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I have and idea to take some drum lessons with the goal to learn more about rhythm which I really like.

I think it may be good to take also some homework from the teacher, but the ordinary drum set is kind of scaring me. It seems much better to practice on something that is relatively silent (saving my neighbours) and not so big.

Is it possible to say for the teacher I plan to practice on something like this device, for instance, or some other similar, or maybe other "unobtrusive" learning methods exist? Playing drums just in learning studio would probably not be enough.

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3 Answers 3

up vote 8 down vote accepted

Using a practice pad is common among drummers, and you certainly can learn e.g. hand independence and basic drum patterns without playing on a complete kit. I believe it will be possible to make progress in this way. At some point real kit playing will be more beneficial, but for learning the basics, it will be enough to use a practice pad.

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I think the best would be to get an electronic drum set. It isn't really huge and it isn't really loud. You can use headphones, so no one can listen to what you are playing.

Of course the practice pad would help, but a real drum set would be much much better and would help you develop faster (In my experience).

Does the device that you mentioned have a bass drum? If it doesn't, you won't develop 100% drum skills, because you will need to use a bass drum.

But you can use that device in order to develop some starter skills and see for yourself if you want to continue learning drums.

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What I do is use muffler pads on my drums. They reduce the volume a lot but dont effect the feel of the drums much, although the sound is pretty different.

I also have a practice pad. The major downside to that is that it you can't play it with your feet! So it can be good for doing basic rudiments but really even for those you want to get the feet involved to make them more interesting.

I've just looked at the pad thing you were thinking about getting and I'd recommend ditching the technology/noise making side and going for a good quality pad which is totally quiet - it'll have a more realistic feel which is important for practicing things like double strokes.

To quieten the bass drum I tape a towel/old t-shirt/whatever to it at the point where the beater hits. My drum teacher doesn't approve but I dont find any problems swapping back to a normal setup - you can just adjust the pedal's beater start position back a little to compensate for the head effectively sticking out a couple of inches.

I also sometimes play with old towels on the cymbals, although that has a tendency for the edge of the cymbal + stick to cut through the towels! That also can get in the way more.

I'd also say just embrace the noise a little bit aswell! You need to practice loud at least some of the time otherwise you can't hear what you sound like. You should just play at reasonable times (I always cut off by 9pm) and be respectful of your neighbours.

You can also do things like put a duvet between your kit and the wall and think about what wall of the house you put your kit near/against. I'm in a back to back terrace (with three other houses physically joined on) so I think for me it's best to stick it next to the wall that doesn't have neighbours.

Personally I find the electronic kits feel and sound very strange, although I'm sure you get used to them.

My drum teacher has her kits set up in her cellar and has sound proofed the room.

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