If I am taking lessons do I need a drum kit?
Ideally yes – however it is possible to get started using just a practice pad and a pair of sticks – although perhaps not as exciting as a drum kit, the practice pad is a great way to build stick control and snare drum technique. Many people choose not to buy a drum kit until they have had several lessons. Please bear in mind that to progress on the drum kit you will need to eventually practice on the drum kit!
Is it better to practice on acoustic or electronic drums?
Electronic drums currently cannot replace the sound and feel of an acoustic drum kit but are a great option if noise is a problem where you practice. They produce a similar playing feel to acoustic drums and can be monitored using headphones or a small dedicated drum amplifier system which means you are in control of the overall volume produced. This puts less constraint on your practice time. Some models are more suitable than others – I will be happy to advise you just contact me.
There are however, some aspects of drumming for example playing with brushes that are only really suited to acoustic drums.
How much practice do I need to do?
Regular practice is cumulative that is to say yesterdays practice will help todays practice and so on. Practicing once a week makes progress very slow. In other words daily practice will yield the best results. Each practice session should ideally be 30 – 60 minutes (more is you can) and be productive.
We talk about this subject in a lot more detail during lesson time.
What do I need to bring to lessons?
Your sticks, music books, and any material from previous lessons together with your fee. I prefer students to bring a folder along to keep their sheet music in.
Do I have to learn to read music?
You don’t have to but it actually helps you learn to play the drums. It can be challenging at first but it is the language of your instrument and the rewards are great. Learning to read music can reduce your learning time, help you relate to other musicians easier and open up more work possibilities. I like to introduce students to this skill from the beginning.
How often should I attend lessons?
It really depends how much you can practice and how motivated you are.
Lessons provide you with the vital information you need in order to practice and become a better drummer – lessons alone won’t make you a better drummer you have to practice. I would recommend weekly lessons especially for beginners. For more established advanced players a fortnightly lesson can be more productive giving more time to absorb and practice the lesson material. Students progress quicker if they have somewhere suitable to practice regularly and are organised.
Where can I buy a drum kit?
It can be difficult choosing that first drum kit, names and terms can be a little confusing. Don’t worry I’ll be happy to talk you through the options making sure that first drum kit is the right kit for you.
I recommend Drum One, Tel: 0161 8729777 where they have a wealth of knowledge and keen prices!
What if I need to cancel my lesson?
I understand that things don’t always go according to plan and I will be as accommodating as I can in re-scheduling your lesson but must charge 100% cancellation fee if you cancel within 24 hours of the lesson.
Do you give online lessons?
Not yet, but watch this space!
Am I too young or old to play the drums?
You’re never too old to learn. Over the years I have taught young and old alike – younger players need to be tall enough to sit behind a drum kit and reach the foot pedals. A shorter lesson time is generally more suitable to young players.
Drums are loud! Will I need ear protection? Will I upset my neighbours?
Yes drums are loud but there are a variety of noise reducing products available including foam sound dampening pads for drums and rubber cymbal silencers that can reduce volume by as much as 90%.
My advise if noise is going to be a problem when you practice, is to seriously consider using an electronic drum kit instead of an acoustic one. You can turn down the volume level of and electronic drum kit and you’ll be able to concentrate on your playing without worrying about upsetting people around you.
For acoustic drums ear protection is a must – please contact me and I can advise you on appropriate products.
Can I learn to play the music that I like?
Yes absolutely and I encourage you to do so and will teach you how to play along to your chosen tracks.