Beginner, learning roadmap

Ash Jazz

Junior Member
Hi all,

I have a decent kit that I put together for recording. I have learned on my own how to play some basic beats but feeling the itch to take it further.

Wondering what you consider to be the road map for learning and progressing on drums.

Thanks in advance for you insights.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
There is no set roadmap per se. Its all about your needs what you want to achieve.

You can take lessons and learn to read and play rudiments. Or you can just play beats and that's good too if that's all you need.

Its really up to you how in depth you want to get with this instrument. A teacher is not necessary, but is a huge advantage. You can learn faster with a teacher than by just figuring it out. A teacher can also answer questions and correct mistakes.

Again it's just what you want to get out of it. Determining that should be the first step to constructing your own personal roadmap.
 

Bozozoid

Well-known member
There is no set roadmap per se. Its all about your needs what you want to achieve.

You can take lessons and learn to read and play rudiments. Or you can just play beats and that's good too if that's all you need.

Its really up to you how in depth you want to get with this instrument. A teacher is not necessary, but is a huge advantage. You can learn faster with a teacher than by just figuring it out. A teacher can also answer questions and correct mistakes.

Again it's just what you want to get out of it. Determining that should be the first step to constructing your own personal roadmap.
When I first started playing drums I think back and how different things could have been had I had all of the members of this forum there for guidance along the rocky way. It would have saved SO MUCH frustration and turmoil feeling my way in the dark. I'm obviously older and have learned things the hard way but man!..things could have catapulted me to heights so much quicker saving me years of grief and frustration. Young guns are SO lucky to have this forum at their disposal.
 
I'm curious about this too.

I would think though that playing fast beats would make you a better drummer quicker than playing slow beats. Am I wrong? I'm sure you already know this but youtube is filled with begginer videos

Maybe start playing along to songs you like? That's always encouraging
 
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cbphoto

Gold Member
Wondering what you consider to be the road map for learning and progressing on drums.
Not knowing where you’re at skill-wise, I suggest you go through both of Tommy Igoe’s Groove Essentials and if you cover all those bases, it’s time to start a band!


 

Ash Jazz

Junior Member
Thanks everybody!

I do have Groove Essentials and got out of my depth pretty quickly. It wasn't the complexity, it was the fast tempos that did me in.

Of course my goal is to be the greatest drummer who ever lived...then I wake up and wonder if I'm holding the sticks right.

At this point I can get on a basic groove, like the song "I've Got My Mind Set On You", which a friend recommended to work on improving my kick independence, and play it solidly. I have no idea what to play for fills, except maybe 1&2&3&Crash.

Really, my goal at this point is to be able to improv my way through basic classic rock and blues tunes. If I get that far then I can decide where to go from there.
 

Hewitt2

Senior Member
Thanks everybody!

I do have Groove Essentials and got out of my depth pretty quickly. It wasn't the complexity, it was the fast tempos that did me in.

If memory serves, there are slow and fast grooves. When I did my first pass of the book many years ago, I just focused on the slow grooves. As my proficiency grew, I started to dip into the faster grooves. at the beginning of the book that are more straight-forward

And if you get stuck on a particular groove, it's a good opportunity to pause and reflect on the barriers that are causing you to struggle i.e. hand or foot speed, coordination, etc.

Use the book as a barometer of your progress and take your time working through each of the grooves. It's a marathon not a race.

Good luck! :)
 

Lefty Phillips

Well-known member
I'm in a similar position, building a kit and developing the skill to record drums in a very nice project studio. Long-time singer and guitarist.

I joined this forum because it kept popping in my many Internet searches, and it's an incredible resource. Lots of good people here.

YouTube is also incredibly useful.

I'm about a year in. Building/modding the kit was the primary focus for several months, that's starting to wind down. Spent many hours working on a practice pad, developing basic stick skills. A few weeks working on a couple of basic beats with the kit. For the past month, playing along with a couple of my favorite albums, which is where it's at for me right now.

Not quite ready to record or play with other yet, but soon.
 

Jeremy Bender

Platinum Member
A big part of the process is discovering where you want to go and that will help determine which road to take.
A quality, experienced teacher may be able to help you with this and also teach you the mechanics of playing (what we refer to as technique).

Learning the history of our instrument, it's development both in design and musical usage over the past century, also the prominent players of any particyular style throught the years is important part of the learning process.

Drummerworld website has a large database of drummers to choose from for your learning.

There's other aspects of playing such as critical listening and transcribing drum parts once you learn to read drum notation.

Listen closely to a recording that an actual drummer played on and try to visualize what they were doing with their limbs before watching a video if one's availble of that performance. This mental excercise is also a learning tool.

It's a long unending road. Even the Pros will tell you they're still learning and growing after years of work and study. Most importantly...love it!
 
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cbphoto

Gold Member
I do have Groove Essentials and got out of my depth pretty quickly. It wasn't the complexity, it was the fast tempos that did me in.
The fast tempos are what you work towards. If you have the DVD + CD version and the poster of v1.0, the first two exercises will cover 80–90% of most pop music. Getting them clean (no flams!) at various tempos takes a lot of practice. Don’t underestimate what those basic grooves can do for your skill set.
 

JimmyM

Well-known member
I'm curious about this too.

I would think though that playing fast beats would make you a better drummer quicker than playing slow beats. Am I wrong? I'm sure you already know this but youtube is filled with begginer videos

Maybe start playing along to songs you like? That's always encouraging
You need fast, you need slow, you need medium. Can't have one without the others, and there's an art to all of it. Frankly, I have a way harder time hitting whole notes on the one or a slow groove than anything faster I can do. Which currently isn't much but there was a time...
 
I do have Groove Essentials and got out of my depth pretty quickly. It wasn't the complexity, it was the fast tempos that did me in.
Don't worry - as stated in the introduction, it offers something for drummers of all levels and some tempos are VERY fast. It's more like a library of useful grooves that you can revisit than a progressive course from beginner to expert. If you're looking for more guidance and advice on practicing, in person lessons are your best bet. A method book like Mark Wessel's "Fresh Approach" is also good to have, so you don't skip over important basics or invest too much time into not-so-important things.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
I was kind of expecting something like...

Learn beats a,b,c,d

Then learn these fills a,b,c,d

Etc

I get the feeling that learning drums is an "all in" proposition. You have to be dedicated to it.
The problem with just suggesting beats is there is no standard.

You mentioned blues, so you should learn to shuffle. But do you shuffle just the hats/ride, just shuffle your foot, do a double shuffle, or half time shuffle?

You would be better off focusing on the different ways to divide time and learning to apply them. For example, a simple 4/4 beat can be played with the hats doing quarters, eighths, or sixteenths. They all keep the same beat placement, yet all have distinctly different feels. Now take the same beat and keep the hats and snare the same, but alter the divisions with your foot. This is why you cant just learn beats a, b, c, and d and call it a day.

Same goes with fills. We dont learn fills, we construct them in accordance with the rest of the music. They are an accent piece.
 

TMe

Senior Member
I was kind of expecting something like...
That's the problem. Unlike a lot of other instruments, there is no widely accepted standard curriculum. It's frustrating if you don't have a clear idea of what you want to do before you start.
Really, my goal at this point is to be able to improv my way through basic classic rock and blues tunes. If I get that far then I can decide where to go from there.
You might want to start by learning as many simple songs as you can. Keep the technique basic, but learn lots of songs, even if you're learning simplified versions of songs you like.
 
Unlike a lot of other instruments, there is no widely accepted standard curriculum.
Is there such a thing for lots of other instruments? I guess if you begin Piano, you're facing the same dilemma: you could focus on chords, popular songs, classical Piano pieces, rhythm or technique exercises and ignore some parts that would be important, too - I would say that it can feel equally overwhelming. Lots of professional musicians continue practicing "beginner exercises" - for a drummer stuff like the first page of Stick Control, buzz rolls and so on. Other musicians still work on embouchure or scales after years because they still see results. Finding out how much to practice what can be hard as an autodidact. One of the biggest advantages of having a teacher is guidance and advice what to work on next and what to pay attention to. Not saying it's the only way, of course.
 

TMe

Senior Member
Is there such a thing for lots of other instruments?
Yes. It comes from the study of orchestral music. If somebody wants to be a Jazz pianist, for example, they would certainly benefit from working through a conservatory system first. Someone wanting to play violin would benefit from starting with the Suzuki method as a kid, and then going through a conservatory system. (I've heard that there's a similar program in India for traditional Indian music.)

I haven't found anything comparable for drum kit. That's probably because the kit is a relatively new instrument, it's used for so many different styles of music, and it isn't used much in orchestral music. There are programs for percussion, but that's not the same as playing a drum kit.

Here's a link to a conservatory near me.
https://www.rcmusic.com/learning/ab...hatisTheRoyalConservatoryCertificateProgram-5
 
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davor

Senior Member
I was kind of expecting something like...

Learn beats a,b,c,d

Then learn these fills a,b,c,d

Etc

I get the feeling that learning drums is an "all in" proposition. You have to be dedicated to it.
The thing is...once you're on your way to having some basics down, you then start to realise just how much more there is to learn.

Its then up to you just how far down the rabbit hole you want to go!
 

ColdFusion

Active member
I was kind of expecting something like...

Learn beats a,b,c,d

Then learn these fills a,b,c,d

Etc

I get the feeling that learning drums is an "all in" proposition. You have to be dedicated to it.
You can certainly learn that way if you like. You were "expecting" it which implies maybe thats a way you would prefer to learn.

Yes drumkit is an "all in" instrument with a vast suite of skills. But you can also spend tons of time on specific little things and never regret that either.

Actually I like this idea of yours. Pick a style. Funk for example.

Beat A: Funk pattern with 1/8th note hihat.
B: Funky pattern with 1/4 note hat. Now the off-beat notes will sound more interesting.
C: Now with two-handed playing of 16th notes on hats.
D: Same beat as B but the 1/4 note hats are played on the off beats (The &'s). Try to keep it linear sounding with the bass and snare..so funky.

Then basic funk fills to go along with them: A, B, and C.

Then do the same for Rock & Roll. Then maybe 4 versions of funky shuffle patterns.

It all just depends on how you organize the exercises. That's what drum technique books are after all. Useful but somewhat arbitrary. Anything can be useful as a practice exercise if you formalize it into some drum tab or notation.
 
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