Now that you’ve decided to have drum lessons, the first question that springs to mind is “What do I need to get started?”
Surprisingly little is the answer. Sure you could lash out and buy yourself an expensive drum kit with all the extra’s. In reality though, no one wants to spend a fortune learning an instrument when they might not even stick with it.
Having said that, there are a few basic items that you need to invest in to give yourself a fair chance at learning.
First, you will need a pair of sticks. There are a wide variety to choose from but all you really need to get started is a pair that aren’t too big or small for your hands and that don’t cost too much. Try a 5A size to start with.
You need something to actually hit with your sticks like a Practice Pad, pillow or even an old telephone book. A practice pad is obviously the best option but again, don’t spend a lot of money to begin with. You can add a bass drum pad a bit later on. Check the article Quiet Practice For Drummers for more information on practice setups.
You will need a music manuscript book. This is just a book with the music staff printed in it so you or your teacher can write out lessons or song charts. Take this to your lessons each week.
Also grab yourself a folder with plastic sleeves in it so you can put any loose sheets or notes that your teacher may give you.
To begin with your teacher will probably write out your lessons in your manuscript book or give you hand outs but pretty soon you are going to have to think about buying a book or two. They may seem a little expensive but I still have books I bought over twenty years ago that I use regularly. That’s good value! The idea is to buy one here and there and to build your library over time. There are many to choose from and your teacher will probably recommend some but a few of my favourites are:
- Progressive Rock Drumming by Andy Griffiths
- Drumming from top to Bottom by Tom Jackson
- Rhythm Section Drumming: Play-Along for Drums by Frank Corniola.
- The Ultimate Realistic Rock Drum Method by Carmine Appice.
- Stick Control for the Snare Drummer by George Stone.
A good attitude and a willingness to learn. These are essential for learning any instrument.
With just these few items you can get started on your drum lessons. The next step is to Make the Most of your Music Lessons. Keep your practice up and you’ll see improvement for sure.