Introduction to Drums
Although not as common, the drums play a key, integral part in an ensemble’s lineup. Whether it be classical, orchestral, jazz, pop, etc., The drums are a fun, challenging instrument to play. If you would like to book a lesson, you can do so by clicking here, or continue reading for our guide to basic or common questions for prospective students.
When should an individual begin drumming/studying drums?
While you can start a student at an elementary school age to play the drums, it is best to wait for a student to be around the age of 8 or older to start playing drums. Plenty of drummers started around the age of 4 or 5, but our staff recommends that students wait to be closer to the age range of 8 to 10.
Are there physical issues that can occur with drums? If so, what & how can prevent them?
When students begin their drum tutelage at a slightly older age, they are prone to be more mentally and physically developed which will allow them to reach and physically play the drums at a higher caliber. It will help to more easily implement proper technique and posture, especially when the student has an easier experience reaching all parts of their instrument and grasping the ambidextrous nature of the instrument.
While it is normal to hear about cramps, blisters, and other physical ailments, there are easy remedies to fix these common issues. It is common that the student should, based on comfort and the size of their hands, find a proper stick for them. With the proper stick they will be able to properly grasp it in order to prevent discomfort. Once the student gets a feel for the unlacquered drumsticks & bass drum pedal, calluses will build up on both their hands and feet, thus eliminating many future ailments.
Drums are loud, what are the easiest ways to make them quieter?
Aside from putting the drums in a strategic position in your home, various sound reducing drumheads are available. One of which is the Silent Stroke head by Remo which reduces over 70 to 80% of the acoustic drum sets sound. You can also get cymbal dampeners to cut the sound of cymbals. Another popular solution is to purchase an electronic drum set.
What drum set should I buy?
While there are a plethora of student drum sets, there are also smaller club size kits that students can play while not breaking the bank. Three great inexpensive options are Sound Percussion kits, Ludwig Accent kits, & Tama Metro Jam kits, all listed below. Most of these kits are very affordable and check all the boxes for a beginning drummer. Some beginner drum sets are more expensive due to their inclusion of hardware (cymbal stands, Tom mounts or mounting systems, bass drum pedals, etc.) and cymbals. These kits are the most desirable as they will have the necessities needed to both play drum set and rudimentary snare drum.
Sound Percussion Tama Metro Jam Accent by Ludwig
THE ONLY SET NOT TO BUY IS A FIRST ACT.
While there are many stories of famous drummers utilizing kits such as First Act or Sears, the consensus is to steer clear from these drum sets that are commonly found in Walmart, Target, BJ’s etc. The student will outgrow them quickly, if not before breaking they’re cheap head and shell construction.
If we don’t have a drum set, what do we get?
We would suggest buying a practice pad or snare drum for the student to learn their snare drum rudimentary & exercises.
What material should my child start with?
Snare drum, rudimentary studies as well as drum set playing are to be a part of each lesson.
Some instructors look to start kids out learning rudimentary snare drum techniques for anywhere from six months to two years, then implementing the drum set. Our instructors believe the student should be introduced to notes and note values through the snare drum. Once the student is able to recognize this, basic rudiments are introduced along with snare drum exercises followed by full drum set activities.
What styles of music should the student learn?
This is completely up to the student and their desire to play. Obviously, after introducing basic snare drum applications and a firm understanding of The Rock and pop genre and requirements, more in depth studying and genre incorporation can begin.
Which books should we be buying?
- Syncopation for the Modern Drummer. (Beginners to Advanced).
- Musical Studies for The Intermediate Snare Drummer by Garwood Whaley (Intermediate)
- Richie DeCarlo’s The next step 33 pieces for snare drum (Advanced)
- Carmine Appice’s Realistic Rock
- Jim Chapin advanced techniques for the modern drummer.
- Contemporary Brush techniques by Louie Bellson
Advanced Inter Genre studies & Interdependence:
- New Breed by Gary Chester
How do I tune a drum?
Drums, as the reader might be picking up on, are very subjective and are not tuned to notes as strictly such as a piano, guitar, bass etc. The general rule is to have your bottom head, resonant side, a minor 3rd or perfect 4th different from your top side head, known as the batter head. When tuning, you will tune each peg to the same tension making sure that they sound like one another. You start from the top go across to the lug on the direct opposite side of the drum and continue in a clockwise fashion or rotation. A drum key will be needed for this process.
A few lessons can easily be spent learning how to properly tune the drums and are recommended to be the focus of lessons once the student has a solid grasp on the foundations of drumming.
Lessons are available for the following rates and times:
*Monthly Prices shown for standard 4 week month. For additional lessons add one lesson at discounted rate to total for 4 week month. For months where one less lesson occurs for any reason, subtract one lesson at discounted rate
More information coming soon!