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Calling all the drummers!: Best advice for getting started drumming?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by organworthyplayer337, Nov 18, 2019.

  1. organworthyplayer337

    organworthyplayer337 Professional Hack

    Oct 28, 2014
    Charlotte, NC
    I've always wanted to play drums, even before I wanted to play bass (sorry y'all :roflmao:). I know some basics (when I say basics, I mean basics) just from being a musician and have "played" an actual kit a few times in my life. I want to start learning before maybe its "too late".

    I live in a house with others so I already know a full acoustic kit is out of the question. But I want to know if any drummers have advice on how to get started?

    Is it worth buying a cheap electric kit starting? or is there a less expensive and less space-consuming way to get started and see if it's something I can potentially stick to?
    I know it sounds like a dumb question, but space is an issue for me right now and for the foreseeable future.

    I have a ton more questions, but I'll just open it up in hopes a couple drummers can endow me with some advice

    Thanks in advance :)
    B-Lo, s0707, Bassaga and 1 other person like this.
  2. Stumbo

    Stumbo Guest

    Feb 11, 2008
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2019
  3. Oddly


    Jan 17, 2014
    Dublin, Ireland.
    In Dublin, I know several rehearsal studios have kits for hire, and even have special rates for drummer-only sessions, usually at off-peak times.
    Maybe you could find similar in your area...or check with local music stores or colleges if they have something like that.
  4. DirtDog


    Jun 7, 2002
    The Deep North
    Every time I get the urge to drum, I rent a higher end electronic kit for a couple of months.

    After that time my housemates (wife and daughter) have gotten sick of the tic-tac noises coming from the basement. I play with headphones but the kit still makes noise. So, consider moving to your own place.

    Also, you might want to sign up for some lessons.
  5. garp


    Feb 7, 2009
    Connecticut USA
    If you're just getting started, I'd advocate against purchasing an electronic kit. Electronic kits definitely have their place, but you learn the fundamentals of drumming from playing acoustic drums, not by tweaking patches and samples.

    I second @DirtDog's suggestion about lessons. I'm self-taught and have been playing for 25+ years, but it retrospect, I would've progressed a heck of a lot faster at the outset had I received some proper instruction. Four-way coordination comes naturally to some folks, but others have to work at mastering it, and online videos can only teach you so much. Investing in private lessons may also serve as a deterrent to slacking off.

    Don't let the lack of space in your present living situation deter your ambition. I know plenty of drummers who started out playing rental kits at a school or at a rehearsal studio, and for years only had a practice pad and sticks at home.

    Best wishes on your adventure.
    iondico and organworthyplayer337 like this.
  6. Winslow


    Sep 25, 2011
    Group "W" Bench
    There are practice pad kits you could use to work on sticking and coordination, and see if you want to move to an actual kit at some point.


    Just a couple of examples from a quick search:



    There are surely others, and you could probably even pick up a used one somewhere which would be fine for your purposes.

    Good luck! :thumbsup:
  7. organworthyplayer337

    organworthyplayer337 Professional Hack

    Oct 28, 2014
    Charlotte, NC
    Thank you for your advice, I'll look into lessons and finding somewhere that will let me play the acoustic drums. Appreciate it!
  8. organworthyplayer337

    organworthyplayer337 Professional Hack

    Oct 28, 2014
    Charlotte, NC
    Thanks for the links, I think coordination is going to be my biggest hump so I think this will be helpful in the meantime
    Winslow likes this.
  9. Ralphthepainter


    Nov 8, 2019
    1) Don’t be flashy, be steady
    2) Dynamics
    3) No matter the style, listen to Jazz
    4) Show up on time
    5) Help Que others
    6) Top of or behind the beat, never behind
    7) YOU set stage volume, gear appropriately
    8) Become skilled at brushes
    9) Make it work even when it doesn’t
    10) Have fun but take it serious

    Your OP was kinda about gear... but gear has little to do with it. I would also consider a very small acoustic kit. Maybe a vintage 4 piece with a 20” bass drum or a newer cocktail kit. E-Drums in my opinion are seriously lacking warmth, vibe, soul and cool.

    Blankets, sticks, tuning and Moongel all play a big part in your sound and volume. Real kits can sound awesome even under 80 db’s with simple inexpensive treatments. It’s SO much better than E-drums. My little MIJ vintage kit sits 48” x 48” with plenty of room and I’m 6’5” with 38” long inseam legs. It’s a four piece with 20” ride, 18” crash, 10” splash, sound block and chimes. It doesn’t take much space and fits any venue.
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2019
    REV and Oddly like this.
  10. knumbskull


    Jul 28, 2007
    When i was young i learned by tapping along on a dictionary and padded chair arms - anything that could give a bit of stick bounce! With just moving my feet for the pedals.

    lessons is a good idea. And maybe a practice pad.
  11. Lobster11

    Lobster11 Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2006
    Williamsburg, VA
    My first move would be to find a good place that offers drum lessons, and get answers to all your other questions there. Your instructor will be able to tell you what to buy for home practice, and will also probably know where you can rent a practice room with a kit -- possibly at the same place where you're taking lessons. I'll bet that they probably rent out whatever room-with-kit they use for lessons during times that lessons aren't scheduled.

    Just for kicks (no pun intended) I just googled "drum lessons Charlotte NC" and got a ton of hits. Look through those and see what looks promising. Good luck!
    Winslow and organworthyplayer337 like this.
  12. marqueemoon


    Oct 8, 2019
    Learn to internalize time and play according to that. It’s true for any instrument, but the physicality of drums makes this a bigger challenge.

    Wear ear protection religiously.
  13. organworthyplayer337

    organworthyplayer337 Professional Hack

    Oct 28, 2014
    Charlotte, NC
    definitely! ear protection is key.
    jusca likes this.
  14. mikewalker

    mikewalker Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2017
    Canada, Eh!
    :) Be careful of that! My first wife studied hand percussion for several months and soon became keen on learning the drum kit. I had a very nice (and very expensive) digital kit at home, and she got started on that but one time we rented her a few hours at a practice studio where she played a real acoustic kit. After that day she flat out refused to play the digital kit, insisting it was REAL DRUMS OR NOTHING.

    *I don't mind the digital "drum" pads myself, but I do find that the shades of expressiveness in the digital cymbals are almost comically lacking, compared to the real thing...
    organworthyplayer337 likes this.
  15. Ostie


    Aug 1, 2018
    Mid MI
    I started playing percussion about a year and a half ago. I took up cajon, djembe, and congas. I’m in two acoustic bands, but I also play guitar, bass and mandolin, and can sing back ups and some lead. Anything that makes you more marketable is a good thing.

    I don’t own a kit but my step bro does. He went e-drums a few years ago. Easier to transport and keep volume down.
    organworthyplayer337 likes this.
  16. B Dax

    B Dax

    Sep 8, 2018
    You can start low cost with just a decent drum practice pad and sticks.

    It doesn’t sound very glamorous and it’s not, but if you want to see if drumming is something you want to get into without breaking the bank, that’s the way.

    It’s really all the equipment you need to start and all most instructors would want to start you on. You’ll want to work on your grip (traditional or matched or both) and exercise your wrists by learning some basic rudiments to start preparing you for the beats and rhythms in the music you’ll play.

    I would resist the urge of thinking you need any sort of drum kit right away in your stated situation. You really don’t. Just look at all the people on the net who play all kinds of percussive beats on all sorts of things other than drums.

    I’ve been playing drums/percussion for quite a long while with everything from rock and country bands to competition drum corps and pipe bands.

    If you start with this simple approach, take lessons if you’re able, and still keep an interest, you’ll figure out which way you want to go with drums. Good luck & have fun with it. Drums are great. (ducking out now and running for cover)
  17. REV

    REV Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    Learn the rudiments
    bbh likes this.
  18. DougBass


    Nov 11, 2010
    New York
    My son is a drummer. In his room, we have an acoustic kit with silent stroke drum heads, and low volume cymbals. He used one of the QuestLove Breakbeat kits that his teacher owns, and with good heads, and tuned well and it sounds great. If you want an acoustic kit you can do it.
    organworthyplayer337 likes this.
  19. silky smoove

    silky smoove Supporting Member

    May 19, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    When you're learning one of the most important and often-overlooked aspects is your grip. There's the obvious differences between match and traditional, but that distills down further into German, French and American variants. That said, learning what to do, or more specifically what not to do, with your index fingers to avoid over-gripping is absolutely critical. I was a chronic over-gripper for years and suffered through hand cramps on many gigs all the while idiotically thinking "I can't wait for my hand muscles to get stronger so this stops happening." One lesson with a competent instructor sorted my grip out and I've never had hand cramps again.
  20. bbh

    bbh Supporting Member

    Sep 27, 2011
    You still need at least a practice pad. My best drummers noodle on those pads all the time and have been doing so for many years.
    organworthyplayer337 likes this.
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    Primary TB Assistant

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