Advice for a Dad...

Rich Jay

Junior Member
Hello,

This is my first post here and I appreciate any help regarding my son.
He just turned 4 and I'm wondering if it is too early for him to start instruction.
I know nothing about playing a drum kit so I can't really give him much help but he watches Buddy Rich videos all the time. : )
I want him to get a good teacher. Should I wait a few years?

This is him playing around a drum at the local music store when he was 2.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2joXRGZZg58

I'm located in Westchester NY.
Thanks so much for your time.
 

Joe Morris

DRUMMERWORLD PRO DRUMMER
Hey Dad well first of all before I forget you can tell your son has been watching Buddy Rich Vids. LOL He's doing some of buddy's stickings and tricks on the snare drum. Priceless.

I started playing when I was 4. He's not to young. Get him going if he's into it. Getting him a good teacher is the hard part. Any habits he develops at such a young age will stay with him good and bad. So maybe start him off taking lessons from a guy with an old school approach that will start teaching him to read or maybe get him started on a book called stick control. Good luck
 

sonnygrabber

Senior Member
It's never too early to introduce someone to the drums. I introduced mine very young indeed, and one has continued to play.

That said I would provide drums for the youngster but not push them to play. Maybe get lessons for him but under the proviso that he can go at his own rate and quit the lessons at any time. Make playing fun...full stop.
 

groove1

Silver Member
I had a toy kit and a real drum at 4 and agree that as long as he gets to move along at his own pace, tips from a teacher would be invaluable.
 

BlueSky

Member
That said I would provide drums for the youngster but not push them to play. Maybe get lessons for him but under the proviso that he can go at his own rate and quit the lessons at any time. Make playing fun...full stop.
I totally agree. I can remember telling my parents I wanted to learn how to play the piano when I was young, but once I started lessons they wouldn't let me quit. They finally gave in after a year of begging, but it has taken me 20+ years to take up a different instrument.

Craig's List is a great place to get used drums and equipment, and the guys on here are great at letting you know what's good.

If you want to hold out on lessons for awhile, but still get him some drums of his own there are some decent sets out there. I work at Toys R Us, and we carry a whole line of junior size kits. They aren't toys, but they aren't Pearls, either.
That being said, I'm not sure if starting him off on something like that is the best choice if you (or he) plans on really learning to play - once again, the guys on here can let you know.

He is pretty amazing, by the way! And a cutie to boot - put some sticks in his hands and he'll be fighting off all the chicks on the playground.
 

FoolInTheRain

Senior Member
First, cute kid. It looks like he's even using a pair of Buddy's signature sticks?

I've got a son who is 2 and, assuming he wants to learn to play, I'll be in this same situation in a few years. I can already tell he's gonna be a musical child, whether it be singing, drums, guitar, etc. He seems to like it all. If he really shows the desire to want to play when he's 4, I'll look for a teacher for sure.

But like the other guys have said, I don't think you'll have an issue finding a teacher, but a GOOD teacher. I wouldn't recommend going to a place with a very rigid structure where you have to pay for lessons in blocks and you have to give written notice if you want to quit and all that nonsense. Young kids are fickle little creatures. They are easily discouraged and, therefore, will become bored and frustrated with something in the blink of an eye. It happened to me with both guitar and piano when I was a youngster.

There are plenty of freelance teachers out there who will be more willing to do things on your own terms.....set your own schedule, time duration, quit any time, etc. I've been to quite a few of those over the years and that's who I'll be going back to when I need little tune-ups here and there.
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
It does depend on the kid though. Every child develops differently.

Some 4 year old are developed and mature enough for formal lessons. Others may need more time to get to that stage.
 

MisterZero

Senior Member
The earlier the better. Just like anything. Drums will become sceond nature to him if he starts now. Yes, getting a good teacher is key. Shop around and ask for references, credentials. Also, PLEASE DON'T BUY HIM A CRAPPY STARTER KIT!! If you can, invest the few extra bucks for a "real" drum or drum set....
 

New Tricks

Platinum Member
The kid is a NATURAL!!

Just make a kit available and encourage him to play.

Generally, 4 year olds aren't too keen on structured lessons of any kind but some very basic instruction would probably be helpful.

And, I'd disagree on the "get him a good kit" thing. A good kit will be really big for a 4 year old. A child sized kit will do the job until he grows into a regular sized kit. He is just learning the rhythm part now. It will be a while before he develops an ear for tone.
 

Jeremy Bender

Platinum Member
Please don't overlook his tender ears. The Sound Pressure Levels from a snare drum or cymbal can cause permanent damage to human hearing. This is not telling you how to be a parent, just something that seems to be overlooked a lot in a youngster's musical education.

I agree that a good teacher (who has credentials and success working with children) is a good first step in the journey of a lifelong love for music.
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
I don't usually care, but that kid is cute as hell with his trad grip and imitations of famous drummers. So young... And obviously interested in the little things that most people much older than him totally miss.

My advice for dad is to be proud, nurture, keep it fun, and don't force him to go any faster than he's interested in.
 

nightraider43

Senior Member
Please don't overlook his tender ears. The Sound Pressure Levels from a snare drum or cymbal can cause permanent damage to human hearing. This is not telling you how to be a parent, just something that seems to be overlooked a lot in a youngster's musical education.

I agree that a good teacher (who has credentials and success working with children) is a good first step in the journey of a lifelong love for music.
I agree with Jeremy. Get your son a good pair of noise cancelling headphones to preserve his tender ears. And my daughter started piano lessons when she was 5. She is 7 now and doing some pretty amazing stuff. She also likes guitar :) and is excited for my drum kit to arrive. Good luck and most of all keep it fun for him.

Steve
 

Joe Morris

DRUMMERWORLD PRO DRUMMER
Great point guys. For sure get him some headphones to protect his ears. To this day I still where headphones when I practice. I don't teach but if you lived around me which you don't I would teach your kid. Good luck.
 

iwearnohats

Silver Member
It's great seeing a kid that age having a real go at it, I think he will end up being a great drummer!

I bought my daughter a good quality toy piano for her 1st birthday, and I also have a pair of sticks for her, which she'll whack the V-drums with. She also figured out she can use the bassdrum pedal if she stands on it with both feet :).

I'm trying to decide between tricycle and a toddler drum set for her 2nd birthday later this year. I'm leaning towards the drums :). The child care centre people say that she loves anything musical that they do, so I will most certainly be nurturing that! I think it's a great idea to get your kids into an instrument, or instruments from an early age - let them figure out what they like as time goes on.
 

BrandonXD

Senior Member
This, right there, is what I love about kids! When people are grown up and they don't know how to play, they'll sit at a kit and they'll sit there really awkwardly and be like "I don't know what to do". Kids just sit there and have a blast!
It's great to get him started early, to think, when he's 12 he'll have 8 years experience behind him is just crazy. The kinda stuff people can accomplish when they start young is unreal. Ill just leave this here to finish this post

www.youtube.com/watch?nomobile=1&v=BA5D-WEcNGA
 

Rich Jay

Junior Member
Thanks so much guys. This is really helpful.
Your 100% right about keeping it fun and not pushing him too much. I really want to make sure he gets lessons from someone who can help bring out his potential.
Great point about the ear protection as well!
Yes those are Buddy Rich sticks which I cut about a quarter of the way down.
Thanks for offering to teach him Joe, that would have been amazing opportunity. Wish you lived closer as well!

Here's another one of Rich from 2 months ago
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-k5oX4G_o_M
 

BrandonXD

Senior Member
Best of luck to him! I hope you keep posting so we can see how he progresses, I think I speak for all of us when I say I would love to watch him grow as a drummer :)
 

longgun

Gold Member
Please don't overlook his tender ears.

+1..........wish I'd have had that advice as a youngster.................as is the case with a lot of drummers, my ears are pretty shot for my age.


My advice for dad is to be proud, nurture, keep it fun, and don't force him to go any faster than he's interested in.
Agree..........I started my second oldest son at 5.........he was doing great...........but I think I pushed him too fast and took the fun out of it. He still plays now at nine, but gets frustrated much easier than before........................wish I'd have taken a slower approach
 

Angus Macinnes

Senior Member
I dont know about lessons just yet. Might be best to just let him play for now. Then when he reaches school age some structured lessons would be good. Just my thoughts about it.
 
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