From Bass to Drums


Junior Member
Hi All

This is my first post on this most excellent site

I'm having to make the move from bass guitar to drums due to a nickel allergy. I'm not complaining, I always wanted to learn how to play drums I never had the time before.

Anyhoo just after some basic advice for practising and how to go about learning to play drums properly.

Many Thanks.


Pioneer Member
Wow, allergic to nickel! That sounds potentially nasty, as how do you know if any given piece of metal has nickel in the alloy?

Basic advice:

Get a teacher. (There's lots of stuff on line, but having somebody beside you to tweak your technique is invaluable.)

Learn to read. (Reading will help you forever in both learning and gigging situations.)

Practice, practice, and practice. (And then practice some more.)


Silver Member
Learn to read yeah. Try to find somebody to play with, a band or so.

Allergic to nickel? So is my brother, i remember him having red marks from beltbuckles and watches... Watch out for chrome, i think nickel is used to make chrome, can't be sure. (Don't punk me for that :s)

Can't bass guitars be made without nickel or is it the strings? Can't find the right word?

Anyways, you gotta have a drum kit sometime. it will really help. I've been playing drums for about 4 years. Only 1 year with drums in my house, and i've improved alot in that year.
The first 2 years was with no real teacher, and i played in a sort of sparetime clubhouse..

Drum kits are cheap, these days. Great kits for small amounts of money. Find a teacher to learn you to tune, rudiments etc ;) playing songs.


Gold Member
No nickel in chrome, only chromium :). But there is some nickel plated gear out there. Its not on any beginning equipment, so you won't have to worry about it for a while, just fyi.

My advice is definitely find a teacher. I was brought up in the drumline arena with lots and lots of instruction and practice, and all of that has been invaluable now that I'm on drumset and out of school. As a beginner I can't stress enough the value and importance of practicing rudiments and strengthening your hands. In my mind that knowledge and skill is more important than just knowing drum beats and patterns, especially as a beginner.

Lastly GET MOTIVATED. Trust me I know from experience, that practicing rudiments and strengthening hands, however necessary, can be very boring. So go out and buy some drum videos of your favorite band's drummers and learn from them. Watch videos, interviews, clinics of famous drummers and get excited about drumming. Drummerworld is a great resource for that. There is a ton of information/videos on the world's top 500 drummers and TONS of talk about drumming DVDs and instructional videos on these forums.

Good luck and drum hard.


Gold Member

I'm a bassist (35 years or so) and then turned to playing drums. It's fantastic but there's lots to learn. Don't worry if it takes years to get your foot pedal to sync properly. You have to be in it for the long haul.

work your inner time keeping. This is really important and none of my tutors have really even mentioned it.



Platinum Member
Just a little FYI....If you come in contact with any drums or hardware thats triple chrome plated ...they first copper plate,then plate nickel over the copper,then chrome as the last layer.I assume you have an allergic reaction to the tuners and pickups on you bass guitar.

I think I would consult a dermatologist before spending money on drums and hardware.

Steve B


Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
Put on a pair of synthetic medical exam gloves to set up your kit then use wood only sticks. No nickle on the sticks.


Junior Member
Hi Guys

Thanks for all the info.

I didn't know whether or not the nickel plated hardware would be a problem.

Had a patch test done and it's a nickel, zinc and paladium allergic reactions.

All the hardware on all my basses ( tuning pegs, frets, saddles, bridges and strings) all contain nickel even when they are plated. Tried loads of different brands of strings and still react to it.

Looks like its drums for me (grins). Just got to convince the wife to let me get a kit now.

Thanks again all


Platinum Member
Like I said before....nickle is present in the chrome plating process used on drum hardware and parts ......lugs,rims,mounting hardware,tuning keys,t bolts,cymbal stands ect.Zink is also present in metal drum shells (ludalloy),die cast rims,and various other drum parts that are cast.

Hate to say it but you're running into another even more potentially serious problem.You will be surrounding youself with the thing you are allergic to.I'm not trying to rain on your parade but,just trying to save you from spending cash and more heartache.

Steve B


Gold Member
I would send an email to some drum companies and ask them to detail exactly which of their products have nickel and which don't, this should help you build up a list of possible drums and hardware items.

What exactly happens when you touch nickel? I'm assuming it's not an instant reaction, and you may be fine to touch it briefly while handling your gear.


Junior Member
I get little water blisters come up on my hands usually on the sides of my fingers. Take about 48-72 hours for them to come up and when they do they are extremely itchy. When they burst they then scab and turn into eczema. I can handle metals containing nickel for about 20 minutes without a reaction coming.

Good idea on emailing the companies. I'll have a browse online and see if they have any faq's and contact details on.