One of the big questions we get from new music students here are Music Lab – East Sacramento, and especially new drum students is: “Can we still take lessons even if we don’t own the instrument yet?” This blog is going to specifically answer that question for our drum students. Yes! You can absolutely take drum lessons even if you don’t currently own a drum set….yet!
We know that purchasing a drum set, or any instrument, is a serious investment and something that should be considered carefully. Drum students really need to measure their commitment to the instrument, lessons, and of course PRACTICING, before making the plunge of buying a drum set. Before you dive all the way into the “drum pool,” here are a few things you can START with for your journey into drums and drum lessons.
- STICKS! This is really a mandatory purchase. This is the first, and easiest purchase to make. There are four general sizes of drumsticks: 7A, 5A, 5B, 2B+. Your hand, and the style of music you would like to play, will determine what size works best. Traditionally, a 5A stick has been a good introduction for most new drummers. We recommend going to a music store and holding each size stick to find out what feels best in your hand. We recommend Promark Drumsticks as those are sold at most music stores, and available at several online musical retailers.
- A PRACTICE PAD. Once you have your sticks selected, you will want to hit something with them! We DO NOT recommend hitting: people, pets, cars, electronics, expensive furniture/surfaces. We DO recommend a practice pad! Practice pads are a great way to start out drumming. Every drummer that we know both personally and professionally, owns AT LEAST one practice pad. Practice pads are sold in most music stores and available online. We recommend Evans Drumheads RealFeel Pad 12” model. When looking at practice pads, make sure it is AT LEAST 10 inches in diameter. A 12-inch practice pad is our preferred option. Typically, a snare drum on a drum set will be 13, or 14 inches so you want a practice pad that is close to that size.
- A CHAIR. Any chair will work. It is amazing how you can make “drum set sounds” simply by sitting down and stomping on the floor (for your bass drum) and using your knees as your hi-hat and snare sounds. For the first few drum lessons you can easily accomplish some great practice simply by sitting in a chair and playing drumbeats with your hands (don’t use sticks on this one) on your knees. The best part about this method of practicing is that you can virtually do this anywhere!
- USING VISUAL SPACING. This art takes some practice, but we recommend trying to “visually space” a drum set if you are practicing on your bed, or your couch. Try to envision the placement of the hi-hat, snare, toms, and cymbals in the space you are using to create your “drum set.” Using this technique will help your overall facility of moving “around the drums” and improve hand/eye coordination. You can practice this technique with your practice pad as well.
These are just a few of the items and techniques you can use to get a good start on drum lessons even if you don’t own any drums….yet! We are certain that if you stay committed to drum lessons for a few months, that a drum set purchase, electronic or acoustic, will come in your future! We look forward to helping you explore drum lessons and hope this helps you get started!