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Thread: Beginner Tips?

  1. #1

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    Default Beginner Tips?

    I'm a musician whose played with a few bands, but on a different end of the spectrum. I played guitar and sang, and I also play the ukulele and euphonium. However, the drums and percussion have always interested me, and I wanna learn to play. I currently own a pair of sticks (Vic Firth 5-A's, I like em light) and a practice pad. Tips on where to start? Thanks!

  2. #2

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    Welcome to Drum Chat. The first thing to do is decide what type of drums or percussion you want to play. Next, I would actively pursue a qualified drum teacher. They can help guide you so that you don't pick up any bad habits along the way. Since you already have a pad and sticks the best thing to do is start working on the basic drum rudiments. This way, you'll be ready for anything as the rudiments apply to not only drumset but also the hands, for hand percussion (congas, djembes, etc).

    As far as tips, you've come to the right place. Drum Chat is loaded with thousands of pages of drum tips. You can also click on the link above (top right) that says "Drum Links". Here you'll find links to even more tips, free drum lessons, and tons of drumming books and dvds.

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  3. #3

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    drummer nailed it in one go pretty much - nothing beats experience i guess
    "What consumes your mind, controls your life" - So, what consumes your mind?

  4. #4

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    thanks alot guys! i've been working on my rudiments lately, and my paradiddles are very lacking in the sense that I can't get the last two beats (L-L) in rhythm. They just kind of sound forced. I dunno what I'm doing wrong.

  5. #5

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    Just be patient you are working on muscle memory. As time goes on you will become quite efficiant. F/T

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by 198dsradio View Post
    thanks alot guys! i've been working on my rudiments lately, and my paradiddles are very lacking in the sense that I can't get the last two beats (L-L) in rhythm. They just kind of sound forced. I dunno what I'm doing wrong.
    You'd probably find you'd benefit by slowing it down and working to ensure it's smooth and solid before speeding up again.

    Also, your grip may be an issue. I just finished watching the first disc of Jojo Mayer's Secret Weapons of the Modern Drummer - and one of the main tips he gave came down to grip being the biggest problem with strokes not comming off correctly, usually the cause is being too tense/tight in your grip, not letting the stick freely bounce and behave naturally - if your squeezing and forcing the strike, this could be the problem. relax and just let things be natural - if this means your doing it very slowly at first so be it, but slowly over time your muscle memory build and so will your comfort and speed.
    "What consumes your mind, controls your life" - So, what consumes your mind?

  7. #7

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    Smile Re: Beginner Tips?

    Welcome and congratulations on becoming a drummer! It's too late now...no take backs...

    Here are some resources I really like. Even if you only have a practice pad, you can still play basic beats on your legs and hit the floor with your feet. It's still coordination and it still counts as practice

    vicfirth.com (check out the education section for rudiments and more)

    Anything by Tommy Igoe (DVDs to start, unless you already read)

    This forum!

    Nothing replaces private lessons, but this'll get you going in the right direction!

  8. #8

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    198, you seem to me like a talented fella that quickly picks up on things (eg., having the ability to play multiple instruments). If I had to guess, you probably learned the other instruments by ear as opposed to formal training. So, I think your approach should be the same...learn to play the drums by ear. I recommend, buying the cheapest drum set you can find. Start learning how to play simple 4/4 beats. Invite a couple of your musician friends and just jam with them with the simple beats that you've learned. This will tell you if its something you really want to do. If it is, then you wont mind getting into the fundamentals (ie., rudiments, drum notations, etc..). Maybe even private lessons to make sure you are learning them correctly. Good luck !

  9. #9

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    I have to agree with getting some formal lessons. I mesed around with learning on my own for about a year. Even though I practiced quite a bit I never progressed beyond basically mimicking simple beats and fills. Yes I could play some simple songs, but I was basically a parrot. I learned to play rudiments or so I thought. When I started taking lessons it became very clear just how poorly I was playing them.

    I've been taking lessons with a good teacher for 12 weeks now. My playing has improved so much in those 12 weeks it isn't even funny. I'm much faster, much more dynamic and can improvise on the fly. I can now play moeller technique as well (something I tried to learn on my own with no success).

  10. #10

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    Lessons would be the way to go, at least to get started. There are lots of technique nuances that you won't catch without someone looking at your grips.

    Good luck!

  11. #11

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    I agree with the lessons and practice, practice, ppractice.

    Welcome to the board and congrats on finally choosing the right instrument.
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  12. #12

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    thanks for all the help guys!

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by 198dsradio View Post
    thanks alot guys! i've been working on my rudiments lately, and my paradiddles are very lacking in the sense that I can't get the last two beats (L-L) in rhythm. They just kind of sound forced. I dunno what I'm doing wrong.
    Try this for doubles. Hold the stick between your index finger and thumb ( fulcrum ) with your palm down . Now try releasing the stick - take away the remaining 3 fingers - so that the stick hits the drum/ pad , and then catch the stick on the second bounce ( close fingers ). Now practice the hell out of this , each hand seperately to begin with , until you can do this comfortably. This should help , and it should enable you to play doubles at a low volume level , which will make accents more pronounced once added.

    As other posters have said , lessons are the way to go ,imo , but only with a decent teacher - someone who'll show you how to grip the sticks properly and can teach you how to execute up strokes, taps , full strokes , etc, as well.

  14. #14

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    Welcome to Drum Chat JDemlow and stanhandler! It's always nice to see new people and to see them adding to the information available here.

    Again, welcome!
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  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by pastor_bob View Post
    Welcome to Drum Chat JDemlow and stanhandler! It's always nice to see new people and to see them adding to the information available here.

    Again, welcome!
    Thanks !

    It's nice being here.

  16. #16

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    Thumbs up Re: Beginner Tips?

    Quote Originally Posted by pastor_bob View Post
    Welcome to Drum Chat JDemlow and stanhandler! It's always nice to see new people and to see them adding to the information available here.

    Again, welcome!
    Thanks very much!

  17. #17

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    totally agree with drummer. rudiments and drum lessons are a really good way to built a good foundation in drumming, and dc is the place to get questions answered and just to hang out!
    BREAK THE RECORD!

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  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doc_d View Post
    I have to agree with getting some formal lessons. I mesed around with learning on my own for about a year. Even though I practiced quite a bit I never progressed beyond basically mimicking simple beats and fills. Yes I could play some simple songs, but I was basically a parrot. I learned to play rudiments or so I thought. When I started taking lessons it became very clear just how poorly I was playing them.

    I've been taking lessons with a good teacher for 12 weeks now. My playing has improved so much in those 12 weeks it isn't even funny. I'm much faster, much more dynamic and can improvise on the fly. I can now play moeller technique as well (something I tried to learn on my own with no success).
    hum thats odd, ive found it easier to improvise without a teacher, im self taught and ive been playing for about 1 year, i had a teacher for a while inbetween, but i couldnt improvise as well :S weird

  19. #19

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    another thing to remember is that i've only been playing for a bit more than a year, and at first things like being able to do rudiments efficiently seemed hard, yet after lots of practice now a lot of it is just coming to me. so keep practicing and working hard and it will pay off.

    i also agree with the others- some formal lessons would be very helpful, as well as not just learning beats and songs but the complete fundamentals of drumming.
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  20. #20

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    i just broke my Vic Firth 5-A's and I want heavier sticks. How should I figure out what kind of sticks to use?

  21. #21

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    I would suggest trying 5B's then, or either 2A or 2B's...
    "What consumes your mind, controls your life" - So, what consumes your mind?

  22. #22

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    Many drummers consider rudimental study , for the beginner , to be of vital importance , but here's another opinion , that of drum teacher Jim Blackley , one which , for what it's worth , generally ( generally because singles and doubles are , obviously, rudimental patterns and should be introduced to the student early in the learning process ,imo ) echoes my own feelings :

    " While we do agree that a study of rudimental patterns can be advantageous to the jazz drummer , we will not accept the theory held by so many that the first basic studies all drummers should indulge in be rudiments. That is , we are most emphatic in our belief that the development of good listening habits , time, jazz rhythm and phrasing , drum set control, etc , are all essential musical requirements that must precede rudimental study. Above all , being completely familiar with the composition and hearing the bass line , chord line , and melody line with clarity is the key to a sound musical performance".

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