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Introduction - Hearing Protection:

So you just purchased your child a drum set and do not know exactly what to do or how to get them started? Let us help you figure that out and make it an enjoyable experience for you both.

Before your child starts to even hit the drums you need to make sure that you are protecting their hearing. If your child is pressuring you to play the drums then they need to understand that playing the drums requires that they protect their hearing.

There are a variety of different types of ear protection, discussed here are three different types; Foam Ear Plugs, Sound Isolation Ear Plugs and Practice Head Phones.

The foam ear plugs would be the simplest and least expensive type of ear protection. They can be purchased from most retail stores and are usually in the medicine section where sleeping aides are located.

The Sound Isolator Ear Plugs are much better at allowing sound in while limiting the harmful levels that can damage your child's hearing. They are more money then the foam version, but your child's hearing is worth it.

Lastly there are Practice Head Phones which we feel are the best for ear protection. They completely cover the ears and block out the harmful sound levels that can damage hearing. It is important that your child does not play loud music in the head phones because that will be counterproductive for hearing protection. It is natural for drummers to want to hit harder and compensate that by turning the music up louder. This is a good lesson in getting your child to play at a level that is normal in relationship to other musicians that he/she may eventually play with.

Vic Firth Practice Head Phones
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So now that is out of the way, I would just let your child enjoy the drums without any restrictions as long as their hearing is protected. Let them have fun and enjoy being themselves and just "Banging" away at the drums! Do not make them go and play. You will see over time if they continue to play without being asked that they are more likely to continue this behavior later on as they get more involved with drumming.

If your child shows no interest after you buy them the drums then they will probably never want to really learn the instrument or the timing was not right. Many times if a friend or other family member can show them how fun it is then they might pick it up more. Even professional drums get inspired by hearing other drummers and it is a way to motivate while not forcing the issue of practicing.


Finding a Drum Teacher:

So the next thing to consider is getting them into drum lessons if the school does not offer it during band class. Usually the school has a teacher they work with that you can trust on their recommendation. It is always best to talk to the teacher and see if they are a good fit for your child.

You can ask me questions as well because I taught drum lessons for 10 years and had students from 5 years old to 40 years old and also had kids with learning disabilities and physical limitations.

Here are some things to consider and questions to ask when picking your first drum teacher:

1. Does the teacher use books and printed practice material?

2. Which method does the teacher use for holding the drum sticks; Matched Grip or Traditional Grip?

3. Does the teacher use the Drum Rudiments and require students to master them?

4. Does the teacher give the parents good communication about progress and future goals?

5. Does the teacher teach reading music and basic music theory?

6. Does the teacher also relate to your child and make it a fun experience?

There are different levels of teachers so you want to make sure that when your child's teacher thinks it is time to move to the next level they can recommend the next teacher.


Have Fun and Are the drums too loud!?:

There are some great play-a-long CD's that we recommend in the links below. The Turn It Up series are professional played tracks of bass guitar and other instruments. Your child will love to play along with these. We recommend the entire set so your child should understand all styles of drumming.

Turn It Up CD's Recommended by The Drum Experts
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It is great that they have a favorite preference of music, but to be a good player in your favorite style you should learn to play every style with comfort, feel and groove.

Each type of drumming will enhance your child's drumming skills and will naturally help them develop their own sound and style for their most favorite music.

If they have a favorite drummer they will soon realize that those drummers usually love the drummers of the past and listened to them and played along with them. Drummers like Buddy Rich, Gene Krupa and so many others were great influences on all of the rock drummers in the 60's and 70's.

Now for the parents that just can't take the noise level! Make sure the drums are away from the family and not in a place that will make daily life hard to handle. Drums are loud and will get under the skin of anyone that has to listen to them for an extended period of time. There are drum silencers and pads that you can place on the drums and cymbals to cut the noise. (Links above)

HQ Percussion Drum Silencers on eBay
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I think these should be an early addition to the drum set so that your child appreciates the times he/she can play the drums without sound dampeners. These will also protect your child's hearing so a certain of amount of time should be with the pads and then a certain amount of time should be without them.

This is a small article on a large topic which we will slowly get in to more detail in on the web site. As always we welcome your questions and will answer then as quickly as possible.

Thank you!

The Kids Drum Experts

    Some of the drumming products discussed in this article on Ebay:
    Practice Items:       Hearing Protection:
         
         
     
    Drum Along Cd's:    
       

 

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