New to Drumming: NewB Questions.

Frosticles

Silver Member
Turn on your kit, headphones on. choose some music you like, tap away. By far the most fun way to learn. I know so many that have given up because a teacher made them just do rudiments etc. Get comfortable in your playing, then seek lessons if you so wish. It's all about the fun :)
 
  • Like
Reactions: J-W

TMe

Senior Member
Turn on your kit, headphones on. choose some music you like, tap away. By far the most fun way to learn. I know so many that have given up because a teacher made them just do rudiments etc. Get comfortable in your playing, then seek lessons if you so wish. It's all about the fun :)
I think (but I don't know) that focusing on rudiments and proper grip/technique is a dicey proposition. If someone focuses on them from lesson 1, and spends a long time working on them before moving on, they'll likely be a much better drummer. But most kids, if forced to work on them from lesson 1, will just quit playing drums. It's probably the same for most adult learners. It's more work to go back later and un-learn bad habits, yes, but the sooner somebody starts playing along with songs, the more likely they'll stick with the instrument.

Any teachers want to weigh in on that theory?
 

wraub

Gold Member
As another late starting drummer (although I had the benefits of many years as a bass player working with really good drummers), I started with a pad and a pair of sticks. Did rudiments for a while, then, tbh, kinda got bored. Played on the kits of others when able (for a few minutes at band practice), or at a store, and this kept me motivated, but mainly played a lot of air drums. But, really playing-using the feet for hats and bass, learning the muscle movements and timing, etc. I've been doing this for decades, playing along with whatever music I was hearing at the time.

When I got my drum set, the set I've wanted since I was a kid, I was ready to play. tbh, when others hear me play and offer compliments, and they ask how long I've been playing, I don't know what to say... I've been playing on my set for a year or so, but I've been playing drums my whole life, actively preparing to play on the set when I could finally get one. I didn't know I was doing that, but.... yeah. I'd recommend the "air drum method", concentrating on limb independence and time keeping. For starters, just kick/hats/snare, focusing on timing and facility. You can do it almost anywhere, if you don't mind some quizzical/concerned looks. :D You don't get the rebound/bounce of stick on head, but it's just another kind of previsualization. It worked for me, might for you.

That said- I still have a pad I use a lot. It really is helpful, for volume , convenience, portability... helpful.

I suggest you look into getting a teacher- In a way, I've already had many, but I would like to find someone to work with at this point. A good teacher is always a good thing, and the right one can be a life changer.

I'd also suggest an acoustic set at some point, it is a different thing. However, your set will allow you to practice at any hour, and, iirc, has built in metronome and training tools. Take advantage of these. ;) Also, you should appreciate your wife, she sounds like a keeper.

Keep playing- It gets funner. :)
 

doggyd69b

Silver Member
Been wanting to learn drumming for a Long time. My wife surprised me on my 50th birthday a few days ago with a Roland TD17 KVX I have 2 sets of Sticks 2B and 5A.
Going to attempt to teach myself, so I have some questions.
1) Even though I have a nice kit should I get a practice pad as some videos suggest for beginners?
2) Plan on starting with diddles and then moving into paradiddles. What is the best grip to use first learning and at what point should Switch to learning a new Grip?
3) Currently have a single PDP Kick pedal would it be advantageous to break down and get a double kick and learn diddles and paradiddle with the feet as well?
4) Currently have a Set of Vic Firth 2B and 5A sticks. Should I be using a specific stick as a beginner?

Any video / Book suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Practice pad can't hurt, a small tip: you don't need to hit the drums hard to have them be loud specially true with an E-kit.
The best grip is the one that feels more comfortable to you, find out what the different grips are, try them all under similar conditions (for example playing the same patterns/song) and see which fits you best.
Having a double pedal is never a bad idea, but a lot of people are going to tell you that you should learn with a single first (I disagree as I challenge myself by playing songs with the opposite limbs for example my bass drum foot is my right, but I would play a whole song with my left, and the hi hats with my left hand, and snare with my right, then switch as needed to play rolls or accent cymbals. (my kit is setup for a right handed approach). That would allow your left leg to become as strong (an as independent as your right) so having a double pedal helps and you can create patterns that would be too hard or almost impossible to play with a single pedal. For example: the triplets at the end of Pantera's Primal concrete sledge. Vinnie Paul plays a sort of gallop with the double bass (he did use a double bass kit) while the ride goes on 1,2,3 and 4 and the snare on every 3. I don't know many people that can play that with a single pedal...
Finally stick size is also a preference if the sticks are too heavy for you, then you are going to incur injuries, besides you don't need a heavy stick with an E-kit but again use what is most comfortable for you.

now not books but look at breakdowns of Messhuggah songs (there is this guy in YouTube who takes that to a science and explains all the parts with extreme detail) Even if you don't like metal, attempting to play those parts will keep you entertained for weeks. a lot of songs from the band Disturbed use a lot of double bass, he is not a fast straight double bass so it's not that easy to notice until you try to play them with a single pedal.. for an example their song Striken. now for slow but tasty beats listen to Deftones (digital bath is an example with the very faint ghost notes to how the song picks up and gets back to the slowness is very fun to play).
 

doggyd69b

Silver Member
I think (but I don't know) that focusing on rudiments and proper grip/technique is a dicey proposition. If someone focuses on them from lesson 1, and spends a long time working on them before moving on, they'll likely be a much better drummer. But most kids, if forced to work on them from lesson 1, will just quit playing drums. It's probably the same for most adult learners. It's more work to go back later and un-learn bad habits, yes, but the sooner somebody starts playing along with songs, the more likely they'll stick with the instrument.

Any teachers want to weigh in on that theory?
Not a teacher but as a self taught drummer I can tell you that playing along or learning songs by ear helps you really develop your timing, because when you are listening to a song with the intention of learning it, you start to anticipate some parts and a lot of the time you are correct but some you are not, but because of that you start to develop a sort of technique that will help you play most other songs even though you don't necessarily have learned them note for note and since it is a lot more fun to play along than to practice a single exercise yes anyone who uses this approach will more likely stick with the instrument.
 

Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Diamond Member
I think (but I don't know) that focusing on rudiments and proper grip/technique is a dicey proposition. If someone focuses on them from lesson 1, and spends a long time working on them before moving on, they'll likely be a much better drummer. But most kids, if forced to work on them from lesson 1, will just quit playing drums. It's probably the same for most adult learners. It's more work to go back later and un-learn bad habits, yes, but the sooner somebody starts playing along with songs, the more likely they'll stick with the instrument.

Any teachers want to weigh in on that theory?

band director/percussion instructor and private lesson guy here...

the students/drummers negative perspective about non-drumset practice is directly the teachers fault...and indirectly the drumming communities fault. Also, the student is at fault too: boredom is due to lack of actively participating.

i have been teaching for 30 years. I have had about a total of 1500 students in that time. ( I keep a list). 5th graders; high schoolers; college kids; adults; Autistic; partially deaf; ADHD; blind; arm, and leg disabilities...i have taught just about every situation a person could be in.

EVERY ONE of my students has started with 2-3 months of rudimental/fundamental "snare" stuff first...and very few of them ever perceived it as "drudgery"....because that is not how I introduce it. From the get go, rudiments are "cool" in my drum culture. I show drum corps videos; drum set players using rudiments in patterns; we start a rudimental knowledge and speed rubric where they get "stars" for every rudiment they learn, and can play at different speeds

if we live in , and foster a culture where the perception of rudiments, fundamentals practice and learning a kind of technique is discouraged, or thought of as boring or drudgery, or the worst....not important 😑... we are not helping either.

I notice that this mind set definitely comes from players who did not start in a school band, or structured lesson situation...the people who just "got drums and tried to learn songs"...and as I have mentioned in many posts, these types are the ones who usually are hitting walls first (and fast) and try to look for "secrets" to playing some kind of pattern, or reading some beat. MANY of those problems are just due to skipping the fundamental reading and technique building process that should happen first. When these types come to me for help, I always think inside about how much of their time was wasted learning things incorrectly, and how much time it will take to undo all of that bad habit...and they always say the same thing: "man, if I had just got lessons first" <--- this is a lot of my adult age students...the ones who thought they "knew better"

Hell, I have had teachers/instructors who say that rudiments, proper hand technique...even practicing at home...are wastes of time..."just play the song man"...luckily I had my dad first, and he told me to really consider what is righht or wrong, and to never cut corners to get to an end result

so this is just observational/situational reaction. I am not slamming anyone, but am definitely slamming the "take the easy way out/skipping steps" mind set.

<Old Man Rant>
I am slamming the sect of drummers who willingly and actively degrade other drummers who take their training, reading, technique and progression seriously. I think that is another issue of our culture in the past 50 years - the loss of respect for being educated on a subject - and it is one of the the things that I do get riled up about. "Everyone gets a trophy" is not a thing in my world; just putting your name on the list and "wearing the uniform" is not enough...sorry, I am old school in that fact, and that won't change
 

Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Diamond Member

BrokenStick

Junior Member
I think (but I don't know) that focusing on rudiments and proper grip/technique is a dicey proposition. If someone focuses on them from lesson 1, and spends a long time working on them before moving on, they'll likely be a much better drummer. But most kids, if forced to work on them from lesson 1, will just quit playing drums. It's probably the same for most adult learners. It's more work to go back later and un-learn bad habits, yes, but the sooner somebody starts playing along with songs, the more likely they'll stick with the instrument.

Any teachers want to weigh in on that theory?
Not really a teacher, and it would take a whole lot of data to come to anything like a conclusion. So much depends on the individuals in question. Some might be able to learn at their own pace self-taught rather easily. Others, like me (I'm visually impaired) find a goodish bit of being self-taught (largely) a prodigious frustration. My earliest efforts were as a kid learning to play to records: mostly '60s stuff--a lot of Wrecking Crew, CCR etc. While there were no doubt rudiments in much of that, I don't think most of that material was anything like the rudiment-ladened stuff one hears today. And one never knows if some physical technique hangup will derail things too. So, there are probably plenty of cases where beginners gave up on boring rudimental sticking patterns, and there are probably those who gave up because they could not attain the level and pace of development they wanted. Good experienced teachers will know where and how to push.
 

TMe

Senior Member
I notice that this mind set definitely comes from players who did not start in a school band, or structured lesson situation...the people who just "got drums and tried to learn songs"...
That makes sense. Someone who's learning with a good teacher, especially if they're in a music program with other drum students, is less likely to skip the basics and jump right into learning songs. Trying to learn rudimental drumming, on your own, without a teacher, without other drummers to learn with... for most people, that's probably not gonna happen.
 

doggyd69b

Silver Member
I notice that this mind set definitely comes from players who did not start in a school band, or structured lesson situation...the people who just "got drums and tried to learn songs"...and as I have mentioned in many posts, these types are the ones who usually are hitting walls first (and fast) and try to look for "secrets" to playing some kind of pattern, or reading some beat.


Save for some very complex patterns I can play mostly anything I want to play. I never needed to look for ways or tricks to learn what I wanted to learn, I have never hit a wall either, my only issue is time to play, not so much my ability to learn. I understand the value of lessons but I never had the money or desire to take them and now I am happy with my skill level, I don't need to impress anyone nor do I care what other drummers think. All I care about is that the band I play with sounds good and my drumming serves the music. I am not the best drummer but to this day I have never had issues being able to play what was what was needed and play it correctly. Let those who want lessons take lessons but don't dismiss self taught drummers as if we are not worthy, we might surprise you 😉.
 

Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Diamond Member
Save for some very complex patterns I can play mostly anything I want to play. I never needed to look for ways or tricks to learn what I wanted to learn, I have never hit a wall either, my only issue is time to play, not so much my ability to learn. I understand the value of lessons but I never had the money or desire to take them and now I am happy with my skill level, I don't need to impress anyone nor do I care what other drummers think. All I care about is that the band I play with sounds good and my drumming serves the music. I am not the best drummer but to this day I have never had issues being able to play what was what was needed and play it correctly. Let those who want lessons take lessons but don't dismiss self taught drummers as if we are not worthy, we might surprise you 😉.

again, I have no problem with self taught players...until they start making derogative comments towards "instructed" players without ever having lived in that world. I see that in a lot of the posts on this forum, and in live interactions on the scene here around home:

"no one needs to learn rudiments beyond X, Y ,and Z. That is a waste of time and stupid"
"learning rudiments/technique is pointless when you don't use them in a money beat. Those drummers are wasting their time"
"technique doesn't matter as long as the band is happy and I get a beer"

these are broad sweeping statements in my mind, and that drives me nuts.

You would not hear me saying: "self taught drummers who don't want to take lessons are all lazy, afraid of practice, and are pretenders..." now, I realize that many in the "instructed" world DO say this, and I immediately jump their shit when they do. Many of my colleagues in the orchestral world are super guilty of this mind set, and I also hate that. It is very narrow and incorrect. I get a lot of "drum set players were not smart enough to make the orchestra"...ugh...that really burns me up

and I also realize that people get into music for many different reasons...I don't have a problem with that...until they start telling me that the reason I am into music is "stupid, boring, and a waste of time". The band situations I play in demand more on the technical side, or historical side, or educational side, and that is just as valid as the "money beat" cover bands I play in.

I am self taught on guitar, and like you @doggyd69b , it got me to the exact level I want to be on guitar...but there are elements of guitar playing that I will never understand unless I take lessons. And these would hold me back from getting to the next level that might open more doors for me...if I wanted to do that. So I get where you are coming from!

So in the end:
- I think that realizing that there is not one universally accepted, stamped, and approved reason to learn drums should come first.

- Gaining knowledge on a subject should never be viewed as a waste of time...that breeds ignorance, and erodes the integrity of an activity. Saying that someone is "trying to learn too much" is just absurd
 

Quai34

Junior Member
I read music but learnt piano organ and keys, always with teachers so, I didn't even tried with a book and I will have my first lesson on. Monday with a teacher, at my house. I took 6 months of drums tough, learnt how to read drums instead of keys music. So, I'm good a t keeping the beat but yes, after tow year of doing "Plum Pam" on drums, I decided to continue with a real teacher.
I will a!so let you know how it will go.
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
Rudiments aren't part of lesson one. Introducing some of them is part of basic training.

You learn how to hold the sticks, read and if you have a kit you also learn to play basic beats to songs. Everything else is individual and based on each student or what's appropriate for you group of students both as individuals and as a group.

If you can, introducing all elements is a good idea IMO the just avoid general narrowmindedness, but should be done at the correct level.
 

iwearnohats

Silver Member
(Many many things that are great things to have been said)
Man I just want to say, I agree with you 100%. I've encountered so much negativity in my 24+ years of playing drums, both on and offline. It is refreshing to hear someone speak the same things that cross my mind. Unfortunately I have seen a number of visitors to this forum spouting the exact same unwelcome, unhelpful, hyper-critical, bitter, and needless remarks that do nothing but discourage other drummers from exploring and building their own PERSONAL journey on our amazing instrument. Imagine if people like Virgil Donati, Buddy Rich, Dave Weckl and Terry Bozzio listened to and heeded these people when they were starting out! The world would be a much more boring place and missing some absolutely incredible musicianship.
 

Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Diamond Member
Man I just want to say, I agree with you 100%. I've encountered so much negativity in my 24+ years of playing drums, both on and offline. It is refreshing to hear someone speak the same things that cross my mind. Unfortunately I have seen a number of visitors to this forum spouting the exact same unwelcome, unhelpful, hyper-critical, bitter, and needless remarks that do nothing but discourage other drummers from exploring and building their own PERSONAL journey on our amazing instrument. Imagine if people like Virgil Donati, Buddy Rich, Dave Weckl and Terry Bozzio listened to and heeded these people when they were starting out! The world would be a much more boring place and missing some absolutely incredible musicianship.

yep...
one simply has to think before opening their mouths...
one simply has to realize that the world does not think like them
one simply has to understand that their personal situation is working for them, but might not for everyone else
one also should defend their position, and not be "ashamed" of having it (unless it hurts other people)
one should take suggestions and others commentary, mull them over, and then apply as necessary to their own application
 

Spreggy

Silver Member
My recommendation would be to get a teacher. You'll accomplish more in the first month than a year on your own.
Good luck, have fun!
 

Sonar Dave

Active Member
  • I would get a practice pad for sure. I love having it right at hand and practice rudiments while I watch tv. Or sometimes I use it on my desk.
  • I don’t really think it’s necessary to learn both grips, but it can be a plus. I learned traditional grip first because I was in Orchestra and Marching bands. I mostly use matched grip now when I play on the set but switch to traditional on occasion when soloing or just when it feels right.
  • I wouldn’t worry about double pedals at this point. I love using them but I think that should come later if you are just starting out. Just my opinion.
  • Whatever is comfortable.
 

Sonar Dave

Active Member
And I agree that you should get a teacher. I've been playing for 51 years. I had band teachers for instruction from age 9 thru 16. I had private lessons at age 19 thru21. Pretty much self taught sinse then. But I started lessons again at age 60 a few weeks ago. Yes, you can still teach an old dog new tricks.
 

iwearnohats

Silver Member
On traditional grip, I don't recommend learning to play it unless you want to. I only use it myself because of a few reasons outside of my control. It is much harder to develop and maintain, and despite all the things like "it feels better," honestly, people only say that because that's what they're used to. Get your matched grip working well, and find some good technique teachers (e.g., Tommy Igoe and Seth Davis) to learn to do it right. Make sure you put your ego aside, or any excuses "it's too hard" and learn to do it right, and then after 20 years you won't end up having to relearn everything and developing Focal Dystonia like I did :)
 
Top