Hello drummer!! GOOD NEWS! Too many people don't start drumming because they think they need a drum set at home! WRONG! SAD! First of all: your own body is the best percussion there is. Second: ANY OBJECT around you is a drum. Third: if you study with us you will have a place to practice 24/7. Lastly: you do not need a drumkit at home, but you do need other things and they are all neighbours and cost friendly :)
In this page we will help you with information and links to have the best practicing setup and environment for your home and make your drum-journey the easiest and best possible!! To start with, unless you are an alien you need to make practicing simple, fun and effective. ALSO, you need to build a routine. How often do you think you should practice? Yes, you guessed it right: EVERYDAY. Practice should not be painful, it should be one of the best moments of your day. Let's work together to make it that way from now on!
♬ You need a place that looks good, feels good and makes you comfortable and accomplished. Everything is a drum, but aside from playing everything in the house which is so much fun and primordial, don't be superficial, especially in the early stages. A good posture and an organized/professional space will go a long way and it does not need to be expensive!! Love your practicing corner!
Things to get/arrange, further discussed in the posts below:
- Organize a space;
- Carpets & lights;
- Practice Pad (hands);
- Pad Stand;
- Pad Sticks and normal sticks;
- Note Stand + lights and music sheets/accessories;
- Drum Books;
- Bluetooth speaker;
- Practice Pad (feet)
- Single & Double pedals;
- Noise eliminator drum podium;
- Alternative practice setup;
- The power of brushes!
- Why not an electronic drums?
These links are just to get you started, but do your own research and/or go personally to Just Music in Berlin near Moritzplatz (U8). Try things out, look for yourself! In alternative to Amazon you can check out the websites of the different brands directly (i.e. Vic Firth, D'addario, Pro-Mark, XDrum, etc) or have a look here:
(also offers instalments payments)
(free shipping, the biggest online store)
(a Berliner's Must!)
(maybe an auction?)
(put an ad!)
(or other drum-groups on socials)
- local music shops (unfortunately there are not many left anymore)
- ask US if we have anything to give away/sell!
CARPETs & Atmosphere!To start with, you want to select a small area of your apartment/room that you are going to make super pretty and that is going to be your fun and focused practicing corner!! Be proud of it!! Imagine this: friends come visiting you at your place, you show around... yeah yeah yeah and that's the house, BUT... HEY COME CHECK OUT MY BEAUTIFUL PRACTICING LOUNGE!! It needs to be easy to access and with everything (EVERYTHING) ready to use. A place you'd also choose to chill instead of the couch, or even just for a 5 minutes break while cooking or whatever!
START by choosing a little carpet that you like, i.e. Carpet Link
It can be any carpet as long as it does not slip too much.
It would be also nice and appropriate to create a light atmosphere for practicing.
This way you can switch everything else off and just really create a focused area.
I mean we are no lamps experts (Marco just has a light-fetish!) so we will avoid specific links! We usually just put these in the music rooms where we have classes: Lights Link, but for your home we are sure you find better solutions!
Don't undervalue the importance of a good atmosphere to help you reach the right mindset for the topic you are practicing!
Hey, Ho, let's drum!
Ok, so what are we putting on this nice carpet with beautiful lights? NO, we do not suggest to put an electronic drums.
More information on the topic later on. Of course ours are only suggestions, then... you decide what works for YOU! It is fundamental to separate "development of technique" and "applications/discovery of ideas". The first is done on a practice pad, the second is on our wonderful drums!
You will learn more on the subject as we go along with both lessons and P.P.R. sessions!
Anyway, now it's time (even before the carpet), to get your PRACTICE PAD.
Here is the one we would suggest, but... hey most drummers have MANY practice pads because slowly you will totally fall in love with it and will not be able to resist getting more! We are like children!
What we mostly use for home: Evans 12''
Get the one side version, the other is pretty useless and just more costly.
And a few other good quality models:
- Vic Firth 12''
- Meinl-Benny Greb 12''
- Drumeo 12''
- Fastest Drummer Pad (Millennium with integrated metronome! It also have training functionalities including the strokes count: make a world record! Rebound is not as good as the previous pads mentioned, but also not so bad. You can try it in your drum room if you study with us and see if you want to add it to your collection!)
There are lots of other possibilities, for example when we travel we take this along:
- Evans 6''
- Meinl 6''
There are pads to put on your leg, pads that stick on a wall, pads with more resistance and so on and so forth!! I mean, you will see what to put in your practicing playground as time goes along!
Mmmm... now, you don't want to be one of those students that practices in those horrendous positions. Professionals might afford a bit of superficiality, yet they tend not to, ask yourself why? One thing is messing around (which you should of course do all the time), another is proper practice that will give you a better awareness (of your own body - through the tools - onto the instrument). Especially in your first years of drumming, posture, clarity and proper movement is EVERYTHING! You are after all a dancer that learns various choreographies to hit all sorts of objects around you eheh
What do we need now?
A drum-chair (Stool/Throne) adjustable in height and possibly comfortable as you will spend (hopefully) a lot of time on it!! Cost varies as you may imagine! They are not super cheap if you want a good one, but they are totally worth the extra bucks and they will last you a lifetime! Here are some examples of 'ok' ones and good ones. There are so many options, make your research... maybe go to JustMusic in Berlin near Moritzplatz and try directly a few! We are going to exclude the super shitty ones. Look up on "Ebay Kleinanzeigen" or ask in the Facebook group "musicians in berlin" (that group is actually made by a couple of friends of ours from Italy funnily enough! Ahhh those Italians! Everywhere!) as you can with a little luck find second hand (second butt?) very decent one!!
Some possibilities and references:
- Tama, super fancy!
Ok, you might wonder, now I made space for my practicing lounge, I got a carpet I like, an incredible voice-controlled lighting system, I have the coolest practice pad, an adjustable stool... ehm... but where the heck should I position the pad to actually practice?
Eheh! Right! We are missing a VERY important piece of hardware!
THE PAD-STAND which is of course also adjustable in height!
If you got a 12'' inches practice pad, what you need is a snare drum stand:
- XDrum, solid one!
- Pearl, very good one also for a proper snare!
You don't need a crazy good one as the pad is not as heavy as the snare drum.
If you got a 6 inches pad (which we do not suggest for daily practice as it's less stable), then most likely your pad has a little hole in the back that needs to be screwed in a cymbal stand or similar, such as:
- XDrum, super light
- XDrum #2, should be fine!
As always, look around!!!
LET'S NOT FORGET THE MOST IMPORTANT THING: Drumsticks!
Our pro-tip is to not use normal drumsticks with the practice pad.
It's also a personal taste, but honestly it's so much more satisfying and helpful to use marching band drumsticks (or anyway bigger sticks). These are much thicker, heavier and slightly longer sticks with a much deeper low-pitch sound that will give you more consciousness in your grip and much more satisfaction in the feeling and in the sound.
They do cost a little extra, BUT you will NEVER break them so they will really last you forever!
A few options:
- ProMark Byos
- Vic Firth Ralph Hardimon
- Vic Firth Hammer - we never tried them!
- Try to look around and also ask directly during our P.P.R. sessions at BDE!
If you want something unique, get these:
- 5T Vibe Drum - Metal Practice Sticks
Use them only after warming up and for max 10min per session.
NEVER use these on a real drum set!!!
Here's some of the most common (high quality) drumsticks in the world for pad and drums:
- Vic Firth 5A
- Vic Firth 5A extreme
- Vic Firth 5B
- Vic Firth 5AB black
Now, here you also pay the brand. Check out also:
- Pro-Mark 5A long
- Vater 7A
STICKS ARE MEANT TO BE BROKEN.
Do not overthink and try a few!!
Wonderful, you are almost ready to embark on a properly organized journey! We are just missing a few little things that will also make a difference in your daily practice sessions.
Curious? We are talking about:
- A note-stand (also adjustable in height), such as This Music Stand;
- Small lights for your note-stand: LED light with clip!
- Music sheets like THIS Music Notebook or just any notebook even with plain white paper. A4 would be best. Have a pen or a pencil (and eraser) always near the stand ready to be used! BRING this notebook (YOUR DRUMBOOK) always with you at your drum lesson! It's important! For us to check on what you already did and go deeper on various topics, for you to write down ideas during the lesson, to not forget ideas (never trust your memory!), but most of all because what now may seem "just" a groove or an exercise will turn out to be a MUCH more valuable insight the more you grow as a drummer!! You will be able to see gold in what now may seem just a pattern to repeat. Don't let that slip away!!
Ideally with time you get a RING BINDER with TRANSPERENT FILMS with COLOURED CARDBOARDS to arrange the things you learn not sequentially, but rather based on different drum-topics and be able to retrieve them quickly as well! Learning made simple!
LET'S NOT FORGET THE DRUMMER's BEST FRIEND!
...after the bass player...
T H E M E T R O N O M E !
We know, we know... you already looked from many apps, but when we practice we do not want distractions... so... phones away!
A nice digital metronome that is always ready to be used is what you are looking for and here you can see a few options:
- BOSS DB-30 Dr. Beat Metronome, simple and effective!
- BOSS DB-90 talking metronome, fancy & super nice!
- TAMA Rhythm Watch RW30, nice and cost effective;
Of course you could take something old-fashioned LIKE THIS!
(just an example and not particularly suggested)
- if you have ever wondered about the vibrating metronome "Soundbrenner" (a Berlin startup btw!) YOU FIND IT HERE! ALSO, you have one in your drum practice room at BDE that you can try out for free :-)
Of course it's nice to have a ready to use speaker on the side for us to also play and practice on top of music without having to plug in a thousand cables or building a huge P.A. It also allows for a louder metronome of course... and who does not want a louder metronome in their life? :)
- Mifa A1 Black, cheap, yet totally working option!
- Marshall is Marshall
- JBL Flip 5 for a bit more power!
Let's get loud and groovy!!
FEET PRACTICE PADS
Clap clap clap clap, beautiful drummer! You now have a very awesome and effective set to start properly practicing and enjoying a wonderful development of awareness and discipline! P.P.R = Practice Pad Routine, but also P.P.P. = Proper Pad Practice!!!! Many satisfactions ahead!!!
:) Oh but wait...
Did you notice we covered only 2 limbs out of 4?? What about your feet? RIGHT! Whoooops!
Now, let's be honest. we can practice with our feet without bothering our neighbours and simply play with the heel-down technique on the floor. Yes that is good enough. Please do not forget to insert feet practice into your routine! Ask your teachers for ideas and ways to do that with a fun and effective method, especially during our P.P.R. sessions. Most of all, as with everything: GET CREATIVE!
Ok, but if you want to push it to the next level and properly advance also with our feet techniques before applying those ideas on a proper drums, you would need to look for a practice pad for the feet. Be prepared also with the fact that because of vibrations, it might be a little frustrating when the practice pad moves around a little (depending also on which carpet you got, which pedal, which practice pad and how much you "bang it" lol). Also, be aware that it's going to be louder as well, so whereas you can practice your normal practice pad also at night, this may be just a "before 10pm" kind of practice (assuming you do practice the whole night eheh). Here are some links to get started:
- Meinl Dynamic Pedal Pad, good stability!
- EVANS RealFeel
- DRUMEO Quiet Kick
Practice all the rudiments and patterns always with hands and then also with feet!! Then explore different interactions and combinations! We will learn many things together, so for now, explore! Remember not to simply use the pads as a substitute for a drums, these are two separate disciplines with their own beauty and character. NOW, it's time for rudiments, understanding, training and awareness!!
The earlier you start the easier it will be!
Enjoy the journey!!