How were you exposed to drums?

porter

Platinum Member
I was always transfixed my the drum kit player though, and as soon as Rock Band came out, I was banging away on that fake little kit all the time.
Yup. I started with percussion in middle school but I got into plastic drums (Guitar Hero: World Tour was my first) and then got into the crappy CB kit my dad got for himself, and thousands of dollars later, here I am now!
 

Mount Saint Elle'ns

Silver Member
I love the "being exposed to drums" bit. Like it's a drug?! Never mind, it's a drug.

So, my gateway moment was playing with a set of bongo drums that my father had, although he never played, to my knowledge. Written on the inside of the drum head was my dad's name, and then the words, "... don't get married yet!" That fascinated me and of course I asked him what exactly that meant. :D
 
My brother bought a drum set in junior high, played them once, and then they collected dust for 3 years. Then I heard Pat Benatar's Heartbreaker, thought the drum line was fucking fire, and that's what started my journey.
 

Stroman

Platinum Member
I had almost forgotten this, but my first exposure to drums was a toy drumset my sister got for Christmas when we were quite small. I got a little guitar that year, but I liked hitting those drums much more than playing the guitar.

My first exposure to a real drum was when I started lessons. My school offered music lessons starting in third grade, but they already had too many drummers and I had to play sax. I wanted to play drums, though, so my parents got me private lessons over the summer. That was the first time I saw a real drum set in person. I was amazed by every aspect of those drums. They seemed to convey the possibility of magic, and I was hooked from the first time I touched them.
 

JustJames

Platinum Member
Exposed you say?

Larry did I ever explain the importance of always using a coated head with your snare? ;-)

Having been a guitarist (lousy lead player, adequate rhythm player) for ever, I have my then 9 year old son to blame/thank for my being a drummer. Mini Me (now aged almost-12) is a drummer in his school band, and SWMBO decided to buy him a drum kit. Some friends were selling their kid's abysmally crappy kit, resplendent in Jewish Racing Gold. Before we'd got home, I'd decided that I would learn to drum.

Signed up for drum lessons within days, selecting a teacher on the basis that his studio was in the same factory complex as my work, which is prolly about the very worst basis for making the decision. The guy was about half my age, with tatts and dreadlocks but turned out to be a lovely guy, and very adept at teaching, and teaching me stuff based on my musical tastes and not his.

From within the first six weeks of picking up sticks I've been playing with people (which quickly morphed into a band). And playing with other people is the ONLY way to advance your playing.

The starter kit was soon augmented with decent cymbals, then upgraded to a Pearl Export and augmented with more cymbals and a growing selection of percussion toys.

Oh, and Mini Me barely touches "our" kit.
 

supermac

Senior Member
First heard live drums at a Butlin's Holiday Camp (it's a British thing) as a child and was mesmerised by the sound - especially the bass drum.

Got home and immediately started playing on pots and pans and cardboard boxes with pencils and school rulers.

Played on my younger brother's toy drum kit he got for Christmas one year. Air drummed along to records in the bedroom. (My dad was appalled when he caught me sweating along, eyes closed, to The Who's Live At Leeds).

By the time I got my first very old and battered proper kit for £20 when I was 16, I could already knock out a groove and a fill.

Years later, I've got a DW kit for gigs and a Roland TD 30 for practice in the spare bedroom...but I enjoyed the pots and pan just as much!

I'll love drums and music until the day I die.
 

Juniper

Gold Member
My uncle was a very well known Jazz drummer back in the 60's-90's (Tony Mann), was the resident drummer at Ronnie Scott's for a long time. Toured the world....etc

Gave me a pair of drumsticks one Christmas or Birthday when I was a small boy so I would regularly pick them up and flail away. Often hearing the stories from my father about my uncle.

Then had a massive pull towards the instrument when I was 14 when my best friend started playing the guitar and encouraged me to get lessons.

It's been a love affair with drums ever since.
 

New Tricks

Platinum Member
My Father's family was musically inclined and one day, out of the blue, my Father brought home a kit when I was probably 11.

In a 5 minute tutorial he showed me a basic HH, Bass, Snare beat and walked away. I thought, "Damn. Drums are easy :)"

I assume he borrowed them (couldn't afford to buy them) and they were gone in a couple months. He soon replaced them with a patched together kit (which of course I wish I still had). I remember the bass drum was Slingerland red sparkle.

I finally bought my own used Rogers kit when I was 15 and working.

 

Hollywood Jim

Platinum Member
Great thread Larry!

My father was a professional drummer. We lived in Hollywood California and he played almost every night and he was in several movies. From my first day on earth there were drums set up in my home. My father taught me how to play the drums. I played the drums at my 6th grade graduation ceremony.

Playing the drums came very easy to me. But actually I was not very interested in them. Until One day in 1958 when I was 8 years old. My father took me to a downtown Hollywood theater to watch the filming of The Gene Krupa Story. My father was responsible for learning the Krupa drum parts and then coaching Sal Mineo so that it would look like he was playing the proper drum part. The theater stage had a platform that raised up from below the stage. And Sal was playing the drums as the floor was raised up with the band playing behind him. A very dramatic scene, especially for drums. I met Sal and he said, “you are a very lucky boy, your Dad is a great drum teacher”.

Anyway, after that experience I decided I wanted to be a drummer. I began practicing the drums to rock and roll songs every day after school. My Dad had the Buddy Rich attitude about drumming and rock and roll. So he was not too happy with me.

We had a drum studio in the back yard equipped with every percussion device known to man. When I was 13 years old my father brought me a brand new set of silver sparkle Slingerland drums. He also brought himself a matching set. I still have both drum sets.


.
 

Chollyred

Senior Member
I had several uncles and cousins that played in bands when I was little. I don't remember what age, but I remember seeing a full drum kit at my cousin's house that enthralled me.

When I was 7, I got a Kent snare drum and a rudiment book. I spent countless hours down in the basement learning rudiments and sticking. Then, when I was 9, I got a Japanese (Penncrest) stencil kit (red tiger striped). I never had formal lessons, but played along with records for a few years, everything from early rock, country, and jazz. I started sitting in with bands when I was 10. They thought it would be cute until they found out I could really play. Then at 13, joined with some schoolmates in a gospel group playing at various churches and a few talent shows. One of the talent shows got us a 2 song set on a public TV show.

Finally in high school, I got a set of Rogers butcher block drums that I kept until in my early 20s. In the high school band, we had several guys that were really good drummers and percussionists that pretty much taught each other. Our jazz band was good enough to play half-time shows for the Atlanta Hawks.

Then after stints in a few rock and country bands, I got fed up with the hassle of constantly moving my kit to somebody else's house for practice, in a fit of anger (or apathy..not sure which), I quit and sold my drums. It's just been in the last 3-4 years that I bought a cheap set to beat on and found some guys to jam with. Now I'm constantly looking to upgrade my kit.
 

drummer-russ

Gold Member
Not entirely sure of the sequence but a few things were influential for me.

First my parents had a lot of albums which they played occasionally. What I remember most was a set of Sousa marches. My Dad and I used to bang pots marching around the house to them.

Second, in Kindergarten I was given a drum in the little music circle and my teacher told my Mom I had natural rhythm.

Third was seeing Buddy Rich on television!

Fourth my Uncle, who lived out of town, but was part of the Navy band for a time as a drummer.

When he learned I was interested in drums he had my mother contact his old drum teacher, Earl Lawrence. A very prominent music leader in my home town.

Proudly I looked him up recently and found some interesting articles. I was very lucky to have him as my first drum teacher. I also took marimba lessons from him a few years later. He was in his 80s when I started taking lessons from him in 1963 when I was 5.

Here is some info in case anyone is interested. But if you look at the circa 1960s background pictures it might remind you of a cheeky one hit wonder movie titled, That Thing You Do, which was set in my home town of Erie, PA.

http://oldtimeerie.blogspot.com/2013/06/earl-lawrence-taught-many-musicians.html
 

NVIC

Senior Member
Was just a music junkie as a kid. It was everywhere at my house. I had a couple transistor radios, a turnatable, 8-track boom box, etc. Loved all those radio friendly pop singles and played drums to them in my head. I like many found out that I was trying to be like Hal Blaine... Got my first kit sometime thereafter.
 

picodon

Silver Member
There was this band in our high school that performed several times per year. All I did was watch the drummer. I knew him vaguely but I remember him like it was yesterday playing Proud Mary on his black Tama with the 8" tom. He was on a different planet, it did not occur to me I could have asked my parents to buy me a kit. Or maybe it did but my parents were great at discouraging such initiative. They were about as musical as a lamp post. Before I could have dreamt of asking the question I was sure it wouldn't be a great idea. Long story short I needed 30 years to finally make it happen... but it's not too late :)
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
When I got to high school band, there were drums in the band room. Drums were a big part of the jazz band. And there were only a couple of drummers in the school period. So they must have been something special. I ditched my saxophone, picked up a pair of sticks, and well, the rest is history.
 

Mount Saint Elle'ns

Silver Member
Great thread Larry!

My father was a professional drummer. We lived in Hollywood California and he played almost every night and he was in several movies. From my first day on earth there were drums set up in my home. My father taught me how to play the drums. I played the drums at my 6th grade graduation ceremony.

Playing the drums came very easy to me. But actually I was not very interested in them. Until One day in 1958 when I was 8 years old. My father took me to a downtown Hollywood theater to watch the filming of The Gene Krupa Story. My father was responsible for learning the Krupa drum parts and then coaching Sal Mineo so that it would look like he was playing the proper drum part. The theater stage had a platform that raised up from below the stage. And Sal was playing the drums as the floor was raised up with the band playing behind him. A very dramatic scene, especially for drums. I met Sal and he said, “you are a very lucky boy, your Dad is a great drum teacher”.

Anyway, after that experience I decided I wanted to be a drummer. I began practicing the drums to rock and roll songs every day after school. My Dad had the Buddy Rich attitude about drumming and rock and roll. So he was not too happy with me.

We had a drum studio in the back yard equipped with every percussion device known to man. When I was 13 years old my father brought me a brand new set of silver sparkle Slingerland drums. He also brought himself a matching set. I still have both drum sets.
That's a cool story. What a wonderful family legacy.
 

R2112

Silver Member
Super cool thread Larry!

My first experience was in the 80's when I was 12. My school had a talent show. I was hanging out in the auditorium before the show watching my friends practicing when a kid in my class started setting up his drumset. A bright red Tama. I thought it looked so awesome! He started playing it and all the kids ran over to watch him. After a few minutes he finished and was walking away answering questions from the crowd of kids who were following him. I walked over to his set, sat down and just started playing the rhythms and fills I had just heard him playing. I immediately fell in love with the sound and feeling of playing a rhythm. He quickly came back over and said, "Clint, I didn't know you could play...when did you learn to play?" I said, "I guess about a minute ago." Everyone laughed but I was serious :) . A few months later my dad bought me a very used Pearl Export set from a garage sale for my 13th birthday. I thought it was the coolest thing ever!
 
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