I was learning 'Knocking on heavens door' , cover of a Dylan then Hendrix song by Cold Chisel when a mate knocked on the door and said his bands drummer was out, and in desperation could I do a gig. Bluffing I got through it, and very quickly learnt from being thrown in the deep end to 'wing it" albeit with one beat under my hat as best as I could and learning some new songs very quickly at a gig.
The band folded soon after, but the exposure got me further work and started my lifetime of drumming and learning, I guess just find songs that you like, are easy time keepers, and progress from there.
I consider myself a little out of the ordinary because I never took lessons. For whatever reason picking things up by ear is just how I play. Even today, 20 years later I basically practice constantly in my head. If I can work out a riff or fill in my head it only takes a few minutes to get it to my hands once I sit down at the kit. Perfecting it and applying it might take a little longer though.
With that said, i remember clearly how I started. Every thing below is within roughly the first year or two of playing. I took inspiration from many many drummers since the beginning but thought I would share exactly how I laid down the ground work.
Step One - Taught myself the basics through listening to Bush (While not exactly basic rock beats the fundamentals are there so I was on my way fast once I mastered most of their songs. Well, at the time it was probably more like mastered a decent attempt at playing most of their song)
Step two - Taught myself rudiments by listening to 311 (double strokes came a few years later but I did figure out myself how to apply the up down technique on the hat for 16th notes etc by listening to Chad. Once the doubles came in a little later i looked back on 311 and suddenly opened a whole new world)
Step three - I learned to separate my hands from my feet from listening to Godsmack. Specifically the song I'm doing the best that i can. I remember the 3 hours straight in my garage playing that beat until I could do it.
And lastly Step Four - Once I heard Carter from DMB I was hooked. Syncopation, use of cymbals for more than just crashing. Almost everything he plays likely helped carve out my style today.
If OP is still reading this I have questions. After 6 years what are you up to? How's the progress? Can you provide an update? What are you working on? How's the kit holding up? Are you developing your own thing? Inquiring minds want to know.
Smells like Teen Spirit - Nirvana
In bloom - Nirvana
Back in Black - AC/DC
Rock N Roll Train - AC/DC
Sweet Emotion - Aerosmith
Walk this Way - Aerosmith
Symphony of Destruction - Megadeth
Countdown to Extinction - Megadeth
Enter Sandman - Metallica
Walk - Pantera
Of course you can always improvise when necessary (on fills for example) A great thing about drumming is we can usually do this without getting caught!
It always helps to find the drum track to the song you're learning if possible. Watching drum covers is a big help too.
Happy Jack.....the Who
Get Off of My Cloud....Rolling Stones
I Want to Hold You Hand....the Beatles
Good Lovin'....the Young Rascals
Begin the Beguinne...Artie Shaw
In the Still of the Night...the Five Satins
Sharp Dressed Man....ZZ Top
Just a Little...the Beau Brummels
Wipe Out....the Safaris
OH....ONE MORE(#11)....Ticket to Ride....the Beatles
gotta say...the most influential of all those for me was Happy Jack. Showed me you don't have to be a backbeat, sit quietly, smiling human metronome. Give it a good listen and you'll see what I mean.
Oh yeah...any drumming by Hal Blaine. Choose from thousands of great songs.
Whoever mentioned about the teacher should have his own song list & having the students doing rudiments, proper stick control &, learning to read music is absolutely correct. You can learn songs on your own, you want a teacher that teaches you the basic & most important rudiments to practice that you will use your entire life of playing drums. Those are the things that develop structure & discipline so you can play anything better. You may discover that a lot of music you may enjoy listening to is not the music you enjoy playing.
Well i think every song thats simple and steady is a good beginning,because timing [to play in time] is the most importuned at the drums now days.
If you learn that well ,you will have good basic starting point to do all the flashy stuff later on.It maybe boring ,but doing a parradildles or rolls are boring to ,but necessary to do to get skills.
somethings seems easy like, playing very slow and keep time for a long time
Comfortably numb by pink floyd.
gravity by john mayer.
So every song will do but always look at the basic groove and master that.
showboating and bad timing will get you no good gigs, only bad ones.
1. War pigs - black sabbath
2. Carry on my wayward son - Kansas
3. Would - Alice in chains
4. Seek and destroy - Metallica
5. Superstition - Stevie wonder or play that funky music white boy - James brown
6. Sing sing sing - Benny goodman
7. Bossa nova USA - Dave Brubeck quartet
8. Not afraid - eminem
9. Happy - pharrell Williams
10. Fragile - tech n9ne
I tried to pick at least one song from each style of music, if you can play these songs it will help a lot and you can apply a lot of that stuff to other music. Once you become more advanced here are some others to learn
1. Tom Sawyer - rush
2. The spirit of radio - rush
3. Achilles last stand - led zeppelin
4. Them bones - Alice in chains
5. Master of puppets - Metallica
6. What is hip - tower of power
7. Take five - dave Brubeck quartet
8. The girl from ipanema - Stan gets (apply some of the things from bossa nova USA to this and learn to kind of play along to the melody with your left hand)
9. Cleanin out my closet - eminem
10. Bleed - meshuggah