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Drums- How to build interest in kids 7 and 13

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#1
Tigerdrummer

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Ok I'm the grandpa of these guys and they want to beat on my kit.  Thats ok to a point but do they want to learn drums and play? What is a good way to get them started? Find a DVD for kids?  If so which? Some simple exercises? I'm thinking practice pad to start and  see if there is some affinity for this before I give them a kit.  Maybe milestones to get for snare, hat etc.  I have flexibility here and will support some learning and work ethic.  I just dont want to give them a set and turn them lose to teach themselves. I also see this as a potential bonding opportunity.  Thanks for suggestions and ideas as always.      


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#2
Rockin' Billy

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Find out if they really have interest to learn.


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#3
dtk

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There are two reasons I think people get hooked to learn

1) they love music and they want to make some

2) they see it as a challenge (I knew a keyboard player who didn't feel music as much as dissect it) to be mastered

 

I think if the kids are lacking either of these then the only hope I see is to convince them that its good cross training for something they are interested in (baseball, math team, chess?).

 

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#4
wayne

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Most kids are curious in the beginning as expected, and many will continue to show interest, some will quit right away. I think the focus should be on how to keep them interested, which would be through a good teacher who can relate to them. Many teachers have a lot of trouble with youth, so shop around and good luck.


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#5
bigbonzo

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My personal experience is my fiance's daughter. 

 

About four years ago we found her playing (not very well, mind you) on one of my sets, which are at my fiance's place.  We asked her if she wanted to take lesson and really learn to play drums.  She said, "yes".  Well, we watched her for a while and she really seemed as though she wanted to learn.

 

So, my finance signed her up for lessons and she's been taking lessons and playing since.

 

She is currently in China visiting her grandparents, and grandma told my fiance that they had signed her up for lessons, and will be playing with a band at a recital.  I am so excited, since this will be her first time playing with a band, and can't wait to see a video.


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#6
snappy

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Buy a $200 drum set.
They are NOT interested in a practice pad.
Booooring.
They want to make noise.
Yes, hire a GOOD teacher
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#7
dcrigger

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I was going to write just the opposite...

Pull out at practice pad or two - and see if there's any interest in what you are able to do on that pad....

 

... because THAT'S playing drums...

The rest is mainly about "making noise" - interesting for about 15 minutes... but not at all challenging. 

I'm not saying that the desire to sit behind a kit isn't a motivator... but if it's the only motivator without any interest or fascination with the process, it's kind of a moot point...

Virtually every kid is drawn to go BONK BONK BONK on the drums

Most all of those kids can even learn to play a "boom tap boom boom tap" rock beat - yes, almost all of them.

After that the numbers really shrink... :-)


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#8
chollyred

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I dunno. Some kids just don't have the interest. I've tried to get my grand kids interested in drums and guitar. That interest lasts about 2 minutes. 

 

When I was a little kid, I had an older cousin that played drums in a band. As soon as I saw his kit, I wanted to play. My parents started me off with a snare drum and a rudiment book. I'd spend hours down in the basement learning to read the sticking of the rudiments. Since I stuck with it, about two years later they bought me a kit (J.C. Penney). I played along with records for hours and was sitting in with bands by the time I was 10. 

 

If my grand kids can't do it in 10 minutes, they give up. I thought for a while that the Rock Band video game was going to kick off some interest, but I think a real instrument was just too much work. 

 

I hope yours wake up better than mine. My 24 year old has a bass and amp, and his roommate is a monster guitar player, but I'm not sure if even that has taken hold yet. 


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#9
snappy

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I was going to write just the opposite...

Pull out at practice pad or two - and see if there's any interest in what you are able to do on that pad....

... because THAT'S playing drums...

The rest is mainly about "making noise" - interesting for about 15 minutes... but not at all challenging.

I'm not saying that the desire to sit behind a kit isn't a motivator... but if it's the only motivator without any interest or fascination with the process, it's kind of a moot point...

Virtually every kid is drawn to go BONK BONK BONK on the drums

Most all of those kids can even learn to play a "boom tap boom boom tap" rock beat - yes, almost all of them.

After that the numbers really shrink... :-)

"Any interest in what you are able to do with that pad"
What do you have your students do the first time on the pad?

Edited by snappy, 13 July 2018 - 05:21 PM.

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#10
Castnblast

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Just IMO

it is a bonding opportunity for sure.... which is way more important than drums, so make sure you don’t shuffle them off to lessons with a stranger.

And only if give them a pad if you want them to take up guitar.

Encourage them to hang out with you and let them play your drums anytime they want. Crank up whatever music they like and let them hack away and resist the natural urge to correct them. Laugh and have fun. Then put on the music you like, and you play along.
That will encourage them, and create bonds.

Set up a jam with some friends, and get the kids over. Give them some hand percussion instruments so they can get involved.
I think as parents / grandparents, at times we try too hard to teach and correct, and then miss the magic moments that are right in front of us.
Good luck and have fun!
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#11
Sinclair

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Like Dave said. My dad bought me a practice pad on a cymbal stand and sticks first. I remember being thriller beyond belief. He then arranged for a few lessons to see if the thrill continued and find out if I'd actually practice. As I recall by the end of the year I had my first kit. A silver sparkle Ludwig. Still play the Keystone Supra and WFL bd pedal that came with it.

 

Pad first to get simple basics. If interest continues notify the neighbors, you're screwed grandpa. ;-)


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#12
dcrigger

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I was going to write just the opposite...

Pull out at practice pad or two - and see if there's any interest in what you are able to do on that pad....

... because THAT'S playing drums...

The rest is mainly about "making noise" - interesting for about 15 minutes... but not at all challenging.

I'm not saying that the desire to sit behind a kit isn't a motivator... but if it's the only motivator without any interest or fascination with the process, it's kind of a moot point...

Virtually every kid is drawn to go BONK BONK BONK on the drums

Most all of those kids can even learn to play a "boom tap boom boom tap" rock beat - yes, almost all of them.

After that the numbers really shrink... :icon_smile:

"Any interest in what you are able to do with that pad"
What do you have your students do the first time on the pad?

 

 

 

By writing "students", this to me means we've gone past the "Grandpa can I play (hit) your drums?" and past the obligatory "Can you show something?" adventure of trying "boom tap boom tap" with 1/8ths on the hit. Again almost anyone can learn to do that - like learning Chopsticks on the piano.

But conquering Chopsticks isn't embarking on learning to play the piano - it's just learning a trick... a bit of fluff... that really doesn't set up any path for improvement at all.

Same thing with a 5, 8 or 11 year old learning "boom tap boom boom tap".

Not saying that we all didn't "learn" it first - but it is not a foundational skill - not learned by simple rote like that...

So for that first real lesson what do I do?

For a stone beginner... I need show them a the basic grip and stroke - and let them start to experience the motion of simple alternating strokes... R L  R  L  R  L  etc.  Teach them to listen for the evenness of those strokes - both in timing and volume.

Then (assuming no musical training) we're on to counting and the basic rhythmic grid of whole, half, quarter, 1/8th, 1/16th and 32nd notes.  We're not going to play all of those - just understand the "lay of the land"... 

Basically - it's starting going through Haskell Hair Book One.

I personally don't believe that trying to learn to play the drums by learning a beat... and then another beat... and on and on... is in any way effective (to the degree that it is even possible). It's molasses slow and ultimately limiting and frustrating. 

So I don't... won't do it... First off, because there's no need for a teacher with that approach... in fact, it could actually slow things down more... because one of the advantage of self teaching is the time spent "figuring stuff out" - so why would I want to short change that process (that is already way slow enough).

It's been more than 50 years since my first lesson and I can vividly recall that first explanation of how rhythm works - and to this days can close my eyes and see that diagram of the whole note on top of the half notes, on top of the 1/4 notes... etc. - just like it was yesterday.

Truly foundational stuff.

And most kids aren't going to get being interested in all of that - which is fine. Because most aren't really interested in actually learning to play the drums - they just want to goof around with them a bit till, until it gets boring (which won't take long) and then move on to something else.


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#13
wayne

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David....well said. Letting a kid "goof off" is an indicator to me that they are at least interested to begin with. Boom/ tap as you state is simple, almost as natural as walking; LRLRLR,thats why its easy.

I give it some time to see if they try to expand on that by doing as you say, something with a little more thought.

We learn the alphabet first before we can read, and we know there are many levels of reading skills determined by how you learn, and even if you like to read, There are many who can, but choose not to.

No sense jumping into deep water before you learn to swim.


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#14
mfryed2112

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They either wanna be peter criss or they don't. That's how it was for me, I have now played drums for 46 years
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#15
JazzDrumGuy

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Started around age 10 because I wanted to be the guy in Motley Crue. Obviously now I don't want to be Tommy Lee but between that and listening to classic rock as a kid I just knew I wanted to play drums. Sadly, I've never had formal lessons so I do suck. However, I've been playing for 35 years, been in bands, recorded albums, and had of a hell of a ride. My 10 year old has no interest in drums but my six-year-old likes to just sit down and bash around. I think you should let him play your kid and it's too early for lessons. If they want to play all the time or they want to jam with you, maybe you take it to the next level.
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#16
GeneZ

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Buy a $200 drum set.
They are NOT interested in a practice pad.
Booooring.
They want to make noise.
Yes, hire a GOOD teacher

 

That's how they find out too late if they are really interested....  If they are really interested a practice pad will prove it.

 

First hire a teacher and get the pad and sticks.   I saw too many "rich boys" have sets given to them and they went nowhere.

 

I really wanted to learn. My dad must have known it.   He was a swing era musician and it ran in the family.  He set the rules.  First take lessons ... My dad knew a friend who teaches. 

 

I must have taken about six months lessons when he spoke with my drum teacher when my dad came to pick me up after a lesson.  

 

"Sam,  do you think he is ready?"   "Yes, Jack... I think he is"

 

Not long after that discussion I found myself getting into the car as my dad drove to Manny's in NYC.. He spent about  half hour upstairs talking with a salesman.  I never saw the sale take place. He got me a simple (but beautiful sounding) Ludwig (black lacquered) set.   20" bass drum.  16x16 floor tom.   Supersonic (brass) snare... beginners ride,  and hi hats. 

 

Then my dad told me...  That's all you get.  You work for the rest. ...................  And,  I gladly did! 

 

I noticed that the rich kids who's parents flat out bought them nice sets from the onset went nowhere.  And, I'll tell you.  My dad could have easily bought me one of  the finest set made at that time.  He was smart.  He played trumpet and violin.. Had been professional musician during the swing era. 

 

If they want to learn?  Don't crack the shell so the chick can get out easier.  It can kill them if you do. Get lessons first.  If you do buy a set (before lessons) it can discourage them.  Because they are going to suck when they first start out no matter how good they could be later on.  They gotta show they want to really learn first. Lessons sets your priorities...   Unless you simply want to be a pounder.

 

That's my opinion, of course. 

 

I sucked the first days I sat behind the set..  But, I had confidence from having learned my lessons well.   Later on, I became one of the top drummers in my area.  But, I believe if my dad had gotten me a real nice set ... without any foundation?  I may have quite while I sucked and lost interest like the others I witnessed to.  

 

Don't crack the shell for them.  The struggle to get out is what proves them.

 

A chick needs to break out of the shell of its egg. Other wise he can be a frustrated musician all its life.  

 

Anyone who really wants to play he/she will be more than willing to work for it.

 

emo32.gif


Edited by GeneZ, 14 July 2018 - 02:30 PM.

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#17
snappy

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I was going to write just the opposite...

Pull out at practice pad or two - and see if there's any interest in what you are able to do on that pad....

... because THAT'S playing drums...

The rest is mainly about "making noise" - interesting for about 15 minutes... but not at all challenging.

I'm not saying that the desire to sit behind a kit isn't a motivator... but if it's the only motivator without any interest or fascination with the process, it's kind of a moot point...

Virtually every kid is drawn to go BONK BONK BONK on the drums

Most all of those kids can even learn to play a "boom tap boom boom tap" rock beat - yes, almost all of them.

After that the numbers really shrink... :icon_smile:

"Any interest in what you are able to do with that pad"
What do you have your students do the first time on the pad?
By writing "students", this to me means we've gone past the "Grandpa can I play (hit) your drums?" and past the obligatory "Can you show something?" adventure of trying "boom tap boom tap" with 1/8ths on the hit. Again almost anyone can learn to do that - like learning Chopsticks on the piano.

But conquering Chopsticks isn't embarking on learning to play the piano - it's just learning a trick... a bit of fluff... that really doesn't set up any path for improvement at all.

Same thing with a 5, 8 or 11 year old learning "boom tap boom boom tap".

Not saying that we all didn't "learn" it first - but it is not a foundational skill - not learned by simple rote like that...

So for that first real lesson what do I do?

For a stone beginner... I need show them a the basic grip and stroke - and let them start to experience the motion of simple alternating strokes... R L R L R L etc. Teach them to listen for the evenness of those strokes - both in timing and volume.

Then (assuming no musical training) we're on to counting and the basic rhythmic grid of whole, half, quarter, 1/8th, 1/16th and 32nd notes. We're not going to play all of those - just understand the "lay of the land"...

Basically - it's starting going through Haskell Hair Book One.

I personally don't believe that trying to learn to play the drums by learning a beat... and then another beat... and on and on... is in any way effective (to the degree that it is even possible). It's molasses slow and ultimately limiting and frustrating.

So I don't... won't do it... First off, because there's no need for a teacher with that approach... in fact, it could actually slow things down more... because one of the advantage of self teaching is the time spent "figuring stuff out" - so why would I want to short change that process (that is already way slow enough).

It's been more than 50 years since my first lesson and I can vividly recall that first explanation of how rhythm works - and to this days can close my eyes and see that diagram of the whole note on top of the half notes, on top of the 1/4 notes... etc. - just like it was yesterday.

Truly foundational stuff.

And most kids aren't going to get being interested in all of that - which is fine. Because most aren't really interested in actually learning to play the drums - they just want to goof around with them a bit till, until it gets boring (which won't take long) and then move on to something else.
"Most aren't really interested in learning to play the drums"
Teachers fault-wasn't made interesting.
"Goof around until it gets boring-which won't take long"
Teachers fault it was boring
"I personally don't believe learning a beat, then learning another is in any way effective or to a degree even possible"
Teachers fault-should have been thought through
"Pull out a practice pad because THATS playing drums"
Let them hit the drum(s)-they want to make noise (I did not say random, wild nonsense)
"Most kids can go boom tap boom boom tap but after that the numbers really shrink"
Teachers fault

I am glad you are coming to the discussion as a successful teacher of many years that has kept your students for long periods of time.
To me the whole graduating from pad to snare to set smacks of power and control issues.
You make it sound like that process works for the kids whose dream is soley in your hands. For the children I am happy. Congrats.
All it takes is one clueless teacher and it can sour kids forever.
We both have our opinions and that is fine.
I wish you continued success.
I am not going debate pedagogy philosophies.
These conversations go round n round.
It is 99% on teacher. Not the kids.

Edited by snappy, 14 July 2018 - 05:39 PM.

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#18
snappy

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Buy a $200 drum set.
They are NOT interested in a practice pad.
Booooring.
They want to make noise.
Yes, hire a GOOD teacher

That's how they find out too late if they are really interested.... If they are really interested a practice pad will prove it.

First hire a teacher and get the pad and sticks. I saw too many "rich boys" have sets given to them and they went nowhere.

I really wanted to learn. My dad must have known it. He was a swing era musician and it ran in the family. He set the rules. First take lessons ... My dad knew a friend who teaches.

I must have taken about six months lessons when he spoke with my drum teacher when my dad came to pick me up after a lesson.

"Sam, do you think he is ready?" "Yes, Jack... I think he is"

Not long after that discussion I found myself getting into the car as my dad drove to Manny's in NYC.. He spent about half hour upstairs talking with a salesman. I never saw the sale take place. He got me a simple (but beautiful sounding) Ludwig (black lacquered) set. 20" bass drum. 16x16 floor tom. Supersonic (brass) snare... beginners ride, and hi hats.

Then my dad told me... That's all you get. You work for the rest. ................... And, I gladly did!

I noticed that the rich kids who's parents flat out bought them nice sets from the onset went nowhere. And, I'll tell you. My dad could have easily bought me one of the finest set made at that time. He was smart. He played trumpet and violin.. Had been professional musician during the swing era.

If they want to learn? Don't crack the shell so the chick can get out easier. It can kill them if you do. Get lessons first. If you do buy a set (before lessons) it can discourage them. Because they are going to suck when they first start out no matter how good they could be later on. They gotta show they want to really learn first. Lessons sets your priorities... Unless you simply want to be a pounder.

That's my opinion, of course.

I sucked the first days I sat behind the set.. But, I had confidence from having learned my lessons well. Later on, I became one of the top drummers in my area. But, I believe if my dad had gotten me a real nice set ... without any foundation? I may have quite while I sucked and lost interest like the others I witnessed to.

Don't crack the shell for them. The struggle to get out is what proves them.

A chick needs to break out of the shell of its egg. Other wise he can be a frustrated musician all its life.

Anyone who really wants to play he/she will be more than willing to work for it.



emo32.gif

Gene, to me waiting to buy a set
is a good way to find out too late...
Keeping them on the pad too long -which never entered their mind when they decided they want to play drums- may lead them so say "poop on this".
For $200 you can resell it.

I wish we knew whether or not the rich kids you knew that got a drum set had parents that took the time to find the right teacher.
I am going to guess the answer is No.
60% of private music teachers have no business being in the profession.
Furthering your chick and egg scenario:
Don't make the shell too thick or frustration may lead to quitting.
We disagree on some aspects of how to successfully teach children
and not simply
what we individually experienced as children and with only one way to view things.
Its 99% on the teacher.

Edited by snappy, 14 July 2018 - 05:20 PM.

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#19
snappy

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Just IMO

it is a bonding opportunity for sure.... which is way more important than drums, so make sure you don’t shuffle them off to lessons with a stranger.

And only if give them a pad if you want them to take up guitar.

Encourage them to hang out with you and let them play your drums anytime they want. Crank up whatever music they like and let them hack away and resist the natural urge to correct them. Laugh and have fun. Then put on the music you like, and you play along.
That will encourage them, and create bonds.

Set up a jam with some friends, and get the kids over. Give them some hand percussion instruments so they can get involved.
I think as parents / grandparents, at times we try too hard to teach and correct, and then miss the magic moments that are right in front of us.
Good luck and have fun!

"As parents/grandparents we try to hard to teach and correct and miss the magic"
Correct.
A lot of common sense in your post.
I respectfully disagree with your thought of sending them off to a stranger.
That is what they need.
Find someone highly qualified-not easy. A degree in teaching means little without years of being in the fire so don't base it soley on their university education.
***You (the collective "you") are dad or grandpa or uncle and that's the light they will see you in.
Many great players can't teach.
Playing an instrument
and
Teaching an instrument
are two completely different skills.

Edited by snappy, 14 July 2018 - 05:38 PM.

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#20
burgundy

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i'm an old timer, played country for 40 some years, half as a pro.   had a grandson who showed some interest, I showed him a little, gave him a set of tama I was not using,  took him to a fair I was playing, when all done the captain handed me $100. bill,  sons eyes got big , you get paid for playing?   his mom signed him up for lessons,  been at it couple years, can read, playing mostly metal, left me in the dust!


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