Need advice for a total beginner please.

Razovar

Member
Need abit of advice please. I have been to my very first drum lesson last week and have another one tomorrow. I’m really looking forward to my lesson again but I don’t have any motivation to actually practice when I’m at home.

Is this common with beginners? Am I going to get anywhere with just going to 1 hour drum lesson a week? My teacher is very experienced and has been teaching for over 20 years.

It could be because I know nothing about drums currently and when I sit in front of my practice kit I just feel completely lost without a teacher.

any tips or advice?
 

Sebenza

Member
Didn't your teacher give you some things to practice? At the very least spend some time working on whatever he gave you.

And no, you're never gonna get anywhere with just going to a one hour lesson every week and never playing or practicing the rest of the time
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
Agreed. Call it homework. One hour with a teacher is a great start. At least go over what you did with the teacher. You have a book or sheet music. Make some notes and work on things your having trouble with
 

Fritz Frigursson

Senior Member
it's premature for sure... 1 lesson isn't going to really do anything. Try some more lessons and you'll discover if you want to continue or not
 

Razovar

Member
Didn't your teacher give you some things to practice? At the very least spend some time working on whatever he gave you.

And no, you're never gonna get anywhere with just going to a one hour lesson every week and never playing or practicing the rest of the time
I did practice what he showed me.
 

Sebenza

Member
I did practice what he showed me.
Okay sorry, I might've misunderstood your post then, it sounded like you didn't touch your sticks apart from your lesson.

Well, then I'd suggest listening to some music you like and try to play along with it. That's always good practice.
 

Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Well-known member
you will not get better if you don't rep....I have been teaching middle/high school students for 30 years, (not saying that you are in that age group) and know that in the beginning, it is hard to motivate when it seems like you 'don't have much to work on", but you need to rep to develop muscle memory, strength and agility

as you continue with lessons, you will add on more stuff...unless you don't practice, then you will be told to do the same stuff again and again

and I think the big thing to get over is to not look at practice time as stuff you "have" to do...it is stepping stones to the next level; music is not an "instant success" activity for sure, and it is DEFINITELY an activity that if you skip steps, you will encounter bigger roadblocks down the road

as many have mentioned, supplement what you do at home with trying to play along to songs you like....try applying whatever your teacher is having you do to songs you like

I always have my new students do their basic exercises to songs they like...also have them watch videos and try to find the application of what we are talking about...

what are you working on?
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
You reap what you sow. You don't sow it you don't reap it. But even sowing isn't enough-no you'll be covered in weeds and thistle-you have to cultivate ad nurture it to grow. You can't grow if you don't nurture it. It's basic biology. You need to be patient-I know most people think drums can't be that difficult -no notes to finger-just take EZ drummer lesson and in a week you're a drummer-NOT!!!! It's actually more difficult than a note instrument. I can still play my scales on a sax decades after leaving the instrument. I still struggle with drums patterns I've been working on during that same interval.
 

Razovar

Member
you will not get better if you don't rep....I have been teaching middle/high school students for 30 years, (not saying that you are in that age group) and know that in the beginning, it is hard to motivate when it seems like you 'don't have much to work on", but you need to rep to develop muscle memory, strength and agility

as you continue with lessons, you will add on more stuff...unless you don't practice, then you will be told to do the same stuff again and again

and I think the big thing to get over is to not look at practice time as stuff you "have" to do...it is stepping stones to the next level; music is not an "instant success" activity for sure, and it is DEFINITELY an activity that if you skip steps, you will encounter bigger roadblocks down the road

as many have mentioned, supplement what you do at home with trying to play along to songs you like....try applying whatever your teacher is having you do to songs you like

I always have my new students do their basic exercises to songs they like...also have them watch videos and try to find the application of what we are talking about...

what are you working on?
I think you’ve hit the nail in the head. I don’t actually know anything to even practice with. I’ll try a few more lessons and see what I learn.
 

Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Well-known member
I think you’ve hit the nail in the head. I don’t actually know anything to even practice with. I’ll try a few more lessons and see what I learn.

yep...at first, it might not seem like you have a full hours worth of work to do...but if you rep enough, you can get some time in...

like, the very first exercise I give my new students is 8 on a hand....BUT we talk about a lot of technique details that they need to be focusing on while doing basic 8's...enough that if they don't spend at least a half hour a day on, they will not soak in the muscle memory. I tell them to use a metronome, but will also usually find a song or two that is close to the met beat I want them at, and then I tell them to play the 8's along to the song as well

I also tell them to watch some videos of drummers, and to identify when they are using basic 8 on a hand in the song: like rhight hand subdivision on drum set; or direct 8 on a hand exercises in drum corps

as the lessons grow, all of that other involvement grows as well...and about a month or two in, they are then "entertaining themselves" with info gathering and application
 

Old Dog new Cans

Senior Member
Tap along to music that you enjoy...even if you’re not sure about how to practice have fun and get used to holding those sticks!! :) (y)

You HAVE to find something you enjoy WITHIN the work. Ask your teacher, just be honest. "Teach, I don't practice. I need some fun stuff too."

Why are you playing drums? Is it just something to do? What motivated you to start playing? And, how old are you? If you're a young person, you just have to work at focusing on the work.
 

MntnMan62

Junior Member
Actually, I would think that with something new you would WANT to practice since it's so new. Also, in the beginning, things should sort of come quickly since the first few things you learn are fairly easy. I'm concerned that if you don't want to practice now when it's new and fresh, then you really won't want to practice when you've been playing a while and things can tend to get tedious. Hopefully your teacher gave you stuff to work on so he can gauge your progress for the week. If he didn't, that's on him. But this isn't promising. You've had one lousy lesson. Maybe the drums aren't for you. Someone asked why you want to learn how to play the drums. You haven't answered. That's a huge quesion and your answer could very well reveal what the issue is here.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
You need a pad. Dont practice on the drums, it gets distracting. Also, you have to take the first few lessons with a grain of salt. Singles and 8 on a hand are boring AT FIRST. Once you get the hang and feel of how the stick works, your brain will click and you will get it. Then practice becomes fun. As you get farther into learning, you will understand how the first few lessons are applied to everything else, plus you will have different lessons that you can mix and match after you learn them. Hang in there, it gets fun.
 

vtran711

Well-known member
Learning drums or anything for that matter will be a roller coaster ride. You will have many highs and lows. You need to find ways to push through the lows and get to the other side. Teachers are there to inspire, guide and correct. However, it is ultimately the student that decides how much effort is put into the pursuit. It is not solely the teacher's job to keep you motivated. These days there are so many ways to find motivation. Supplement your lessons with other activities like listening to music (but listen as a musician, count, focus on the drums, etc). Watch other drummers online. Learn about the drum kit itself (tuning, gear, different brands, etc). Listen to music/drumming podcasts. If you truly have a passion to get good at it you will find ways to motivate yourself. Good luck!
 

doggyd69b

Well-known member
You reap what you sow. You don't sow it you don't reap it. But even sowing isn't enough-no you'll be covered in weeds and thistle-you have to cultivate ad nurture it to grow. You can't grow if you don't nurture it. It's basic biology. You need to be patient-I know most people think drums can't be that difficult -no notes to finger-just take EZ drummer lesson and in a week you're a drummer-NOT!!!! It's actually more difficult than a note instrument. I can still play my scales on a sax decades after leaving the instrument. I still struggle with drums patterns I've been working on during that same interval.
Maybe he learns differently. I for example can improve my playing having not practiced for years yet sit and play just fine and most of the time better thatn before, because I don't need to sit and hammer the same exercise over and over and over, I can just figure out in my head and once it clicks, I can play it. I have only taken one lesson ever. 1 because it was too expensive, 2 they guy insisted on having me hold the sticks in an uncomfortable manner before he showed me anything. I was done, never looked back and now I outplay him.. Am I a great drummer? No, but I can hold my own against people who have spent the better part of 20 30 years practicing rudiments and patterns. To me drums are not that difficult, Guitar is a little more difficult. Piano... etc, drums come naturally to me and are very easy for me to learn, with the exception of playing some very complex polyrhythms together or very fast double bass. I can reach the speeds, I just can't maintain a clean 30 second 300bpm run... yet... Perhaps he needs to ask his teacher for exercises that are more motivational to him, maybe tie some of them to known music, that way he would at least understand how it will be used. (is like me now doing this stupid math, I will never need to know how to undo a multiplication or obtain the cubic root of a number for anything useful, so it is very frustrating for me to have to do this now, if I had a use for that math like electronics math or programing math then I would be ok but... it's a class and I have to get it done to reach my goal of getting the $$ I want). Can't complain about your situation if you are not taking steps to make it better.
 

No Way Jose

Silver Member
Make up your own exercises. For example, exercise your feet by alternating bass drum and hi hat. boom chic boom chic. If you get bored then invent a new exercise. spang spang-a-lang on the ride cymbal jazz drummer style.

And play along with recordings. Practice can get boring sometimes.
 

Rock Salad

Junior Member
@Razovar
So, you go sit a the kit and are intimidated?

That is a real thing that pretty much Everyone feels. Watch some insane chop monster videos that feature more than one player. Even those guys feel it, even at top skill there are limitations and snafu.
Use the feeling to be the most earnest practicer of the materials you have please
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
I’ve been playing since I was 8. Just like Jo Jo, Steve Gadd, or Buddy Rich. Even took tap dancing as kid as I know two of them. Never had a lesson, never listen to anyone for that matter (I learn differently too) and I can hold my own ok. But I’ll never be convinced I couldn’t/shouldn’t be a lot better. Late in life when I started listening ve improved I think. I’m stubborn I have to figure it out my way and do it my way- which in reflection was a lot like re-inventing the wheel. I still need to take some lessons -get some first hand guidance from another perspective. I’m not saying anyone is wrong or dissing any comment. More a reflection of my own personal drum journey. Since science says it takes 10,000 hours to be accomplished that has to be practice to reap any sow-age LOL. . I’m turning 66 soon and I’ve never played rudiments till last few years and I play a lot cleaner now with my hands. So it has helped me - also I’ve always been a wimpy hitter and now I’m getting more power than I’ve ever had.
 

Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Well-known member
You need a pad. Dont practice on the drums, it gets distracting. Also, you have to take the first few lessons with a grain of salt. Singles and 8 on a hand are boring AT FIRST. Once you get the hang and feel of how the stick works, your brain will click and you will get it. Then practice becomes fun. As you get farther into learning, you will understand how the first few lessons are applied to everything else, plus you will have different lessons that you can mix and match after you learn them. Hang in there, it gets fun.

(not to dis on the CrazyPole....)
only if that is what you convince your self of...they can be a blast if you do them right!!! That is why I have my students do them with a metronome AND along to songs they like...I have been playing drums for 35 years, and I still love to just chop out 8 on a hand, or Stone patterns 1-4...make up a playlist of songs that you like and go for it

this is the playlist I use myself, and with my marching band drummers when we are doing basic motion stuff (I also use it to warm up on set with, and teach basic set to my students)


feel free to use it as well!!!
 
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