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Any drummers?

(8 Posts)
woolleybear Mon 05-Nov-12 20:27:00

Dd, 6, has been desperate to learn the drums for quite a while now and we have always said no, even when she is old enough to learn at school (Year 3) as we are in a terraced house and we don't have the space.

She is still desperate to do it so we have found some group percussion lessons for her to join.

If she continues to want to do drumming, would it be sufficient for her to practice between lessons on an electric drum kit with headphones? Or should i continue to discourage her?

MrsMellowDrummer Mon 05-Nov-12 21:27:35

I am a drummer!

I play with a silver band, and we have a "proper" lovely acoustic set of drums that are kept in a cupboard in the village hall.

At home I have an electric set. These days, digital drums are pretty decent. If you pay for a mid-range set, you can get ones where the skins feel very very much like an acoustic set - ie they have the same kind of bounce. The cymbals aren't really the same, but to be honest for practise purposes it's absolutely fine.

We don't have space for an acoustic set, and even if we had them, I'd be so limited with when I could practise from a noise point of view that they'd be pretty useless anyway.

I think you should go for it! smile My parents wouldn't let me learn when I was young, despite me pleading... I had to wait until I was 28 to get started! Drums are brilliant fun!

APMF Tue 06-Nov-12 15:28:10

My 12yr old does drums. He has an electric one at home that we bought for £250. Anything cheaper would be a "toy" if you see what I mean.

If money/space is an issue then just send your DC to the lesson and forget about having a drum set at home for the time being. In the case of my DS he would practice at home in the beginning but soon realised that drums does not lend itself to solitary playing at home.

He is still enthusiastic about his lessons but he now hardly, if ever, practice between lessons. So we could have got away without buying him a drum set if we delayed the decision for a while.

2madboys Tue 06-Nov-12 15:36:14

My DS is 11 (12 next week) and has been playing drums since year 3. He did lessons for about a year with no drum kit at home and now has an electronic one which he started without head phones as we weren't convinced he would be sensible with the volume. He now has head phones but also uses ear plugs. He'd love an acoustic set but for everyone's sanity he manages fine with the electronic one. I'm sure your dd would be fine and I think female drummers should be encouraged as they're so relatively rare!

MitsoTsukahara Tue 06-Nov-12 15:43:14

Hi, I agree with APMF, my daughter started at age 12 after a few months of dedicated pestering and practises almost daily, but (no offense to your dd) I have trouble believing a 6 y/o would give you quite the same value for money. Great about the percussion lessons, keep that up and see if her enthusiasm is sustained. If so, an electric kit in 2/3 years will be the way to go, imo.

woolleybear Tue 06-Nov-12 20:07:42

Thank you all

Mitso, I totally agree with you about her age, she will be nearly 8 when she goes into Year 3 and I wouldn't be buying an instrument until a way after that. I just don't want her to aim for doing something if she really couldn't. Thank you all for showing me that it will be possible if she continues to want to do it.

FastLoris Tue 06-Nov-12 22:58:45

TBH when I've overseen peripatetic drum lessons in schools, many of the kids don't even have an electric kit. The teachers are normally happy with a practice pad so they can practise abstract rhythms and snare patterns at home, and then they put the rest together in the lesson. Not saying that's ideal, but it gives some idea of expectations and having an electric kit would certainly meet them plus more.

To professional drummers there's a massive difference between an acoustic kit and anything but the very best electric ones (talking several grand to even come close), but I'm pretty sure that wouldn't matter for a beginner. It's the same basic layout and all the kick/snare coordination etc. can be practised the same way.

The only thing I would say is that I don't think kit drum teachers normally teach kids until they are big enough to reach the kick drum pedal. So 6 would certainly be too young - when to start would depend on her size. In the meantime, all the percussion experience she can get will be valuable.

hardboiled Tue 13-Nov-12 19:06:43

Hi there,
there is no discouraging a natural drummer. They will bang anything, the wall, the table, kitchen pots, you name it! DS (now 10) was like that. He joined a percussion group at 5 and then individual lessons at the drum kit when he was 6. He is not a tall boy but he managed to reach the pedal ok enough. He sat Grade 1 when he was 7 which shows it's not impossible even though he literally disappeared behind the drums which was very funny.

In terms of home practice, his teacher made it very clear that it was a must and like I said, he was drumming all over the house in desperation anyway. We bought an acoustic set (traveller size) because we were told that by the time he reaches the higher grades he would need acoustic. He is now Grade 5 and imo the acoustic is great for it. For example, we've had to add two more cymbals to it as the pieces required it. We live in a terraced house so it took a bit of negotiating with the neighbours but all is fine and we are very sensible about duration of the practice and what time he does it. We had to move furniture around and make sacrifices to our living space to fit it, but it's all worth it. He also plays the piano and imo the two instruments complement each other very well, his drumming helps his piano playing and vice versa.

Very useful is a practice pad which he packs in his suitcase when we travel. Another great thing he got for his birthday is a cajon, which he can drum with his hands whenever he likes and is portable and not so noisy.

The most most most important thing is to protect your Dd's ears. I never stop reminding DS. He has a set of builder's earphones from B&Q and a set of drummer's earplugs with a special filter which he prefers for school gigs as he says the B&Q ones are soooo uncool. smile

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