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Thread: Questions and stuff.....

  1. #1

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    Hello all. Been doing some reading on the site and it is pretty interesting as well as good info. Either way, I've been wanting to learn to play the drums for a long time now. But either life or other things have kept me from pursuing this. Well the time has come I guess as the wife has given me a gift certificate for a couple lessons. I am scared and excited at the same time as I am no spring chicken and I don't want to fail at this. So here goes...

    Do I need to buy a drum kit before anything else or just take the lesson and follow the instructors suggestions? Or do I just get a drum pad and practice on that until I know whether it is something I will be able to do? There are so many variables and I have no idea what to do first? Maybe I don't even need to take lessons.....

    Can you tell I'm confused? Thanks for any advice you may have and sorry for being all over the place with this.

  2. #2

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    I think you should try out no just one, but a few lessons. I imagine that self-teaching on drums is a lot more difficult, because when you have a teacher he can just say "loosen your grip" or "do this", if you're self-teaching, you have no clue what to correct.

    When you go to your lesson ask him/her, what you need to get started. Most likely they're going to tell you either

    A) A practice pad, some sticks, and possibly a stand
    B) A snare drum, sticks and definitely a stand. They may even suggest a very high-quality snare, and then you may build a drum set around that.
    C) A full on drum-set

    He/She may say none of this, or it may be mixed, he may suggest a music stand and some technique books as well. You just have to go their and find out.

    I honestly hope this works out well for you. Drumming is an amazing skill to have. You'll learn to love it, and even sometimes love/hate it, because things will get frustrating sometimes, but the outcome is well worth it. Welcome to the forums and Good luck. IS15.
    Happy Drumming!

    IS15

  3. #3

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    You can start now. Go outside and cut some drum sticks from trees. Put a folded towel or newspaper on your lap for a practice pad. When you can get a steady beat going then add a tin can for sort of a hi hat sound. Look up some drum beats on internet, there are lots of online instruction sites. Drumming is 99 % practice and learning and nobody can do it for you.

    You might try turning on a radio or CD player and play along with the band.
    Last edited by 8beat; 12-27-2013 at 06:21 PM.

  4. #4

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    You might want to consider buying a pair of drumsticks, as opposed to making your own from some tree limbs. That's about all you really need. You can play on your leg, a pillow, the pots and pans, or whatever. And if you like playing, you can go from there. And something to consider in regards to the lessons. You WANT to take lessons. As opposed to HAVING to take lessons. And even though you don't know much about drums, you should know what you want. When you talk to instructors, explain that you don't have a kit, and you are trying to just get a feel for drumming. If they try to pressure you into buying anything, find a new instructor.

    Edit: If your instructor recommends a lesson book, like Stick Control, or something, that would be a worthwhile purchase.

    TL;DR- Buy some sticks. Vic Firth 5a's. Go take lessons
    Last edited by Kazaamski; 12-27-2013 at 09:18 PM.
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  5. #5

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    I think I can answer some of your concerns, as far as what an instructor will tell you I can't say for sure every one is different. Being no spring chicken doesn't matter. I was interested in the drums when I was 9 or 10 had a set. Took some lessons then moved away and stop the lessons but still banged on the set the next couple of years, and learned some songs on my own. Stop when I became a teenager, then life happens. Didn't start again till I retired. At age 50. Been doing it for 2 years now. Always wanted to get back into throughout life but it was always one thing or another that got in the way. But now that I've gotten back into it I regret I didn't do it sooner in life. For the first year I was learning myself. Did pretty good off of the internet and out of books, slow progress but everyone is different. I bought a cheap drum set around $200.00 to learn on. All you really need is a book and practice pad to start or just a pair of sticks and something to bang against.I choose a set because I had the extra cash and I just wanted a set. So my wife got it as a Christmas present for me. Then first time I took lessons it was rudiments on a pad and the instructor didn't think you needed a set for about 6 months, and as you can imagine as a kid all I wanted to do was bang on a set. When I started again I was older and had a set I learned off of the set right away after the first lesson. But still the practice pad was used also in lessons. If you never did it before. Believe me go for the lessons you'll love it. Once you can carry a beat you'll be hooked. You won't be able to wait till you can play your first song. I wanted to learn just so I could play along to songs at home. But the more I listen to these guys and girls on the chat room the more I think I like to try to play in front of an audience at least one time in the future, just to see how it feels. You can learn on your own there's excellent drummers on this chat board who learned on their own. Rickthedrummer he can stand with the best of drummers self taught. Check out his posts, he's amazing I wish I could take lessons from him, check it oyt you'll see for yourself. Or just checkout the post of the other drummers on this site theres a lot of them that are really good. But lessons was faster for me and I wanted to learn as fast as I could. I take an hour a week, I wish it was more. It's usually a half hour a lesson. If you like the lessons after a couple of weeks get a cheap set to play it's better than just practicing on a pad. You could break the rudiments up on the set.Ssorry to go on and on but I figured you was in my situation when I was thinking of getting into drumming. This is a great place to learn things. The seasoned drummers have a world of knowledge to help us who are starting out and I thank them all for all their help, you guys are great. So all I have to say is go for it! And Drum on from this point on in your life. You won't regret it and you'll make some friends in the process both here and out there in the drumming world.

  6. #6

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    Welcome wagon! (no pun intended)
    If you have to ask, "Do I need lessons", you should take lessons. This is not meant as criticism but rather observation through the years. Those that are the self-starter types just "do it", to phrase the Nike commercial. They just dive right in and do their own thing. But some need a little more guidance and there's no shame in that whatsoever. In some cases, those that are taking lessons can advance at a much faster rate and learn less bad habits.

    Anyway, do what makes you happy. If you want a drumset, buy a drumset and get a teacher to help you learn play it. If anyone tells you you have to learn the rudiments first before you can buy a drumset, slap them silly and walk out the door.

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  7. #7

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    Thank you all for the quick responses! Think I will grab some sticks and go with it! Will keep you posted.

  8. #8

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    In my neighborhood there are jam sessions at some local bars where anyone can get on stage and play music with other musicians. Many of these places have drum kits and people can just play them. You might check the musicians section of craigslist for jam sessions in your area.

  9. #9

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    As Drummer said,"If anyone tells you you have to learn the rudiments first before you can buy a drumset, slap them silly and walk out the door."
    Exactamundo!
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  10. #10

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    I was in the same position you are. I started with a snare drum and sticks. I started taking lessons and knew within 4-5 lessons that I was going to follow through with it. My teacher told me that I should consider getting a 5 piece kit by the time I was 3 months or so into it and I did considerably more than just an inexpensive starter kit. But I think you'll know pretty quickly if you like it well enough to get a kit to play or not. Good luck!
    Now, just a tiny bit less than an absolute drum newbie
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  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by drummer View Post
    Welcome wagon! (no pun intended)
    If anyone tells you you have to learn the rudiments first before you can buy a drumset, slap them silly and walk out the door.

    Welcome to our family!
    Right, but one should at least have someone show them how to properly hold the sticks and how to properly use them. A lot of wasted time can be saved, and faster progress can be made.

    I think a pad is a must. It lets you focus on the sticking and not the sound. Also, it's quieter and allows you to practice at more odd hours. Use the pad to hash out the chops you'll need. Use the drums to have some fun.
    Life's too short to play the same solo twice. Improvise!

  12. #12

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    I went and purchased a practice pad and a set of sticks today. Thank you all again!

  13. #13

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    Lessons early on are much more valuable than later. Think of it as a foundation you're building a house on. If you start with bad habits, they'll limit your growth and be harder to correct once ingrained. My $.02, of course.

    Learning on a practice pad is completely fine. Learn grip, stroke, general technique and basic rudiments. But don't be afraid to dive into a drum kit. You need to stay excited about it to keep at it, and playing a kit is fuel for that fire.

    Also, find a friend that's a drummer and go drum with them. Not a "lesson" per se, but exposure to another drummer is excellent tutoring. Also, there are literally thousands of videos on YouTube that can broaden your experience.

  14. #14

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    If you are going to take lessons, have access to a drum kit you can use on a regular basis. If you have to buy a used starter kit you can resell later if it doesn't work out or you want to move to something better, do so. Of course you can practice on your knees but it's just not the same. Bite the bullet, even if it is only a 22.

  15. #15

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    Welcome to the group you will find some great information here and a pretty wonderful community of drummers. sticks and a pad is a great place to start. I started with sticks and a snare with a muffle on it pretty much the same thing.

    really talk to who ever you think you want lessons from. your teacher being some one you can get along with and respect is pretty important too. every teacher has a different style of teaching.

    did your wife give you a certificate for a certain drum teacher or a personal certificate to cover a couple drum lessons. and if you fill out your profile a little let us know where you are etc maybe someone here can give you a little shove in the direction of any teachers they know in the area.
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  16. #16

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    You might google "drum notation". It might help you to understand how percussion information is written. How much music theory do you know? This might be a good time to learn 4/4 and 3/4 time signatures, the concept of a measure, about quarter notes and eighth notes.

  17. #17

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    wagon, I'm just thinking out loud here....

    I never took lessons but I suppose they are good for the initial step. Many people can play circles around me but I like what I do and how I'm doing it. I think back to the days when I bought my first kit around 16y/o and wouldn't trade them for anything. I was having fun teaching myself, listening to records over and over.

    I never wanted to learn the impossible so with knowing that I won't ever get myself into something that's way over my head. I know my limits.

    Lessons are a good thing but I didn't want to be told what was right and what was wrong. I wanted to be a rock star lol. I came up kinda short on that.
    Last edited by slinky; 12-31-2013 at 07:40 AM.
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  18. #18

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    Well, I might be a little late to this party, but welcome to Drum Chat wagon52!

    One thing that has not been mentioned is that the age that you start is not really an issue (unless you're thinking about Rock n' Roll superstardom). I started playing drums at 52, and I'm having the time of my life. I did take lessons, because I wanted to get rolling in the right direction, right from the start. It was the sticks and practice pad that fueled my desire to play, and I got a kit right away, just to make sure that it was primarily a fun experience.

    All the best to you as you begin exploring the world of rhythm!
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  19. #19

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    Welcome aboard, wagon52!

    Fifty-two is the operative number here...as pastor_bob mentioned, he started at age 52. I was born in 1952 and didn't start until I was 32 years old. We seem to be picking up a pattern here!

    All kidding aside, I wanted to learn to play hand drums, so I went to a drum teacher (who has since become one of the best friends in my life). Lessons are essential at the start, since if you're not careful, you can learn bad habits from doin' it yourself that you'll have to break later on.

    Don't let the fear of failure keep you from giving it your best shot! I sometimes despaired I'd ever get my set rhythms working, but the day came--and as a bonus, I sharpened my chops on the hand drums, which is what I wanted originally!

    By the way, when you get more comfortable with the sticks and pad, you'll want to get a snare! Trust me, it will happen!

    Good luck, and hope 2014's the year you'll...
    keep the beat goin' ... Don't keep it to yourself!

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  20. #20

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    I would highly recommend getting a drum set, I started at 40 and having my own drum kit at home to practice on and experiment made it that much more enjoyable and kept it interesting. A practice pad is great to have and will help a lot on technique and when you just feel like playing but do not want to make noise. You need a metronome as well. Any instructor worth his salt will tell you that right off the bat.

    Stick control is a must have book as well IMO.

    Good luck, have fun and keep us posted.
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  21. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by wagon52 View Post
    I went and purchased a practice pad and a set of sticks today. Thank you all again!
    Way to go, congrats. Let us know how the lesson goes.

    Lessons will keep you from picking up bad habits and help you progress faster on the drums.
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  22. #22

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    as well as sticks its a good idea to make shakers out of drink bottles ..rice + bottle done..

    for the first part you're building muscle memory so the more you play to start with the better you will be when you get to a kit

  23. #23

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    I have a mac desktop. Can I drag pics from iphoto or go through photo bucket? this is all new to me.

  24. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by drummerMD View Post
    I have a mac desktop. Can I drag pics from iphoto or go through photo bucket? this is all new to me.
    You have to go thru another photo hosting site or download to your profile's albums and use that address. No dragging and dropping into posts.
    SONOR 6 pc Special Edition 3007's red maple, old Pearl Brass 14x6 FF snare, Yamaha Tour Custom maple 8 pc., Tama 4 pc., honey amber B/B, Ludwig Supralite chrome 14x6.5 steel snare, Paiste, Saluda & Zildjian
    Loaned out Slingerland upgraded 4 pc 1963 black, wrapped maple + 14" Pearl birch FT
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