New drummer, start lessons this week, looking for any advice


Platinum Member
Hello everyone!

My name is Mary, I'm 43 years old, live in Cincinnati, Ohio and I'm hoping to beome a drummer :) I have thought about it for a long time and finally decided to bite the bullet. I start lessons this week with a recommended teacher in the area. I have bought a practice pad, Firth 5B sticks and some intro drum music books. I don't have a full kit yet but am being given a shell kit from a drummer friend which includes a bass drum, 2 toms and a floor tom. I, of course, will be looking to add a high hat, snare and perhaps other cymbals soon after getting my kit.

I have absolutely no experience with drums but can read music as I learned to play organ as a small child. I'm not a great keyboard player but as I said I can read music, play chords and usually pick out a song or two for fun. My boyfriend plays bass so I look forward to being able to play with him but have no desire to play guitar or bass myself.

The drums have always hekd a special attraction for me and I can't wait to begin lessons. I guess you can say it's one of those things on my bucket list. So I guess what all of this is leading to is that I'm looking for any advice some accomplished drummers can give me. I really am starting as a blank slate when it comes to drumming and I have purposefully avoided teaching myself before starting lessons because I didn't want to pick up any bad habits I would need to relearn.

So what do you say? IF you could give a newbie like me one piece of advice, what would it be? I appreciate anything you have to offer and I look forward to conversing with you as I progress in my drumming skills!




Platinum Member
To a complete novice, my advice is usually get a teacher and learn the correct fundamentals from the get go. In this case, you've beaten me to the punch. :)

I think you're doing all the right things and you're certainly displaying a great attitude towards the learning process. Not much more to say really, other than listen, watch and learn, make the most of it and enjoy the process. Be sure to keep us all posted on how you're progressing hey.

And welcome to DW.....answers to just about every conceivable question is but a mouse click away.


Gold Member
Welcome to the forum!

If I had to give one piece of advice I'd say, don;t jump into things too quickly. Always start at a slow tempo, even if you know you can play it faster. Then gradually work your way up to faster tempo's. It will make learning it soooooo much easier (this applies to pretty much all drumming.)

When I was a beginner, this was my mistake, starting too fast and then ending up playing it wrong. And now 5 years later I'm having to re-learn much of the stuff that I should have learned a long time ago.

jackie k

Senior Member
You need a good snare drum method book and a book for the drum set.

Practice at least 20 minutes snare only. Practice 20 minutes on complete drum set.

Use your pad until you get a drum kit. Learn and practice rudiments on the pad. Use a metronome to develope timing for both snare and kit when you feel you are ready.
Play relaxed and have fun.


Platinum Member
Thanks for the great advice everyone. I can't wait to get on the road to good drum skills and methods.

Jackie, thanks for the advice on the snare book. Actually my teacher had me buy Alfred's Drum Method and Syncopation for the Modern Drummer, both of which seem to focus on snare. It sounds as if my teacher is on the same page as you.

I'll keep everyone updated.

jackie k

Senior Member
Mary O,

Try and learn as many rudiments as you can. When I first started playing their were only 26 rudiments. Now there is 40 something different rudiments. I dont know anybody that can play all the rudiments, but try and learn the basic rudiments, when you go through any drum book you will get an idea of the basic rudiments. Rudiments get your hands into shape so when you feel like expressing yourself on the drum set, meaning if you want to go from drum to drum during a groove, youll have the ability to do it. What ever you can do on the snare with rudiments you can also do on the drum set. Everybody is different there are some rudiments I can do and other I can't. The rudiments that you end up being comfortable with will become part of your playing. Don't sweat it.
Karyn Carpenter was a drummer. Google her and see her play, she's strong in her rudiments, you can tell by her playing style. She was also a great singer.


Platinum Member
Great advice Jackie. I had actually forgotten about Karen C. I will look her up, thanks!


Senior Member
Pay light, play smart. Speed is nothing, and tricks only work in solos for the most part. Get a good 4/4 beat down and play it solid. Slowly add fills, and then the tricks and chops come natural as you progress. Rushing the drums is like rushing a first date: Try and get too far too fast, and the girl goes home. :)


Platinum Member
First off, welcome to Drummerworld. You're way further ahead of the game than a lot of people "just starting out" ... and sure sounds like you're doing it all right, so ....​
IF you could give a newbie like me one piece of advice, what would it be?
.... have fun ...​


Gold Member
Learn to relax at the kit. This will sound a joke when you first try because you will be anything but relaxed. But invariably after a short while you will see what I mean.

R E L A X do do it.



Hope every thing goes well and good luck, I started drumming when I was 42 and it was the best think I have done, it has really inspired me.

My best advise take it slow, leave your ego at the door and have fun, check out my blog which charts my journey. I was luck that I managed to get into a music college and study the drums for two years, which is coming to and end soon but I love it more.

This post is tips that I wrote about after my first year hope they are useful.



Platinum Member
Great blog Danny! Thanks for sharing! I see I'm already trying to take a lot of your great advice to heart. Right now I try to practice in about two 20-25 minute sessions per day. I'm sure that will increase as I get into more complex things.

Even though my teacher didn't say anything about a metronome after the first week, I have been using it with my basic exercises. That and counting out loud really does help!

I'm not sure how this journey is going to go for me, but i plan to have fun with it as much as I can. I'm not looking to become overly concerned with speed, but more technique and just playing for fun. I don't see myself ever becoming a regular part of a band but want to be able to jam with friends if asked or just play along with some of my favorite music.

I'll try to keep everyone up with my progression as it happens. I start putting together my first kit this weekend (getting a few pieces from a drummer friend and then adding whatever else is needed) so hopefully by the end of the month I'll have a kit ready to go and that will really give me the incentive to keep learning.

Thanks again for the great advice and encouragement and good luck with your summer off :)