Practice: How much time and where?

I get asked frequently how often and how much should one practice?  It's a great question, and I think hidden beneath it is the thought of, how much time will it take for me to get "good" on the drums?  In this age of instant gratification, it's tempting to think that there is some quick way to become "good" on an instrument, or really at anything.  But skill is something that is achieved through repetition and experience.  No matter how focused you are in your practice sessions and clear on the goals you are trying to achieve, it takes time and patience to get good AT ANYTHING.  So my short answer is - if this is something you want to do, then start doing it. 

More specifically, because drumming is a learned skill, you become better through repetition of exercises - which constitutes the need to practice. You'll find that your drumming skill gets better the more time you are able to spend working on it.  I usually recommend 15 -30 minutes of practice, every other day for the beginning drummer, to start with.  However, with that said - if you feel motivated to practice more, by all means go for it!  
 
Starting out - if we begin on snare drum only - you can practice at home on a practice pad (if you don't already own one, I can recommend several brands for you to try).  When you progress to playing drum set - there are several options:  you can get a drum set practice pad - which is relatively silent, or you can get an electronic drum kit, which allows you to play with headphones or through an amp, so that you can control your volume (I can also recommend several brands for you to check out).  With an acoustic set, you'll have the most noise to deal with, and so finding a dedicated space within your home or garage becomes more of an issue.  
 
If you do not have the space at home to practice, I encourage students to check locally for practice spaces - some places allow you to rent by the month and you can set up your drums in the space and play as loud as you need to, with out the fear of bothering your neighbors. There are also some drum and music stores that have dedicated practice spaces you can rent on an hourly basis that come furnished with a drum set, so that you can practice without having to bring any of your own equipment.
 
If you have further questions about setting up a custom practice routine that works with your schedule, or would like to set up a time to take drum lessons - by all means please feel free to get in touch and I'll be glad to talk with you more! 
 
 

The Best Age to Learn Drums?

Recently, I received an email asking what the best age was to learn drums.  Below is an excerpt from the answer I gave, I hope that it is helpful and if you have any thoughts or further questions, please consider contacting me via my Contact Form.  Thanks for reading! 

I typically say the best age to learn drums is between age 9 and 13.  However, I currently teach students as young as 5 and as old as 50 and age alone is not an indicator of success in learning drums.

Success in learning a skill such as drumming will come from disciplined (i.e. regular and focused) practice, and a sense of self-motivation.  If those qualities are present, age doesn't matter.  I've found that many younger students are more interested in exploration and "play" and are not yet self-motivated enough to put in the work necessary to practice on a regular basis.  I think this sense of exploration is important in one's learning process, but can be done without the aid of a teacher (although I'm well equipped and experienced to aid in this area as well).  Often this exploration can bring about a memorable bonding experience between parent and child.  Group classes such as Kindermusik and Music Together as well as community drum circles can help foster the joy of music and the sense of play. 

For many of my younger students, I usually suggest to the parent that we do a few lessons and see how it goes.  Ultimately I want what is best for the child and I want my students to enjoy the learning process. 

It is difficult to know if we'll be successful at something until we give it a try.  I suggest if you or your child is showing interest in learning drums please feel free to contact me, sign up for a lesson and see what you think!