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Should I learn piano or drums?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by oniman7, May 27, 2012.

  1. I'm out of school now and I'll be teaching bass lessons for a little cash. I can play guitar fairly well (especially classical) so I can teach myself from there. But I find myself wishing I played piano and drums. I love the driving rhythm of drums and they help me drive a song and write a bass line. However, I love the polyphony and extended range of a piano.

    Whichever I choose, I would buy a beginner piece of equipment and take at least some introductory lessons.
  2. fourstringdrums

    fourstringdrums Decidedly Indecisive Supporting Member

    Oct 20, 2002
    Since the drummer and bassist lock in together, I'd learn drums first. Though I already play drums so that's moot :)
  3. Holdsg

    Holdsg Talkbass > Work Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 10, 2009
    Alta Loma, CA
    Piano will help you learn any other instrument. I already play piano, so that's also moot.
  4. I'd say drums too. I believe it's healthy for a bass player to know some things about drums so they can gain knowledge and insight as to what makes a good drummer.
  5. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    Learning how to play drums helped me lock in with the drummer.

    Learning how to play piano helped me to lock in with the guitarist.

    Both are crucial for becoming a well-rounded musician, IMO.
  6. +1

    drums...bang bang loud and disturbing to practice, get electro set...

    keys....get synth, cheap, head phones....

    integrate both sets for more techno smarts...
  7. If it helps, I know fairly advanced theory and I know about drums so to speak. I know rhythms and each different drum and can easily recognize the rhythm. But I don't have the "instincts" or skill to play either
  8. handofseven

    handofseven Soaking up the cathode rays...

    Mar 23, 2010
    Vancouver, BC, Canada

    I dabble in both keyboard and drums, but of the two, I find drums to be more satisfying on different levels. I'd start there and move on to piano afterwards...
  9. williamk


    Apr 2, 2008
    i can't believe what I'm reading...piano is the obvious choice!!!
    You will NEVER regret it
  10. Stilettoprefer


    Nov 26, 2010
    Drums are fun and easier (for me) to just sit and jam on than piano. I enjoy watching people rip away on the keys, but I just can't seem to get it right. Vibes are worlds easier than keys to me, but I still suck at playing them haha.

    I'd say learn drums because it's important to lock in with the drummer and improving rhythm is always a good thing no matter what you're playing.
  11. Hamlet7768

    Hamlet7768 Here to chew gum and rock. Still have gum.

    Jun 5, 2011
    I'd go with piano. To be honest, I've noticed a good deal of bassists also played piano at least some (Chris Squire on "Run Through the Light", Macca, Geddy on his solo album, JPJ especially).
  12. Piano, easily. If you can play keys you can play just about anything, by which I really mean, it'll be way easier to make music all on your own should you ever want to.
  13. BullFrogJR


    May 23, 2012
    New Jersey

    I couldn't agree more. Learning to play drums AND piano made me a much better bass player.
  14. Crimson36


    Oct 24, 2011
    Well if both are an option that's simple and not worth discussing. If you only want one, go piano. Piano is really hard to get into when you're older, and it requires (at the higher levels of playing) some really complex and intellectual techniques as well as physically challenging ones. Not that drums don't, I'm not hating on drums, I love them also. But I have several friends playing both, professionally, and the pianists are the best musicians I know, mostly because they started piano first (several know both).
  15. I can't think of a harder choice to make, musically, actually. Two ESSENTIAL instruments that every musician should have somewhat of a handle on - both far more important than guitar or bass. Just IMO.
  16. Byron92


    Aug 21, 2011
  17. pklima

    pklima Commercial User

    May 2, 2003
    Kraków, Polska
    Karoryfer Samples
    Both are good and both are in demand, but I'd go with piano. In addition to what's already been said, I'll add one more minor reason: there's more demand for bassists who can double on keys than bassists who can double on drums.
  18. If you want to be a better bass player, go with drums.
    If you want to be a better all around musician, go with piano.
  19. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    Masks, people, masks!
    Song Surgeon slow downer.

    I suggest you start with piano for a couple of years and pick up drums later. :)

    Also, it depends on what your overall musical goals are.

    Piano will give you lots of ear training as well.
  20. Jazzdogg

    Jazzdogg Less barking, more wagging!

    Jul 29, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    I started playing orchestral drums. Understanding rhythmic notation has been extremely helpful, but it isn't necessary to be able to play drums to understand rhythmic notation, nor have the rudiments of stick control helped my bass playing.

    Piano, however, is MUCH more useful for the study of theory and for conveying ideas to others. The best bass players I know play piano, if not well enough to double on keyboards, at least well enough to help with arrangements, transcriptions, transpositions, and so forth.

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