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  1. Get Down On It

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    Mar 2006
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    Green Bay
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    32+ years here

    I was lucky that my teacher was a bit of an old school (in the early 80's) variety band drummer. I got exposure to Chuck Mangione at the same time I was trying to learn Judas Priest songs. But...concentrating on song playing alone was actually a detriment to growth. He wasn't a teacher, he was the local top drummer and could earn some extra bucks. I missed out on a lot.

    But having played another instrument (a key) I was able to take reading into drum notation and switch to the perc sections in school. That gave me balance. So my advice:

    Take all the band in school you can, even another instrument.
    Take private lessons on kit if you can.
    Stay away from flavor of the day. Go back 20 years and see if something strikes you and fun to play. You might be surprised that those 80's hip hop beats are pretty tricky for the right foot, And really fun to play.
    Improve your gear when you can. Nothing builds inspiration better than working for and purchasing your first set of pro high hats, for example. Pride. It's okay to have a starter kit but a real instrument is inspiring to practice on. Make your parents understand that. You gotta believe in yourself more than they do, if they do, cause a $500 drumkit in a box is not showing much belief.
    Work on all 4 limbs. Attack your weaknesses. I may never have the left hand I want but I keep trying!

    Make time for you passion. Practice when you can. Listen when you cannot.
    Ludwig Classic Maple in Sky Blue Pearl 24/10/12/13/14/16 & Hammered Copperphonic 6.5X14
    Sabian cymbal non-endorsed endorsee since 1982

  2. Is this Illidan?

    Join Date
    Dec 2002
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    Calgary, AB Canada
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    Quote Originally Posted by space jeff View Post
    see, I disagree. I look at it like your first car; it should be a junker just in case you crash it. You'll learn how to deal with break downs, can do some of the repairs yourself and learn how to maintain it and keep it running. Mu first kit had no badges, all different, miss-matched lugs and I had no problem drilling holes for new mounting hardware, painting the shells different colours, whatever. When I moved on to better gear I gave my kit to a young drummer who couldn't afford to buy stuff and the cycle began anew.
    You can get a cheap car that is still better dollar for dollar than another car. My first car was a Pontiac Firefly that had been in an accident. We got it for cheap, but a few hundred bucks into fixing it, and I had that thing for 5 years. Then I sold it for more than I bought it for. So really, I had a free car for 5 years because I bought a reliable vehicle that could be sold easily for (good-ish) value based on what I bought it for.

    Same thing with drums. You buy a CB drum kit, you just bought something that you can maybe resell for $100. You buy a used export for a few hundred bucks and take care of it, you could probably turn around and sell it for what you bought it for. I'm not saying you have to go out and buy an expensive kit, just buy a kit that isn't a huge black-hole money wise.

  3. old dog, new tricks

    Join Date
    Jun 2004
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    Lower Mainland of BC
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gord The Drummer View Post
    You can get a cheap car that is still better dollar for dollar than another car. My first car was a Pontiac Firefly that had been in an accident. We got it for cheap, but a few hundred bucks into fixing it, and I had that thing for 5 years. Then I sold it for more than I bought it for. So really, I had a free car for 5 years because I bought a reliable vehicle that could be sold easily for (good-ish) value based on what I bought it for.

    Same thing with drums. You buy a CB drum kit, you just bought something that you can maybe resell for $100. You buy a used export for a few hundred bucks and take care of it, you could probably turn around and sell it for what you bought it for. I'm not saying you have to go out and buy an expensive kit, just buy a kit that isn't a huge black-hole money wise.
    you missed the point of my post if all you're focusing on is the resale. I only paid $250 for my first kit; a five piece with hi-hats and a ride. After I was done with it, I GAVE it to a young player. He was happy to have it and it had a longer life than it was ever intended to have for a junky kit.
    It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.

    link below for my kit build thread

    https://www.pearldrummersforum.com/s...t-build-thread

  4. Is this Illidan?

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    Dec 2002
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    Quote Originally Posted by space jeff View Post
    you missed the point of my post if all you're focusing on is the resale. I only paid $250 for my first kit; a five piece with hi-hats and a ride. After I was done with it, I GAVE it to a young player. He was happy to have it and it had a longer life than it was ever intended to have for a junky kit.
    It must be nice to have the money to give away.

    I'm telling people that resale will often indicate quality. High resale usually means high quality (it lasts longer). Low resale indicates low quality.

    If you had $250 to give away then by all means. I sure didn't.

  5. Angoose

    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    Lincs, UK
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    Yeah, great thread.
    Most of mine have already been mentioned but meh:


    Play with other musicians as much as possible. Seriously. This is what music is about, emotion and feel and having a good time. It's not for doing solo in your bedroom.

    Reading music is a great help but not essential.

    Start with lessons from a respected pro, to get techniques nailed at first. Bad habits are hard to throw.

    Don't run before you can walk. If you haven't got basic stuff down, harder stuff will just frustrate you. You'll get there eventually, give it time and practice, working up.

    Listen to as much music as possible, from recordings and live. Learn from it.

    And always remember, it's fun.

  6. old dog, new tricks

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    Jun 2004
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    the other thing I see a lot of young players doing is jumping right into double bass before they can even hold steady time. Get your meter locked down, THEN move onto other stuff.

    Oh, and leave the **** stick twirling behind until you can play first.
    It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.

    link below for my kit build thread

    https://www.pearldrummersforum.com/s...t-build-thread

  7. Drumaholic

    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Texas
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    1,610

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    A few more I wish someone had told me when I started:

    Buy quality cymbals right off. You won't get any money for cheap cymbals if you go to sell them, and the sound can not be improved in any way. Quality cymbals can fetch a fair amount of money on the used market, and they sound immensely better than budget cymbals.

    Buy a decent mid-level kit. Exports, Superstars, Visions, etc. Hell, buy a pro-level kit right off if you can afford it and you're serious. It'll sound better and you'll get more if and when you go to sell it again.

    Buy some good heads and take the time to learn how to tune. Learning to tune well is really nothing more than an investment of time and much trial and error. Understand that your drums sound different 10 away than they do from your perspective. Those "ringing" sounds that some drummers don't like to hear from behind the kit are what give the drums a lively sound out front.

    Maintain your gear. If you're like most drummers, you spend a lot of money on your stuff, and for many of us, it's part of our livelihood. I need my gear to sound good, function well, and look presentable when I play out. Change your heads when they go dead, keep your drums free of dust and dirt, polish your chrome, oil your pedals, clean your cymbals (if you're into that kind of thing), and check over your gear regularly to make sure everything is in top condition. If you want to perform your best, your gear needs to perform at its best.

    Be disciplined about practice. Set goals and keep track of your accomplishments. Be specific about what you want to accomplish and develop a plan to do it. It's a great motivator to look back and see what you've done toward the end of being your best. Buy Stick Control and use it daily. Use it hourly. Seriously, it's probably the single greatest, most useful book ever written for percussionists.

    Think about your setup. Don't just throw the drums up and play. Ask yourself how you can make your kit function more efficiently (remember how your kit needs to perform at its best?) Sure, those cymbals look really cool four feet in the air. But can you get to them in time to play the things you want to play? Do what you can to get your setup as compact as you can. The less distance between all your surfaces, the faster and more efficiently you can navigate the drum set.

  8. Registered User

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    Mar 2005
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    22,159

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    I really appreciate all the contributions to this thread. You guy's rock.
    Pearl Reference Drums - Zildjian - Evans - Vater

    22x20x2 18x16 16x16 12x10 10x9 14x6.5


  9. Deputy Grand Poobah

    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    The Roc, NY
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    Quote Originally Posted by space jeff View Post
    see, I disagree. I look at it like your first car; it should be a junker just in case you crash it. You'll learn how to deal with break downs, can do some of the repairs yourself and learn how to maintain it and keep it running. Mu first kit had no badges, all different, miss-matched lugs and I had no problem drilling holes for new mounting hardware, painting the shells different colours, whatever. When I moved on to better gear I gave my kit to a young drummer who couldn't afford to buy stuff and the cycle began anew.
    That may work, but unlike a car, when does cheap gear always seem to break down?? At the gig. Delaying the gig 30 mins cause the strap on the bass pedal snapped just as we were about to start?? I learned my lesson and bring doubles even to this day...but cheap gear always has this excellent timing in that it breaks down when you need it most.
    Yamaha: LC2014-TC1986
    Gretsch: Renown Walnut 10-12-14-20
    Mapex: Meridian Maple 12-14-18
    Rogers: 13-16-22
    Yamaha, Tama, snares
    Zildjian, Sabian cyms, VF Sticks

  10. More beer.

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    Jul 2010
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    Where Hell froze over somewhere in Norway
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    2,571

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    Quote Originally Posted by space jeff View Post
    the other thing I see a lot of young players doing is jumping right into double bass before they can even hold steady time. Get your meter locked down, THEN move onto other stuff.

    Oh, and leave the **** stick twirling behind until you can play first.
    Been there. I always practiced double bass + timing separately. Later on, I've gone into a "less double bass, more groove" mood that I'm comfy with. In the start, it was less groove and more double bass.
    Bad habits, eh?
    - Not knowing what to work on
    - Playing with heads older than yer mom
    - Never cleaning the drums
    - Not practicing enough
    - Not practicing the right things (timing i.e.)
    - Office chair as a drum chair, like someone said - the best thing I've ever done was to buy a great drum chair!

    Sure I've missed something, but these are my essential mistakes the last 5 years (since I got my first kit).

  11. Banned

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    May 2012
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    Canada
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    Eat right, stay fit, keep those muscles strong.

    Don't get lost in the minutiae, listen to the overall feel of the rhythm.

  12. Registered User

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    Mar 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by nik12 View Post
    Eat right, stay fit, keep those muscles strong. Don't get lost in the minutiae, listen to the overall feel of the rhythm.
    Definitely with you on the eating right and staying fit. Very important in all aspects of your life.
    Pearl Reference Drums - Zildjian - Evans - Vater

    22x20x2 18x16 16x16 12x10 10x9 14x6.5


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