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Unread 11-23-2009, 03:01 PM   #1
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How would one begin drumming?

I want to learn. I would be starting at zero knowledge, and would need to learn on something that could be practiced in an apartment.

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Unread 11-23-2009, 03:23 PM   #2
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Mr. Bill, that's how I started - zero knowledge, and while I'm no whiz on the drums I can hold my own. I started very slowly but I was with a band. I started out tapping the bass drum and a rim shot on the snare. After I got to where I could keep a beat that the guitars could play along with I started tapping on the other drums until I felt comfortable with what I was doing. Now I can't play Wipeout or anything like that but I do fill in on occasion when the regular drummer can't be there. I have found that a better quality set of drums is easier to play than the cheapo set. It's also easier for me to play along with other instruments. The bass helps a lot. When I had drums at my house I would drape towels over the heads to muffle the sound. I put a pillow inside the bass drum.
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Unread 11-23-2009, 03:27 PM   #3
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First off, get a rubber practice pad and some sticks, not too light (5Bs, perhaps, I play 5As, but you're supposed to start on 2s for technique or something). And you're gonna start practicing just basic sticking/rudiments at first. That would be the advice for "doing it right..." but of course, you could go for something more akin to a practice set, and start trying to figure out beats by ear. But sticking is the foundation of everything.
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Unread 11-23-2009, 03:32 PM   #4
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Unread 11-23-2009, 03:49 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rainer. View Post
First off, get a rubber practice pad and some sticks, not too light (5Bs, perhaps, I play 5As, but you're supposed to start on 2s for technique or something). And you're gonna start practicing just basic sticking/rudiments at first. That would be the advice for "doing it right..." but of course, you could go for something more akin to a practice set, and start trying to figure out beats by ear. But sticking is the foundation of everything.
okay, not to be snarky, but seriously, where could I find these basic rudiments/sticking?
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Unread 11-23-2009, 04:06 PM   #6
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Unread 11-23-2009, 06:27 PM   #7
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Start with your rudiments. It'll be mind-numbingly boring at times but it has to be done. Everything builds off of rudimental drumming. It's like learning guitar chords all over again. Everyone will tell you it's easy and anyone can do it. The devil's in the details...

I learned rudiments playing a saw horse in front of a mirror. The mirror helps you develop good stick control and economy of motion.

Then slowly start to build chops on your drum kit, if that's where you want to be. I used to love playing a kit but can't bring myself to sit behind one any more. Congas, that's where I want to be now.

Then get yourself the DVD's by Steve Smith.
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Unread 11-23-2009, 06:34 PM   #8
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Bill, I'm no drummer... but my advice for one who wants to know where to begin drumming...

Begin on beat.

Aside from that, I actually am a drummer. I taught myself at my church. I'd just go in when I could and play their drumset. I'd find songs I liked the beats to and play them with pencils while I was doing homework. I started drumming in my head all the time. Now I am a confident drummer, and I still don't own a set.

If money is not an issue, the newest Vdrums from Roland are exceptional. I was blown away when I first played them.
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Unread 11-23-2009, 06:50 PM   #9
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If money is not an issue, the newest Vdrums from Roland are exceptional. I was blown away when I first played them.
At $6K, they better be good

FWIW, they're really great for low volume situations, but still not better than a real kit. I don't know if I could justify spending $6K on something that's going to be used in my bedroom.
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Unread 11-23-2009, 06:58 PM   #10
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Nothing like a real kit.

vicfirth.com is a pretty darn comprehensive resource, though. A bit difficult to sort through, but dig around there a bit, and maybe later I'll be able to point in a more specific direction.
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The most important thing to me is learning how to sightread rhythms and translate them into hand motions. From there, you can start digging into the myriad of transcribed grooves out there.
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Unread 11-23-2009, 07:04 PM   #11
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Money is an issue.

6K?! I don't have a guitar that valuable and I have some specimens.

Everybody who keeps saying start with the rudiments, start with the fundamentals...

That is not helpful, because I really don't know what those are to begin with. Is there a resource. (preferably online and free) that would help me find out what these rudiments and fundamentals are.

My brother is a drummer, and while I understand a bit about how to hold a drumstick, how to control it with economy of motion in theory, that is it. I do not know fundamentals, rudiments, drills or anything. Like I said, starting out at square 0. I need some work to get to square one.

I can play basic beats on a hand drum, but to be honest, I would not know where to start on a kit. I literally need a beginning framework to start. I do not own a kit, but I could probably snag a practice pad.

Anyway... If I did that, what would I do with it? I know, hit it and keep time like a metronome. But what are the most basic, fundamental patterns and beats? Is there a book that would help?
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Unread 11-23-2009, 07:25 PM   #12
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i'm trying to think of the very very beginning of my drum career...

This may sound weird but I'd say one thing that could really help is just watch a lot of videos on youtube. That doesn't seem like it would do much, but it helped me quite a bit.

Now, if you are starting at square zero, get some drum sticks, a metronome (if you have one) or if you don't have one just play a song in 4/4 and play in time, and play 8 notes on each hand like this:

R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-L-L-L-L-L-L-L-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-L-L-L-L-L-L-L-L and repeat that for a long time. That sounds boring, but one of the most important parts of drumming is learning how to control the stick. If you can't get with a drummer to show you how to hold the stick correctly, as you do these "8's" you will bit by bit get more comfortable with the stick and figure out how to control it better. Learning how to control the stick is very very important. Getting with a drummer and having him/her show you how to control the stick will be the best thing for you at this moment.


Once you have at least a very very general feeling for the stick, start practicing this very very simple beat. You don't even need a drumset to do this as it just works your independence, but it'll help more if you do.

I tried writing this out, but the spacing got all messed up, so I'm going to have to explain this with words.

With your right hand on the high hat (with your left foot holding it closed) you are going to play four quarter notes repeatedly (so basically you are just playing eternal quarter notes with your right hand, but in your head you are counting "1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4" and so on). Once you have the right hand down, the next thing will be playing the snare drum with your left hand on every 3rd quarter note. So while your right hand is playing "1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4" your left hand only plays on every "3." Now the last part of this basic beat is you will play a bass note with your right foot on every "1". So while your right hand is doing "1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4" you are playing snare on every "3" and bass on ever "1."
.
That is about as square one as I can think of. I hope this helps!

Last edited by jamforchrist123; 11-23-2009 at 07:42 PM.
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Unread 11-23-2009, 07:53 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamforchrist123 View Post
i'm trying to think of the very very beginning of my drum career...

This may sound weird but I'd say one thing that could really help is just watch a lot of videos on youtube. That doesn't seem like it would do much, but it helped me quite a bit.

Now, if you are starting at square zero, get some drum sticks, a metronome (if you have one) or if you don't have one just play a song in 4/4 and play in time, and play 8 notes on each hand like this:

R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-L-L-L-L-L-L-L-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-L-L-L-L-L-L-L-L and repeat that for a long time. That sounds boring, but one of the most important parts of drumming is learning how to control the stick. If you can't get with a drummer to show you how to hold the stick correctly, as you do these "8's" you will bit by bit get more comfortable with the stick and figure out how to control it better. Learning how to control the stick is very very important. Getting with a drummer and having him/her show you how to control the stick will be the best thing for you at this moment.


Once you have at least a very very general feeling for the stick, start practicing this very very simple beat. You don't even need a drumset to do this as it just works your independence, but it'll help more if you do.

the high hat (HH) will be played with your right hand (if you are on a real set, make sure your left foot is on the HH pedal keeping it shut... for now). the snare (SN) will be played with your left hand. The bass (B) will be played with your right foot.

You are going to play this:

HH| X X X X | X X X X | X X X X | X X X X |
SN| X | X | X | X |
B| X | X | X | X |

to make sense of that, basically it's a 4/4 bar, with the right hand playing 4 quarter notes on the high hat, the snare is playing on every 3rd quarter note, and the bass is playing on every 1st quarter note.

If that doesn't make sense, let me know, but I think you'll be able to figure it out. That is as basic as it gets right there. You have probably done that on the table or on your lap without even thinking about it. Just do that beat a lot, do it to songs that are in 4/4, practice it to a met, just practice it a lot. If it comes really quickly, then you can add a bass note on the second quarter note on every second bar too, like this:

HH| X X X X | X X X X | X X X X | X X X X |
SN| X | X | X | X |
B| X | X X | X | X X |

That is about as square one as I can think of. I hope this helps!
How I remember those days of quarter notes and eighths on the sawhorse. Once you have control over the stick the rest starts to fall into place better. Drumming is all about solid time keeping first and flash second. If you find yourself falling apart it is far better to check down to a simpler pattern and stay on time.

I learned my rudiments out of a book from Ludwig. The Gold Standard these days is probably the book by Rob Carson. He's a monster player and a great teacher.

Start off with a heavier stick. The good old 2B is a good starting point. Light sticks are tougher to control at first. My favorite is this model.
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Unread 11-24-2009, 03:54 PM   #14
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Starting with Rudiments on a practice pad is the way to start, VicFirth.com has the best rudiments tutorial I've found and you can play along with it. There are practice pad sets out there too once you get ready to start, they aren't cheap but are much cheaper than an electronic set.
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Unread 11-24-2009, 07:16 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Folk_guy View Post
Starting with Rudiments on a practice pad is the way to start, VicFirth.com has the best rudiments tutorial I've found and you can play along with it. There are practice pad sets out there too once you get ready to start, they aren't cheap but are much cheaper than an electronic set.
I can probably get practice pads free. Used, but I can probably get a couple at least.
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