attention
    Love your inspiration . ????

  4. Kirk Weber says:


    I’m 55 and though I’ve been playing for decades, I’m really only getting serious now. I go to a weekly jazz jam where there are a lot of really experienced drummer who have been gigging for years. There are also a bunch of young hotshots just out of college with certificates or degrees in music. Some of the talent is ridiculous, and I’m just trying to get my spangalang together. A ton of instrumentalists also play drums and are better than I am on drums. Then, as you say, there’s all this YouTube stuff.

  5. Kirk Weber says:


  6. Alain Poudrier says:

    Well said Maestro ! I don’t know how many times I have refered to many of the things you said to my students over the years.
    Thank you for sharing that Stephen!

  7. Kirk Weber says:

    Woops… posted my other entry before finishing it. :p

    Part B….

    My solution is to get gigs that require me to play to another level–not one that’s too far over my head with no chance of attaining the required skills by that date (e.g. if I can barely hold together a bossa right now, I’m not going to take a gig that requires me to play a mambo over 200bpm, by Saturday) but one that requires me to learn new skills, tighten up old ones or learn new songs in a reasonable period of time.

    However, I did take on a wedding gig where I will be playing swing dancing music–for legit swing dancers–at the reception. It’s over my head now, but a realistic self-assessment says, “If I focus on nothing else for the next 3 months, I can tighten up my spangalang and feathering enough that, with a really solid bass player, I can hold my time and feel together and get people dancing. I can’t do all kinds of fancy chops, but if I don’t play outside my limitations, I can make this thing feel really great!

    It gives me a goal, a time to reach it by, specific skills to work on, and an intense focus to achieve the goal in time for the gig. I find myself so intensely focused on the goal that I don’t have time to worry about what anybody else is doing.

  8. Mike Ross says:

    Hey Stephen, thank you, thank you for what you said I needed to here that because that’s exactly what I started doing, listening to other drummers and say wow there way better than me let me go see if I can do that,but i did stop my self, but it is so true. Ty, will try to be there tomorrow night. Thanks again.

  9. Huw Rees says:

    Nice one Stephen, great words, inspiring and true x

  10. Tom Molotky says:

    As always, a great inspiration. Thanks again!

  11. Perfect timing (pun semi-intended). I do this ALL THE TIME! It serves absolutely no purpose and is fact destructive. I’d eloborate, but you’ve inspired me to go practice and get better than the dude typing this right now.

    Thanks Stephen.

  12. Chuck Casillas says:

    Excellent advice! Your point is well taken.

  13. Alexander says:

    Bravo Stephen. Well said. I’m going to go practice too.

  14. Jeffrey Jarboe says:

    Great Words my friend and I couldn’t agree more!!! I have a good drummer friend who’s a rep for Ludwig and Paiste and he gets to hang with some of the greatest players in the world. We were talking about this subject last year and he said almost the same thing. We’re not gonna be Vinnie or Dave or Gadd or Coleman or any of those cats. But what you can be, is the greatest you possibly can for the musical situation you’re with. Your words drive this point home even better. Thanks for the “real life” advice and… the lessons are killer!!!

  15. Simon says:

    Spot on! Well said.

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