General advice for a new drummer?


Senior Member
Eh...several points. I'm not THAT bad. I know my rudiments, I already have syncopation/stick control/funky primer, and I have an arsenal of about four songs. I can do pretty much all of the basic rock beats, know how to add in fills, etc. It's kind of hard to show you my exact skill level without a video, but know that I can play slightly simplified versions of Mardy Bum by the Arctic Monkeys, Longview by Green Day, and have a decent grasp on everything but the end in Hypnotize by SOAD.

I do, in fact, have 4 zeppelin albums. I have an extensive music collection of close to 2500 songs, including AC/DC, who I hate with a passion. It is the least interesting, most annoying, eardrum-shattering junk I have ever heard. I enjoy SOAD because of their perfect change-ups and skilled drumming, and Hypnotize because it is at least somewhat playable by me.

I'd like advice on more advanced sticking, more complicated rolls, and the like. I'd like to know how to play cross-stick on the snare, as my most recent attempts have resulted in extremely muted sound. I'll try to get a video up ASAP, but we are suffering from a slight camera-shortage at my house and I don't want to shoot with a phone camera.

Hehehehe - An "Arsenal" of 4 songs, that's a good one. The mere fact that you find AC/DC boring shows us your ignorance with regards to drumming. Phil Rudd may have played a simple 8th note rock groove 98% of the time but that doesn't mean he was a plonker. It takes a master to get that right and grooving. If you know your rudiments as you claim you do, you already have an endless amount of ideas to use as grooves and fills. Ever heard of orchestration? Eat humble pie and get yourself a decent drum teacher as many guys here have suggested.


Platinum Member
ok.. keep listening to zeppelin man. that stuff is pretty good.

to people saying he needs respect..his respect will raise as he gets better, because one day he'll realize travis barker is actually pretty average and then he'll be like "oh shit, i better improve now". most of the drummers i used to love are now pretty 'mediocre', but i still respect them because they are the ones who got me into drums. yeah he said he can play rudiments but doesn't know what a flam is, maybe he literally doesn't know, maybe he just doesn't know the word. anyway.

he's a young kid. ofcourse they're ignorant in the general scheme, that comes with the territory.
i would never personally say something rude to a young person who is just starting out. infact if someone was ride to me on a forum when i was 12-14 i would tell them where to stick it (and i did, routinely, on the MX/random forums).

ashes, i like your balls. don't take crap from anyone. but seriously find a good/excellent teacher man, it will help you so much. not just for learning, but as a mentor/to keep you in check. i'm not going to pretend your youtube video was amazing (it certainly wasn't), but if you get a teacher and persevere who knows what will happen. you have to realize that many of the people here are good and know what they are talking about. stick around here and you will learn so much.

get a snare drum rudiment book (buddy rich or similar) + stick control. go through those every day starting off at a low BPM (40-50). orchestrate them around the kit (all drums + kick(s) + cymbals). stay at a low BPM for a few months until you have nice loose/relaxed/fluid motions down. work on that for like 1-2 hours a day. the rest of the time just play along to your favourite music and have fun (because that's the most important thing).

record some videos to update your progress, and put them in the 'my playing' section. i'm sure people will critique them to to tell you what you can improve etc. check out youtube for some nice lessons from various dudes (some of whom are on this very forum). most of all just play the songs you love! THAT is how you learn feel.
it isn't by listening to songs that don't interest you. just play the stuff you love and it will come along sooner or later. i grew up playing pop-punk, i don't anymore, but it helped turn me into what i am today (which is basically terrible).

for technique find a good local teacher, and buy some good DVD's to learn from. set up a mirror in line with your snare/kick (if you can find a wider one then you can cover the toms/cymbals too). get your teacher to show you how to sight read some stuff so that you can learn on your own at home from books.
i'm not going to pretend that 2500 songs is a lot (because it isn't), but we all start somewhere. like i said, don't give up. stick at it. it's worth it in the end!


Silver Member
Anyone starting any instrument should heed this advice:

Get a teacher
Get a teacher
Get a teacher
Get a teacher
Get a teacher
Get a teacher
Get a teacher
Get a teacher
Get a teacher

Seriously, get a teacher. It will get you there faster than any other way.


Senior Member
OK the one bit of advice that is blessed with the gods is this,

GET A TEACHER .... and a good one at that

Because i started off teaching myself and watching other drummers etc and even if you are up to your eye balls in natural talent you are inevitably going to get into bad habits,

So if you get a good teacher from a early point you can start to improve immediately instead of having to iron out those bad habits and that can take some time.

AND make sure your drum teacher can read .. (music that is) Because if you get used to the notation side of things early on it will open a huge range of doors for you, say if you wanted to learn a new instrument or go professional reading music is a n essential tool to have.

All the best,


Junior Member
At 14 you are still in school I would guess your school has a music program. Why not get into it. You may not like all the music that you will play but you will learn both as an individual and also work in a band environment.

I'm forty four now and just returned to the drums two years ago after a twenty something year break. I'm having to learn things again that were really easy to me back then. I was in a school music program for eight years and got exposed to allot of different styles of music. The nice thing is I learned to read music and even though my sight reading is rusty I can get out my old rudiment sheets and work on getting my chops back up.

I have found a ton of resources right here on this site and some tremendous drummers that share their experience and wisdom.


Junior Member
As a beginning drummer, I learned to play by ear. I listened and played along to records, went to a lot of concerts, watched videos, attended drum clinics... I did that for about 12 years, even playing in a few bands along the way, before I realized that I didn't know what the hell I was doing. So I sought out a teacher who helped to re-inspire my love of drumming with a new approach to the basics. I essentially had to re-learn everything that for 12 years I thought I was doing right--like the swing ride cymbal pattern (I play jazz) or even stuff as basic as gripping the stick. In the 6 months that I have been studying with my teacher, I have improved more than I ever have. I don't feel like those 12 years were wasted, however. I developed a love of playing and an appreciation of the music from a drummer's perspective. I think more than anything, these are some of the most important things if you are serious about playing the drums or any instrument.

You're doing the right thing by reaching out to a community to find out ways to improve. My advice to you, first and foremost, is to make sure you are having fun. Because if you don't enjoy what you are doing, why are you doing it? Secondly, master the basics. Now, this is going to conflict with what I just said, but learning the basics is NOT always fun. You have to be patient, learn to deal with frustration, and understand that success comes in small doses. Where the fun comes in is when you realize while you are playing (with a band, with a record, etc.) that you are suddenly improving. Lastly, identify your favorite drummers and seek them out. Find every recording they have ever done, go see them live, find out who their influences are. Absorb everything you can about the drums, continually reminding yourself why you love the drums. This knowledge will prove invaluable.

I will pass on this quote from Tony Williams (if you don't know who he is, check him out on

"People try to get into drums today and after a year they are working on their own style. You must first spend a long time doing everything that the great drummers do... Drumming is like an evolutionary pattern."
- Tony Williams