Drums!!!!!!! Aaaaaaaaggggggghhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!

Nothing - nothing - is more annoying than listening to a beginner practice playing the drums.

This is what I’m currently listening to now as I type this, - my housemate is playing our drummer’s kit downstairs.

He has no musical experience, but over the past weeks he’s been trying to teach himself drums (with a little instruction from me,) since my band’s drummer keeps his kit at our house.

Frankly, he has been improving. But still.


Oh man…right now he’s trying to play a beat making heavy use of the cowbell. Oh. My. God. This. Is. Driving. Me. Crazy.

When I have kids, they are NOT going to play drums. They’re going to play electric guitar, with fucking headphones.

I feel your pain. Next door to the house we used to live in, a guy lived in a little mother-in-law house behind the main house. It was about 50 feet from our office window. He played the drums - or should I say he was learning to play the drums. Fortunately he used headphones to listen to the music he was trying to play along with, but he would start “Jumpin Jack Flash” and keep repeating it over and over and over, never getting completely through it before making a mistake and starting over.

We lived in that house for 10 years. He never got any better.

When I was a kid back in the mid-late 70s, my mother split from my father and straddled him with a rather large debt. In an effort to pay it off he left me in the care of good friends of his, a family that already consisted of two parents and four children – two boys, two girls, all late-teens and early 20s. The house was pretty big – massive basement, small sub-basement, main floor, upper floor, and a converted attic. Part of that attic had been converted into a makeshift “studio” where Chris, the oldest of the boys, would practice his electric guitar licks. Unfortunately, it seems like the only thing he ever knew how to play was the refrain from Deep Purple’s Smoke on the Water. Over. and. over. and. over. Daant daant daaaaaannnn! Daant daant da-daaaaaannnnn! Daant daant daaaaaannnn daant daaaaaaaaannn! (repeat ad nauseum) Even as a 7-year-old kid I wanted to tell him to get the hell off my lawn. Except it wasn’t my lawn.

Strangely, there was a nice Marshall drum kit in the basement that got used maybe half a dozen times and then was left for dead. Pity, too. Chris’ licks could have used more cowbell. :smiley:

Suggest he invest inpractice pads . Everyone will appreciate it.

Ugh. New drummers.

My parents live in a townhouse. Their complex is two rows of connected townhouses separated by an alley - each row faces outward, so the alley is where everyone goes into their garages. Above the garages in every townhouse are two bedrooms; the master bedroom faces the front of the house.

My sister and I had the rooms over the garage, naturally. I worked nights so when the new neighbors got their son a drum set for Christmas I was NOT PLEASED. He’d play them, loudly, and badly, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Every day. And he never got any better. If he was good I could have tolerated them. I was not even the least bit upset when someone broke into their garage and broke every. Single. Drum head. (No, it wasn’t me, and I wouldn’t condone property damage, but damn, this kid SUCKED)


I used to have a group of very burned-out neighbors who would get together almost every summer night for drum circles. And they’d sing–or try to, anyway-- while they were at it. The overall effect, on good nights, was that of shrieking baboons randomly throwing the furniture at cows. Over and over and over and over…

I went to their place and asked them to keep it down a little. Here’s more or less how that conversation went:

Me: (walks up to screen door, through which shrieking baboons banging on things are clearly visible.) Hey, guys. (pause, no response.) Guys!

(pause, gradual turning of heads.)

Them: Heeey…what’s up?

Me: Well, it sounds like you’re having a lot of fun, but could you keep it down a little? I’m trying to study.


Them: Oh…riiiight…so, like, what do you study?

Me: The biology of insects. And I have to read a bunch of stuff for tomorrow’s lecture.


Them: Yeah, yeah…insects…wow…wanna drum with us?

Me: Uh, well…thanks, guys, but I have to go study.


Them: Oh…yeah…study.

Me: Yeah. So, if you’d be willing to keep it down a little, I’d really appreciate it.


Them: Insects…yeah…cool…you wanna see some insects? We got moths and stuff here… on the window…yeah…here…and here…here…and over here, yeah…well, I dunno…dunno if that’s a bug…could be some…some thing…some thing there, yeah.

Me: Well, look. I have to get going. Back to the books, you know?

Them: Yeah…(pause) Wanna beer?

Me: Look, I have to go study. Could you play the drums a little softer so I can study?

Them: Study…you need a break, man. We can see that. Yeah…totally…we can see that.


Me: Well, I’m not getting a lot done with you guys drumming and wailing.


Them: You’re totally harshing our mellow, you know? Like, why?

Me: Well, I’m sick and tired of hearing a herd of spasmodic water buffalo falling down the stairs every night! Could you knock it off until I’ve passed my exams next week?

Them: Wow…you need to relax. (pause) Hey…wanna drum with us?

Me: See you later, guys.

Mmmm yes, drummers are the worst, especially because they can’t ever hit the right notes.
I’ve wanted to strangle a hippie or two that thinks they know how to play a djembe or conga, but that pales in comparison to an amateur saxophone, clarinet, or violin player.

Wrong notes people. Drummers can only be arrhythmic, unless they are percussionists playing keyboard instruments. Then they can hit wrong notes.

Drummers don’t have the luxury of volume controls on their entry level equipment. Sound dampeners cost serious cash to a little guy learning to play.

My guess is that even if the kid were good, you’d still be annoyed by his drums. It’s a fact of life, even in rehearsals for professional bands, the drummer is always unwanted noise until performance time. Bah.

I’ve often wondered whether Tolkein had a learner drummer in his basement when he wrote the Moria passage: "We cannot get out. We cannot get out. Drums, drums in the deep… they are coming. "


Still not as bad as someone learning the bagpipes. :slight_smile:

My mom lived down the street from a bagpipe student and thirty years later she was still talking about it.

Then there was the time my sister started to learn the violin…

Ain’t that the truth. My dad and brother, both talented drummers, practiced in the garage with the door closed (heh-heh…why bother?). The neighbors hated it. I believe it’s because most people don’t look at drums as the highlight of a musical performance. They’re background, beat-keepers. The art of rhythm is lost on many.

You opened a can o’worms! Invest in ear plugs. :wink:

Heh. You got it easy. Mr. Athena took up the bagpipes 2 years ago. Drums are nuthin’ compared to baby bagpipers.

Amen! Violin has to be the worst. On the plus side, you can always tell when your kid is practicing. As long as it sounds like he’s drowning cats, he’s working.

I’m finally, after years of being the dancer, learning djembe, and I’m so bloody embarrassed every time I hit something stupid. But I’m getting better really fast, so I promise I’ll suck less soon! (Except that no matter what I play, it seems to morph into a samba after about two minutes. I think the rhythm in my subconscious is a samba. I can keep a steady samba beat for hours, it seems. Anything else is…iffy.)

I’d be forced to take my own life. Seriously.

Last September, a neighbor’s kid decided to join the school band. Over the next month, he was out in his front yard, every afternoon, practicing on a variety of instruments. He sucked on them all. So finally he ended up with multi-tenor drums. You know, Marching Band drums. LOUD marching band drums. He couldn’t keep a beat. I thought I’d have to commit neighborcide when he was learning paradiddles. It took him six months to actually find rhythm.

He’s much better now, but somedays I still think the movie *Drumline * should never be shown to teenagers.

I used to live over someone who decided to take up the cello, with no apparent prior musical inclination or ability.

The moaning permeated the building as she would haltingly fumble her way up and down the scales, over and over and over again. Then, just as she could make it from one note to another without hitting another note in between or dropping the bow, she found a friend who was also learning the cello. Not one, but two dying bison…

Didn’t help any that I was working evenings at the time.

My brother started out playing drums. I got so sick of it that I couldn’t stand to hear any drum solos ever.

However, he picked up guitar and other instruments and now has a nice sideline playing with various bands in the area. Doesn’t play drums much these days, though.

Get him together with this guy.

I will concede Bagpipes, but having lived with both beginner drummer and beginner clarinet players, I have to say that drums are nothing compared to the sounds of a dying* Elephant that come from the beginner’s clarinet.

Jim (** grimpixie**, :smiley: )

  • Dying is not really adequate as a description, it is more the sound of an elephant being tortured to the point of wishing he was dead.

Hey! I resembled that remark!

Probably explains why I never practiced at home. I didn’t want to hear it and I knew no one else did either.

I dunno. I love drums - if played well, with a beat. When I first moved to Nevada I used to live right next to an Indian reservation and I absolutely loved hearing them practice their drum circle stuff. It actually lulled me to sleep if they went late. Even today, I go to the pow-wows just to hear it. Those guys can play. :smiley:

But nothing on this planet is worse, percussion-wise, than the unsteady, uncertain beat of the beginning percussionist. Especially if they have no sense of rhythm.

I think anyone who claims that a beginners clarinet is the worst sound ever has never heard the beginning alto saxophonist.