Daily Fill #93: Drum Lessons: Levels of Musicianship Part 4: Master and Sustain


Welcome to the Monday edition of the Daily Fill with our lead educator Scott Jackson! Every Monday Scott drops into give us a quick drum lesson that we can apply to our playing right now! Let’s get started…

Over the last couple of weeks, we have been discussing a very subtle and introspective topic. And that topic is, objectively judging your technique and more importantly your Sound behind the drum set. Similar to the previous lessons, this week we focus on the start of the 3rd Primary Class of a Drummer the “Advanced Class” within this class falls Level 7, 8, and 9 however; we will only discuss Level 7 and 8 this week

Let’s break down the Advanced Class.

The Advanced Class: This class expands over three different levels, and is the class where you really come into your own. At this point in your drum career, the main focus is mastering what you know while still focusing on learning some new ideas or taking old ideas new the next level. What I mean by that is, you focus more on having extremely consistent time keeping within a groove and soloing. You take an old fill or lick and permutate it, play it in a new subdivision, or add more notes to it. You begin to focus on Mastering what you know to help you in your performing and teaching career

So in this stage, I recommend private lessons an elite player that knows what it takes to get to the career you want to have

Level 7: 7-10 years of playing experience: Master What You Know


New Skills: you continue to master new subdivisions like quintuplets septuplets, and new poly-rhythms, you also work on shifting between all subdivisions. You continue to learn how to read these new rhythms and master reading in any time signature.

Styles: Styles continue to develop, in this stage you are focused on mastering the styles you know on the drum set. Exact time keeping and consistency becomes a major focus

Time Keeping: Being more consistent while mastering how to be “center” ” behind” or “in front” of the beat.

Level 8: 9-12 years of playing experience: Master and Sustain

In this level, you are focused on not just creating more opportunities in your career, but also sustaining your career. You have probably quit your day job and our doing a great number of things to create and sustain a viable career with drums. You could be teaching, performing, making online lessons, making YouTube Drum Covers, and so on.

This stage is a stage of gaining experience and mastering the skills required through that experience. In pursuit of this, one thing will happen you will begin to create a sustainable career within music.

A quick note here, this is also the level that you start to find your niche or your strengths as a drummer. You start to realize what you a really good at and you realize you have two options. 1: You could solely focus on those strengths and make your career that. An example is, being a rock or pop drummer, a gospel or rnb drummer, or a jazz drummer. 2: You can try to master a number of styles in order to have more opportunities. Whichever you prefer is perfect, and that choice is yours to make. No one else can make that for you. Your journey with Music and playing drums, in the end, is something that is YOURS to take. So, a lot of decisions will ultimately come down to YOU. People can help you or advise you, but yous till make the choices all the way down to what you play, how you play, and how often do you practice etc. Hope this helps. Now… go drum.

For a more detailed breakdown, I will be posting a PDF file with the last Podcast of this series that will available for download.

Remember, Each stage will be different for everyone, and over the coming weeks I will outline each Level via my drum lessons page. The outline is not to tell you what you should be learning, but what you could be learning. Again, this is a very personal guide and each level will vary for each drummer. However, by the end of this series, you should be able to write down the skills you are working on and how skillfully you perform them to determine which Level you are in.

This topic is extremely subtle, and sometimes can make you confront areas of your playing you haven’t thought of before. So, just stay with me, and I guarantee you will have a new positive outlook on your Development as a drummer.

Get more from Scott by signing up for this month of Drummers I Like Pro and Learn More Now! No nonsense. Just results.  JUST CLICK HERE

Thanks for listening and Go Practice!

That’s it for the Daily Fill! Tune in Every Morning Monday Through Thursday for a new episode!

– Scott

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If you missed any of last weeks episode you can catch a quick link to any of the episodes below

Scott’s Drum Lesson

Daily Motivation for Drummers with Richard

Morning fuel with J.C. Clifford

Drum Rants with Kevin

Last Friday’s Podcast

Drummers I Like Social Media links






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