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LOUNGE => General Board => Topic started by: surfbeat on July 04, 2002, 01:29 PM

Title: starting out
Post by: surfbeat on July 04, 2002, 01:29 PM
hey there

i've been playing surf music (guitar) for quite a while now, stuff like Dick Dale, Laika and The Cosmonauts, The Ghastly Ones, Los Straitjackets, Surfaris, The Astronauts, Blue Hawaiians...

In a way surf guitar is drumming. A very fast heavy and percussive tremolo picking is an important part of surf. In fact Dick Dale's (the king of the surf guitar) style comes from him listening to Gene Krupa when he was a kid. And much of his stuff came out of the drum patterns he thought up in his head. He calls himself a drummer.

The beat energy is what I love in surf.

Anyway I went to see one of my favourite bands (the vegastones) last night. I  sat around sipping on that guinness and smoking during their soundcheck. Their drummer was mic'ing up setting it up to sound right and all. He did a bit of jamming to the background tunes.
The drumming does it to me - i shake and get shivers down my spine.

So for the last 24 hours I think about drumming. It's been growing inside me for a while, and now I've got the urge to drum. I wanna give it a go. Just for the sake of it, and also I suppose it'll make me see my string banging from a different prospective.

Thing is. I have no clue where to start. I found some site called drumbum or something like that - they seem to have some info in there. I have no clue how long it's gonna take  till I can do some half-decent (surf) drumming. I am 21 now - is that too late? I mean I wouldn't really wanna join a band when I'm 30 or something... I have no drums, but I suppose I dont need them yet.

So, if you have any advice for me, I'll be super greatful.

Title: Re:starting out
Post by: Bart Elliott on July 04, 2002, 01:48 PM
Welcome to the Drummer Cafe!

It's never too late to start in my opinion. I know of professional players that didn't start until they were in the 20's ... and a few in their 30's.

I think DrumBum.com is a good place to start in that they have a lot of links to other sites with free drum lessons.

To start with, I would get a pair of sticks and grab some pillows (or pots & pans if your ears can handle it) and start jamming with your favorite music recordings. This is what I did before I could afford to get a drumkit.

When you are ready financially ... go buy a cheap, used drumkit. If you stick with it, have the desire, or feel the need ... you can always get a nicer drumkit.

Grab a few lessons from a local pro instructor so you can get started with the proper technique. If you really want to progress, stick with a good teacher. You can learn a lot off the Internet, as well as instructional books, CDs and videos.

Go for it man ....... and enjoy!

We're all glad to hear that you've been enlightened to the fact that drums is where it's at! LOL   8)
Title: Re:starting out
Post by: MVanDoren1 on July 04, 2002, 02:39 PM
Well- I'll start by saying you are in a good spot here to get advice.  Not necessarily from me, many other more accomplished drummers here than I, but certain things we all tend to learn along the way. So here goes:

1-  Its never too late to start something you enjoy.  Now, will you become accomplished enough to be in a band before you are 30?  That all depends on you.  I recently met a guy who was doing some work on a live recording, we seemed about at the same level of accomplishment...  When I asked him how long he'd been playing he responde 3 years.  I've been at it for over 20.  Not to say I'm poor at it because I'm not, its just that for me drumming is not my way of life.... I do not aspire to pay the bills or be professional.  For someone like me that would change the way I feel about playing and I simply don't want that.  So I never spent several hours a day learning as some others here have.  It all depends on your level dedication to the art.  If you want to bad enough- you'll get there.  If you want to learn because it brings you some level of joy or whatever, then obviously you needn't rush about it so.

2-  There are many resources on this site as to recommendations on private instruction, books to learn from, drummers to watch and gleen off of, etc.  so do some exploring of the various sites here.  

3-  You made a comment about surf guitaring being like drumming- well you are one step closer to becoming one of the most popular percussion instruments ever made.  Your pick hitting the guitar strings would be very similar to the felt hammer hitting piano strings.  What is cool for you is you can also take your drumming and actually apply it to the guitar literally.  I've seen some amazing beats cranked out on the strings and body of a guitar similar in ways to how one might play many of the Latin-African percussion instruments.   What I love too about percussion is that unlike many other musicians I am never without an instruments (much to my wifes dismay).  Can you play percussion on a guitar?  Well I do on my legs, steering wheel (recall the wifes dismay thing)my sons back and head(good for a cymbal crash or two (so long as you're not too hard).  But seriously- I'd suggest GO FOR IT.  

Its possible to become accomplished enough to play with other musicians well in a reasonably short amount of time but whether it will take YOU 2 years of intensive study to start to get to that point or 10 is up to you.  

4- you are the time keeper.  mae that your #1 focus.  I've heard my fair share of drummers who like to show off what they got only to not come back on the beat correctly- not every drum fill is to be WIPE OUT (for some reason when people learn of my being a drummer thats likely to be the next question "Well can you play WIPE OUT?").  You will find others opinions of your abilities,and therefore the likeliness to get into a band, dependant on your ability to keep a steady groove.  Bring in the fills when you can, when you want, whatever- just make certain you don't lose the group in the process by not focusing on your time.  

5-  PRACTICE TO LEARN what you one day hope to do...
     PERFORM WHAT YOU KNOW from the practicing you've done.
video clip of Sammy Davis Jr. as he strode onto center stage all decked out in western garb equipped with 2 stainless steel colt 45's at his side.   He stood there a second as the audience expectations arose then performed several show piece gun draws and holster moves.  Placed the guns back in the holsters and said the following before walking off stage  "I wouldn't have done it if I wasn't good at it". Push yourself to the limits and beyond in your practice sessions but perform for the opinionated audiences what you are reasonably assured of pulling off  accuratly.  You will be no good to other musicians by not being reliable- the coolest fill in the world  won't do you a hill of beans worth of good if you lose the beat while attempting it.

Other responses anyone...anyone... Beuller... Beuller???
Title: Re:starting out
Post by: surfbeat on July 05, 2002, 08:56 AM
Thanks for advice, really appreciate that.
I got myself drumsticks, and a practice pad. It's nice - it's bouncy and quieter than books (my landloards won't tolerate crappy drumming of mine, but I'm going home in a few weeks).  Drumsticks are expensive! I got the cheapest ones they had, and they were like 4 pounds! Maybe I got ripped off?!? Oh well...

So yep, gonna play around with that for now. Then when I go back home and get job, will try and find a teacher to get me started.

Thanks again!
Title: Re:starting out
Post by: Jazzman on July 05, 2002, 10:27 PM
Practice makes perfect.

Like Bart I too pounded on books, pans, anything that made a sound without being broken and started at the age of 7.  I used to practice 3-4 hrs/day at least 3 days per week......and on weekends 10 hrs/day.  My parents alwas went shopping.  I used to put on my dad's stereo 8 albums of my favorite artists and try to immatate each of the drummers.  

It is never too late.  There might be a device where you can plug in a set of headphones and practice......Bart KAT set???  Used of course, I don't know what the price would be.  What about a practice pad, or a $7 dollar set of bongos stuffed with rags?

I'm a little over twice your age and still practice as much as I can.  You must have a love for drumming to be inspired to play on simple items to get better to see if you are worthy to get a starter set.

Jazzman 8)
Title: Re:starting out
Post by: surfbeat on July 06, 2002, 10:16 AM
how do i know when i'm "worthy" of a drum kit? are there  certain elementary techniques that i MUST learn before i even get close to proper drums?
(i've only heard of rudiments...they seem to be the most basic thing in drumming).
Title: Re:starting out
Post by: Bart Elliott on July 06, 2002, 10:26 AM
how do i know when i'm "worthy" of a drum kit? are there  certain elementary techniques that i MUST learn before i even get close to proper drums?
(i've only heard of rudiments...they seem to be the most basic thing in drumming).

It's not a "worthy" thing at all. If that's the case, most of us would never reach that status! LOL

Learning rudiments, stickings, etc., is all very important and is then applied to the drumkit. The practice pad is just a way to focus on the basic techniques, coordinations, etc. needed to execute on the drumkit. You'll still have to take all of this and then apply it to the kit. The practice pad is just one surface ... the drumkit has endless surfaces or voices (depending your set-up) ... not to mention using the feet. Getting a kit now will sure keep your interest in drumming. Only having a practice pad gets very boring ... it's not even an instrument!
Title: Re:starting out
Post by: surfbeat on July 06, 2002, 10:52 AM
okay, then. cool! I am not rushing things here, just curious. I'm gonna wait for a bit and see if I cool down a bit with drums... There are "cheap" starter kits, then there are more expensive ones, and then there are bass drums, snares, and cymbals sold separately.

i know (from playing guitars for a long time) that you better start on a good guitar, suited for the style you are going to play. there are cheap "starter" guitars, too. they call those "boomerangs" because they "come back" to guitar shop after a few months/weeks. they dont sound too good, they play badly, dont look good, and are not inspiring at all. in the end you don't save any money by going cheap - at least a good guitar has a resale value, if you decide guitar is not your thing.

the question is how much would a simple, quality kit for 60's/surf style drummin be? i have no clue about which brands make decent stuff. (but i think i like Gretsch lol. they make AWESOME guitars).

thanks for replies!
Title: Re:starting out
Post by: Bart Elliott on July 06, 2002, 11:25 AM
Gretsch is one of the most expensive kits you can buy these days!

Check out this article over at Drum Bum; good information on what to look for when purchasing a drumkit.

Title: Just Started Myself
Post by: JoshP on July 22, 2002, 03:39 PM
Hey, I love surf music first, one of my favorites. Ever heard of Satan's Pilgrims? Well anyway, they rock. Man or Astroman? Both are some bands you should check out.

I just started drumming a couple of months ago. I took some lessons and found that I was pretty good at this drumming stuff. So I borrowed some money and spent my bank account on a Pearl Forum Series drumset. Its a nice set, I got it off of musiciansfriend for about 600. But What I would suggest is getting a cheaper drumset and nice cymbals. A great drumset with horrible cymbals is worse than not top of the line drums with good cymbals. Drumming so far has been one of the best, if not the, best purchases of my life. Good times...