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Learning online for drumming noobs

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  • Learning online for drumming noobs

    I'm a total newbie. For others like me I am going to report on the path I will be taking... group lessons with online instruction from https://www.rhythm-monster.com

    Why the online lessons? I am very motivated to progress quickly and am willing to practice many hours per week. My plan is to learn some fundamentals online and get reality checks from the in-person lessons.

    Yes, I can think of problems with this path. Feel free to share them for future noobs below, but I am going to go this way.

    Quick background. I am a classically trained French horn player. I collect unusual instruments and play the basics on a few of them, from Surbahar to Sheng, to Cristal Baschet.

    I am not paid by them, I simply want to document my progress, good or bad. In part, it is an obsession of mine, and I hope it will be useful to others. If I like this path, I'll share. If I don't, I will share.


    You can subscribe month to month on Rhythm Monster, so unlike the big options for pipers, you don't have to plunk down a wad of cash to start. I haven't explored the full options yet, but they claim they have material for beginners to experts. Snare, Tenor and Bass drums. There is a free sample membership.

    Progress so far:

    I've gone down two lesson tracks.

    Scottish Pipe Band Snare Drum Tutor Volume 1: Physical Fundamentals, which in the first two lessons has covered some basics such as stance and proper grip. The first of the video lessons is 45 minutes, the next 25 minutes. It is supplemented with text, links to more, and timestamps for the video. There is also an exercise provided.

    Music Theory Tutor for Drummers Volume 1: Notation Foundation. I'm skipping through some of this, as it is really starting at the beginning. Key signature, Time signature, etc. I'm well versed in that, but am spot checking to make sure I am not missing anything that applies particularly to drumming. Some of it does.

    I've practiced a couple of hours in the first day alone... but that is me all over.

    Verdict so far:

    The videos are VERY thorough... from my perspective. I'd love more lingering close-ups for the hand positions done from multiple views, but they do multiple camera views. My Chromebook laptop is small, so that may be the issue for me. I've run out of space... so will report more later.

  • #2
    Re: Learning online for noobs

    Supplies purchased:

    KP2 Sticks
    Outlander Model OLS-VMBL 9.0 inch Pad
    MBT Stick Bag

    purchased from The Piper's Hut https://www.thepipershut.com/

    They were great at getting these to me very quickly.


    • #3
      Re: Learning online for noobs

      > Music Theory Tutor for Drummers Volume 1: Notation Foundation

      One minor thing which they probably don't mention here is that very often dot/cut sequences - say a dotted sixteenth plus a 32nd note - are actually played in compound time (and sometimes they're not). Keep an ear open for them - you'll find it quite obvious, but easy to doubt yourself if you don't know.
      -- Formerly known as CalumII


      • #4
        Re: Learning online for drumming noobs

        OK.. thanks for that heads up. Honestly, as a French horn player in an orchestra, I had to look some of that up so it made sense! Like a triplet, we'd say. ;-) I'm glad you mentioned that. It's a different world. I'll keep an open eye. Thanks!


        • #5
          Re: Learning online for drumming noobs

          Another note... I like a challenge. I am finding there is far more going on in this "drumming thing" than I ever knew. ;-) IE: Velocity vs Weight. Moeller approach.
          Last edited by Shantyboat; 12-23-2018, 02:57 PM.


          • #6
            Re: Learning online for drumming noobs

            Great attitude!
            Are you getting any in-person lessons? My snares work with someone over skype and it really helps, but the video lesson sometimes miss things that would be picked up in person.
            Remember: constant correct repetition is the key (for any instrument!)



            • #7
              Re: Learning online for drumming noobs

              Thanks, Matthew. I start group lessons on January 16th. I'm looking forward to those!


              • #8
                Re: Learning online for drumming noobs

                Still enjoying my online lessons. Making progress, though it stalls out a bit now and then. Not much traffic or other comments here, so won't post much more.


                • #9
                  Re: Learning online for drumming noobs

                  Originally posted by Shantyboat View Post
                  ...I start group lessons on January 16th. I'm looking forward to those!
                  Are these on Rhythm Monster too?
                  Do keep up the updates if you can - they are useful insights!


                  • #10
                    Re: Learning online for drumming noobs

                    Please keep the updates coming!

                    I'm considering signing up for Rhythm Monster lessons. I'm a piper looking to build some drumming "street cred" by learning the snare. Figure it can't hurt to try new things (or can it?).


                    • #11
                      Re: Learning online for drumming noobs

                      I sat in with our snares for a lesson yesterday, and one thing that I have to work hard at is grouping movements that span over a beat. For instance, a 1 beat 11 buzz stroke with an eighth note stroke on beat 2. I would separate those two based on measure beats, but the instructor specifically said 'buzz-buzz-buzz-buzz-buzz-tap-tap' as one movement..
                      What helps me the most is playing the scores with the pipe tune they are written for..



                      • #12
                        Re: Learning online for drumming noobs

                        Great. Will do!

                        Latest: I had been struggling a bit with buzz rolls...but...

                        What a Difference a Day Makes

                        I feel good about my Buzz Stroke progress! I’d been feeling rather clumsy and slow for a bit, and ending up taking a couple of days off. That cold wasn’t helping either.

                        About five minutes into my return today it all fell into place. Buzz. Buzz. Buzz. Both hands! For some reason, a drum roll or buzz seems like real progress, more than the tap, tap, tap of previous exercises. I do understand progress on those “taps” lead to progress on the buzz roll, but this feels like a big step forward, emotionally. This is starting to feel like “real” drumming.

                        For any future challenges on this journey I need to remember that progress isn’t a steady line. Recognizable progress can come in fits and starts sometimes.

                        Online Lessons

                        Life is busy. Work. Family. Getting the car in for service. Doing my lessons online allows me to take my lesson on MY schedule. 7:13 pm on a Tuesday? No problem.

                        Also, my teacher, Michael, is willing to repeat everything he says during each lesson, in effect. I just play the same lesson video again. I’ve done that a lot of times.

                        Now, how is his arm moving on this skill exercise again? Watch the video again and really focus in on that.

                        My wife mentioned to me the other day that she is impressed by how “good” I’ve been at practicing my studies. As she said that I thought, yeah, I HAVE been pretty good about it. This really is fun.

                        Seize the Day

                        I just found out my brother-in-law has an inoperable brain tumor. Such bad news for a really good guy. Count your blessings and go ahead and do your dreams. If not today, soon.

                        Seattle,Wa. - USA


                        • #13
                          Re: Learning online for drumming noobs

                          Well, I disappeared for a while. Life, including a seriously bad cold, kept me away from here, and from the drums to some extent.

                          Quick summary. I am a 61-year-old Scottish Side Drum noob. I have been learning through Rhythm-monster.com and have now had two hour-long sessions with a local pipe band, the Keith Highlanders in Bellevue/Medina, Washington.

                          With the band, we are starting with the basics, moving into how the basics become the Highland Swing. Great teacher. Enthusiastic. Supportive. Good guy, and an equally nice fellow student. I am the oldest of the three. There is also another drummer noob group made up of three little kids. Bless them, love them, but I am also glad we work apart. Being honest.

                          Rhythm-Monster.com Well, I was really in a good place to start live lessons given my introduction through RM. I'd used the online lessons to work past the awkward/uncontrollable left hand. It isn't controlled now, exactly, but close. ;-)

                          I just did a page of exercise for the live band, and am heading into to do the next lesson on RM. They merge together really well. I am sure you could do one or the other just fine. Each would work. I am sold on the RM lessons. But having both is really nice.

                          So far so good.

                          RM asked if I could share a few blog posts about my learning, so you may see more in-depth notes there.



                          • #14
                            Re: Learning online for drumming noobs

                            Bumping this thread... any updates Shantyboat?

                            I've signed up for RM online lessons, and have completed the first few "modules". The videos are pretty good, with a solid foundation in both technique and theory. They seem to be geared a little towards the younger demographic (lots of cutesy pop up things going on), but overall a decent tutor.

                            I'm going to supplement what I have learned from RM with some actual "live" instruction from a local band, to make sure I'm not starting with any bad habits.
                            Last edited by Elizur Wright; 10-14-2019, 10:28 AM.


                            • #15
                              Re: Learning online for drumming noobs

                              I can't recommend Rhythm Monster enough. Even though I have a background in music, I'm fairly new to drumming and totally new to Scottish drumming. Rhythm Monster has done an amazing job of getting me up to speed over the past three months. Went to my first live clinic this week and was at a very good playing level, especially for my lack of pipe band experience. There is a ton of content on RM, from the various instructor series to score breakdowns and Pad Lab. Again, I can't recommend it enough. Best $20/month I ever spent.