the course of my experiences playing drums, I have taken a lot of
lessons and asked a lot of questions. I talked to a lot of
drummers, and these are some of the most frequently asked questions I
could come up with.
What's the best way to get started playing drums?
There is a different answer to this question for just about everyone,
but I'll start by saying that almost nobody can just sit down at a
drumset for the first time and completely knock everyone's socks
off. It happens, but those people are like one in a million.
In my opinion, it is crucial to first learn how to read music.
It's important to be not only a drummer, but a musician as well.
As far as playing drums though, there are many ways you can get
started. You may like to take private lessons, which is how I got
started. However, there are definite disadvantages to that.
You could also get yourself set up with a good DVD lesson system like
the Complete Drumming System or Learn & Master Drums.
How much do private lessons cost?
I paid anywhere from $15-$30 an hour for drum lessons, but the rate can
go even higher. When I first started I took a 30 minute lesson
every week. Eventually I was taking an hour lesson every week. At
$30 an hour, those lessons were adding up quickly. That added up
to $1,560 per year.
How do you tune drums?
There are many good articles and sources online for tuning drums. Here's one of my favorite articles from wikihow.com. If you prefer a video source, here's a good one from YouTube.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of taking private lessons?
The biggest advantage is having that one-on-one attention of someone
who is more advanced than you. They can spot mistakes or problems
with your technique and make quick corrections. The problem is
sticking with those corrections while you practice on your own.
You may also find that private lessons may limit what you learn.
You will only learn what the teacher feels like teaching. The
other main disadvantage is the cost.
As you have seen above,
lessons can cost you well over $1,000 a year. If that sounds too
expensive to you, check out my product reviews and look into a DVD lesson system. They can save you a ton of money in the long run.
What are some good warm-up exercises?
There are hundreds of different warm-ups for the drumset. I like
to try to mix in as many rudiments as possible in my warm-ups.
Here's a couple of my favorite warm-ups:
Here's a cool drumset warm-up from freedrumlessons.com,
and check this one out from John Riley, courtesy of Percussive Arts Society.