Your child has dreams of rocking as hard as Neil Peart on Rush’s “YYZ” drum solo. You want them to be funkier than James Brown’s “Funky Drummer” Clyde Stubblefield, and as creative as Max Roach on Clifford Brown’s “Jordu”. If your child is ready to start taking drum lessons in Denver, then you’ve got to set your student up for success. You know you need drums, but how can you get the most out of Lessons In Your Home drum lessons? The following tools are crucial must-haves for drummers at all levels.
Access to Music
As a drum teacher in Denver, I ask a simple question of my students at the beginning of most lessons: “what have you been listening to lately?” I’m always surprised by how many new students answer with “nothing” or “I don’t know”. One of the best ways to improve your musicianship at any level is to listen to music often. The greater the variety, the more versatile your ear. You can provide a huge resource to your musician by showing them how to access music, whether that’s via the radio, a streaming service like Apple Music, Spotify, or YouTube, or something more tactile like an mp3 player, CD player, or even an old-school record player. It’s important to educate them on how to access and use these platforms themselves so that they can let their curiosity lead them. Nowadays it’s easy to limit access to explicit content on all these platforms, too!
Your child will need an instrument to practice on! Besides purchasing a drumset, you’ll want to get a practice pad. This inexpensive combination of wood and rubber is much more mobile than a full kit and is designed to imitate the feel of a real drum. For students 5 and younger, a practice pad and a pair of drumsticks might be enough to get started until they’re large enough to sit on a drum throne and reach the bass drum and hi-hat pedals. Even if you have a drumset, you’ll want a practice pad for on-the-go and late-night practice sessions.
A metronome is a device that clicks at a constant, adjustable speed. Every musician should be using one of these constantly in order to develop a strong internal sense of time, tempo, and rhythm. You can purchase a stand-alone metronome, or download a free one to any electronic device. You can pay for virtual metronomes that have extra features, but most free ones are perfect to get a young musician started.
Too many people overlook this necessity. Your drummer will need a music stand on which to put their music/books/metronome so that they don’t have to cover their floor tom or bass drum with paper (which will eventually fall to the floor thanks to the vibrating drum shells). You can even purchase a folding music stand that they can take with them to rehearsals/lessons/performances when necessary.
Drums are loud! This may influence your decision on whether to purchase an electronic drumset or an acoustic drumset for your home (although, pedagogically, I always recommend an acoustic drumset). In either case you’ll need to make sure you are protecting your child’s hearing. For acoustic drum sets, you’ll want ear-plugs and/or over-ear headphones that will cut some but not all of the sound being produced by the drums. Over-ear headphones are great because they will allow your student to play along to music and metronomes without turning the volume up to unsafe levels.
When purchasing drumsticks, you’ll want to make sure that you are buying sticks designed for a drumset. There are many percussion instruments that are played with sticks and mallets, so be careful not to accidentally purchase ‘concert snare’ or ‘timbale’ sticks. For young students, one or two pair will be enough to get started. Drumsticks aren’t expensive, but you should expect them to chip and break with time. New sticks will be necessary if your student spends a ton of time shredding in their practice space. As they progress, they may also need a pair of brushes and mallets for more advanced techniques and genres of music.
Now that your student is well-equipped, he/she is ready to rock! Contact Lessons In Your Home today to sign up for your first lesson. Our teachers come right to your home for every lesson, plus we offer virtual music lessons, too. Our online music lessons are taught by local music teachers with live lessons tailored to your child!