I often get asked why I recommend aspiring drummers start their journey on a practice pad. Aside from the obvious answer of not wasting money and time on buying a full drum set for someone who has never played, the practice pad is an affordable and perfectly suitable option to start learning how to play the drums. If you’ve read a bit about my story, it was the practice pad that started my drumming adventure.
I’ve been playing on practice pads for over 35 years, in fact I started on a practice pad- a Billy Gladstone pad that sat on the snare. I’ve always encouraged drummers to start on drum practice pads as well, simply because they are an efficient and simple way to get your hands proficient. I guess you can say I’m a bit of a snob when it comes to drum practice pads which is why I went ahead and designed my own.
So who are the greatest drummers of all time, and why? I realize this is a very subjective topic and certainly not the most exhaustive list out there. That being said, for me these are the greatest drummers of all time in their respective eras. Please keep in mind, there is more to a drummer than just drumming. In order to make this list you have to be of the mindset of "music first."
I tell everyone the same thing when they ask me how to learn to play the drums. Start by purchasing a quality practice pad and good sticks. Now, I know it’s not what they want to hear, but it’s the truth. Unlike guitar and piano, trumpet or saxophone, before taking the plunge on a full drum set, it is worth testing the waters with the practice pad. Besides, drumming requires tremendous coordination and starting with the hands and learning how to hold the sticks is where I tell people to begin.
Traditional grip became a lost art if you will. It was not the grip taught by most teachers, and it wasn’t until Jojo Mayer in my opinion re-popularized the grip in the early 2000’s, that a resurgence in interest of playing traditional grip emerged.