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Drum practice for beginner

(7 Posts)
IWasThere4Aug12 Sat 23-May-15 09:09:51

DS6 is keen to learn drums. How much would he need to practice at first? For the sake of my sanity the neighbours we weren't planning to get a drum kit - are electric ones ok to practice on? Anything I should look out for when buying one (second hand)? Also are there any apps or online tutorials that you recommend?

Ferguson Sat 23-May-15 22:22:45

I was a semi-pro drummer for forty years, and while a primary TA coached Yr2 children on percussion to accompany the Christmas production for ten years. I also had recorder groups, and a Yr6 keyboard club for a few years.

What sort of music does he listen to, and what style does he hope to play? Has he done any other music at school, maybe recorder? Do they have percussion instruments in his school, and does he get a chance to play them? Knowing something about music, and the way it 'works' is necessary for a drummer to be able to accompany other musicians.

Doing ONLY drums is not really a good introduction to music, so I would suggest getting as good an electronic keyboard as you can afford - at least 61 full size keys, and connections for MIDI, a headphone socket, and ideally AUX inputs and outputs.

Children can learn keyboard from tutor books, which often come with a CD demonstrating the tunes, but it does need fairly serious concentration and effort. A keyboard will have several hundred sounds, many rhythms and accompaniment styles, and probably a few 'drum kits' which can be played 'live' from the appropriate keys, or programmed into memory.

To start drum technique practice, there are many tutor books, and I would suggest the easiest you can find as he is young. Get him a pair of fairly heavy sticks, and at first he can just learn the rhythms using a thick telephone directory as a 'practice pad'.

Depending where you live, there may possibly be Boys' Brigade, Salvation Army, or even samba bands, where you can get more information and possibly an opportunity to join in.

UptoapointLordCopper Sun 24-May-15 14:02:48

Ds has had drums lessons for about 1 year now. He has a practice pad, and he also practises by arranging cushions in the correct places and hitting them with his drumsticks with the metronome beating. grin That's what his teacher told him to do. He also plays a few other instruments, for some reason...

drummersmum Mon 25-May-15 12:36:54

DS is 13 and has been playing drums since 6, so maybe it can be helpful to give you an idea of his evolution. He was already learning classical piano when he started and is now still learning both, plus jazz piano and tuned percussion.
At 6, he attended lessons 1:1 without practising at home other than hitting boxes and kitchen pots with his sticks. A few months later we had to get him a kit. We opted for the real thing as he seemed really serious and good at drums and we liked the real sound, the real bounce and we knew that eventually he would want to keep adding more cymbals, a cowbell, etc etc. For the upper grades you really need to be hitting a real cymbal and learning advanced technique on the real thing. We bought a Pearl traveller which is smaller. We have had to invest quite a lot over time (more sticks, brushes, practice pad, more cymbals and stands, new hi-hat, cowbell, china cymbal, professional drummers headphones... ) His practice at the beginning was about 3 times a week a 20 min session. Obviously that has been increasing overtime specially on weekends. It is now about 4-5 times a week aprox. 50 min each time. We promised neighbours not to practice beyond 7 pm and we're keeping our word.
I would recommend getting a teacher. Although the world is full of self-taught drummers, they didn't self-taught at 6.
He is now Grade 7 Rockschool and loving it. It's a cool thing to do at school. It's very physical which is good for a teenage boy.
Please protect his ears!!!!!!!!

drummersmum Mon 25-May-15 12:40:03

Didn't self-taught Didn't self-teach OOOOOPS

drummersmum Mon 25-May-15 13:08:44

And as with any instrument a teacher is the one person who will show him proper grip and technique. Bad habits are hard to correct later on.

IWasThere4Aug12 Tue 26-May-15 13:13:17

Thanks all. If he moves school at 7, his new school is very musical so he'll have lots of options - I was thinking tuned percussion but we'll see where his interests take him. At his current school, private drum lessons is the only option for his age so if there's space we'll start with some lessons and use the telephone directory for practice until we see how committed he is

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