took on my first student, but now im stuck.


Silver Member
my guitarest bought his first kit , a tama superstar birch 5 peice with hyper toms( great sounding kit, im kinda jelouse lol). Anywho he asked me to teach him to play, and this is very informal just two buddies havin a good time. But i do want to teach him properly, ive gotten him started on simple stuff ,first page of stick control,basic rudiments, and the basic 4/4 rock beat. Any suggestions on where to go from here would be greatly appreciated.


Platinum Member
I'm no teacher and not too long into drums (coming from the guitar), but I'd say rethink your own drumming career and the way you learned. What was good, what was bad/less effective? What would you change if you had the chance to start from scratch?

Also consider what your guitarist's goals are. He's learning the drums in order to do what... style etc? Determine the goals and the time the guitarist is willing/can spend on a regular basis, and you'll have some parameters to work with.

Now if he wants to really get into technique - as to hand technique JoJo Mayer's DVD is a must have.

It's great to show him basic beats. But in addition I'd show him proper grip and try to make him aware of proper posture/motion awareness. Plus rudiments, and not getting to the complicated stuff too early. Singles, doubles, paradiddle - for now. To develop a sense for dynamics/accents. Not a bad idea to encourage him to learn every pattern as left hand lead also - the sooner the better. I'm profiting from this approach a lot, even with a mere 1.5 years into drumming.
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Lunar Satellite Brian

Senior Member
I agree with Arky here, if he's an experienced musician already he should be able to get in to the complicated stuff pretty easily AFTER he's learned the basics, technique, rudiments, ect.

Xero Talent

Silver Member
Get him to choose a relatively simple song that he likes and start breaking it down for him. You can focus on the fundamentals within the context of a song he loves, which will prevent boredom.

It will give him a goal to work towards.


Platinum Member
Look at it this way: as a drummer in most rock music, you're doing one of two things -- playing a beat, or playing a fill -- and much of the music is organized into groups of 2 and 4 bars. So, the next lesson could be to play fills with the basic 4/4 beat. Start with simple 1-beat fills (4 16ths on the snare, for example), and have him play the fill at the end of every two measures. Write it out, so that he can see how to transition from fill to beat and back, and phrase his playing in 2-measure chunks. From there, you can mess around with the placement of the 4 16th notes on the snare and toms to create new fills, and encourage him to make up his own variations.

After that, you can move on to longer, 2-beat fills (8 16th notes on the snare, for example), and explain how playing a larger fill means transitioning from the beat at an "earlier" moment, in order to maintain the 2-measure phrase.

Ove the next few weeks, and once he gets comfortable with two measure phrasing, move on to 4 measure phrases (with longer, one and two measure fills), and insist that he keep track of where he is at all times, counting out loud at first. At the same time, have him learn to create more interesting beats using different bass and snare patterns, and borrow from songs with which he is familiar where possible.

It will also help to have him practice from a beginning snare book (I like Vic Firth's Beginning Snare Drum Method book), to work on sticking, counting, keeping up with a metronome, and reading notation. Stick Control is of course a great resource, but it requires a lot of imagination to get something from it, and by itself, I dare say it's a bit dry and uninspiring.


Senior Member
Another good thing to start with (and something that I don't see mentioned often in threads like these) is accents. As soon as your student has some beginner fills down let him do the same fills with accents. If he has a pad make him do single stroke rolls with accent patterns.


Platinum Member
To take what brent said a little further, maybe try showing him the simple money beat variation with a snare on the 'a' of 4.

HH: x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-
SD: ----o-------o--o
BD: o-------o-------
This opens the door to more interesting beats (with syncopated snare hits in different places), AND it leads easily into fills as brent described... If you move the hihat on the '&' of 4 to the snare then you have a simple like 2/16 note "fill"... Which is VERY easy to do in time without speeding up (since its basically the same as the beat). Then, once that's comfortable, add 2 more 16th's before it to get a full 1 beat fill, and so on...


Silver Member
wow, that was way more feed back then i was expecting lol. thanks for all the great ideas. i think i have a good idea of where to go with this. he basically wants to be a clone of george kollias, but don't think he knows how much work goes into drumming at that level. im just hoping to give him a proper basic structure on which to build. its the least i can do considering he's teaching me guitar.