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Skins Drum Performance Method faqs frequently asked questions

How is Skins different to other books?

Skins is different because it puts performance first. The Skins method is all about playing songs - real music - so that students understand how drums fit with other instruments. With Skins, every new thing you learn is immediately applied in up to three different songs. This means it's a really enjoyable way to learn.

What is "Progressive Playalong"?

"Playalong" just means that you play along to the backing tracks in the book. "Progressive" means that the difficulty of each song gets harder very gradually. So as you improve, each song tests you just a bit more than the last one. The very first songs in the book are designed to be very simple indeed, so you can be playing full songs within just a few lessons.

Can I work through the book on my own?

You could do, but Skins has been written to be worked on with a teacher, and we strongly recommend that you do so. Taking drum lessons is, we think, the best way to learn. A teacher does so much more than just tell you what to do. They'll tell you where you're going wrong and how to fix it, and much more which isn't even in our book. They'll encourage you when you're struggling, and stretch and inspire you when things are going well.

Why aren't there any technique or counting guidelines?

Because Skins is designed to work with a teacher, and we think this is best left to them. Different teachers will have different ways of counting the rhythms, holding the sticks, and working through the material, and we wanted all teachers to be able to use our method. So by leaving that stuff out, it means that teachers can use their own ideas alongside our material.

What equipment do I need to play the drums?

Skins uses a standard 5-piece drum kit. That's 5 drums - bass drum, snare drum and 3 toms. You'll also need 3 cymbals - hi-hat, ride and crash. You don't necessarily need all of this to begin with, and lots of people just don't have the space (or neighbours) to accomodate such a set up. There are other options - electronic drums, practice pad sets, even piled up boxes which may help! Again, a good teacher will be able to advise you on this.

How long will it take me to finish the book?

That depends, mostly on how hard you practise! Most of our students take a couple of years at least to get through the book, with whizzkids managing around a song per week - that's still an 18 lesson minimum which is nearly 6 months worth of work!

How good will I be when I finish?

When you've worked through everything, you'll be round about Grade 1-2 standard although that depends - on the requirements of the exam and how confident you are, for example. Skins doesn't exactly match any specific exam boards, so you might find there are some things you've learnt which aren't required by an exam, and some things you need which aren't covered. One thing's for sure though, pretty much all exam boards require that you can play along to a backing track, and since Skins gives you a huge amount of experience with backing tracks, it's a great grounding if exams are something you'd like to do. As always, your teacher is the best person to ask.

Can I take an exam with Skins?

Skins isn't an exam board, and the Skins book isn't designed to be used in exams. However, many exam boards allow you to use suitable material as an option alongside their own songs. Check your exam book, see what the requirements are, and you may well be able to use a Skins song as part of your exam performance.

Is Skins DPM the best, most awesomest and super fun thing ever?

Yes. Yes it is.

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