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So you wanna be a pro?

What's the key Guru?

You have to do your homework. Whether you are a beginner, a weekend warrior, or a 5 night a week local musician trying to reach the next level, or a major city pro looking for that next gig, you must learn the mechanics and language of drumming. You must not procrastinate about learning to read, write, and count drumnotation; You must learn all the essential rudiments and all the other stickings and styles. This is all the stuff that you keep putting off and choose the low grade pain of frustration instead. This is why question marks fly through your brain while you are playing.

A Rookies Rant

By Anthony Giampa -

Written in 1999! - Where are you now Anthony? Get in touch!

Foreword: As RMMP’s ‘resident newbie,’ Paul Marshall encouraged me to write this. I’m not sure if it will be mean much to the more experienced players; it’s mainly for ‘newbies’ like me.

Paul Writes:  I think that this is an extremely useful piece for people that are beginning to learn the drums, it shows the value of  perseverance and support and how valuable it is to have access to experienced players who understand that we all were 'progressing' drummers' at some point and that drumming is a never ending learning curve no matter what level you are at, at any given point in your playing career.

As a beginning drummer, I think I've passed the point of no return. That is, it would be hard for me to stop drumming now. I've had the drive to drum from around the time I was 13.  I bought pair of Zildjian sticks at that age that I still have today (but I've retired them from drums  and use them only for practice). What really got me into drumming though, was listening to music (obviously).   My first influence was Trey Sabatelli of the Gone Jackals and the Ultras. The drumming on those group's albums was incredible.

Martial Arts and Drumming

In 1975 I decided to pack my bags IN Chicago, and head for the west coast so that I could learn Jeet Kune Do, Filipino Escrima, and the wide variety of martial arts training that I was unable to find here in the midwest from 1962-1974 (NOTE-I was fortunate enough to learn some basics of Muay Thai, Krabi-Krabong, and Burmese Banshay from asian immigrants whom I tutored in english from 1967-70, so I learned firsthand that my previous 13 years of boxing, karate, and taekwondo training was far from the ultimate when it came to "sophisticated" fighting arts).

Drummers Glossary

Please note that this section now has its own website

Glossary of Terms

Drum Kit / Drumset

Paul Marshall ©1999

  • Drumset / Drum Kit - A collection of different percussion instruments generally including but not limited to bass drum, operated with a foot pedal, snare drum, cymbals, and toms. It is generally meant to be played by one person, although at times can be played by more than one.

Drum Endorsements


For the purposes of this FAQ, an endorsement is defined as the expressed or implied recommendation, by a popular and/or well-respected drummer, of a particular manufacturer's product, product line, or service(s).


Endorsements are designed to increase product or brand name awareness (and ultimately, sales) through the use of a familiar spokesperson.


These terms are often used interchangeably. To be accurate, the drummer is the endorser, since it is the drummer who does the "endorsing" of the manufacturer's product. The manufacturer would therefore be considered the endorsee, although that's a seldom-used reference.

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