Just Wondering...


Platinum Member
very, well, southern if you see what I mean. Really, really southern. Hoo boy.

Wow, that Southern.....!

... you could even invite him over to try your drums. If his parents are drunk and stoned they won't even notice..

Not sure about that , BP...these things can get very complicated very quickly with people who are unpredictable and have regular run-ins with the law.

Perhaps an offer could be make to the kid on the condition that he needs to get his parents explicit permission, before you go any further.

Jeff Almeyda

Senior Consultant
If this guy's dad has an opportunity to earn $ and he shows up drunk and cursing at your house then he's a lowlife, plain and simple.

Be extremely careful, because drunks like him are prone to extremely irrational and sometimes violent behavior.

Maybe give the kid a copy of a video or something.


Silver Member
When I was 13 my next door neighbour who's a drummer gave him a little lesson, maybe what you could do is do the 'lesson' or whatever you plan to show him. In front of the parents on his kit? That would remove anything negative and it would show them what he could do with some positive practise rather than just messing around with direction.



Jay norem
Senior Member Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 453

Just Wondering...


So here's the deal. The kid who lives next door, I guess he's about 13 or 14, he's learning to play the drums. He's a very nice young man, very polite and smart, and he knows that I play jazz and drum professionaly.
Every day I hear him playing and he's all over the place. There's no rhyme or reason to his practice regime, if you could call it that. There are times when I'm just dying to go over there and show him a couple of things that he could work on to improve his time and technique, but he's never asked and neither have his parents.
It's sort of bothering me because what I hear is someone with no real direction flailing away at it. I know he plays in the school marching band but it doesn't seem to have had any impact on his set drumming.
I feel bad just sitting here listening to him pounding away in bad time, trying to play stuff that's way beyond him and not working on real fundamentals. But I'd feel odd about offering to show him some things because I don't want to get myself into something that could go any number of ways. After all I have to live with these people as my next door neighbors.
So I'm wondering, what's you guys take on this? Should I just mind my own business?


Sounds to me like your very interesting in the teaching aspect of music. With that being said, how about this idea. Invite him and his parents to one of your gig's/shows. That will represent your skill to both the posible student and parent. You could say Hey, I have been listening to you practice and see your into drumming/music. Would you like to come to one of my gigs?

That would be a great opener for both him and the parents. If the student likes your drumming he will most likely ask you about teaching him.



Platinum Member
Sounds like he may want the help but maybe his parents cannot afford a teacher so they told him not to ask because you are their neighbor also. I guess you should decide if ya just want to show him a few things for free or not. If you do than maybe some kind of ice breaker like asking him what kind of kit he has and if you can see it then take it from there.

That is a good way to approach it.

Jon Cable

Silver Member
Jay, I love ya dude, we've been on here for some time now, I think I know how you feel; you just want to help a [potential] fellow drummer. For what it's worth, and I hate myself for saying this, I think you should just stay away bro.
These don't sound like rational, reasonable people and I think however you make that 'first move', it's possible it could be misconstrued by Foghorn Leghorn next door. If the kids aware of who you are and what you do then he'll either make the first move or he won't; you can only give the help that people will accept bro. Y'all be careful there Bubba....


Silver Member
From what I get, you want to help him out. But what if he doesnt want to play jazz? Maybe he wants to flail about and hit whatever is in reach of his undoubtedly splayed sticks and shot-out heads... We all want to impart our "knowledge" and save someone from the harsh world of "having to learn for yourself" but as much as you want to help= as much help that isnt wanted.
I d try not to lose any sleep over it and take comfort in the fact that- you re living your dream and making your own way. While this kid may be oblivious to the fact that you re drumming for a living, he may also want to be a football player, or Nascar driver and while he s just passing a "phase", your best efforts may end up being a complete waste of time.Im not saying dont help him, but what if you develop a sense of responsibility and when he decides its not worth it, you end up feeling the loss?
Dont force yourself on the issue. Just say, for instance-If he wants to play metal...how could you be a positive influence? I love your posts Jay, but its obvious you re a jazz player at heart, and when he wants to learn blast-beats or how to practice getting up to 180 bpm on the doublebass, what will you do? Try to steer him towards the Jazz side? When it ends up going downhill...where will that put you?
I hate being so blunt, but all things have a negative side to them. This is just my opinion on the subject though, so whatever you decide on I wish you all the luck...and whatever this kid decides to do, I wish him the best of luck too. Hopefully he ll keep the drums close as he goes through his "learning years"....And hopefully you ll find the 1 tune that describes "death-metal".. I m stayin away from that one LOL! Good luck man...

jay norem

Jon Cable and crdirtRider856, you've both articulated what I've been thinking since I began this thread. Thank you. I think you're both absolutely right, and so I'm just going to let what happens happen.
Boy, life is a real downer sometimes isn't it? I'm just going to keep my distance from this situation.
Just today my wife said "That little boy is a terrible drummer isn't he?" And I told her that there isn't anything I can do about it without getting into some stuff that I do not want to get into. I wish it wasn't like that, but it is.
Thank you to all who responded.


Pioneer Member
How well do you know his parents? I ask because of how hyper-sensitive parents are these days to adults, men in particular, approaching their children. If you have a good relationship with his parents and have developed a certain level of trust with them, then sure, why not? But if you haven't then I'd give it time and maybe he'll approach you for advice.

wy yung

I didn't want to use the term "redneck." But...okay?
I know these people. I've even tried to help them out when they were really getting down there, more than once. I've given them a little money, I had the husband come over to do some handy-man work in my house (he was drunk as a skunk, started cursing and scared the hell out my wife), I've dealt with these people quite a lot since we bought this house.
They have guns. They smoke pot. They get drunk. Sometimes the cops show up.
All I can say is...you should see how they live. They have three broken down cars sitting in their back yard and a couple more in their driveway. Welcome to the old south.
The thing is that this is a pretty nice street in a pretty nice neighborhood. But...
I don't mean to sound like I'm standing in judgement of these people, but...man.
Yeah, my heart goes out to this really cool kid who wants so much to be a drummer. Maybe this goes beyond anything that can really be addressed on this forum. All I know is that I really feel for the kid.
The strongest barrier? I'm not like them. My wife is a foreigner. They have nothing resembling an education. Yes, I find them rather scary. They're from a long line of people just like them. Tobacco road and all that. Very southern. And it kills me to see this smart kid, who really wants to be a drummer, having to deal with all that.

I'd be very careful Jay. "No good deed goes unpunished". Maybe tell the kid about this site or loan him a DVD or something.
Hello, Jay.

It seems that you are the light at the end of the tunnel for that young boy. If you don't mind a piece of advice: break the ice, approach with prudence. Maybe you can help and educate these people to have a hope for a better social life.

Take care,

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Senior Member
"Domestic violence is your business." I would be like, "Yeah I've been listening to you play the drums and I can let you in on the fundamental principles related to the drum set, to help you have a firm foundation so that you can move ahead productively and more greatly utilize your practice time. If he's like, "No, I'm good", let him flounder and never get a gig a day in his life. As the book says; "...fools despise wisdom and instruction." (Prov. 1:7)