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#2369247 - 01/04/15 06:54 AM Is it necessary for pianists learn play drums?
Nahum Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/27/14
Posts: 535
Loc: Israel
I think yes! The eminent drummer Jack deJohnette said during his masterclass in Jerusalem the following brilliant phrase: "I play on drums like on the piano".Do not even need to mention that J. DeJ. Is a professional pianist.
Between the drums and keyboard there are too many similarities to ignore the drumming skills.

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#2369283 - 01/04/15 09:36 AM Re: Is it necessary for pianists learn play drums? [Re: Nahum]
dire tonic Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/17/11
Posts: 1917
Loc: uk south
Since you pose it as a question, Nahum, I'd say no, but it does depend on genre too.

Think about, for example, the clav and the Rhodes piano in the context of funk (Hammond too but not so much in funk). What is essential here is not just how to bash out a tattoo but a clear understanding about long and short notes/chords - this is a dimension not required and therefore lacking in drum technique.

The time spent honing paradiddles would be better spent on techniques specific to and required by the instrument.

If you're going to live till you're 300 I might revise that opinion.

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#2369344 - 01/04/15 12:52 PM Re: Is it necessary for pianists learn play drums? [Re: dire tonic]
Nahum Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/27/14
Posts: 535
Loc: Israel
Originally Posted By: dire tonic
Since you pose it as a question, Nahum, I'd say no, but it does depend on genre too.


We're talking about jazz, pop and rock music? Then it is IMO absolutely necessary - to begin the first lesson not with chords or tunes , but with rhythms. If there is a drum kit - you can start with it, If there is a built-in within a keyboard - you can use it. Piano at the beginning is not the best tool for this; but the melodica perfectly helps!



Quote:
Think about, for example, the clav and the Rhodes piano in the context of funk (Hammond too but not so much in funk). What is essential here is not just how to bash out a tattoo but a clear understanding about long and short notes/chords - this is a dimension not required and therefore lacking in drum technique.


I think this view is not exact, these qualities have one answer - High hat! Among the percussion, he is the most versatile tool: it has a long and short sounds,   high and   (relatively) low, accented and unaccented sounds and ghosts - sounds; single sounds and complex (like the chord). No wonder that Max Roach played the entire solo only on high hat - I saw him in concert.


Only listen to his melodies!

Quote:
The time spent honing paradiddles would be better spent on techniques specific to and required by the instrument.


To paraphrase "The drummer - a musician's best friend!" (Drummers between us, forgive me! - I love and respect you!) - "The drummers learn paradiddles, pianists - groove and accurate articulation of phrases" .

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#2369378 - 01/04/15 02:31 PM Re: Is it necessary for pianists learn play drums? [Re: Nahum]
dire tonic Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/17/11
Posts: 1917
Loc: uk south
I've been messing around with a piano version of High Heeled Sneakers. Put aside the fact that here and there it's a six-finger job (as distinct from 2 arms!) and that those fingers aren't all playing at the same time. What I'm really trying to do here is to get the left hand to simulate a guitar groove while the RH chunks out some version of the melody and supports the LH groove in the holes left by the melody. I've got two choices.

i) Learn to play the guitar first.
ii) Stick with the piano and figure out how to adapt a guitar riff using skills only a pianist has at his disposal.

Guess what I'm going to choose.

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#2369383 - 01/04/15 02:47 PM Re: Is it necessary for pianists learn play drums? [Re: Nahum]
Nahum Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/27/14
Posts: 535
Loc: Israel
dire tonic , You are a beginner? If not, what is written above  does not apply to you.

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#2369385 - 01/04/15 02:51 PM Re: Is it necessary for pianists learn play drums? [Re: Nahum]
KlinkKlonk Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 05/19/09
Posts: 395
The problem is getting a drum set. If I had one I would play.

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#2369394 - 01/04/15 02:57 PM Re: Is it necessary for pianists learn play drums? [Re: KlinkKlonk]
Nahum Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/27/14
Posts: 535
Loc: Israel
I repeat : If there is a drum kit - you can start with it, ]If there is a built-in within a keyboard - you can use it

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#2369397 - 01/04/15 02:58 PM Re: Is it necessary for pianists learn play drums? [Re: Nahum]
spanishbuddha Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/08/09
Posts: 2587
Loc: UK
Interesting topic. I do have more trouble with different and syncopated rhythms in both hands at the same time, with some 'pop' songs, compared to most of the classical pieces learnt so far at my level.

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#2369404 - 01/04/15 03:05 PM Re: Is it necessary for pianists learn play drums? [Re: spanishbuddha]
Nahum Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/27/14
Posts: 535
Loc: Israel
Originally Posted By: spanishbuddha
Interesting topic. I do have more trouble with different and syncopated rhythms in both hands at the same time, with some 'pop' songs, compared to most of the classical pieces learnt so far at my level.
How do you solve this problem on the piano?

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#2369406 - 01/04/15 03:07 PM Re: Is it necessary for pianists learn play drums? [Re: Nahum]
Sir Lurksalot Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/19/04
Posts: 1260
No, but Stevie Wonder and Mel Torme come to mind immediately (of course Torme was more of a drummer than pianist).

My son is a jazz pianist with classical training. It was a requirement of his middle and high school jazz bands that you had to be a member of the regular band, so he had to find a second instrument in order to play piano in the jazz bands. He chose percussion, and it made him a better pianist and musician in general.

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#2369409 - 01/04/15 03:19 PM Re: Is it necessary for pianists learn play drums? [Re: Nahum]
Nahum Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/27/14
Posts: 535
Loc: Israel
Which pianist has such clarity and precision?


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#2369413 - 01/04/15 03:24 PM Re: Is it necessary for pianists learn play drums? [Re: Nahum]
dire tonic Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/17/11
Posts: 1917
Loc: uk south
Originally Posted By: Nahum
dire tonic , You are a beginner? If not, what is written above  does not apply to you.

- ah!, so this is a proposal mainly for beginners?...ok, why not. I would expect benefit sometimes but maybe not always? And there's the problem of commitment to one instrument....dunno....

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#2369416 - 01/04/15 03:26 PM Re: Is it necessary for pianists learn play drums? [Re: Nahum]
dire tonic Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/17/11
Posts: 1917
Loc: uk south
Originally Posted By: Nahum
Which pianist has such clarity and precision?


But it's as though he's playing his vibes rather than piano. And it's a party trick.

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#2369421 - 01/04/15 03:35 PM Re: Is it necessary for pianists learn play drums? [Re: dire tonic]
Nahum Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/27/14
Posts: 535
Loc: Israel
Originally Posted By: dire tonic
And there's the problem of commitment to one instrument.
It is the law?

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#2369424 - 01/04/15 03:36 PM Re: Is it necessary for pianists learn play drums? [Re: Nahum]
Greener Offline

Platinum Supporter until July 22 2014


Registered: 05/29/12
Posts: 1384
Loc: Toronto
Vibraphonists often came from either camp. Drums or piano. Hampton was drums I think. He was likely faster as a result, plus he could swing like crazy, but others with keyboard background could also hold their own.

I don't think it is necessary. I also saw mentioned elsewhere, that learning sax should be sought to open the ears. Exposure to other instruments I do not think will be a bad thing, but I do not think is necessary. The draw back could be diluting the targeted outcome ... A man of all trades is a master of none.

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#2369436 - 01/04/15 04:11 PM Re: Is it necessary for pianists learn play drums? [Re: Greener]
dire tonic Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/17/11
Posts: 1917
Loc: uk south
Originally Posted By: Greener
Vibraphonists often came from either camp. Drums or piano. Hampton was drums I think. He was likely faster as a result, plus he could swing like crazy, but others with keyboard background could also hold their own.

I don't think it is necessary. I also saw mentioned elsewhere, that learning sax should be sought to open the ears. Exposure to other instruments I do not think will be a bad thing, but I do not think is necessary. The draw back could be diluting the targeted outcome ... A man of all trades is a master of none.


That's how I see it too. Ok, only two trades, perhaps, but time is usually not on our side.

I was thinking about Victor Feldman only the other day (one of the uk's rare talents who wisely took himself off to the States). He started out on drums, apparently.


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#2369447 - 01/04/15 04:41 PM Re: Is it necessary for pianists learn play drums? [Re: dire tonic]
Nahum Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/27/14
Posts: 535
Loc: Israel
We study the theory, because we need it, not because we want to be professional musicologist . Same with drumming. I thought it was clear to anyone , but turns out that is not.Play jazz and to have a bad rhythm feel just makes no sense.Passes through my hands a lot of such students; and what I can do in piano class?
So to say, the fruits of rhythmic education ...

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#2369669 - 01/05/15 05:15 AM Re: Is it necessary for pianists learn play drums? [Re: spanishbuddha]
dire tonic Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/17/11
Posts: 1917
Loc: uk south
Originally Posted By: spanishbuddha
Interesting topic. I do have more trouble with different and syncopated rhythms in both hands at the same time, with some 'pop' songs, compared to most of the classical pieces learnt so far at my level.

If you're trying to play a song from one of those commercially produced song books then expect to run into trouble more often than not!

I knocked out lead sheets for a couple of years and had a friend who scored out quite a few of these piano 'transcriptions'. The pay wasn't great so for efficiency his method was like most others doing that job. He'd take the lead sheet (top line, sung melody), add RH chords under the top line where he thought fit/necessary/appropriate. Invent some sort of LH groove based on a mix of what the drums/bass/guitar were doing on the original track. He was fast with notation so rarely bothered to actually put his hands together to play what he'd written, in fact he'd often chuckle gleefully that they were unplayable!

Not always true. Ballads were usually safer but 'rock' and up-tempo pop stuff was often a travesty. A mix of LH and RH ideas that were simply not pianistic. Better to arrange your own!

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#2369674 - 01/05/15 05:55 AM Re: Is it necessary for pianists learn play drums? [Re: Nahum]
Mark Polishook Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/29/12
Posts: 822
Loc: Leicester, UK
There are tons of great reasons for pianists to play drums and Jack DeJohnnette, Chick Corea, Lionel Hampton, George Colligan, Stevie Wonder, and others are among them. And it's true that musicians benefit from whatever they do to increase their rhythmic sensibility and ability.

BUT. I'd never attach the words "must" or "necessary" to pianism and drumming as has-to-be pair of things. As a pair, they're not the whole story or the "secret" method. They're just "great" things to do–a pianist who plays the drums is going to learn a lot from that that. A WHOLE LOT as Nahum has said.

So while there are plenty of "name" musicians we can quote who advise "this way of doing it" or "that way of doing it their all examples of a point rather than universals that prove truth. The key is to find "which of the ways" among the "many ways" are the most beneficial of "all the ways." Great musicians find great ways to learn. But is there one way? A has-to-be-do-it-this-way sort of way?

Here's a great video with Steve Gadd playing with Chick Corea. The rhythmic interplay between everyone on the bandstand goes beyond wonderful.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4vrLAK_CZrY

.... here are videos out there in Youtube land where Steve Gadd talks about Chick Corea's DRUMMING as being a huge influence on him. .... many musicians .... many paths ....


Edited by Mark Polishook (01/05/15 05:58 AM)
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#2369962 - 01/05/15 07:50 PM Re: Is it necessary for pianists learn play drums? [Re: Nahum]
Michael Martinez Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/22/12
Posts: 516
Loc: California
no, pianists don't need to learn to play drums any more than they need to learn to play another instrument. Probably 90% of pianists don't play drums. Who says you won't have good rhythm if you don't study drums?

Interestingly, it seems that quite a few drummers actually play piano, as do musicians of other instruments. Everyone seems to gravitate to piano at one point or another as part of rounding out their musical skills.


Edited by Michael Martinez (01/05/15 07:51 PM)
_________________________
Music Educator, Computer Engineer, avid reader of literature, enjoyer of the outdoors
http://www.michael--martinez.com/music/

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#2370296 - 01/06/15 02:57 PM Re: Is it necessary for pianists learn play drums? [Re: Nahum]
Nahum Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/27/14
Posts: 535
Loc: Israel
I somewhat repent; is possible my question wording was not completely accurate. I'll try to change it:

Is it necessary for pianists who play jazz, rock and pop music, learn to play also drums, to develop a sense of rhythm at a high level corresponding to modern music?

Michael Martinez,You seriously believe that  so you can play the keyboard without the preliminary work with drums, even digital ?


I was wondering where you got that statistic - 90% of the pianists do not play on piano? So it's in California? In Israel, it is a bit different: all jazz pianists of professional level, as well as youth, playing drums and can accompany. All our best drummers play the piano, and the better drummer - Is he better as a pianist (and vice versa too)!

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#2370729 - 01/07/15 02:28 PM Re: Is it necessary for pianists learn play drums? [Re: Nahum]
Michael Martinez Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/22/12
Posts: 516
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: Nahum

Michael Martinez,You seriously believe that  so you can play the keyboard without the preliminary work with drums, even digital ?


yeah. Most pianists/keyboardists I've known don't play drums. probably > 90% don't. The other way around seems to be a little bit more popular.


Edited by Michael Martinez (01/07/15 02:28 PM)
_________________________
Music Educator, Computer Engineer, avid reader of literature, enjoyer of the outdoors
http://www.michael--martinez.com/music/

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#2370741 - 01/07/15 02:58 PM Re: Is it necessary for pianists learn play drums? [Re: Nahum]
rintincop Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/11/04
Posts: 1641
No! I played drums since I was 7 and now I am trying to unlearn tapping beat one with the right foot and beat two with the left. At piano I want to tap the opposite direction pattern: LRLR and not RLRL
_________________________
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#2370747 - 01/07/15 03:15 PM Re: Is it necessary for pianists learn play drums? [Re: Michael Martinez]
Nahum Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/27/14
Posts: 535
Loc: Israel
Originally Posted By: Michael Martinez


yeah. Most pianists/keyboardists I've known don't play drums. probably > 90% don't. The other way around seems to be a little bit more popular.


OK, I will not go away, I'll start with my students:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=77ZNFhiZqzE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zGY55YVMxEg

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WPHfxez1E1o

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U5G9zWXMmdg

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YCKCt4ajKio

All of them also play the drums - without my advice.


About Tamir Hendelman do not know anything. 83% for the fact that he also plays drums. But you live closest to him - easier for you to ask! smile

Here's a story from the past: in 1976 toured in Israel Stan Getz Quartet - with .Mike Richmond on bass, Billy Hart on drums, Joanne Brackeen on piano. Joanne said that after the release of the album of Chick Corea "Light as a feather" and under its influence , she and all her acquaintances in New York pianists bought a drum set - only for training.
But it's in New York ...

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#2370792 - 01/07/15 04:47 PM Re: Is it necessary for pianists learn play drums? [Re: Nahum]
Mark Polishook Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/29/12
Posts: 822
Loc: Leicester, UK
Nahum,

That Stan Getz Quartet is one of the great ones. I had a vinyl recording of it with N-Hop on bass replacing Mike Richmond. What a group smile

In my olden days in NYC I observed exactly what you've been saying. The only place I differ with you is that no, it's not "necessary," strictly speaking, for pianists to play drums. But yet it's common enough to find great pianists who play drums. Common enough that examples are plentiful ...

On the other hand, it's often the case that great musicians turn out to have a bunch of instruments they play. I can think of more than a few examples of that. Also, in terms of composing you get a better view–more insight–of how to write for write for instruments if you can play them, or, at a minimum, have at least have a strong sense of how they work and what it takes to play them.

That sense of really knowing instruments and what they can do is what makes say, an Ellington or a Gil Evans so special. Of course there are many others that could be named.

What it comes down to is special(ised) knowledge leads special(ised) results. Jazz being a creative music we want special(ised) results.
_________________________
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#2370835 - 01/07/15 06:24 PM Re: Is it necessary for pianists learn play drums? [Re: Nahum]
Michael Martinez Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/22/12
Posts: 516
Loc: California
I guess if you really want to know the answer, go on Keyboard Korner and take a poll.
_________________________
Music Educator, Computer Engineer, avid reader of literature, enjoyer of the outdoors
http://www.michael--martinez.com/music/

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#2370971 - 01/08/15 01:00 AM Re: Is it necessary for pianists learn play drums? [Re: Mark Polishook]
Nahum Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/27/14
Posts: 535
Loc: Israel
Originally Posted By: Mark Polishook
The only place I differ with you is that no, it's not "necessary," strictly speaking, for pianists to play drums. .
I think there is general agreement on the fact that a professional musician, artist of Western music   MUST   be able to play - in one way or another - the piano. The reasons for this are quite clear and on this subject, it is not necessary even to debate: in every music school there is a course of  side piano (in Russia called mandatory piano) .
The need to acquaintance a keyboard instrument for music education has historically been tested for at least 300 years.At the same time methodically organized jazz education exists only since 1945. As can be seen period of 70 years is not enough to convince teachers of the need to study drumming for jazz, because of its central elements - the rhythm , what perfectly balances the importance of the piano to study the central element of Western music - harmony and melody. Spontaneous behavior of professional jazz musicians and students outside educational framework underscores this need. Group intuition doesn't deceive!
Maybe we should wait for 230 years, and then return to the discussion smile ?




Edited by Nahum (01/08/15 03:36 AM)

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#2371022 - 01/08/15 05:19 AM Re: Is it necessary for pianists learn play drums? [Re: Nahum]
Mark Polishook Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/29/12
Posts: 822
Loc: Leicester, UK
Originally Posted By: Nahum
Originally Posted By: Mark Polishook
The only place I differ with you is that no, it's not "necessary," strictly speaking, for pianists to play drums. .
I think there is general agreement on the fact that a professional musician, artist of Western music   MUST   .....
Maybe we should wait for 230 years, and then return to the discussion smile ?



Sarcasm weakens points that were otherwise well made.
_________________________
PolishookPiano

mark@polishookpiano.com

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#2371034 - 01/08/15 05:50 AM Re: Is it necessary for pianists learn play drums? [Re: Mark Polishook]
Nahum Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/27/14
Posts: 535
Loc: Israel
Originally Posted By: Mark Polishook

Sarcasm weakens points that were otherwise well made.

Mark,The definition of "sarcasm" here simply does not fall under its meaning:

a sharp and often satirical or ironic utterance designed to cut or give pain
or
a mode of satirical wit depending for its effect on bitter, caustic, and often ironic language that is usually directed against an individual
I gave it as a contemplative experiment, "imagine how it will be after 230 years" (if we were still living)

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#2371036 - 01/08/15 06:11 AM Re: Is it necessary for pianists learn play drums? [Re: Nahum]
Mark Polishook Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/29/12
Posts: 822
Loc: Leicester, UK
Nahum,

If you say you weren't being sarcastic I accept that. But dictionary definitions differ hence my use of the term. Please accept that. As a contemplative experience, which I can accept of course, well, then I'd say the outcome may be far different than you've predicted. History is like that ...

I am off to the piano now.
_________________________
PolishookPiano

mark@polishookpiano.com

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