Getting answers to the most googled drumming questions with Lala Frischknecht.
Although women make up 50% of the population, they’re less than 10% of female drummers.
They say drums are the easiest instrument to play BADLY but by far the hardest to master.
They say a lot of things.
I wanted to hear it from the true drummer queen.
So, I decided to search the most googled drumming questions and get some real answers.
Are drums easy to learn to play?
Lala: Yeah! It’s just as easy as any other instrument. Of course, it’s harder in the beginning, but you have to feel the rhythm just like it would be with dancing. If you can dance, you can feel the rhythm. That’s the start of drumming.
Can I learn drums on my own?
Lala: Of course! I’m a self-taught drummer, I started playing when I was 16 and I think anybody can play the drums. It’s totally up to you. Whether you pick up a guitar or your drumsticks, it depends on your will to go through with it. No matter what, you can do it whether you are a boy or a girl, it doesn’t matter. So, if you idolize somebody who plays the drums or the guitar really well, and you dream of becoming like them, take that willpower and do it! If there’s no motivation, you will end up doing nothing.
The pursuit of your dreams begins with motivation And that applies to everything, your work, schools, drums, everything.
How do I start drumming?
Lala: The hands are the most important thing when it comes to drumming. So, what you need to do is start practising with a left-right rhythm, find a song you like and start tapping. After a while when you find the rhythm your foot will automatically join in. That’s a good start.
How long does it take to learn how to play the drums?
Lala: It depends. If you practise every day you’ll get there fast. But of course, it’s not always possible, people have jobs, school and so on. For me, I started playing for a year and then after that, I joined a thrash metal band. Maybe I’m a good dancer and that helps.
Do drummers read music?
Lala: Yes, of course! Haha! If you go to music school there are notes for drums as well, and you learn reading musical notation for drumming. There are notes for every part of the drums. There are no standard notes in drumming so, if you get a book, there will be a guideline on the first few pages, explaining what the snare is and what the high hat is and so on, so you follow the steps. You are producing music by hitting on something. That’s the essence of it. You get the beat. Can you imagine a song without drums? It would be so boring!
At this point, we were halfway the interview time and our chat was so friendly and enjoyable that I strayed away from my list of questions and it turned into a casual chat.
We talked about how important the drums and the bass are in music and how they are the foundation of a song.
Lala: There is always a very special connection with the bassist. We have to work together always. There’s this kind of continuous communication. Sometimes when we practise and the bassist is not around, I find it so strange without her. It’s kind of like a twin, bass and drums.
How can I practice drumming quietly?
Lala: Quietly? On a pillow. I also started practising on a pillow because I heard that Dave Lombardo, the drummer of Slayer, also used to practise on a pillow. Then it helps to get whatever sticks you can find, even if you don’t have actual drum sticks. Of course, now there are many options, different pads, silencers for the drums, many helpful things for drummers who want to practise at home. I have electronic drums but my neighbours know I’m here because the vibrations of the pedal are intense.
Can you lose weight playing the drums?
Lala: Yes! Actually you burn more calories playing the drums than at the gym. It’s an intense workout. You sweat a lot. But you are working on specific muscles only. If you want to focus on your biceps you can go for it. I think that if I wasn’t playing the drums I would be fat. I also enjoy playing without any ventilators or a fan, so that I can sweat a lot and sometimes I wear a rubber belt too, the kind that makes you sweat.
Can you learn drums at any age?
Lala: Sure! Of course! Some people think they are too old to learn but it’s not true. When I was in Japan I used to teach drums to a guy who was already 60 years old, and he was really interested in learning. I showed him how to play a basic beat and then he took it on the next level and turned it into a Cypress Hill beat. After 3 months he was able to play the drums. There is no age limit.
Music is really the best kind of therapy, especially if you have your own instrument and you can go blow some steam when you feel like it.
What are drum ghost notes?
Lala: It’s a silent note. They are quiet notes, you only hear the last sound the impact makes. Crazy name ha?
I think Lala just explained the essence of drumming within half an hour. That’s all the time we had together. I’ve learned more than Drumming 101 today. I’ve learned what a joyful, friendly person she is and that half an hour flew by. It’s so easy to talk to her. And in the music industry, it’s always a pleasure to find little gems like that.
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Until the next one,