Ongoing History of New Music

Ongoing History Daily: How Dave Grohl started on drums

Learning to play the drums is expensive because you need all that gear. But if you really want to learn, you can improvise without having a kit.

Take Dave Grohl, for example. There’s a reason why he became such a hard hitter when it came to his playing style. When he was growing up, there was no money for a proper drumkit so he learned to play using whatever he could. The drumsticks he used were designed for marching bands, so they were thick and heavy.

With no kit, he arranged pillows in the form of a drum set and played along to records by The Ramones and Minor Threat—which were all really, really fast. It wasn’t until he was 16 that he acquired a set of normal drumsticks and a proper kit.

But by that time, he was so strong that he bashed everything with incredible power. He remembers “I was breaking cymbals like they were teacups.” Hey, whatever works, right?

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38542 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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