What got you started playing drums?

JimFiore

Silver Member
When I was in 4th grade our teacher selected a bunch of us to be in band. I'm not exactly sure why she chose whom she chose but I was one of them. For the first half of the year everyone learned flutophone. We all learned to read basic music this way and play as a group. In the second half of the year we got to pick our instrument. The only thing that interested me was the drums. Again, I'm not sure why. Mind you, this was band percussion, not kit. I was given a pair of sticks by the instructor (Ludwig 9A, I still remember). Shortly after that my mother bought me a small gum rubber practice pad (also Ludwig) and then for Christmas a year later I received a snare drum (definitely not Ludwig). I used to try to play along to songs by hitting the rim with my right stick for the ride and HH, and using the snare for all of the snare/tom sounds. I'd stomp my right heel for the kick, silently, of course. I'm sure it sounded like s*** to anyone who was listening.

On the Christmas that I received my snare drum I was to learn the single most important thing about being a drummer, something that has shaped my drumming experience ever since. By that afternoon I had been asked to move my new snare drum into the garage and play it there as it was too loud in the house. The basement was next.
 

String Drummmer

Junior Member
I was a guitarist way before I even thought about playing drums. As a guitarist playing metal, I was taking notice of guys like Sean Reinert, Mike Portnoy, Martin Lopez, Thomas Lejon - basically the more progressive metal drummers. Then, as my tastes expanded a lot I was getting interested in dudes like Virgil Donati, Dave Weckl, Joey Baron (with John Zorn), Yoshida Tatsuya, and Morgan Agren,

When I was around 20 I had like three drum lessons, but I can't remember what exactly inspired that. Probably just a general appreciation for drumming/drummers. I just remember my teacher worshiping Gene Krupa. But I gave drums a rest for whatever reason. Less to do with lack of enjoyment and more to do with practicality.

Still playing guitar, my recent resurgence in interest is again kind of mysterious. I think it's part of this general change as a musician: accepting how I truly want to make music. Taking up drums just seemed natural. And after recently watching/listening to Jason Rullo and Billy Martin I kind of just made the final decision. Now I have a practise pad on the way, I've found what seems like a great teacher in the area, and the journey begins again.
 

Pyromaniac777

Silver Member
My parents have always said that I have a natural "rhythm", and I also found that I would randomly tap beats on my desk in school. So when I got to 7th grade, I joined the school concert band doing percussion. Then, for Christmas in my 9th grade year I got my drumset. I've been the most happy kid in the world ever since.
 

Dave Parsley

Junior Member
My name is Dave. I am new to Drummerworld, but I have played the drums in back yard, club, and big stage bands over the past 28 years in U.S. locales such Austin, LA, and now, NY/NJ.

I used to thump around on the bass when I was a teen (it seemed like "right field" back then for some reason - as a 14-yr old kid, no one thought much of the bass in my circle of friends). During a lunch break with my drummer (Godfather's Pizza was the best), my entire bass rig was stolen. The year was 1979.

Not having any resources or cash to purchase another rig, my drummer offered to sell me his old Ludwig Vistalite 5-pc (clear - circa 1970s) at a bargain as he felt bad my rig was stolen from his house (we later recovered the gear - damaged and no longer usable). I accepted as I had no other real option, but I really never thought I could pick it up.

Long story short, I now have 4 kits and I use at least one of them daily. I am now looking to purchase a decent mid-range e-kit. I am looking at the Yamaha DTX700 and Roland TD-15KV sets. I am not currently playing out, and I do not really want to dive into the deep end as I do not really have the budget at this time. 2400 is my limit.

I still have the Vistalites and they are still impossible to keep tuned, yet glorious all the same.
 
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jleeper

Junior Member
MTV, that is what started it all. In 1981 we used to go to my buddy Dan's grandpa's house to watch MTV on weekends because it was the only place we knew that had it. We would go out to grange parties and watch bands play and decided 'lets start a band', how hard could it really be?
Dan found some drums at a yard sale, called me up and I bought them for $100. They were cheap cr@p but what did I know..lol. Dan bought a bass guitar at goodwill for $17 and borrowed an amp and away we went, trying to make something that resembled music. After maybe 6 months Dan bought a guitar at a pawn shop and my brother took over at bass. We kept jamming, playing mostly songs from the first Ramones album (Ramones were our inspiration).
Eventually I decided to get more serious and bought a 'real' drum kit (1968 Ludwig) and found a good group of guys to play with including my buddy Dan, and a couple other friends. We were all self taught, nobody knew how to read music, or the proper way to play really. We did 90% original tunes and started playing parties, then word got around and we started getting hired to play. After about 6 months we were hired to play the armory by ourselves and we drew about 700 people, it was crazy and things just took off from there.
We eventually went to a nearby recording studio and recorded 6 songs, put 4 on an EP (vinyl back in those days) and ended up getting radio play on the indi/college stations and some local stuff. Kinda crazy considering we really didn't know what we were doing.

http://pnwbands.com/blazebrigade.html

Speed ahead....after 4 years myself and Dan went back to school to get real jobs and the band disbanded. I packed up my drum kits (I had bought a 1940's WFL kit as well, that's another story) and put them in my parents basement where they sat until a few months ago. Now 25 years later I'm starting to play again, getting my drum kits cleaned up and so forth. My girlfriend pushed me to start playing so I've been putting the headphones on and jamming away trying to get the rhythm back. My kids area also beating on the drums too! Its all fun.
 
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DannyMeazell

Junior Member
I actually remember the very first time I played drums. I was 2. I never looked back and I never stopped. My uncle Robert (Bob) Taylor, was my first teacher at 3. He was a big band drummer and jazz drummer in the golden age of jazz with Count Basie! Louie Belson was another and one of my biggest early influences. He was the first double bass drummer I recall and one of our greatest drummers ever. Youtube him! He was the master of the snare!
 

Spanner

Junior Member
Music- My preferred music is punk (politically as much as musically), and it was whilst listening to anarcho bands from the 80s whilst walking around that I realised it is the drumming that I always listen to - I walk differently, feel differently etc according to drumming more than anything else. I became fascinated to the beat of drums in relation to my heartbeat and what that did to me, so I decided to learn!
Drummer- but I've always held a torch to Robert Heaton. That said, all drummers in a way, as although held in high esteem within the music industry, I feel drummers are undervalued by listeners of music.
Person- My own teacher, who has the patience of a saint! I've only been learning a few months :)
Style- Argh! Just do as I'm told at the moment!
Inspirations- See top! Also, my own lack of rythmn - desperate to conquer!
 
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DW-Doug

Senior Member
I was in the 2nd grade when the Beatles took the USA by storm. I also was presented with coming up with something to play in grammer school band. Just happens my Dad was a drummer in school at one point. I don't know how much he actually played or which influenced me more. But I was definitely influenced by those 2 factors. I wish I did know how much Dad played. Sad I never took the time to ask him while I could. I had his pair of drum sticks, sadly only one survived my childhood. I do have it somewhere here...

Ringo was the single greatest influence on my wanting a drum set. I even had a Beatles hair cut. I still have that first Beatles record, "Meet the Beatles". I have a few 45s from the Beatles too, and a White album that is actually white.
 

basset52

Senior Member
I was about 10 ( now 62!!) and had some sort of musical interest as I can remember my grandma teaching me some piano at her place. I remember being absorbed by the rock and roll at the time, Beatles, Who, Stones etc etc The piano lessons didn't last long and it morphed into guitar which I had lessons for about a year but I remember it being a struggle and guitar never gelled with me. Then for some reasons drums arose. My parents bought me a cheap old set and it was like a light switch was turned on. I never put the sticks down. Drums just consumed my life and I was like a duck to water. I took formal lessons for a couple of years , then just practised. A few friends were learning bass, guitar etc and we constructed a band. Unfortunately my secondary education suffered as a result as all I did was practice and play. This continued into my twenties when family, work etc took over and I stopped. But I still grieved for my beloved drumming. I have now retired and have come back to playing,jamming.
Cheers
 

Tony Trout

Senior Member
I actually started playing in church when I was around eight years old. Really didn't have any influences until I became an Elvis Presley fan and saw the great Ronnie Tutt with Elvis in the 1970s and I was HOOKED!!

A couple of my new FB friends have actually built RT (Ronnie Tutt) Ludwig blue sparkle Tribute kits and they have them set up like Ronnie had his in the early 1970s (around 1970-1974) when he worked with Elvis.

Honestly, if I had the money/experience/place to put together a tribute set, myself, I would do it in a heartbeat but - this place I live in is pretty small and the slightest noise annoys the neighbors. :(

I don't know if he's a member here or not but Brad Swiger from Texas has put together the best Tutt tribute kit I've seen so far that's exactly how Ronnie had his in the 1970s.
 

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Gel-Sol

Member
I just started playing a little over a month ago. I saw Magma three times when they hit the Pacific Northwest (Vancouver/Seattle/Portland), and after the third show, I said to my girlfriend, "That's it, I'm buying a drumset!"

I was denied playing the drums by my parents when I was 7 or 8. Eventually I got into the guitar, but I always resented my parent's wise decision to deny me the drums. At 41, I finally have a place to practice, and my girlfriend is learning to play also.

If you haven't heard Magma, they are absolutely insane.
https://youtu.be/vBh6MAQQTwk
 

johnwesley

Silver Member
I saw that girls loved the Beatles and decided on drums 'cause my fingers weren't long enough to play guitar.
 
Funny story, actually.

My brother was a clarinet player and asked my parents for drums. I think he played them for a week and never played them again.

Fast forward 5 years, and I was talking to some friends on skype who played instruments, and the guy I was talking to happened to have like 10 years experience with drumming (his brother played the drums and they were both in the same band) and he recommended me to play the drums and see if I liked it.

A year later at age 20, I'm still playing the drums off of his recommendation and don't regret a single bit, it has pretty much changed my life.

Oh, and what kick-started my love of the drums was Pat Benatar. I didn't know if I should've kept pursuing the instrument but when I discovered her, I got locked in.
 

Friedmett

Senior Member
My first choice was guitar and I got my first one in 1988. I still got it today along with 3 more + other related gear for that.

For the first of 2 years (9 and 10 grade at a different school) I wanted guitar lessons but never got around to be playing much at all on my acustic guitar. I was without a direction on what to play and be inspired.

But being around a lot of other kids meant also other music collections and heavy thrashy metal caught my ear so that gave the guitar some input.

The second year I asked for drum lessons. I guess Ulrich sparked the interest by then and I learned to play 8 notes on the hihat as I recall but not much else.

Went the electric guitar way and by 1994 I got a bunch of catalogs from the local music and one was the Tama profile '91-'92. Looking through it I found Ulrich behind a white Tama kit:



Not having any clue about drums or the factual errors on that page I decided to get a kit like that some day. A white Tama Granstar in those sizes which where from the Justice tour.

By 2003 I decided to go looking for that drum kit and how difficult would it be to find one?? I am in Denmark but the internet is for everyone and so I went to the yahoo browser and typed: Tama Granstar then enter.

I did not type color or size or Tama Granstar Custom (painted version).

But I could see a website going to John Henry rental company in London UK for a 4 piece Tama Granstar in white and some few emails later complete 8 drums with a little hardware just what I was looking for.

So that was how. Want to play get a kit and start the adventure.

 

LEDRUSH

Junior Member
Sorry I am so long winded.

When I was 7 years old (1974) I walked into my Grandmothers house in Huntington Beach Ca and saw a gold sparkle 5 piece drum kit set up in the living room. I had never seen anything like it. But I stood there and starred at it. My uncle who owned it and was in a local OC band called "Prankster" back then jumped on it and laid down a basic 4/4 beat. I was instantly hypnotized.

From that moment forward I began to keep time to KMET, KLOS, and The Mighty 690am. For my 8th birthday my parents bought me a little red am/fm radio that was shaped like a red ball and had two silver dials on it. I would fall asleep listening to it every night. So for the next few years I was raised with a 60's/70's soundtrack along the way. Every time we got in the car my dad would yell at me for kicking the back of his chair in time to the radio. LoL

Then at the age of 10 I went to see a high school jazz music concert at the Anaheim Convention Center. All I remember was when the drummer would bust a fill, or throw down a big ending with rolls crashes all the girls in the place would scream. It was at that moment I decided that I wanted to be a drummer. LoL.

When I was 11 and still had no drum set, a neighbor kid moved in down the street from me. He had a small drum set in his bedroom. He NEVER let me play it EVER. Of course I had to sit and listen to him play all the time. I was tortured time and time again. Frustrated I went home one day and collected a bunch of different sized coffee cans. I duct taped them together and set them on top of my dirty clothes hamper. I grabbed two wooden spoons and turned on the radio. As I began to figure out how to keep a basic beat on those cans I felt the long overdue therapeutic release of my stifled and bunched up music expression. I even went so far as to cut out other can lids and poke a hole in them and put them on straightened coat hangers taped to the back of the coffee cans. I did this for 2 years.

One day while out garage saleing, I found a small blue drum kit that consisted of a snare, kick, two toms, and one cymbal for $50 bucks. I BEGGED my dad for it. He bought it and I set it up on my back porch. A friend of mine used to come over with his guitar and we started learning the cars, Foreigner, AC/DC Pat Benatar, Def Leopard, and those cats. I was in HEAVEN seriously. We could play "She's my best friends Girl" 100 times and I didn't care.

Then in 1980 My sister bought 2112 and Moving Pictures. As she played it in her room my ears perked up. I was like, "WHO THE HELL IS THIS DRUMMER?" I had never heard anything like it. All I wanted to listen to for the next 5 years was RUSH RUSH RUSH. I would try and figure out what the heck he was doing. And then I'd figure it out, but then listening later I'd hear something I missed.

For the next 10 years I listened to RUSH and LED ZEPPELIN constantly. I started to develop a taste for odd timing etc. I am not blessed with a ton of talent. I have to really practice and practice to get stuff down. But as many of your know, it is all a labor of love.

When I bought my first house I built a room within a room in my garage. I would go out there and try to learn RUSH songs. I spent about 2 years learning my favorite selected songs. I know about 20 top to bottom. Most others I can fake it, but sometimes I get lost in there and have to kinda drop down and listen to get back to the right time. LoL

When I started playing for this church in 2009 I was totally intimidated. They used a metronome on every song. And their current drummer had tons of loops programmed into their TD8 head. I had never played to a click or along with loops. They would also link songs back to back like a medley and we would have to stop the click and restart it as we played the ending and beginning of the next song. I was really pressed to up my game. Not because they demanded it, but because I wanted my introduction to be seamless for everyone else in the band once I started to fill in for the solid veteran that had been there for 20 years.

Since then I started a Youtube channel as we now have 4 or 5 drummers at our church. And to try and keep things somewhat consistent I upload new songs so we can all learn the basic arrangement.

Ok, I am sure I have bored you all to tears. Thanks for listening.
 

Drumlove65

Senior Member
I am a disabled person confined to a motorized wheelchair. From the time I was very young I was used to listening and watching my father play an upright piano in our living room. He developed his skill by ear, never took a lesson or read any music manuscript.

I have a cousin who was partially deaf but developed an interest in playing bass guitar. He got me into Kiss early on and I ALWAYS thought Peter Criss had such a unique style and sound. I naturally felt percussion was my calling. My parents bought me a starter kit and paid for me to learn from a professional teacher. I practiced and learned rudiments and my drum teacher insisted I learn to sight read. I hated that part. My interest and skill developed until my parents with my teacher in tow bought me a five piece Pearl kit with fiberglass shells.

When my much cooler cousin came by my house one day and showed me Rush's first live album I got hooked on all things prog rock and I never looked back. I fell away from drums for almost thirty years through two marriages, a mortgage and work.

Now I'm essentially retired and I'm getting back to my first love, bought a Pork Pie kit and I discovered all over again the absolute joy I get from playing.
 

JD7

Senior Member
I watched The Great Space Coaster in the early 80s as a kid, and was really interested in the drummer. I'd always get toy drums as a kid but the head would break and that'd be it. I finally found some wooden rods in 1986 and started trying to play along to the drummers on MTV. I did this for a whole summer, then my mom got me lessons in 5th grade and I've been playing ever since.
 
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