Thank you all for your assistance.
j_kay I'm not a drummer by trade so I do know the specific terms to describe the help that he needs. It seems he needs to work on his timing, coordination (so he can manipulate the whole drum set), and being able to "groove" instead of just beat (if that makes any sense).
These highlighted details are what was missing in your initial post, JLawrence.Timing
: He/she needs to work with an instructor whom guides he/she in the use of a metronome. Teaching them the various notations/musical time values which make the the rhymic patterns of music. It is a must that he and those he plays with understand the quarter note and all its subdivisions (8th note, 16th note, 32nd notes etc) because once he learns to use the metronome and use it properly then everyone has to be able to communicate on the same level in order to nurture progress. Also the better his timing is as the drummer the more it wil shine light on the poor timing of other instrument players. resason being is that mmost others do not work with a metronome on a consistant basis nor do they play the rhythmic patterns in the correct timing/space value and placement because their instrument has sustain which disguise the sins of bad timing.
: Coordination improves when (1) the kit is set up to he/her body proportions actuarately (2) All movements around the kit are done to a metronome and counted aloud until they become "natural" (3) proper body mechanics for moving around the kit are taught, practiced and applied consistantly and correctly. Some can learn this through instructional DVDs but having an qualified/knowledgable instructor accessing and correcting and guiding one is better and quicker. When it comes to playing in the church scene most folk tend to be resistant to formal instruction at first because most folk they know learn by watching others in the church/self-taught scene doing things wrong. Having a qualified instructor can lesson the "growing pains" of unlearning wrong/less effective information/movements etc.Groove
: Groove comes from feeling the "time"... knowing exactly where everything falls correctly and then weaving ones way through it to make the music feel good. Locking in with the bass player or other rhythm instruments and setting the foundation for the whole band is what defines the drum set players job in the band setting. Confidence in accuracy of rhythm, timing and coordination and listening set that tone. Groove in terms of time and feel come from a well developed internal sense of time playing (rhythm in time more specifically)and musicality which comes from how one listens/hears music, processes and responds to the music. This has to be cultivated. Can it be taught? YES IT CAN but not by someone whom doesn't understand it themselves. If one cannot listen to music and feel themselves in the music as if they are playing it they will always play from an external standpoint of selfishness and ego. Musicians have to be "in" the music with the intentions to "pull everyone else in when the listen" to feel what the musician and artist feel. The ultimate groove playing puts everyone in the same "time space" feeling the same tempo and attitude of the piece at the same time.
If a young player doesn't naturally display this then they have to be taught how to bring out and develop and nurture it. First knowing how to communicate what the band wants and needs is the is essential.
Practicing with a a metronome first and counting out loud, then progressing to a drum machine and later to a click track develops timing.
Working from INSTRUCTIONAL books, INSTRUCTIONAL DVDs on exercersise patterns and applying RUDIMENTS around the kit along to a metronome and counting out loud.
The Drum Set Musician by Rod Morganstein
Drum Set Control by Ron Spagnardi
Playing With Precision and Power featuring Chris Coleman
Michael Packer: Bass Drum & Hi-Hat Technique
Todd Sucherman: Methods and Mechanics - For Useful Musical Drumming
Tommy Igoe Groove Essentials
NOTE: the book contains a CD with 80 mp3 files of full length songs with and without drums so you can play-a-long to the music used in the exercises on the DVD!!!
Groove Essentials - The Play-Along : A Complete Groove Encyclopedia for the 21st Century Drummer
Tommy Igoe Groove Essentials 2.0 DVD
Tommy Igoe Groove Essentials 2.0 - The Play-Along Book/CD
David Garibaldi: Tower of Groove, Vol. 1 and 2
Ray Luzier: Double Bass Drum Techniques, Hand & Foot Coordination, Drum Fills And Warm-Up Exercises DVD
Billy Ward: Big Time
Power Drumming by Virgil Donati (VHS)
** yeah you will have to convert this to DVD or PSP, iPod etc BUT this is one of the best examples of drum set coordination exercises played to a metronome ever made
These resources will help if used consistantly. They will require learning basic reading skills but this only enhances the giftings of the user.