Getting started: snare drum or full kit?

you started with

  • snare drum

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • full kit

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • full kit + snare drum

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters


New member
Drummers 15-20 years ado often started out training on snare drum techniques first, before moving on to drumset. But I don't get the impression that's the case so much anymore - that's what's prompting this poll.

So what instrument you got started on? The third choice in the poll, both snare and drumset, indicates that in addition to practicing drumset, you also spent time concentrating specifically on snare technique.

Thanks for your participation!


New member
if you cant play a snare drum how can you sit behind a kit and play? (at least play properly and not just swing at stuff) learn your note values, rudiments, and techinque and then apply what you knnow to a drumset


New member
I'm not a big fan of starting w/ just a snare/practice pad - I myself started with a whole kit and I don't regret that because I believe that a snare won't do you any good groovewise


New member
I also started on some pillows arranged to mimic a drumkit ;] and a lot of air drumming ;)

Johnny Cat

New member
I started on pillows and armchairs as well. I wish now I hadn't. Some people complain that they were "forced" into lessons when they were a kid. I wish i was. Oh well.

All the same I had to vote for snare/practice pad first, then kit after. I think now it's the best way.

Pork Sword

New member
I got started on the snare first...I think it's the best thing to do...I have all my students do at least a couple of months on a snare/pad...teaches the rudiments & the sort.

You can totally hear a drummer that learned that way...their hands are usually 100% better than someone who just jumped on the kit and started banging away...people sometimes forget all the rudimentary things are the foundation of solid drumming.

to me it's the same thing as playing a massive drum kit, prior to being able to swing on a 4 piece kit...Sure it's more flavor, but it's all for not if you can't apply it usefully....


New member
I Started at school in 4th grade band. Played snare, triangle, tinpini, bass drum, all that good stuff. Then in 5th grade band I got into Jazz band and learned to play a kit. It was all down hill from there.

I should of been a laywer, lol.


New member
I started out on just a practice pad learning rudiments. Then I got a kit and then I started taking lessons for both snare (marching) and drum set (jazz). I find that there a lot of drummers these days who don't take the time to learn proper technique... I hate when I see drummers playing w/o proper technique because I think it plays up the "stupid drummer" stereotype. The fact is that just like a piano player must learn scales and fingerings, we must learn rudiments and stick technique (we are musicians too). I am a huge fan of starting on a pad/snare because usually it involves reading music which a lot of players these days cannot do.


New member
I started out air-drumming,pillows,pringles cans,desk at school(got sent to the office all the time over that one),bought a beater(and it WAS a beater),got taught 2 techniques,play along with Cream,Jethro Tull,Thin Lizzy.....then finally Rush!
By 16 I was ripping out everything Neil Pert was doing(at the time).

Now at 34...I play and have fun....I'm not going to say that I'm bad-ass,nor will I say that I suck....I just play....and I love it!

It don't matter really how you get there,'s do you get there? :idea:
I started out on snare back when I was about 8, my dad gave me his old Ludwig, which im still using now on my kit because it has so much sentimental value, and it sounds great still. I actually started on the kit when i was about 11, there was a talent show at my school, and knowing what i did about drums, i was asked to play in a band for it, we played Smooth Criminal by Alien Ant Farm, which was the first song i learned on the kit.


New member
I'd also say pitched percussion - bells or xylophone - before getting behind a kit. Reading and understanding pitched instruments as well will make a percussionist a far better and more well-rounded musician.
:) Just MHO, of course.


New member
I personally started off on a full kit. I really didn't know any rudiments and I definitely didn't have an ear for tone when i first started but later as my interest in playing grew I got the hang of all that. Although I do wish I would've started earlier (maybe in school) and learned snare rudiments.

But for now I have to say that I'm satisfied.

David Stanoch

New member
As a 10 year old, I figured out Bonham's into fill on Whole Lotta Love on just a snare drum, playing the rhythm while turning the snare on & off! I had no drumset yet, just a lot of determination.

Today I don't think it matters if you start on a full kit or just a snare drum. But if you truly want to progress on the instrument in any kind of professional direction, you're gonna have to deal with the vocabulary of stick drumming and that starts with the snare drum.

After that, if you want to play it all on your double bass drums or woven into grooves like masters such as Bonham, Bozzio, Bruford, Carey, Cobham, Elvin Jones, Gadd, Garibaldi & Tony Williams have, to name a few, then you'll only be limited by your own imagination and not a lack of facility.