What drumming advice would you give to a younger you?



When I was 10
  • Listen to your Dad and Uncle who has been in the business for over 40 years. They know a bunch about other musicians and the music business.
  • You’re not wrong for taking lessons. The teacher you have at 16 will be the most important “formal” teacher you will ever have on the instrument.
  • There’s no end point for learning music. We are all students no matter what. Don’t rush things.
When I was 17
  • No matter how much you love this and how hard you work at it, you are NOT that good nor are you willing to do this for a living.
  • Don’t second guess the gigs you take. Just keep taking them.
  • Keep studying piano and music theory.
  • It’s OK to hate playing orchestral percussion.
  • Eventually this thing called the internet will become available. You’ll read all kinds of things from other drummers. Participate when you want, but ignore some of it. Like your Dad and Uncle said, people claim to be way better than they are.
From 22-30
  • Don’t second guess yourself for changing your life to make the instrument a hobby.
  • Take all the gigs you continue to get.
  • ASK for and GET the videos of the gigs you played with legendary guitarists such as Chet Atkins and Charlie Byrd.
  • Embrace the suck.
  • Don’t wait until your 50 to explore other instruments outside of drumming.
  • Keep drums and drumming alive but only as one facet of your musical life.


Platinum Member
Now that sounds like true love or a match made in heaven - cheers PorkPie. . . .

Thank you. We are working on year 18 of marriage right now.

She can actually setup my drums as well because she’s helped me set up and tear down so much. As a matter of fact, several months ago I had a local show that I couldn’t make load-in because of work. She said she would get there and set up my kit. I walked in and she had everything within 1-2 inches where I wanted it. After literally 30 seconds of adjusting, it was perfect.
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Senior Member
Play in marching band in high school. It's fun, you'll make lots of friends, and the rudimental drumming and reading experience will serve you for the rest of your drumming life.

Even if you don't play in marching band, learn to read music.

Learn to play a melodic instrument. I played bass, and still do from time to time. Understanding intervals and chords has helped me tune my kit better, as well as cured me of tone-deafness. It's nice to be able to participate in band discussions besides what the tempo should be.

Get to know other musicians, and keep in touch. The more people that know you, the more gigs you will get. Don't burn bridges. If you don't like someone, be civil and part company on good terms. People you don't like will sometimes still say good things about you to other people that are looking for a drummer.

One nice piece of gear that you really love is better than 2 or 3 pieces of gear that are just so-so. Save you rmoney, buy it, take care of it. Great gear is almost always worth it. A high-end 4-pc kit will usually serve you better than a mid-range 7-pc. Good stands are worth the money too. Buy the best ride and hi-hat cymbals you can afford, even if that means you only have one cheap crash for a while.


Senior Member
Work on rudiments and don't just shrug them off as "lacking soul" or some other sentimental BS. Self-taught only gets you so far and can lead to bad habits that are hard to break...

double bass man

Junior Member
Great topic. Just recently started to play drums--that is 'a simple' kit consisting of snare / hi-hat and ride cymbal--that's all I require ( I have no intention of playing in a 15 piece big band!) I have played double bass / guitar & banjo for approx. 55 years--a good number of those years as a pro. Wish I'de have taken to drums much sooner. I have a really good teacher. What you guys have said in your replies are 'smack on'. Great solid answers. I can relate to most of it.


Diamond Member
I don't know how to multi quote on this forum, but I would say posts #67,68, and 69 are sacrosanct to ultimate success!!! I wanted to hit the like button a bunch of times Really good stuff there!!!


Silver Member
practice more often, dont get with that one person you did who tried making you quit drumming, and learn to read music and drive sooner!!


Silver Member
“No, let’s walk down there and we’ll...”

Wait... no... that is advice for something else. ?

Anyway... I would give my younger self a heads up to always take the initiative and pursue things. Don’t wait for stuff to just happen. Sh!t just does not walk up and knock on the door.

Push pull stroke

Platinum Member
I would tell myself that it’s not a career choice, and to do it for personal growth, and for the fun of it. Just enjoy the process along the way.
But I’m not as big on giving my younger self advice as I used to be.


Platinum Member
1. Get out and play. Don't sit at home, trying to get great/perfect in your bedroom, before getting out there. Like it's possible to become fully formed by working independently. You can only develop so much playing by yourself. The learning experience of playing and failing and fixing and improving while playing music IS the whole thing.

2. When you think you've FINALLY understood what groove is, what good time is... you still don't understand it. It doesn't mean just not playing busy or leaving out fills. It's the last thing you'll "get," but the most important thing.


Platinum Member
Death metal doesn't pay the bills. Most metal doesn't for that matter. Stop worrying about trying to make music your career. Get a real job and buy a house and car. Stay away from credit cards. If you do this, your house can be paid off by 40. Then all you have is utilities. You can work 20 hours a week for minimum wage and still pay your bills. Then you will be home more and can drum as much as you please.

That's what I'd tell myself 25-30 years ago. And use the pad more. Yeah, that too.