1. Do I Have to Learn Rudiments to Become a Good Drummer?
Answer – Yes!! (next question)
Just kidding. Let’s explore this question.

If I hadn’t taken drum lessons and learned rudiments I would not be where I am today as a drummer!
Rudiments mastered and played well are the backbone of good drumming. Rudiments or if you like (different ways of sticking) practiced regularly will strengthen your hands, fingers and muscles, not to mention having an impact on your brain than can release endorphins and cause a feeling of happiness. Now that’s some bonus offer!
Applying just one rudiment to a basic set of drums consisting of hi-hat, snare, small tom, floor tom ride cymbal etc. can offer you a whole range of sounds. The beauty of this is that it’s your creative process. Imagine the possibilities of applying whole range of rudiments to the set. Wow!!…a lot going on! You could become a good drummer by just watching other drummers but you would be applying rudiments as you copied their performance.
One of my favourite practice routines is taking a rudiment such as a Para-diddle or Double Para-diddle and finding a song that fits the rhythm and playing along for three or so minutes of the song just practicing the rudiment. This makes my practicing more fun and the song acts like a metronome making me keep good time. This technique is great for making your practice fun.

2. How Many Hours of Practice will it take to Become a Good Drummer?
answer – How long is a piece of string and if so why?

it’s isn’t an easy question because first we need to define what is “a good drummer?” To me that would mean a drummer who can play, rock, swing, jazz and Latin. He or She would also be able to read and play a drum chart put in front of them and have a good “feel” for the instrument. Someone once said it takes 1,000 hours to become good at anything. That is probably a good place to start for playing drums. So if you put in an hour a day, you’re looking at 3 years of work. But what if you put in 4 hours a day? That would be about a year then. Sounds a bit easier to take, right? Le me tell you that you’ll have to have one heckofa dedication to drums to do 4 hours a day diligently. That’s because you’re forcing your mind to concentrate, and it just wants to have fun and look around at other things to do… Sound familiar?
All the great drummers didn’t get where they are in a year or two or even ten years. Learning to play drums is a process not a timeline. “Life is a journey not a destination” this also applies to drums. I have often mentioned that if you are serious you have to treat drumming like the “business” of drumming. Start with taking drum lessons with some one who cares about your progress, (me for example… just had to slip that plug in), so you can avoid bad habits and poor technique. Watch out for drum teachers who just stick a drum book in front of you week after week but don’t teach you what you have to know on the gig.
practice regularly and have a daily log of you’re progress; read everything you find on drumming; talk to other drummers; watch other drummers. Make it your life’s work if you want to rise above. Remember “there’s lot’s of room at the top…It’s the bottom that’s crowded”.

3. Is There One Big Secret to Learning to Play Drums like a Pro.?
First of all there are no “secrets” that I know. The world of drumming is to big to hide anything. Now if you asked (is there one technique about playing drums that would stand out from all the others?) I would say “Yes there is!” When we start to learn drums (as I see all the time with new drummers) we often want to play sounds that our brains and our limbs are not capable of performing. Most of my students always try to play faster than they can play. This effort causes tension in the mind and in the limbs. The muscles tighten and the mind struggles, the whole effort is a struggle and it’s…WRONG!

As any good drummer will tell you, the secret (if some insist on calling it that) is to master the art of relaxation as you play. This applies to your body and your mind.. Adopt this strategy for all your practicing and playing. “And most importantly,” I say again “And most importantly.” practice… Slowly and regularly, because when you do it slow you are not stressed and you will master what ever rhythm you do quicker at this slow speed, and also play it better. Speed comes by itself. You cannot help but get faster but don’t start there. Start slow and notice how easier the effort is and watch your progress move ahead faster.

And one last thing to remember…….

“It’s not how well you play that counts…It’s how look while you’re playing! (LOL)
Cheers, Barry

I would still like to have some more students, so please share this post with friends
My deal for creating new students still counts. You send me a student who mentions your name and I will give him or her the first lesson totally free. If they sign up for more than one lesson i will give you or you child a free lesson also.
Reach me at bcasson@speakfilm.com or visit www.drumboy.ca or call 250-721-2113