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  • Writer's pictureJustin Moore

Become Familiar

Learning to play a new style of music that you aren't familiar with is so exciting! It's as fresh a feeling as it gets. The desire to practice is about as strong as it can be at this point, but there is one crucial thing that people often don't do here, which I cannot stress the importance of enough: Become familiar with the genre.

Becoming familiar with any genre means to listen to as many artists as possible from whatever said genre it is that you're learning. You'll start to notice similarities (and differences) among artists and songs. You'll begin recognizing patterns, such as occasional bars of 2/4 in country music, cymbal swells and tom grooves in worship music, and the occasional omitted bass drum in hip-hop. Recognizing these patterns will really help your understanding of which drum parts work, and which ones don't, improving your ability to improvise and express yourself freely. You'll learn songs more quickly, and also have a better feel to your playing. Take jazz for example. With the exception of accented notes, the ride and hi hat are much louder than the bass drum and snare. If you were playing along to your first jazz song, but weren't familiar with the genre whatsoever, chances are you'd smack the snare and kick too hard, which wouldn't sound right. Not good.

Luckily, there has never been an easier time to discover seemingly endless artists of any genre. All you have to do to familiarize yourself with any genre, is get on Spotify, Apple Music, or any other streaming service (which there are plenty) and search for whatever genre you want. You'll be provided with tons of playlists, featuring a boatload of artists. It's that easy. All you have to do is listen. See how it improves your playing!

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