Enhancing your creativity and developing a unique style on drums – Enhancing your creativity and developing a unique style on drums involves a combination of technical proficiency, musical exploration, and personal expression. Here are some tips to help you foster creativity and cultivate your own drumming style:
1. Learn Basic Techniques First
- Before you can get creative, you’ll need to have a fairly solid understanding of the fundamentals of basic drumming techniques. This includes understanding rudiments, proper hand and foot technique, and basic rhythm patterns. Having said that, it really depends how ‘far out’ you want to get.
- Modernists believe in trashing foundations to make way for new ideas. You could, for example, set up the drum kit in a way that makes it impossible to play in the traditional way or build your own kit out of random junk. You could rebel to the point where you refuse to play anything in time. Hello, non-idiomatic drumming.
2. Hand Technique
- Pay attention to your hand technique as this is the way to becoming more expressive. Work on developing consistent and controlled strokes with both hands. Practice playing at different dynamics (loud and soft) to build strength and versatility.
- A high level of hand technique takes time and consistent practice. Be patient with yourself, focus on the fundamentals. Over time you will start to incorporate it into your daily practice routine.
3. Study Different Drumming Styles
- Explore various drumming styles, including jazz, rock, funk, Latin, and more. Each genre has its own unique rhythmic patterns and techniques that can inspire your creativity. For example, Jazz drumming emphasises improvisation, syncopation, and dynamic expression. Rock drumming is characterised by powerful, driving rhythms.
- Funk drumming is known for its tight, groove-oriented patterns. Work on mastering syncopated beats, dynamic ghost notes, and intricate hi-hat patterns. Pay attention to the placement of accents and explore the use of linear drumming techniques to create funky and rhythmic grooves.
4. Listen to a Wide Range of Music
- Expand your musical palette by listening to a diverse range of genres and artists. Take note of the drumming styles in different songs and incorporate elements that resonate with you into your own playing.
- Identify iconic drummers in different genres and study their playing styles. Analyse their techniques, the types of grooves they create, and how they contribute to the overall sound of the band.
5. Incorporate Odd Time Signatures
- Challenge yourself by playing in odd time signatures. This can open up new rhythmic possibilities and contribute to a more unique drumming style.
- Familiarise yourself with the concept of odd time signatures. Unlike common time signatures like 4/4 or 3/4, odd time signatures have an unusual number of beats per measure (e.g., 5/4, 7/8, 9/8).
- Feel the pulse of the odd time signature. Subdivide the beats and understand where the accents fall. Internalising the pulse is crucial for maintaining a steady and confident feel when playing in odd meters.