Where to start learning

Discussion in 'Drums & Percussion' started by LiveOVErdrive, Feb 13, 2019.

  1. LiveOVErdrive

    LiveOVErdrive CNC hack

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    I'm a guitar/keys/horn player who has had a kit for a year or two but am only just getting into learning to play it.

    But where do I begin? I've been learning some basic bests and such and developing some coordination and whatnot.

    Should I be learning rudiments?

    What do I do?


    And yes this question has been asked a thousand times, but it's always fun to rehash the same conversation.
     
  2. Ebony

    Ebony Signal purist

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    I'd advice to begin with the following basics:

    - How to hold the stick.
    - How to place your foot on the pedal.
    - How to play the pedal.
    - Posture.
    - Counting.
    - How to setup properly.

    Check out books, DVDs and video courses made by the following guys:

    Aaron Edgar
    Bruce Becker
    Buddy Rich
    Charley Wilcoxon
    Dennis Chambers
    Gary Chester
    Gene Hoglan
    Gordy Knudtson
    Hannes Grossmann
    Johnny Rabb
    John Riley
    Jojo Mayer
    Keith Carlock
    Martin "Marthyn" Jovanovic
    Steve Jordan
    Steve Smith
    Terry Bozzio
    Thomas Lang
    Virgil Donati
    Wanja Gröger

    Between them these guys teach pretty much every style and at every level.
     
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  3. LiveOVErdrive

    LiveOVErdrive CNC hack

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    Dude. Great post. Thanks.
     
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  4. Mathemagician

    Mathemagician SS.org Regular

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    Watched thread to refer to later.
     
  5. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    I went from playing primarily guitar+bass to being a drummer within the last few years and I found the biggest thing was to make sure you play. There's so much muscle memory involved. That's not to say that theory/lessons/etc are useless, but where on a guitar you can study a part then later pick up the instrument and just do it, I found it really different on drums, almost the opposite. I found it very easy to visualize or understand what I want to do, but all the effort goes into putting into practice.

    That's where I think the rudiments come in handy. Also - a metronome. IMO whenever you can get away with it, practice against a click.
     
  6. gnoll

    gnoll SS.org Regular

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    Good advice so far.

    Personally I wouldn't bother with rudiments unless you know they're something you want to use in your playing. Identify what style or which drummers you like and go towards that, check out what they're doing, which techniques they use etc.

    And play along to your favorite songs, that's fun!
     
  7. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    I never did specific rudiments, but instead picked out certain beats that I liked or knew would be useful. I suppose it's comparable. I also strongly recommend spending the time to make sure your kit, pedals, etc are tuned and comfortable. If anything doesn't sound or feel right, you could be making things harder for yourself.
     
  8. BenjaminW

    BenjaminW SS.org Regular

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    What I did to start learning was I’d just try and play to songs I liked and went on from there.
     
  9. Ebony

    Ebony Signal purist

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    +1.

    To add to this point: acoustic drums and cymbals are generally harder to play than pads and e-drums. I'd say for every hour you spend on the pad you get 30-40 minutes of equity on the drum kit. So cramming as much time as possible on the actual drum kit is good if you want faster progress.

    Having said that, learning the techniques themselves can be more effective on the pad because you spend more energy shaping/memorizing/evaluating the movement and less on fighting the playing-surface. The clue is to make sure you can do the same thing on the drums, eventually.

    I like having a small pad (6 inches) and a big one (12 inches). The small one require precise stroke-placement, especially at high dynamics and extreme tempos. The big one is slightly harder to play and also gives me more space to practice snare tricks and dynamics.
     
  10. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    I tried learning on an e-kit originally and I found that it just didn't feel the same at all. As soon as I got an acoustic kit, the way the drum responded to hitting it really threw me off until I got used to it again. That's not to say that practice on those is useless, but it's not a replacement for the real deal IMO. There's so much missing nuance, for lack of a better word, on those rubber pads.
     
  11. MerlinTKD

    MerlinTKD ERG Drummer! Contributor

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    Drummer here :D

    1) Rudiments are scales for drums. Practice them. Unless you're making percussion your primary, don't worry about memorizing the names, or even the rudiments themselves, but practicing them will build muscle in your hands and arms, and muscle memory in your brain. They're a means to an end, though, a tool, so use them as a way to warm up or fill up down time.

    2) Good books are great! The list above is phenomenal; I've been out of the education game long enough, I don't know what the current best are, but usually you can learn at least a little something from any source!

    3) There's no substitute for learning directly from another human. Look into one-on-one lessons in your area; ask around for recommendations, who's got a good reputation. Having someone focusing on just you will help you progress faster than just about anything: they will help you catch small things that are holding you back, identify what you need to work on, and let you know when you're doing it right! Even if you only do it short-term, to get you started, having a decent teacher at the beginning will pay off hugely down the road.

    Oh, and don't neglect your off hand! If you're right handed, for example, work on being able to play everything just as well with your left hand. That goes for feet as well! :D

    Good luck! :yesway:
     
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  12. LiveOVErdrive

    LiveOVErdrive CNC hack

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    Here's a question: I'm left handed. Should I drum open handed or mirror my kit setup? Or just cross stick like everybody else?
     
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  13. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    ^ You should do the one that feels most natural for you to do, IMO.
     
  14. Ebony

    Ebony Signal purist

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    Open-handed leads to a lot of problems with crossing, especially with two handed hihat playing, which is why most guys use it as a supplementary technique, regardless of hand-orientation.
     
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  15. MerlinTKD

    MerlinTKD ERG Drummer! Contributor

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    As mentioned above: set up your kit however is comfortable and makes sense to you. First question you ask yourself is "which foot do I want to play kick drum with?" Put the kick in place, put the hihat opposite, then set everything else up from there. Regarding open vs cross, the best answer is "yes". Learn to use both hands equally well, be able to start every lick with either hand, and you'll never have to cross anything (for a great visual example, check out @isnadd on Instagram).
     
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