New to Drumming: NewB Questions.

No Way Jose

Silver Member
Play along with your favorite recordings. Really, it's fun and you learn a lot.

You might get a drum throne. Something that you can adjust to the right height for you. Spend some money, get a good throne. Cheap thrones can be uncomfortable.
 

jimb

Member
Im 61 started two years ago. I'm pretty musical so have some sense of it all but the biggest thing you can do for yourself is to enjoy it. For me that means playing along to my favourite but difficult tunes, which for me is old skool top forty stuff, not easy....I will never master BD doubles or fast doubles anywhere but I can play along to a lot of stuff. I try the formal stuff but I hate it it makes me crazy...guess we're all different, have fun.
 

Old Dog new Cans

Senior Member
I got better by playing drums around and with other drummers. Whether they were good or not, I learned what to do and what NOT to do. When I started, I didn't take lessons. I got to be pretty good without them. . . .HOWEVER, I would absolutely suggest them. Certain techniques, I still struggle with to this day after nearly 40 years of playing.

Good luck and welcome to the site!

Happy Holidays.
 

Grampz

Active member
Ok so I had double posted tried to delete the one post and so i apologize if there are any more Derps in advance! LOL

Just got back from the music store in Ocala as all the other stores in a 40-mile radius were sold out of pads!
1608667214336.png
So much work to do!
Found a Sheet of 40 Rudiments that will help me learn to read as well
Going to start with the Book “A Fresh Approach to the Snare Drum” by Mark Wessels
And the Vic Firth Video series associated with The Book on youtube.

Will be getting a Double kick in the next few weeks and working the same rudiments from the above mentioned book on them.
I have noted and or bookmarked every suggestion and am extremely impressed and humbled by the community support for a beginner such as myself! It is ALL so greatly appreciated!
 

Grampz

Active member
OK so that's 2 times I thought I had deleted a post to repost and it was there again after I reposted.. Sorry for the Derp
 

Old Dog new Cans

Senior Member
Ok so I had double posted tried to delete the one post and so i apologize if there are any more Derps in advance! LOL

Just got back from the music store in Ocala as all the other stores in a 40-mile radius were sold out of pads!
View attachment 99219
So much work to do!
Found a Sheet of 40 Rudiments that will help me learn to read as well
Going to start with the Book “A Fresh Approach to the Snare Drum” by Mark Wessels
And the Vic Firth Video series associated with The Book on youtube.

Will be getting a Double kick in the next few weeks and working the same rudiments from the above mentioned book on them.
I have noted and or bookmarked every suggestion and am extremely impressed and humbled by the community support for a beginner such as myself! It is ALL so greatly appreciated!

Not sure how much purchasing you do online, but Amazon can get a practice pad to you before Xmas according to their site. Many quality choices there.
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
Ok so I had double posted tried to delete the one post and so i apologize if there are any more Derps in advance! LOL

Just got back from the music store in Ocala as all the other stores in a 40-mile radius were sold out of pads!
View attachment 99219
So much work to do!
Found a Sheet of 40 Rudiments that will help me learn to read as well
Going to start with the Book “A Fresh Approach to the Snare Drum” by Mark Wessels
And the Vic Firth Video series associated with The Book on youtube.

Will be getting a Double kick in the next few weeks and working the same rudiments from the above mentioned book on them.
I have noted and or bookmarked every suggestion and am extremely impressed and humbled by the community support for a beginner such as myself! It is ALL so greatly appreciated!
With the technique thing it's good to just have a routine, but not overdo it. It will be a work in progress forever.

Don't forget to learn songs and spend some real time behind the kit. A lot of the challenge in the beginning is simply to have the focus and conditioning to make it consistenly through whole songs or a whole set.

Basic hi-hat motions and just hitting the snare drum consistenly generally takes years.

Certainly don't think you need to master all the rudiments right away. Take it slow and with the end in mind be creative with them and practice musically.

When you learn songs, don't worry about exact drum parts if they're beyond your level. The important part is to understand the structure of the song and make appropriate musical choices, make clean transistions between sections etc...

It's about playing simple things well. More technical stuff isn't a different thing it's just adding things to the foundation. When you have mastered something it's neither this nor that, it's just a musical choice within your vocabulary. Overplaying is usually a result of missing a bit in the middle. There are some stepping stones that were skipped and things are not fully understood. That may just as well being about the music and listening to other parts of the group as what's happening technically on the drums.

No matter what exercise or whatever else you practice, use all your senses and think musically when you do it.
 

yammyfan

Senior Member
I would also recommend getting an acoustic drum kit as soon as it's practical to do so.

I played an e-kit for the first couple of years after a decades-long layoff which was super fun but it stunted my development in a way. E-kits are great for learning to keep time and all of that good stuff but because they make every stroke sound perfect, you don't develop any sense of feel or dynamics playing them. Just something to keep in mind going forward.

Best of luck - enjoy the process!
 

jeffwj

Platinum Member
I have taught many adult beginners and even created/taught a course at the University of Richmond’s School of Continuing Studies specifically for adult beginners. So I know that adult beginners can learn at a surprisingly quick rate. I also know that the abundance of information available today can be overwhelming. If you started when you were in middle school, there would be a few dozen books out there (and YouTube didn’t exist). Today, there are thousands and thousands of drum books, and even more YouTube videos.

I noticed some book recommendations in this thread (which are actually great books). However, since you don’t read music yet, it will be difficult to jump into some of those methods. As an analogy, think about a child reading a high school or college level textbook. It could theoretically be done, but so much time would be taken to grab a dictionary to look up every other word. I have noticed the same thing with drums - students jumping forward into material only to be confused due to a lack of foundation.

I agree with Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX ‘s recommendation of Wessel’s Fresh Approach to Snare Drum. It is a great book, which focuses on the snare drum (and includes a few things for drum set as well). If you learn the rhythms on one surface first, you can more easily apply them to the entire set. Look for easier drum set books that utilize a similar progression of quarter notes, eighth notes, sixteenth notes, etc. Books such as Drumming the Easy Way by Hapke and Drumset 101 by Houghton/Black are nice supplements to Wessel’s snare drum book.

I know that some have mentioned getting an acoustic set. The electronic drum set was such a nice gift from your wife. I’m sure you don’t want to hurt her feelings by returning the set or getting an acoustic set so soon after she gave you this one. Many people have both acoustic and electronic sets. They both serve their own purposes. If you are a night owl (like I am), you may appreciate being able to practice at all hours on an electronic set. You might eventually find a used acoustic snare drum or even an entire set at a good price. This will help you with the touch and finesse that others have mentioned.

If you are feeling overwhelmed with information, find a teacher to guide you. Obviously, there are many of us teaching on Skype who would be happy to help you. But it might be best to find someone from your area. With a local teacher, you may have to start on Skype or Zoom due to the Covid situation. But eventually, things will be back in person where you will be up close with that teacher - who will be able to see and hear you in person.

Hope this helps,

Jeff
 

yammyfan

Senior Member
I know that some have mentioned getting an acoustic set. The electronic drum set was such a nice gift from your wife. I’m sure you don’t want to hurt her feelings by returning the set or getting an acoustic set so soon after she gave you this one. Many people have both acoustic and electronic sets. They both serve their own purposes. If you are a night owl (like I am), you may appreciate being able to practice at all hours on an electronic set. You might eventually find a used acoustic snare drum or even an entire set at a good price. This will help you with the touch and finesse that others have mentioned.
Good point, and you make a few. I still have an electronic kit for the exact reasons you mention above.

Grampz, your wife sounds like a keeper!
 
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Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Well-known member
I have taught many adult beginners and even created/taught a course at the University of Richmond’s School of Continuing Studies specifically for adult beginners. So I know that adult beginners can learn at a surprisingly quick rate. I also know that the abundance of information available today can be overwhelming. If you started when you were in middle school, there would be a few dozen books out there (and YouTube didn’t exist). Today, there are thousands and thousands of drum books, and even more YouTube videos.

I noticed some book recommendations in this thread (which are actually great books). However, since you don’t read music yet, it will be difficult to jump into some of those methods. As an analogy, think about a child reading a high school or college level textbook. It could theoretically be done, but so much time would be taken to grab a dictionary to look up every other word. I have noticed the same thing with drums - students jumping forward into material only to be confused due to a lack of foundation.

I agree with Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX ‘s recommendation of Wessel’s Fresh Approach to Snare Drum. It is a great book, which focuses on the snare drum (and includes a few things for drum set as well). If you learn the rhythms on one surface first, you can more easily apply them to the entire set. Look for easier drum set books that utilize a similar progression of quarter notes, eighth notes, sixteenth notes, etc. Books such as Drumming the Easy Way by Hapke and Drumset 101 by Houghton/Black are nice supplements to Wessel’s snare drum book.

I know that some have mentioned getting an acoustic set. The electronic drum set was such a nice gift from your wife. I’m sure you don’t want to hurt her feelings by returning the set or getting an acoustic set so soon after she gave you this one. Many people have both acoustic and electronic sets. They both serve their own purposes. If you are a night owl (like I am), you may appreciate being able to practice at all hours on an electronic set. You might eventually find a used acoustic snare drum or even an entire set at a good price. This will help you with the touch and finesse that others have mentioned.

If you are feeling overwhelmed with information, find a teacher to guide you. Obviously, there are many of us teaching on Skype who would be happy to help you. But it might be best to find someone from your area. With a local teacher, you may have to start on Skype or Zoom due to the Covid situation. But eventually, things will be back in person where you will be up close with that teacher - who will be able to see and hear you in person.

Hope this helps,

Jeff
yep...I mentioned the Wessels book first because I feel like a lot of the "standard" go to books that get mentioned require you to understand about reading to really get anything out of them

and I DEFINITELY would suggest getting wit ha teacher, for at least a month or two, specifically to get your hands down...the physicality of playing. As I mentioned before, this area is where I have to undo the most. damage when self taught people come to me with issues, and I always think, "if only they had started with me before ingraining all those bad habits". It is way harder to undo physical mistakes than mental, I think...
 

Auspicious

Well-known member
Ok so I had double posted tried to delete the one post and so i apologize if there are any more Derps in advance! LOL

Just got back from the music store in Ocala as all the other stores in a 40-mile radius were sold out of pads!
View attachment 99219
So much work to do!
Found a Sheet of 40 Rudiments that will help me learn to read as well
Going to start with the Book “A Fresh Approach to the Snare Drum” by Mark Wessels
And the Vic Firth Video series associated with The Book on youtube.

Will be getting a Double kick in the next few weeks and working the same rudiments from the above mentioned book on them.
I have noted and or bookmarked every suggestion and am extremely impressed and humbled by the community support for a beginner such as myself! It is ALL so greatly appreciated!
It will be an interesting journey, I find it very helpful to practice the rudiments and to play them in random order, with a metronome (or without one). My current goal is not to play all of them very fast, it's to play them in a random fashion, in time, with a metronome. This should help me develop a wider vocabulary and it should enhance my creativity also.

I see good things in many rudiments for my jazz learning process.

It's very fun, I adopted a no stress approach too where I develop my own routine of things to practice by myself and according to the music I listen too. Compings, fills, phrasing, hits, rudiments, sticking, etc currently it's bass drum with heavy load bass drum exercises, being aware of my weakest points all the time.

We had a discussion about this lately, "filming yourself while playing" to really see how bad the situation is.. it helps a lot.. I've got a archive of videos going on right now, a log of my evolution.
 

felonious69

Well-known member
could theoretically be done, but so much time would be taken to grab a dictionary to look up every other word
This idea (at least for me) also goes to the "newly requested" thread topic of recording. i.e. I had to go look up balanced vs unbalanced hookups. Flam, ghost notes...And once again, no in-person real-time drummers to talk to.
Even sometimes just discussing here I feel left out/don't understand, because I don't have the "drum jargon" dictionary up at the time.
Most of the books that will be suggested here will require reading skills to truly understand.
Because I don't read music I will be ordering Wessels' book as well.
 

mrjones

Well-known member
I bought a book on amazon.how to read drum music for 10.00 its by stu segal. It has a link were you go online and play along with what you are reading .great book
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
The rudiments are great but 40 of them is a choir for every practice! I've done most but I don't generally do all per practice. I do Joe Morello's killer exercise-which is single and double stroke rolls and paradiddles in succession. I add a triple stroke roll and different flam exercises too. Getting good singles and doubles a real must and worth the time. Paradiddle and flam exercises help with dexterity and building your weaker side. About everyone uses a pad for practice but I always do them on my drum kit-so I can hear it (on a pad it always sounds even but when you hit your snare where you hit produces different sounds so if one stick on center and the other on edge they won't sound even -even if they are) as well as see it-I also move them around the kit-which actually you can use for fills. Playing cymbals is a different beast than rest of kit-took me years to figure it out. I looked at cymbals as one dimensional so you whack it and that's the sound. But nope where and how you hit brings out all kinds of sounds just whacking does't produce. Playing fast 16th notes on hats or ride takes effort and time. Watching other drummers videos makes it look easy-it "ain't". I still struggle with about everything-so I practice daily because it's a roller coaster ride of some days high and some days low. Hopefully one day I'll get off the coaster and take the A train LOL.
 

Dave J

Member
@Grampz ...Like yourself and some others here, I am 55 1/2 and just got my first ever kit in June.
Also bought a keyboard and a couple bass guitars and a couple new six strings.
Advise and encouragement you will find here on this forum are AWESOME!
I am slowly plugging away myself...just need to work my time better, so I can find the time/motivation to make it happen.
Just doing it for the fun and the love of music myself.
Bang on!
I am close to you in age and just starting out myself after about 30 years on guitar. This forum has been absolutely awesome.
 
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