#1
I know everybody's a guitar guy here...Hopefully there are a couple of you who can help with this.

I'm a drummer, and I'm teaching someone drums. I'm starting with a few simple key things for him to work on: snare drum technique, rudiments, rock/blues beats/fills, reading sheet music, and understanding rhythm and common rhythm-keeping technique of drummers.

Now we're mostly focussing on technique first...How to hold the sticks (match grip for now), and simply hit the drum in time using acents, regular notes, and ghost notes. Those are the most important, most basic things for a drummer to learn first, basically the mechanics of hitting things, how to hold the sticks and the motions of your hits.

Problem: I learned this a very long time ago. Its second nature to me. My drum teacher loves my technique (unless I'm learning something I've never tried before, everyone's had that day where you're too confused to worry about technique lol), because its been forced into my brain and my muscle memory for years by my teacher and my brother before him. So I have no idea how to dissect what I'm doing and teach it to somebody...I'm always asking him to step off the drumset so I can drum and try to understand how to put what I'm doing into words. It gets very annoying.

I was pretty young when my brother started teaching me (well, middle school, so only a few years ago, but I repress those memories lol), I don't remember how he taught me, and its too natural to put into words. This is a pretty bad problem, I've gained a decent reputation teaching guitar and bass, I don't want that to be ruined because I was thinking of stating to take in students other than my friends and charging for lessons, I know I'm ready.

So I was wondering if anybody had some ideas of what I could tell him about technique?

Thanks for any/all help.

Oh and I have another question. Do you think I should start him on bigger sticks? I started out using 5As, my drum teacher eventually gave me big sticks for drumline snare (and invited me to a sick drumline I didn't have time for unfortunately). Around that time I stated using 7As I now use both 5As and 7As for different styles. Because of this drumstick history I assumed starting on small sticks is fine, I've3 had him using 5As so far, but I hear its easier to learn technique on big sticks.
#2
I was always told 5A's are where beginners should start, and if it recquires they need bigger sticks or 5A's are too big for them, then find another size to suit him. But yeah, I think the general consencus (Spell check?) is that bigger sticks are easier to learn on because of the rebound you get from them as opposed to thinner/smaller sticks where it relies more on technique to get the notes you're playing.

I started off using 5A's and when I was in my first band I switched to 5B's, I don't know why I did though. After a year or so playing I wanted something lighter so I switched to 7A's nylon tips. But now I've settled on 8D's because to me they have the same size as the 7A's but a little longer and still have a weighty feel of 5A's. It's all about finding what suits you and your playing style really. I started off doing punk and indie covers and moved on to hard rock and blues, now I play funk/hip-hop and anything else I'm asked to play.

As for the teaching aspect, I had the same problem, but I just looked up drum lesson videos, like the ones on the freedrumlessons.com website and pretty much took it from there and broke it down to people who I taught.
Personally, I think technique comes with time and playing, you'll start to notice things you don't when you start off and adjust to make yourself comfortable. The more you play, the more apparent become.

The way I learned was pretty cool. I was told to find a piece of music that I liked, or a fill or whatever that I found interesting and wanted to play and bring in the music. My drum teacher would teach it to me, or if it was a little too advanced he'd explain to me what it was and try to come up with an alternative way of playing it or teach me something similar yet simpler.
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#3
Quote by TMVATDI
So I was wondering if anybody had some ideas of what I could tell him about technique?

Thanks for any/all help.

Oh and I have another question. Do you think I should start him on bigger sticks? I started out using 5As, my drum teacher eventually gave me big sticks for drumline snare (and invited me to a sick drumline I didn't have time for unfortunately). Around that time I stated using 7As I now use both 5As and 7As for different styles. Because of this drumstick history I assumed starting on small sticks is fine, I've3 had him using 5As so far, but I hear its easier to learn technique on big sticks.
It doesn't really matter, the first pair of sticks I really used were Vic Firth Gregg Bissonette signature sticks, which are almost a 2B but a little narrower. Some people speculate that bigger sticks are better for developing speed, but if you have small hands, it will probably just be uncomfortable. Overall I do prefer bigger sticks, and it's just a theory of mine, but I think the extra mass and weight being slung around offers better rebound.

As for technique, you really don't need even have a set of drums handy to review stick technique and the motion of making a hit, or the motion of the feet either. If you don't know what the motions are/where they come from, how to describe them and be able to put them in words, study your own technique, basically. That's the best way, other than maybe review it with your own teacher, but I feel that it should be fairly self-evident. I was utterly in the dark as to double stroke technique until I figured out how to utilize my fingers, for example.

Also, try and examine the motions you make when playing, without even having a stick in hand. For finger control, this would be something like putting the thumb and index together, making sure that they are entirely relaxed so as to keep them from moving, and then moving the other 3 fingers around, and stuff like that.
#4
First off sticks are a very personal thing for most drummers. Instead of telling him what to play encourage him to go to a music shop and play as many sticks as he can on a pad. He will likely pick the sig. sticks from his favorite drummer, or something close, and that is generally OK. I have been playing for 20 years or so and I still change sticks every couple of years. Dont ever think that you are married to the sticks that you play, its always good to feel out different models.

As a new teacher, be firm on the fundamentals. I spent my first year in lessons doing nothing but rudiments on a pad. If I even mentioned a drum set my teacher would make my lessons more difficult. Dont try to validate yourself by teaching everything you know in the first week, if your student is a beginner you will definitely know more than him. Make him focus on rudiments while you do your homework and figure out where you want to go next.

Finally, if you need some material use the Vic Firth website. They have a ton of information and resources for teachers. Use it to your advantage!
#5
Well rudiments are good, but I wouldnt jump right into them for a new drummer. Make sure they know basic notation first and can apply that to the pad, as they wont be able to recognize a good number of rudis without any prior note reading. A good book my first teacher got me on at me first lesson was "syncopation for the modern drummer", vol 2 i believe. Its a great intro to reading. Me and my teach worked our way thru it, starting in the beginning with whole(ly shit, boring) notes. After i had good understanding, and ability to play basic notation w/ nd w/out metro, did we move on to basic rudis. Sit across from em, both of u playin on the same pad...itll help him learn the notation and solidify his timing. Once he gets that, whatd id do is give him 1 or 2 rudis a week for homework to study. But dont throw him the book, theyres TONS of rudis, itll take time.
Also keep him interested, my 1st 6 months of lessons i rarely sat behind an actual set, hated it, thats why i started i wanted to play drums, not a rubber pad! Once he gets, say 8th notes down, sit him at the set and u be the click with the bass drum and let him play 8th notes however he feels fit hitting the drums. Doesnt have to sound great, just let him get the hang of moving the hands around, while still playing 8ths and in time. But dont spoil him...hehe.
Bottom line, if I was teaching, id teach him note reading first nd foremost before i introduce rudiments. Also, as for technique, sitting across and playing on the same pad will let him study how you hit the pad, he can follow you and vice versa, correcting his flaws.
Well that was rather long, but ive been thinking of teaching at a local Georges in a bit, seems really fun, and pretty rewarding, so this was an opp to kinda organize me ideas.
#6
thanks guys and yeah i was planning on sticking to single strokes (and keeping him interested with a basic rock beat and basic fill he can work on in his own time) and reading (he's also a great bassist so i think reading rhythm shouldn't be too tough) until his technique is absolutely perfect, then moving on to paradiddles...first rudiment i ever learned. since the lessons aren't limited to any amount of time, i thought maybe i could simultaneously teach him drum set things like beats and fills, and snare drum technique. as in maybe use a half hour to teach him technique/reading/whatever else is really important for a begginner, and use another half hour to teach him beats that'll keep him interested. he doesn't have a drum set, only a pad and sticks, so it'll be easy to tell him to only work on the important stuff during the week.