The previous discussions in this series were all about the physical aspects of drumming. And while that is critical and fundamental to becoming a good player, in the end what really matters is WHAT did you played and how did it FEEL. While learning what to play, when to play it, and how to make it feel good is the toughest part of music, the way to learn it is pretty simple. It all comes down to LISTENING. I assign my drummers to listen to certain tracks: my Spotify username is dougfarrar and there is a “drum listening list.” Don’t just listen to DRUMS. Listen to music. Become a great musician. When you are in a band, LISTEN to the other band members. Don’t just think about you. I have students learn to play certain grooves, fills, or songs exactly like the track. Study the great drummers. Listen to the classic drum tracks. Play along with great classic tracks and try to get the FEEL of the track. Subscribe to Modern Drummer magazine. Check out http://drummerworld.com/ to read about and watch videos from the best drummers. Try not to just watch “chops” videos. Watch full band videos to see how the great drummers play in a band. Doing these things will expand your drumming vocabulary and give you ideas to draw from when you play. Listening to great drummers and great music will help you get a better feel more than anything else. When you combine this head knowledge with the physical control discussed in previous blogs, you will be on your way toward being the drummer you really want to be! Good luck and good shedding!