How did you start playing drums?

I remember this one, I was nine or ten. And my Dad was really into music, he played guitar and organ at this point (plays alot more now) and Christmas Day comes. What does my dad get? A drum kit. My first thought was "Oh no, I hate drums they're so loud." and apart from that, never really cared. My Dad was like "YES" (abit like the Nintendo 64 Kid) and immediately set it up, great. MORE racket I thought to myself. Not only that, but he also got a guitar amp too. Even MORE noise.

So, maybe about 2 months later, I said "I'm going to have a bash at this." and (tried) to play them, but... I failed and just said "What a stupid instrument."
My Dad had the drum kit set-up in the middle of my room and sat watching a drum DVD all day. It wasn't til one day, at my school there were guys who played African Samba music came in that made me decide "You know, that looks fun." and did that class and shortly after, my dad got lessons and then I got lessons. Took me a few weeks to get the basics and I got bored really quickly and quit, about 3 months in. So, it's Summer and I'm playing Xbox or whatever and my Dad said "You're coming back" so I went back, start school and I seen a Pearl Export kit and I thought "That's amazing" and I asked if I could play it and we did like a school performance of a Queen song or whatever and from then on, I took it more seriously. Not much though.

About a year later I started listening to more music like Smashing Pumpkins, Nirvana, Foo Fighters and you know, the alt. rock/ grunge scene and all I could say was "These drummers are awesome" until however, I hear... Tom Sawyer by Rush I was like "WOW" and totally started to dig Neil Peart and stuff then my Dad said "Rush? Yeah. I have Rush CD's" and then gave me 2112 to listen to. And I swear, I was stoked at that. I was like "ONE DAY I WILL PLAY THIS" and then went, learned Paradise City and said "I could end up being pretty decent at drums." and started going a little mental with foot technique and hand technique, especially foot. Until I found out I had a bad technique hahaha.
So I'd start listening to Slayer and Megadeth etc. etc. and try and play the songs with one pedal, which. I thought I could do, but nah. Now that I look at it, and I remember these dudes at school who were in a band saying "Our drummers not here to practice, want to play?" So I said sure and from then on I started taking drumming more serious. Played first gig (on percussion) and then joined a jazz band too, I was getting into it.

So, two years on. Here I am, playing jazz and stuff (don't play metal anymore).
Good technique and one day I hope to be really good, but in like one or two years. I've progressed deeply, even teachers have said.

So, what got you into drumming?
 
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Doctor Dirt

Guest
I was a bass player as a young kid, I woke up one morning and took the wrong drugs and by night time I was a drummer!!!! I'm so disappointed now!! I was on my way to being the next "Mingus" now I am the next "Dolenz" lifes not fare at times. Doc
 

Taye-Dyed

Senior Member
I became a drummer about a year ago at the age of 47!!! I am so glad I did as I am having a ball and can hardly wait for the next gig or rehearsal. Here is how it happened (sorry, a bit long):

I have played bass guitar for almost 30 years ranging from garage bands to brief professional stints. Two years ago I went to a local open jam just to watch and listen - did not bring my bass along but ended up picking up a djembe that was sitting unused. It was my first time of playing any kind of hand drum in a group setting. The other musicians were very complimentary about my playing. They said it was very tasteful and in the pocket, etc. I did not really understand what the big deal was as I was just keeping basic time. At the end of the night, these two guys offered me to join an Americana band they had just started as a percussionist. I went out and bought a djembe and started gigging with them. I had so much fun. We had a pretty good local following.

After about a year, the band broke up due to personality conflicts and some of us started a new band. Still Americana but less bluegrass, more blues, more electric. The band members asked me if I would consider switching to the drum kit. I gave it a try and and not saying I am great at it or anything, but really took to it.

I am trying to get better - practicing rudiments, playing along songs. I want to start taking lessons too. I feel like I always had it in me to play the drums, always drawn to them from a very early age but never thought of playing drums as a real possibility. They are big, noisy, expensive, etc. etc. so for the most part of my life it was not feasible for me. A few times I tried to play my bands drummers' kits, it was a disaster because I did not realize that I have to drum left handed. I am not a left handed person but that is the way I play drums. I can't explain why but even playing the djembe I had to lead with my left hand.

If you want to see me playing drums very early on - something like my third gig ever here is a link. I know it screams HACK and a bit monotonous, but I was trying to play within my limits and not do anything stupid. I think I have been getting better and also have better gear than I had back then.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vKXs62vfXLk
 
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drumfreak1987

Guest
Great thread!! Even if somebody with thousands of posts thinks its been "overdone"-lol.

I began banging pots and pans as a toddler. My older sister watched MTV and VH1 (back when they played more music ids and did artist interviews), and I loved the way the drums looked, how they were played, and the sounds they made. Plus I thought the drummer was the coolest outta the bunch. I gravitated towards the music of the Chili Peppers, 311, Toadies, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Nirvana, and more. I would listen to my mom's vinyl's on her old record player...she had Elton John, Cat Stevens, Jefferson Airplane, The Mama's and the Papa's, Dylan, Janis Joplin, Earth Wind & Fire, Zepplin, Heart, Stevie Wonder, Santana, Elvis Costello, Curtis Mayfield, Average White Band, Doobie Bros, Ray Charles, The Impressions, Isely Bros, Allman Bros, The Temptations, The Four Tops, and sooooo many more. I started air drumming to the chart toppers of new and old. I begged her for a set of drums, but she had me take piano lessons, to see if i was really into music or not, from age 5 to 9. I started snare drum in my school band, then got a kit at 13, quit school band at 14, and have been devoted to drum set for a decade now!!!
 

Zickos

Gold Member
It was around 1960. I believe I was in the 7th grade. We got a new band director and he had a cute daughter I had a crush on. My band director wanted to start a "stage band" but nobody had a drum set. We took an old marching BD, a concert snare, some unused field drums (for toms), some marching crash cymbals (for crashes) and a concert suspended cymbal for a ride. The director had a BD pedal and a HH pedal (don't remember what we used for HH cymbals). I was the best drummer in the band (very small rural school) so I was elected to play "traps". I didn't mind because I wanted to be near his daughter (who played saxophone). They moved the next year but by that time the bug had bitten. A year later my mother bought me a cheap kit (Lyra white marine pearl) and the rest is history.
 

mxo721

Senior Member
hey Taye-dyed, small world, I started last year (october) also at the age of 47. I have played guitar bass and piano since I was about 12, studied music theory in college for 3 years. But as for drums, last year was looking on craigslist for a surfboard called a " mini-simmons" and a simmons SD7K e-drum kit came up in the search...on a whim, i traded a guitar for the edrums, just to see if I like it...2 months later sold the simmons for a Gretsch catalina jazz kit, and I LOVE paying drums, I try to play every day, even if only 30 minutes, I just 45 minutes ago was jamming with a guitar and bass player, and it's really starting to feel "musical" also, the 3 years in college is finally paying off, as I read music for drums more than I ever did for piano.
 
I started out playing drums in the 6th grade, 7-8 years ago.. We had a small band program and i cant remember whether we tried certain instruments and were assigned what we might be better at, or if we got to choose.. anyways, i was on the snare : )

and the band teacher (at the time) had said that he was amazed at how much "natural rhythm" i had at that age... of course, he was later caught selling students rented instruments and was fired, so i dont think anything of what he said lol.

Anyways, we went through 3 more band teachers in the next 2 years and the band just got smaller after each teacher... i kept in the program though (i hadnt tried playing a drum kit yet at this point).

My parents always listened to country when i was a kid, it what i grew up with. Now, id have to give a lot of credit for my musical taste now to guitar hero, honestly. So the summer between my freshman and sophomore year i spent playing rock band... that drumset was the closest thing i could get to due to us not having the space/money to put one! i got pretty good at it, and while working behind the concession stand at one of the school basketball games, the youth minister for the local church came up and we started conversing... eventually i mentioned how i could play a little bit of drums and he mentioned how the youth band needed a drummer! that first day was god aweful but it was absolutely the best decision of my life because for the next two and a half years i spent every Wednesday and Sunday at that church playing drums and would be no where near the level im at right now without it.
 

Pocket-full-of-gold

Platinum Member
Dad played. From the moment I first drew breath I've been surrounded by drums/drummers, musicians and music as a whole. There was never a definitive moment of realisation......just what I see as a natural progression. I just always knew I wanted to be a part of it. I was always gonna play. If it hadn't have been drums, then it would have been something else......but I always knew I wanted in.
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
You might say I got to be a drummer by accident.

So basically, I played guitar, and bass at first... But so did everyone else. All my close friends had the commonality that we loved to jam, usually free-form improv stuff, but we had a great time of it. We often had a lack of a guy who would play the drums at our jams, so I said I'd give it a go. Everyone liked my sense of time and rhythm on the kit, so I did that for a while, just basic beats and things I could figure out by ear. At the time my attitude was kinda like "oh, I'll play drums whenever we need, but I don't think I'll ever really be a 'great' drummer." For most jams, I'd play bass for a while, then end up on drums for a good portion of the night. All I cared about is that we were playing music, specifically together; but I had to admit, I had a blast playing the drum kit!

We went on like that for a while. Over time it came to be that I hardly picked up any other instruments, in fact, I usually automatically sat down at the kit for the jams. I suppose you could say that I "played drums" for a few years without actually owning a kit, just using the jam room kit several times a week, all night long. At this time, it still hadn't occurred to me that I "played drums". For a time, this mentally absolved me of having to go down the drummer rabbit hole. I played kick ass basic but fun beats at our jams, and that's that. Well, fast forward a bit, and now somehow we've got some "songs", with actual defined structures, and drum parts that only I could play!

Then one night we were talking outside after another all-night jam, and my buddy goes: "So, you know, you're kind of 'a drummer' now"....

I had to admit, I'd slipped down the aforementioned "rabbit hole". I was a drummer. I was hooked in good. I was caring about learning them, and couldn't get enough playin em. I said something to the effect of "Yea, I guess I am; suppose that means I'll be needing a drum kit."

Things moved quick for a while. Before any of us knew it, I was taking some lessons, owned 3 drum kits, and we were playing in front of people who to my disbelief, were indeed not asking for refunds!

Drumming has been one of the best and most consistent forms of artistic expression for me ever since. I can't imagine not playing drums now, and I'm about to go bring a mini kit to a cabin in the woods on vacation because I needs my jams!

Cool thread, it's been fun reflecting and reading the other responses!
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
I became a drummer about a year ago at the age of 47!!! I am so glad I did as I am having a ball and can hardly wait for the next gig or rehearsal. Here is how it happened (sorry, a bit long):

I have played bass guitar for almost 30 years ranging from garage bands to brief professional stints. Two years ago I went to a local open jam just to watch and listen - did not bring my bass along but ended up picking up a djembe that was sitting unused. It was my first time of playing any kind of hand drum in a group setting. The other musicians were very complimentary about my playing. They said it was very tasteful and in the pocket, etc. I did not really understand what the big deal was as I was just keeping basic time. At the end of the night, these two guys offered me to join an Americana band they had just started as a percussionist. I went out and bought a djembe and started gigging with them. I had so much fun. We had a pretty good local following.

After about a year, the band broke up due to personality conflicts and some of us started a new band. Still Americana but less bluegrass, more blues, more electric. The band members asked me if I would consider switching to the drum kit. I gave it a try and and not saying I am great at it or anything, but really took to it.

I am trying to get better - practicing rudiments, playing along songs. I want to start taking lessons too. I feel like I always had it in me to play the drums, always drawn to them from a very early age but never thought of playing drums as a real possibility. They are big, noisy, expensive, etc. etc. so for the most part of my life it was not feasible for me. A few times I tried to play my bands drummers' kits, it was a disaster because I did not realize that I have to drum left handed. I am not a left handed person but that is the way I play drums. I can't explain why but even playing the djembe I had to lead with my left hand.

If you want to see me playing drums very early on - something like my third gig ever here is a link. I know it screams HACK and a bit monotonous, but I was trying to play within my limits and not do anything stupid. I think I have been getting better and also have better gear than I had back then.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vKXs62vfXLk
That's a good song! I think simple and groovy is perfect there.

Your story sounds a bit similar to mine, except you'd been playing melodic instruments for much longer before you took up drums. I'd only been at the strings for a few years, and only really learned enough to be able to jam with my friends and have fun with music. Now that I've been at the drum set so devotedly, I find myself wanting to go back to the guitar or bass and "write" melodic parts to a few things here and there. I find it much easier to play guitar now than before I played the drums. I have a much better awareness of sub-divisions and the beat as a guitar player, and although I know I'm always going to be a drummer at heart now, I'm interested to see what happens with my renewed interest in strings. It seems like you've done something similar almost in reverse, and I bet your understanding of music is a huge accelerator in the learning process for the drums.
 
A

audiotech

Guest
My short response is that my dad and great grandfather were both drummers and drums always intrigued me. I was about seven or eight watching my dad completely disassemble and clean his Ludwig kit, which he did about every month, and I would coax him to let me hit those drums. His Ludwigs were his pride and joy. He finally gave in and taught me how to play, but before the lessons started, I had to be able to tune the drums and maintain them, to his standards. Heck, I didn't want lessons, I just wanted to bang on them, lol. Things worked out for the better.

Dennis
 

Nuka

Senior Member
I started in '08. I always had a fascination with drums, and I'd sit up all night watching covers on YT, a few of my friends played and I'd be sat in lessons tapping along to music.

But it wasn't until 2008 when I went into Year 12 (lower sixth/first year of college) that I had the chance to learn. My head of year walked into the room and said that as part of being sixth formers, we had the privillage of free instrument lessons. So I picked up gutiar and drums. I failed epically on guitar but the drums I moved up two grades within the first three months and went from strength to strength after that.

I got consumed by them, I had previously been playing keyboard, saxophone and harpsichord but when the drums came in, everything else got dropped. I joined the schools rock band, started teaching the bits of drums I knew part time and even picked up the mic again and became a vocalist after a good couple of years out of the game.

From there I went to playing in the school's orchestra as a timp and aux percussion player, I joined and ended up running the school's samba band doing samba batucada and samba reggae. These then pushed me into doing all of the theatre tech work (a/v, sound and lighting) part time for the school and a local theatre.

Within a year all of that had happened; I wouldn't say I'm particularly talented or particularly great. Other players just blow me out of the water, but I reeally did pick it up so quickly and easily. Although I did make the mistake of doing two "covers" and a mess around "solo" video and putting them up on YT after only a couple of months. I've not done much since then haha. If ya really wanna watch then just search "Luke Wardle mess around on drums".

Skip forward to now, I've been playing for three years and a month, I'm in one band that I founded in which I do the drums, backing vocals and ALL the tech work. I've been in three or four bands since I started in '08 and I haven't looked back.

I'm studying English at university and playing music as a side-line, but it's what I want to do as a career, I'm also now tutoring as and when I can, offering custom jobs and cleans/rennovations/M.O.Ts on kits as well as expanding into paint jobs and check-overs for guitars.

That "rabbit hole" sure is long and addictive eh...


Must say though, great thread :)
 

Taye-Dyed

Senior Member
hey Taye-dyed, small world, I started last year (october) also at the age of 47. I have played guitar bass and piano since I was about 12, studied music theory in college for 3 years. But as for drums, last year was looking on craigslist for a surfboard called a " mini-simmons" and a simmons SD7K e-drum kit came up in the search...on a whim, i traded a guitar for the edrums, just to see if I like it...2 months later sold the simmons for a Gretsch catalina jazz kit, and I LOVE paying drums, I try to play every day, even if only 30 minutes, I just 45 minutes ago was jamming with a guitar and bass player, and it's really starting to feel "musical" also, the 3 years in college is finally paying off, as I read music for drums more than I ever did for piano.
That's a good song! I think simple and groovy is perfect there.

Your story sounds a bit similar to mine, except you'd been playing melodic instruments for much longer before you took up drums. I'd only been at the strings for a few years, and only really learned enough to be able to jam with my friends and have fun with music. Now that I've been at the drum set so devotedly, I find myself wanting to go back to the guitar or bass and "write" melodic parts to a few things here and there. I find it much easier to play guitar now than before I played the drums. I have a much better awareness of sub-divisions and the beat as a guitar player, and although I know I'm always going to be a drummer at heart now, I'm interested to see what happens with my renewed interest in strings. It seems like you've done something similar almost in reverse, and I bet your understanding of music is a huge accelerator in the learning process for the drums.
mxo721, it is good to know that I am not the only late beginner around here. Like you, my background in music certainly helped the transition too. Besides playing in bands most of my life, I used to do a lot of home recording where I played all the instruments and did my own drum machine/sequencer programming. It is not exactly like sitting at a kit, but trying to make programmed drums sound real taught me a lot about drums that I had not realized before.

Dr Watso, thank you for your nice comments about the song and my playing. I still play this song with a simple groove but catch a few more of the accents and do a few more small fills etc., as I get more and more comfortable at playing.

I agree with what you say about how your drumming helps improve your skills at other instruments. It is a good thing to be a well-rounded musician no matter what your main instrument is. There is no reason to pigeon hole ourselves to be one thing. Recently I read something about Mike Portnoy being a good bass player and really shredding on the guitar too.
 

Davo-London

Gold Member
Odd theme here. I started playing at the age of 44 after 30 years of playing bass.

My inspiration was a fellow worship-band musician ie the drummer, who was 16 and had all the chops, he could also play keys and sing. I knew that he would shortly be going to college and I knew how horrid it is to play with poor drummers as a bassist.

So, I figured, if I was the drummer then I wouldn't have the problem!

So I secretly took drum lessons for a couple of months then had to come clean to the family. And now it's an all-consuming passion. Love it.

Cheers
Davo
 

mxo721

Senior Member
wow taye-dyed we almost lived parallel lives... I was one of the first people in my town to get the fostex 4 trac cassette studio ( 1983/84), and i found a drum machine at a local garage sale, I knew about multi-tracking process from my friend's dad who was an engineer, so I made these little demo tapes, and then musicians from town started coming over and doing recordings. got some mean phone calls at one point, because bands were going into the studio and "opting out" of using the engineer because "they knew how to mix" lol. I wish I had started drums long ago, but then again, this catch up game has created a spark I havn't felt in years.
 

Cameo

Gold Member
Has always been interested in music, played piano for some years, but when I started playing Rock Band, especially drums, four years ago (someone should have guessed my age by now, but no..) I fell in love. Bought a set, within a year upgraded. Four months later? Upgraded.

Now I play a Gretsch Renown with Meinl Byzance.
My mum played the piano, her mum and dad were really involved in music and church. But my dad has hearing loss. But he can keep a steady groove.

That's my story.
 

turbojerk

Senior Member
For me as far back as I can remeber when I started to notice music at an early age I wanted to be a drummer. Never once was I tempted buy guitar, bass or anythhing else. I was born to be a percussionist!
 
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