Most important lessons for beginners

RambleOn

Junior Member
While typing this, I believe I am speaking for all beginner drummers. One of the most difficult tasks when learning to play the drums is deciding where to begin. Do I learn stick speed and control? Do I learn rhythm? Do I learn all 40 rudiments? Do I learn basic beats? The questions continue... With that said, as an experienced drummer, what do you believe are the 5 most important lessons all beginners should master before moving on?
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Personally, I believe learning a good stick and footpedal technique are job#1.

After that, I have no opinions.
 

Otto

Platinum Member
Learning how to learn is what I would say is most important...

Avoiding burn-out, constant re-examination of your precepts and devising exercises....closely observing your playing via recording.

The rest comes and goes along with your goals/skills.
 

mikel

Platinum Member
From a purely personal perspective, I would learn some basic beats first, then you can have some fun playing along to music or playing with others. This will keep you motivated and interested while you are learning all the other stuff you need to take you where you want to go.
 

JustJames

Platinum Member
As a noob, <2 years' playing under my belt, I think it's important to start playing acshil songs as soon as possible.

Playing songs truly cements techniques and keeps the Fun Factor high. If you're playing pop/rock type stuff, there's an awful lot of material that can be played with seemingly simple grooves.

The learning comes in playing those basic grooves with mastery and authority for the length of the song, making the grooves deep and wide.

And when playing songs, either play with a backing track with the drums removed, or with other musicians. Playing along with a recording, while beneficial, leaves plenty of room to hide, and covers up all sorts of slop in your playing.
 

New Tricks

Platinum Member
Step one.

I'd say, find the type of music that moves you and simply try to play along using a very basic pattern.


Step two. Start practicing rudiments and move them into your play.
 
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KamaK

Platinum Member
I began by dividing my time into 3 areas.

1: Stick Control on a pad
2: Hand over foot exercises. Rudimental sticking patterns over foot ostinatos and vice versa.
3: Playing grooves (start with 8th note, work up to 16th note)

Eventually, they all begin to blend into one another, and the gains from one discipline compliment the others.
 

Mediocrefunkybeat

Platinum Member
Mix it up.

In my experience, you need to motivate yourself. Work out where you want to go and start at the beginning of that. If you want to be a Jazz drummer - immerse yourself.

Secondly, a strong grounding in the fundamentals is important. Work on basic hand technique and vocabulary - this will include rudiments. I would start with singles, doubles and paradiddles. Start slow and work up. Hand-technique wise, a lot of people have differing opinions. Simply, start with one and work with it. It doesn't matter what 'school' you're learning from, just that you persist with it. Basic technique includes wrist and finger control and using both efficiently and without injury. I wouldn't start looking at advanced concepts like Moeller or anything like that.

Learn basic beats - absolutely. That'll get you going. Find a few songs with simple parts and learn those songs.

Lastly, I'd get a teacher.
 

Pocket-full-of-gold

Platinum Member
Learning how to learn is what I would say is most important...
This^^^

You can go it alone if you know where you wanna travel and have some idea about what you'll need to do in order to get there.

But if you don't, then it might be worth considering you may be better off with someone to guide you.
 

Brian

Gold Member
Learn how to read music, at least basic notation at first; and learn about other instruments, how those musicians practice and learn.
 

Jeremy Bender

Platinum Member
First and most importantly, protect your hearing from day one.
Make it a lifelong habit. You'll be shocked at how fast thirty years goes by and you wished you took better care of yourself otherwise.
 

Toolate

Platinum Member
1. I am 6 years in and wish my time was tighter. Should have spent more time on the pad with the metronome.

I think if you work the pad and play along to whatever music you like the rest will fall in but you want to be able to hold it down when the time comes to play with other people.

2. Play with other people. No better way to learn how to groove than locking in with real people. One good jam night is worth months in the basement.

I think anyway...
 

Anon La Ply

Renegade
Personally, I believe learning a good stick and footpedal technique are job#1.
I agree. That's the main thing I missed through not taking lessons early on. It has limited me throughout my playing life. Get your hands and feet sorted and you can always pick up learn theory and composition from books and vocabulary and ideas from listening.
 

Mad About Drums

Pollyanna's Agent
Learning how to learn is what I would say is most important...
I wish I was given this advice when I started all those years ago, it might have made a difference.

As some of you know, my Daughter has decided to take up on drumming after the LDS show, she bought a cheap e-kit, I gave her some drumsticks and a pad and some beginner's exercises/lessons to get her started.

I'm not a teacher, definitely not, but she came forward and asked for tips, advices and lessons.

As Larry mentioned, I showed her how to hold a pair of sticks first, then how to play the bass drum pedal.

Then, I explained the timetables, subdivisions and time signatures.

I showed her a few rudiments, single stroke roll, double stroke roll, triplets, paraddidles and how to make combinations exercises of these 4 rudiments and the importance of playing with a metronome.

Finally, I showed her the basic rhythm "the money beat" and some easy bass drum patterns like 1 2 3&4 and 1 2&3 4.

She's also following and taking "lessons" on Drumeo on YT and she seems to be doing fine.

I know it's at a very early stage, but the results so far are very promising.

What I think it's the most important item that I can give her, it's my passion and love for drumming, if I can do that, I'll know she'll be fine :)
 

JohnW

Silver Member
I don't think a "beginner" has to worry about order of importance. If a sincere, driven beginner joins forces with a good teacher, all they have to do is surrender their ego and open up to whatever the teacher has to offer. The real challenge is the "sophomore" student; the one with just enough knowledge to be dangerous and obnoxious. Armed with facts, but out of context, and surrounded by conflicting methods, this student presents a challenge to a teacher and usually is best dealt with a measure of tough love. They need to become a beginner again.

Not an absolute beginner, someone who has never picked up a pair of sticks. This could be someone who's proficient; even professional, coming to the table with an open mind. They both go through the same process, only the experienced beginner has the sense that they've done it before.
 
M

Matt Bo Eder

Guest
How about learning what attracted you to the drums in the first place?

I get committing yourself to becoming a student of the drums, but the fun factor has to remain just as important. Because of the fun, then you will progress through the lessons that pop-up while you're on this journey.

So if that's playing beats with a band, I say start there. If your fun is playing proper technique on a pad, start there. But what made you want to play? That's where I'd start.
 

JohnW

Silver Member
Yes, absolutely. Whatever it is that sparked the fire to get you to want to play should drive you. It has to have that balance.
 
Try to set your goals / objectives in a simple way, go step by step, approach your drumkit / just play and enjoy it ... as much as you can!

... then later on, your mates will say: Good God! We've got a drummer... :) !!
 

opentune

Platinum Member
As some of you know, my Daughter has decided to take up on drumming after the LDS show, she bought a cheap e-kit, I gave her some drumsticks and a pad and some beginner's exercises/lessons to get her started.

I'm not a teacher, definitely not, but she came forward and asked for tips, advices and lessons.
Cool Henri. So I'll guess we'll hear from her in no time on here? Is she as good at Photoshop as her dad? lol
 
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