Mentoring a young drummer


Gold Member
It's funny where life takes you sometimes. What started off 3 weeks ago as a 1 off gig to help out a buddy who is interim WL at a nearby church, has pretty much turned into a voluntary long term temporary fill-in gig drumming in their rag-tag praise band. In other words they ain't got nobody else to drum.

The rag-tag part comes from the WL piece-mealing the band together using any musician he can find from his roladex: friends, family members, other church members, members from other chruches he's managed to borrow, etc. As a musician it's interesting to see who shows up on a particular Sunday to play.

Long story short, the WL has managed to locate a kid who goes to that church and plays in their teen praise band on Wednesday nights to a small number of maybe 10 to 15 people. From what I've been told this kid isn't too confident of his abilities and is anxious about playing in front of a large congregation.

Here's where I come in: If this kid agrees to be put in the Sunday morning rotation, I've been asked to mentor him along the way and teach him. I'm thinking it will be more mentoring and encouraging than acutally nuts and bolts teaching.

My question is, where do I start? He'll be playing the usual CCM covers from artitst like Chris Tomlin, etc. Mostly 4/4 basic rock beats. To me and my skill level, no "heavy lifting" whatsoever, so-to-speak, but to this kid it may be a real challenge and freak him out. At the very most, he'll be required to play 4 songs.

I need advice on how to approach this and sort of where to begin?



Gold Member
I'm not familiar with church gigs at all, or how any of that works, but is he able to sit with the band. The best way might be to have him up there watching you and following along with the written parts, or just watching if there are no parts...

Then after he's seen it a few times, try having him sit in on a rehearsal, or play a song before the crowd gets there so he can get used to playing with others. After playing a few songs, he'll probably be ready fro trial by fire; just cut the saftey net and let him go.