Before deciding whether or not to face a challenge, most ask themselves, “why should I bother doing this?” When drummers wonder why they should learn other musical styles, the answers are many, depending on each drummer’s circumstance.This article should give you some insight, and help inspire you to explore more drumming styles.
Get the gigs and keep them too!
Those wanting to do music as a profession need to study and prepare many styles to ensure that they can play the jobs that they are hired for. Want to be a true pro? Stop sight-reading and start memorizing, because you will inevitably be called to play different styles authentically. If you can’t do it, don’t expect a call back.
With that said, I would like to discuss the universal reasons why people should learn other musical styles. I hope the thoughts contained herein will inspire everyone to find the joy that can be derived from learning and playing other styles.
Practice other styles to enhance the ones you already play.
You might ask yourself how learning another style could improve your abilities at your own but I guarantee it will. Let’s say you play rock. This style is relatively new (60 yrs or so). It didn’t just appear out of nowhere! One might notice how similar early rock music was to swing. Rock evolved out of swing, and therefore studying pre-rock swing will help you better understand rock.
You would begin to explore the Saint Louis, Chicago, Be-bop, Big-band and New-Orleans and Swing styles of Jazz. New Orleans would get you thinking about the mix of cultures that birthed Jazz. That would lead you to study rudiment based military marching styles, New Orleans second line and African music. Drum-based African music is so plentiful that one could dedicate their entire life to studying it and only scratch the surface.
Moving Forward Through History…
Hopefully learning about these styles would then encourage you to study post rock developments, including the jazz through the 50s and on as well as African descended music that developed in places like Cuba, Brazil, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, Dominican Republic and many other areas.
Borrowing a Limb or Two...
Parts from other styles can also improve your playing through direct adaptation. One could easily adapt some Jazz licks as rock fills. Or a Partido Alto groove from Brazil would sound great in many rock tunes. Your Limb Independence would also definitely be improved through the study of Sambas, Songos, Mambos or many other styles; and everyone should want to improve their independence.
One last reason why one might choose to broaden their stylistic horizons is to have fun! It is a blast feeling the pocket in a new kind of groove or ripping off licks with real historical depth. With that in mind, please enjoy this website as a way to start into new worlds for your drumming.