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Learning to drum - resources please!
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Author Learning to drum - resources please!
tIB
I've learned a lot here... maybe someone can teach me to drum? If anyone can point me to any decent resources for beginners or has any tips then go for it.

I'm thrashing around on a norddrum 3p with kick pedal - things are going ok in that I can count, hold a basic rhythm and throw in the odd simple fill. What's next?!
LameAim
I don't have any advice to give, sadly.

But I am a constant apartment dweller who has wanted to learn to play drums since childhood and would love to know you're getting on with the 3P so far. Can you tell me what lead you to picking one up and why you chose the 3P over the other options out there?
fac
Look for drumming tutorials in YouTube (Drumeo is not bad, but start with the basics). Like everything else, it is practice, practice, practice. Learn some basic rudiments and coordination exercises and practice them daily; even if it's just 10 minutes a day. Get a practice pad, so you don't wear out the pads on your Nord.

Whenever you're listening to music, try to imitate the beat with your hands and feet.
authorless
Rudiments.
commodorejohn
fac wrote:
Whenever you're listening to music, try to imitate the beat with your hands and feet.

This is very good advice. I don't even drum myself, but my sense of rhythm improved immensely when I started doing this. Of course, you look like a dope, but then, nobody expects the drummer to be dignified lol
gentle_attack
authorless wrote:
Rudiments.

Repeat for a lifetime. /thread.
hairbow
I was the drum leader of my high school’s marching band, and also played in experimental /krautrocky type bands.

With drumming you need to learn that “jamming” is a separate entity from “practice.”

You will not get better if you just jam. You need to practice like you were in a military drum corps. Once you get in the habit of doing it, it makes both equally as fun. You should also jam on your own, of course, but good drum technique must be drilled into you.

If you follow these three rules you will get better. If you don’t your skill ceiling will stay poor and not move much.

1) when practicing ALWAYS have a metronome running. Practice at slower speeds than you want to, and practice at much faster. Push your limits and learn to hit precisely on the beat, or inbetween the beat, every time. If you are off time it should only be intentional. Never practice or jam solo without one. Jamming with others is when you should leave it off. Practicing with a metronome always on is the equivalent of a bodybuilder injecting nonstop steroids. Your ability to move around the kit, keep time and make your drum technique have that “pop” is reliant on this.

2) spend at least 20 minutes a day just moving around different surfaces. Don’t just do a five second drum fill, do a continuos infinity loop of a drum fill. Do paradiddles, flams, and other stick technique. Playing beats are fun, but easy. Doing flashy drum fills and quick movements takes both experience and confidence. You need to attempt and fail a lot of drum rolls before you can smoothly bust one in the middle of a beat.

3) figure out the way to hold your sticks with as loose fingers as you can make without dropping the stick. Play for a few minutes, then try to make it more loose. Watch some YouTube videos on proper hand technique. If you use your wrists to force momentum you’ll develop arthritis and possibly tendinitis. If you learn to let your fingers and momentum move the sticks for you, you’ll harness so much energy you can crack a drum like a whip with only a few inches of movement. Good, loose fingers is the key to powerful sound.

Best of luck! Drumming is the best.
Technologear?
I've drummed for years, my tips for beginners:
- +1 to practice pad. Put one in main pause areas of your house, workplace, etc, and muck around on it as frequently as possible. This is the 'frequency' component of learning something new. 60sec a few times a day.
- sticks. Go to biggest drum store you can access, spend an hour trying to find your favourite set. Try thick, thin, light, heavy, all tips, everything. My fav are Vic Firth Dave Weckl Evolution. Don't cheap out on sticks
- endurance, another new skill variable. Typically you'll get in time but only hold it for a minute. You need to stretch that length. You can use a timer and challenge yourself but my favourite suggestion is to drum along to acdc. Seriously. Try it, if you find the pocket and stay in it you'll feel great.
- swap your pad settings every fortnight side to side. Learn to hat snare with arms crossed and arms not crossed. It's hard but it mimics a real kit swapping from hat to ride while playing.
- learn the French grip with your sticks before you learn a less functional grip! It's tricky to start but once you get it you'll feel great, and be able to play Trap hats!!!!!
https://youtu.be/QecJUjNnPgs
Have fun!!!!! Notice when you find the groove or pocket, often called Flow. Your brain and body working together, synchronised with auditory input and the physical environment (pad and stick rebound). That's the drug hit (endorphins) to drive your new skill development
blipson
I used these back in the day:

www.stickcontrol.de

drumbum.com/lessons/

www.chucksilverman.com/index.html
dubonaire
tIB, youtube is an incredible resource for drummers with really helpful lessons everywhere. There are some interesting videos that break down some of the famous drummers, and famous tunes. Two fascinating examples are Ringo Starr and John Bonham. When you watch all the different approaches you realise what a diversely played instrument it is.

I strongly recommend getting lessons because that will force you to learn the drums methodically which I think is important.

Another tip is be loose. Just watch any good drummer and watch how loose they are (even heavy metal drummers who are also amazing drummers).

But to be really honest I'm not the best person to advise you. I started getting lessons and practiced for about a year but soon realised I didn't have the time it would take to get as good as I want to be. In the end I got frustrated. Good drummers have spent a lot of time becoming good drummers, like all acoustic musicians. Maybe if I'd started 40 years ago, but for me it's a realisation I'm just not going to achieve some things.
Pugilistas
Practice 2 vs 3. Constantly. You can do it pretty much anywhere, with finger work or light tapping. When it gets easy, flip your beat til you can go back and forth with ease. Once I had it down on the congas, had to switch to maracas to make it tough again. Once it gets easy, find some way to increase the difficulty.

In Africa, if it doesn't have the push/pull of 2 vs 3, it's barely considered a rhythm.
tIB
You didn't let me down! I'll go through all of these shortly as reply proper but just wanted to say thanks for all the help Guinness ftw!
tIB
LameAim wrote:
I don't have any advice to give, sadly.

But I am a constant apartment dweller who has wanted to learn to play drums since childhood and would love to know you're getting on with the 3P so far. Can you tell me what lead you to picking one up and why you chose the 3P over the other options out there?


3p is a best of both worlds thing for me, in that I love the synthesis engine as a melodic type synth as well as its drums - in an ideal world I'd probably have got the nd2 again with Nord pad for the trigger ins, but I'm really enjoying the 3p for what it is, and I have a trigger to midi if required. I've had the ND1, 2 and 3 now - they are really capable synths with percussive leanings and do an impressive range of accoustic, digital and analogue styles. I should add with the right midi set up the 2 and 3 can be a 6 part multitimbral mono synths with full keyboard scaling.

How they are suited towards learning to drum remains to be seen really - so far I wonder about how dynamic it is in terms of velocity range and I've had to do some hacking with the trigger pedal I have to get it working well (probably the pedal as opposed to Nord). I'm enjoying it though and it suits me more than the various more traditional electronic kits out there.

Id quite like to add a small accoustic setup but I'm not sure I'd use it often enough to justify, or indeed how it would sound/weather inside the outhouse it would have to live in!
blipson
By the way, I liked my Drum 3P so much, I got a second one, which gives me 12 voices. Even playing with earphones sometimes makes too much acoustic noise, so I play them with my Zendrum.
tIB
hairbow wrote:


1) when practicing ALWAYS have a metronome running. Practice at slower speeds than you want to, and practice at much faster. Push your limits and learn to hit precisely on the beat, or inbetween the beat, every time. If you are off time it should only be intentional. Never practice or jam solo without one. Jamming with others is when you should leave it off. Practicing with a metronome always on is the equivalent of a bodybuilder injecting nonstop steroids. Your ability to move around the kit, keep time and make your drum technique have that “pop” is reliant on this.

2) spend at least 20 minutes a day just moving around different surfaces. Don’t just do a five second drum fill, do a continuos infinity loop of a drum fill. Do paradiddles, flams, and other stick technique. Playing beats are fun, but easy. Doing flashy drum fills and quick movements takes both experience and confidence. You need to attempt and fail a lot of drum rolls before you can smoothly bust one in the middle of a beat.

3) figure out the way to hold your sticks with as loose fingers as you can make without dropping the stick. Play for a few minutes, then try to make it more loose. Watch some YouTube videos on proper hand technique. If you use your wrists to force momentum you’ll develop arthritis and possibly tendinitis. If you learn to let your fingers and momentum move the sticks for you, you’ll harness so much energy you can crack a drum like a whip with only a few inches of movement. Good, loose fingers is the key to powerful sound.

Best of luck! Drumming is the best.


I like this, many thanks! I've been doing number 1 so far, though I like the idea of going too slow and too fast - I've been pretty consistent with tempo so far. I have an issue with (the wrist in) my weaker hand so far and haven't really worked out how to hold the stick in this hand as yet - this is really good advice since so far im probably over reliant on my wrist for the snap in my good hand... I don't want to knackered my good arm too!
tIB
@blipson I've already thought about picking up a cheap ND1 for kick duties in order to free up the pad doubling up that duty if using a kick pedal with the 3p.

@dubonaire Youtube - yes, I've found a couple of people in there that have got me going but will now need to look for some simple rudiments to get going with...

dubonaire wrote:

Good drummers have spent a lot of time becoming good drummers, like all acoustic musicians. Maybe if I'd started 40 years ago, but for me it's a realisation I'm just not going to achieve some things.


Very true although there is a level as good enough - I guess it comes down to ambition really; I'm not really going into this with any ambition other than to be able to beat out a decent rhythm with the odd fill and variation. At this point I'm happy I can vaguely do that!

Lessons aren't an option for me really - I'll see how far I can get without as I have done with everything else I've played really, piano aside. It's a mugs approach but I suppose I'm happy to get by as oppose to excel. Should add I appreciate what a good tutor can do though - wish I'd found a decent piano tutor when I came home from abroad after getting back into it again. [/quote]
tIB
Pugilistas wrote:
Practice 2 vs 3. Constantly. You can do it pretty much anywhere, with finger work or light tapping. When it gets easy, flip your beat til you can go back and forth with ease. Once I had it down on the congas, had to switch to maracas to make it tough again. Once it gets easy, find some way to increase the difficulty.

In Africa, if it doesn't have the push/pull of 2 vs 3, it's barely considered a rhythm.


I will research!

Thanks to all - I appear to have plenty to get going with. I'll also look at a practice pad...
flabby
tIB wrote:
Pugilistas wrote:
Practice 2 vs 3. Constantly. You can do it pretty much anywhere, with finger work or light tapping. When it gets easy, flip your beat til you can go back and forth with ease. Once I had it down on the congas, had to switch to maracas to make it tough again. Once it gets easy, find some way to increase the difficulty.

In Africa, if it doesn't have the push/pull of 2 vs 3, it's barely considered a rhythm.


I will research!

Thanks to all - I appear to have plenty to get going with. I'll also look at a practice pad...


This is a strange coincidence. Last night I finished a chapter in a book called “Make It Stick”, which is about the scientific evidence we have that supports how we learn and how memory works. Basically everything that’s been coming out surrounding neuroscience, cognitive psychology and how it relates to learning. Anyway, long story short, the section I read was about improving a skill. To get better at something it’s more beneficial to constantly change the level of difficulty, easy-difficult-back to easy, etc, rather than to practice the same thing over and over again. Just thought that echoed what was being said in this thread. Nothing new I suppose, but nice to know the science backs up your own experience.

Also, I’ve been learning congas and I’ve found that practicing rudiments and improvising a little with them really helps.


I’d actually really like to get my hands on a Nord Drum 2/3, but I’d like to have a controller that’s more like a hand drum. I’ve been playing a Korg wavedrum but the editing is just tedious, plus there’s no external control options. The nord looks really quick and immediate.
tIB
You might also look at the atv aframe if you don't know it - less voices as such but might be up your street...
fac
flabby wrote:

I’d actually really like to get my hands on a Nord Drum 2/3, but I’d like to have a controller that’s more like a hand drum. I’ve been playing a Korg wavedrum but the editing is just tedious, plus there’s no external control options. The nord looks really quick and immediate.


Roland Handsonic into a Nord Drum module?
tIB
There is a finger/hand setting on the ND3 which works pretty well...
Snetch
dubonaire wrote:
tIB, youtube is an incredible resource for drummers with really helpful lessons everywhere. There are some interesting videos that break down some of the famous drummers, and famous tunes. Two fascinating examples are Ringo Starr and John Bonham. When you watch all the different approaches you realise what a diversely played instrument it is.

I strongly recommend getting lessons because that will force you to learn the drums methodically which I think is important.

Another tip is be loose. Just watch any good drummer and watch how loose they are (even heavy metal drummers who are also amazing drummers).

But to be really honest I'm not the best person to advise you. I started getting lessons and practiced for about a year but soon realised I didn't have the time it would take to get as good as I want to be. In the end I got frustrated. Good drummers have spent a lot of time becoming good drummers, like all acoustic musicians. Maybe if I'd started 40 years ago, but for me it's a realisation I'm just not going to achieve some things.



Wtf is tIB
tIB
I'm whatever you want me to be...
tenembre
hairbrow's advice is excellent. I'll throw in my own experience.

I started learning to play drums about two years ago.

I used Stone's Stick Control, a metronome and a practice pad. (and weed, if that works for you- it helped me fixate on the task and even enjoy it). Start very slowly and think more about doing it correctly, with efficient and relaxed motion, then about how fast you can go. Correct technique will scale to faster tempos. If you hit a roadblock at a certain speed, it's probably a technique problem.

For form I found Jim Chapin's video about the Mueller Technique very helpful. Unfortunately the full video isn't on youtube anymore that I could find but here's a good chunk to start with. You can use matched grip even though he's using trad grip here.


Oh and listen to Jazz drummers, they invented this shit.
Happyanimal
tIB wrote:
I've learned a lot here... maybe someone can teach me to drum? If anyone can point me to any decent resources for beginners or has any tips then go for it.

I'm thrashing around on a norddrum 3p with kick pedal - things are going ok in that I can count, hold a basic rhythm and throw in the odd simple fill. What's next?!


Depends on what your ambitions are really. Do you want to be a pop/rock drummer or a jazz drummer?

Regardless, learning how to read music is indespensible. I would start with the rudiments- look up Alan Dawson’s “rudiment ritual”.

Pick up the following books - stick control and syncopation.

Once you’ve picked up syncopation and learned how to play the exercises hand to hand I would look up “syncopation interpretations, different ways to play syncopation”.

And finally- there is no substitute for a good teacher.
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