For the aspiring drummer, finding the right drum instructor is crucial to the enjoyment of each lesson and final achievement of learning to play the drums. If you want to get drum lessons, it's first necessary to determine the extent and depth of instruction desired. Learning to play the drums isn't as simple as one might expect. Although the actual rudiments are fairly easy to learn and understand, playing drums isn't just about learning "how". For the serious drum student, only the most adept and knowledgeable drum instructor will do. Be prepared to spend at least two years learning the basics of drum instruction. After that point, developing drum technique can be a lifelong learning experience. There are several important issues to resolve before you get drum lessons:
- Look for a drum instructor with a minimum of 5-10 years of performance experience
- Check out the number of years the instructor has been teaching
- Determine the type of drum lessons, i.e., classical, jazz, rhythm or cultural styles, you want to learn to play
The First Drum Kit
The first drum kit aspiring drummers use isn't a drum kit but a small, round rubber drum pad that students will use to learn and practice basic drum lessons. Acquiring a pair of drumsticks, a drum pad and instruction books is necessary if you want to learn to play. If the drum student is truly interested in pursuing the goal of learning to play, the delay in the purchase of a formal drum kit will not be a problem. The instructor will signal the point at which it is time to purchase or rent a snare drum. This is the next step and one of the most important for the new drummer. The drum instructor gradually introduces technique on the snare drum. This usually occurs from three to six months after the beginning of drum instruction, depending on the skill and determination to learn of the student.
Moving On in the World of Drumming
At the point in instruction where the drum student earns his snare drum, the instructor may need to know the type of drum style most interests the student. While it may seem that drumming is simply beating out a pattern of rhythm on drums, classical percussion is quite different from rock or jazz drumming. Soon after the specific style is chosen, the drum student will be able to choose the type of drum kit that is most compatible with his style.