(NOTE: Remember to use the 'BACK BUTTON' of your browser, if you click the links that lead outside of this web page.)
Now, since our budding drummer, has come to us, equipped with an attention-span of 10-seconds (or less) . . . It means we've really taken-on a monumental task! We teachers need to be prepared for that!
We may need to approach these objectives several different ways.
First . . . I would suggest that we should begin with the most direct approach, . . . as follows.
Begin with that beat, the way it's explained in the following online lesson.
We find that some kids can often do it sooner than we might expect; While other children may need a considerable amount of coordination and concentration development, before the final results can be achieved.
Try to teach it this way, first . . .
Use sticks if you are on a simulated drum set, or real drums. You can also do this, with the hands only, (no sticks), as you sit at the kitchen table. Just make a game out of it by challenging the child to 'copy' your moves.
A 3-year-old may not yet comprehend the concept of 'four' counts. They probably do not know their right-hand from their left-hand at this point, either! You may actually be teaching them these concepts, as you're teaching them to play. (This is a great way to teach ANY child to count.)
Keep it fun! Don't scold! Get them to do this if you can. You'll want them to do it many, many times, if they will. But . . . DON'T push too hard. Take your time! There's always tomorrow, if it doesn't happen today.
That may be as far as you'll get, on this first lesson. Grab some 'hammock time' and be happy with the progress, if you've made it this far. Go away for awhile . . . and let the child do as they will!
Repeat, repeat, repeat (until the kid refuses.) Then . . . calmly back away, again.
Try to encourage the student to keep repeating it until they can do it rapidly. Some will begin to speed-up right away, and others will not.
Every day or so afterwards, sit and work with the child on this until they can repeat it 8 or 10 times (fairly fast) without stopping. We're trying to help make this beat a playing habit.
Engraining a habit like this may take some time. Stay with it, until the student can repeat the pattern non-stop for 10 to 15 seconds.
How long this may take isn't the prime concern. But; it needs to be a thing they can do . . . without thinking. It needs to become a 'playing habit', long before they'll ever get it to work with a recorded song. So, continue to coax the student into repeating this pattern until it flows natually, without much thought or effort.
Once they can do it . . . we're home free!
* PLAYING ALONG WITH A RECORDED SONG *
(Make note of the fact that we haven't added the bass drum, yet.)
So far, we're only concerned with the two hands. We'll try to get the student to play a few songs, without the bass right now. Then, we'll try to add the bass (on the count of one), later.
THIS NEXT STEP IS CRUCIAL!
We need, JUST THE RIGHT SONG!
That's a tough call!
Which SPECIFIC song?
Sure!! There are more than 50 million songs from which we could choose . . . but WHICH song we choose, may make the difference between success and failure at this very crucial juncture.
Here are a couple of songs I have used a lot. They're both about the right speeds, but they may not be the absolute BEST songs for your child, or student. You (and your student) will need to decide that.
This first song . . . needs to be a song that your child likes to listen to, already. Try the songs I've provided below, and see if they work! This is about the best I can offer, here.
I've used these two songs, simply because they are about the right tempo or speed. Search through your own collection of music for any, and all, songs you may have, that are 'approximately' this same speed.
You'll want to choose any songs that are relative to your child's ability to repeat the 8th rock beat. If your student can repeat the beat more rapidly, then you can try faster songs. If the child is slower, then use slower songs.
Also; Keep this important fact in mind; The more the student repeats the beat, the faster they'll be able to play it. The faster they can play it, the more songs they'll be able to play. A snowball effect begins to occur, if we can just get the student to play along with one song (any song) for a little while.
As the student plays along with any song, they are actually repeating the beat pattern, over and over again. The needed coordinating speeds develop almost without any noticable effort this way.
When the student is enjoying a great time, playing along with the music; They're developing their sensitivities to the beat flow, they're developing their coordination . . . while they're developing a 'natural feel' for the dynamics of the music they are playing. It kills three birds with one stone.
NEXT . . . Coaxing the student to add the bass drum.
The bass drum is extremely important to all that we're doing . . . but 'Rome was not built in a day!' We need to avoid too much pushing, when it comes to this issue. Tiny young muscles need a LOT of time to develop. About all we can do is encourage, and nudge the student occasionally. They'll develop the foot, as time passes.
If your student is experiencing trouble adding the bass, please be aware that it's a very common problem . . . even for a lot of adults. However; There are a few things we can do to help. Try each of these . . .
At this point, I'm hoping your student is coming along nicely. But . . . I also understand that, very often . . . we may need to take all this to even SLOWER, SIMPLER, stages. The next web page will hopfully offer some exercises that can sometimes help. Those exercises, on the web page above, may not be needed at all. You'll have to decide that!
Make note of the fact that we don't want to bore the more coordinated students with these next (extremely simplified) exercises, unless we can't get the 8th rock beat across to them ANY OTHER WAY!
TRUTHFULLY . . .
If your student is playing along with recordings by now, and using the bass drum occasionally, then they are ready to tackle some of the other important beat and/or roll patterns.
You'll break the next lessons down to about the same process we've used here.
In order for the student to eventually gain the ability to analyze then play ANY song, they'll need to eventually learn ALL the other important beat and roll patterns of my (totally free) complete 125-lesson course, one-at-a-time, in much the same way we've done it here.
THE GOOD NEWS!
With each beat or roll that is taught, the process gets easier and easier!
Usually, by the time the student has progressed through all 5 Basic Dancebeats and a few of the, primary fills and rolls , They'll begin catching-on a lot quicker. Very often, I've noticed that a lot of 5 or 6 year-old students can learn at about the same rate of speed as the older students . . . (Once we have them playing along with recorded music for the enjoyment of it.)
So . . . If your student is ready to move-on, go to the following web page at the main site and proceed, in easy stages, as we've done it here.
I'd recommend that you (the teacher) should go to the following lesson, first. Learn the mechanics of Reading Drum Notation. Use common sense here. If you feel your student may not grasp the concepts of reading notation, then you should not try to force that lesson on to the student. Each student may be different. Use your own best judgements on this issue.
Just the same . . . "YOU" will need that knowledge (Reading Drum Notation), in order to break the future lessons down, and teach them in the same way we've just done it here.
Teach each of the upcoming beats and rolls in the same way we've just done this one. Vary your simplifications 'as needed' for your particular student. Learn to judge the learning speed and ability of the student, then simplify the lessons to whatever degree might be necessary.
At the very bottom of the 'Reading Drum Notation' lesson, you'll find a link that leads to the next suggested lesson. Actually, you'll find links like that, scattered throughout many of the early lessons of the free drum course. Great! That means more and more 'hammock time'!
What could possibly be wrong with that?
Have fun with it!
The next lesson link (below), has been designed to help . . . only if our student is having serious problems, after we've tried everything above. If your student STILL can't repeat the 8th rock beat, then click this next link.
Devote as much time as you deem necessary, to these VERY SIMPLIFIED, COORDINATION EXERCISES.
DO NOT resort to this next lesson unless it is absolutely necessary! This next stuff may be totally boring for both you, and the student. It may not be needed at all!
LAST RESORT! Extremely Simplified Coordination Exercises, designed to help ONLY those who cannot seem to master the techniques explained on this page.