What did your practice sessions look like starting out?

I started like most here, practicing some exercises but mainly playing along my CD player for hours. I started at 17, my brother is 2 years older and he plays some guitar and sings, so I played a lot in our basement with actual people, which helped a lot.

Just remember to have fun, and don't treat it like another task from a list. I understand it's different when you have commitments, but use drumming as an antidote to work & life issues and it will pay you back with extreme joy. Do some technical stuff if you want, but don't spread yourself too thin. Work on the basics, and rock on!

Also, you can easily record yourself on the phone. You don't have to show it to anyone, but it'll be extremely useful for you.
Oh, I had a couple of years of solfege and knew some extremely basic guitar & keys, so that helped. At least I knew how to read music from day one!
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Playing to Rick James Street Songs and Ozzy Osbourne Bark At The Moon. Lessons every Saturday from Jack Arwood.
Goin Down was written by Don Nix .

Cool. I'm guessing that he never recorded it, but had Freddie do it? Guys like Leon Russell were part of writing teams producing material for performing artists to record through Staxx, Chess where other writers/performers produced, etc..

Jeff is where most people my age got turned on to the song. Then through blues jams I learned that Freddie was the one who recorded it.
What did everyone start out with their first year of playing? Rudiments? Coordination? Straight into covering songs? What did you find the most beneficial for overall improvement? I’m sure this differs for everyone.

I’ve been doing lots of coordination exercises with my instructor and fills at different speeds. I also do some supplemental classes online for more rudiments and other things (DBO or Drumeo vids)

There’s so much to learn it can be overwhelming! I hope I’m practicing the correct stuff when I’m going rogue throughout the week haha. Just curious how everyone started to tackle this beast 🥰

Also what was your average practice time? I’m ranging at 1-2 hours. And on good days some extra time. As an adult I feel more disciplined to practice but definitely less free time haha
Just some skinny kid in his parents basement playing along to records and the radio. Summers were Heaven; playing for hours in the afternoon and after dinner.

Once in Junior High I took stage band and good old Mr. Riden introduced me to reading and rudiments. I also put in hours at a time listening to (learning) lots of music. I was so absorbed by it all. When I needed a break I'd hop on my 10-speed and ride down the street to see the beach and relax.

These days, now at 63, I can spend hours on the practice pad and listen to music while taking care of my beloved wife Barbara who is near end - stage with Altzheimers. I get an hour to two hours in on the drumset most every night. It keeps me sane.
At age 10, I started with taking drum lessons at a local music lessons/dance studio... Practice pad, a pair of 5A's and a copy of Haskell Harr Drum Method - Book 1 (that I still have). So Harr Book 1 and 2, along the way with Stick Control, Syncopation and some Charlie Wilcoxon thrown in. Then having shown serious interest in sticking with this, my parents bought me a drum set about 9 months in. Lessons continued with the Chapin book and some other stuff - but then I also started playing along with records - which pretty quickly took over my study path,
Started playing in mid 2019 on a practice pad. I could do the money beat before but never really played. My start in 2019 was rehab because of a stroke. I had problems with my right hand function.

The pad helped me get back to normal, at least in terms of my right hand. I started lessons soon after.

I spent the first year and change learning my way around the kit, but soon realized I didn’t have the vocabulary to play the way I wanted to.

About six months ago I decided to work on strictly hands for at least a year. My instructor has a history in drum line/drum corp so he was happy to make the change.

So, for the last 6 months it’s been rudiments on the pad and all that that entails. I get 1-2 hours a day, more on occasion. I’ll still fill the odd afternoon with a few hours behind the kit, but that is just for fun. It’s not my focus right now.

My timing is improving because of the metronome use. My technique is getting cleaner. My use of dynamics is improving. All in all I’m progressing in ways I had hoped for. My speed still sucks, but I trust that will come in time. My weak (left) hand is still a constant nag, but it too is improving.

Speed and the weak hand will be (like for most of us) a lifetime pursuit.

I love seeing all the responses to this thread.
I had a powerbeat stencil kit with the factory white heads on it.

I had it set up in a tin shed on the property I lived on.

I'd listen to the radio for a song I liked, I'd listen to the beat then run to the shed and try to copy it.

It was a bitch in summer.......by the time I got to the shed, I was sweating and puffing.

Then I'd play the beat for as long as I could, in summer, in that bloody tin shed.

No power to the shed, no fan........damn great memories actually.

I call that my "apprenticeship".

By the end of that period I was no better than when I started.

Just an angry, hot, tired fledgling drummer.
Well, it looked like an 8 year old kid with the attention span of a gnat and the willingness to practice no longer than 7 mins. Maybe 6. Rudiments. Basic beats and reading music. Looked like that right up until about 7th grade when I stopped playing school bands when we moved to MA and I got ahold of my father's old over the ear headphones and started playing to actual music I liked. Rest is history.

Formal lessons through HS looked like stick control, jazz basics, coordination and honestly a lot of Q&A more than actual playing. The internet wasn't a "thing" as much in the early 90s and I was playing in bands from 8th grade on......so lots of OJT.