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Old 10-18-2007, 05:54 AM
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Joker63 Joker63 is offline
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My son is learning drums

Hello all,

I live in Australia. My son is eight and decided he wanted to learn drums. He is generally a bit shy, so my wife and I am keen to encourage him to learn a musical instrument. Drums should be fun for him to learn, and give him a good instrument to play in a band later on.

We are lucky enough to have found him a good teacher, quite young but seems to know his stuff and is very good with the kids (he also teaches our daughter violin).
We also bought him a set of drums. Fairly basic beginners set - the kind most music stores sell as a 'first drum kit'. It has bass, three toms (one floor), snare, Hi-hat and rider.
Tom (my son) is going very well, picked up a couple of beats very quickly. We just bumped into a problem - Tom is left-handed and got quite upset when asked to learn a new beat that had him starting with his right hand "I'm left handed". He is adamant he needs to play left-handed. Ironically he learnt a fun drum roll that starts with the right hand.
My first question - should we set his drums up left-handed? just swap hi-hat with rider, teach him 'open handed for a lefty'? Any advice would be welcome. He uses his teachers set when at his lessons - so there may be problems here if he has to rearrange the drums for all Tom's lessons.

I have joined Drum Set Connect as it seems an ideal place to find information to help Tom learn the drums whilst having fun.
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Old 10-18-2007, 06:12 PM
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Re: My son is learning drums

Well, usually with a lefty the drums are set up opposite from a right handed kit, with the hi-hat on the right of the bass drum. Then the sticking is inverted where R becomes L and so on. In my experience, being left handed can be a total advantage. I'm right handed, but one of my instructors was left handed and he played a open handed style. Meaning he did not cross his arms when he played the hi-hat and he played the bass drum with his right foot not his left. He was left handed and built up his right hand and became completely ambidextrous on the drums. He would switch the sticking in patterns, leading with the left or the right hand. If you check out some videos from Simon Phillips and Carter Beauford they play open handed all the time. It also seems that left handed players "take" to open handed playing better that right handed players. So that can be a total advantage, so you might want to talk to his instructor or maybe find a drum teacher in you area that teaches that style. If you google "open handed drumming" or check out Open handed drumming from wikipedia you'll understand what I mean.
Good luck....

Last edited by Patknives; 10-18-2007 at 06:20 PM..
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Old 10-18-2007, 06:19 PM
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Re: My son is learning drums

Crap..... after reading you post I remembered something.

"Drums should be fun for him to learn, and give him a good instrument to play in a band later on."

If he plays in high school marching band, He's going to have to play right hand lead because every one on the drum line plays the same sticking. So watch out for that when he gets older. He going to have to get used to that little right handed lead roll
if he wants to play any corps stuff.
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Old 10-19-2007, 08:21 AM
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Re: My son is learning drums


thanks for the replies and advice. I think we will reverse his kit (that is set up for left-handed). I think his teacher is good enough to work with this. Re-arranging his (the teachers) durm kit for lessons may be a hassle.

I don't see him playing in a high school marching band. We live in Australia and we don't seem to have many high school marching bands; so at least he won't have to worry about this. Thanks for taking the time to add the secondn post though, all advice is very welcome.

I have read a little bit about open-handed drumming. Just wasn't sure if that meant reversing the complete kit or not.

thanks again,

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Old 01-27-2010, 09:39 AM
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Re: My son is learning drums

I also started when I was 8, I'm 58 now and been having lots of fun with it.

My son is also a lefty, but he has been comfortable playing righty setup. If he's comfortable with the setup, then let it be which ever suits him well.

Getting him started with a good instructor is the best way as long as the instruct doesn't have bad habits to pass on. I didn't have that luxury growing up, so your son is lucky to have great parents as yourselves.

As for the drum kit, something durable for it is an investment in your son's education for the long run.

I'm sure Mr. Skinslapper may have some reference in this department for ya. He's from your neck of the woods.

Good Luck to you and your son with this venture and Happy Drumming.
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Old 01-27-2010, 03:54 PM
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Re: My son is learning drums

I also took lessons for 12 years and now I play and give lessons, and that was 43 years ago. If your son's teacher refuses to re-arrange the set start looking for a new teacher.At the ripe old age of 8 your son shouldn't have to use two different set-ups, all he has to do is take 5 minutes out to re-arrange it's not a big deal.Is your son using a Rubber practice pad ? He should any good teacher would start him out on that, that's what you use to learn your Rudiments on and build hand and wrist strength.If you have any ques. just ask I'll be glad to help you out.
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Old 05-06-2010, 10:09 AM
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RUDE drummer RUDE drummer is offline
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Re: My son is learning drums

I'm right handed and started playing on a lefty kit because my brother is a lefty and he got his kit before me. I play mostly open handed, but I cross it up as well, and it works to my advantage sometimes. I'm in a Deathcore/Black Metal (weird combo, right?) band and when i cross over from one to the other I leave out a snare hit or hi hat hit and get on the other side of the beat and it gives the song a totally different sound, which can be applied to any genre. But back to the drum teacher thing, like Slingerland said, it only takes a few minutes to switch the kit to a lefty and it isnt that big of a deal.
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Old 05-06-2010, 06:53 PM
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deanc54 deanc54 is offline
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Re: My son is learning drums

Hey Joker63!

Welcome to the forum! I am left handed, a drummer, and can play both open hand and cross stick/arm style. I first started cross arm, and it is the most comfortable way for me to play. I have to agree with Slingerland, rearranging the kit really only takes about 5 minutes. Bascially, all you have to do is move the snare, hat and floor tom opposite of the right hand set up. Some swap the mounted toms so you can get a good roll going. When I take lessons, I always have to swap my insructors student kit around, and there really is nothing to it. My advice is to let him develope his own style and play the configuration that is most comfortable for him. Trying to make a lefty conform to the right handers world is just wrong. It is a frustrating thing when someone insists that you must learn how to do it right handed, and may make his experience less than it could be. Also (and this may sound a bit selfish) for the right handers that you don't want messing around with your new drumset you can just say 'well they are set up for left handed play, and I don't want to change them over right now'. I'm probably going to get a lot of flack from other members on this site for this but I have a huge amount of money invested in my set, and I would like them to stay as pristine as they can be for as long as possible. Real experienced players..no problem, but there are those out there who don't have a clue how to play, have never picked up the sticks, and just want to bang away attempting to play like Portnoy or Peart..they can't.
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