How Phil Collins learned to play the drums when he was a kid

Phil Collins, a drummer, singer, and composer, began his musical career at a young age. He was born in Wandsworth, London, England in 1951. He picked up the drums not long after he first fell in love with music as a child.

When he was just three or four years old, his parents got him a drum toy. His uncle then constructed a drum kit when he was approximately five years old. Before he got the opportunity to purchase a real drum kit a few years later, he practiced for years with that set.

How Phil Collins learned to play the drums when he was a kid:

Like many great musicians, Phil Collins became an amazing drummer via a combination of hard work, ambition, and natural skill. He picked up the instrument on his own and attended some courses to learn how to read music a few years later. Still, he was learning to play by ear, so he never really developed a style. Collins used to listen to records or the TV while playing music. He therefore sounded like him even though he performed like the drummer in the music.

For Collins, that was very significant since it demonstrated a wide range of styles and increased his versatility as a musician. He discussed his path to becoming a musician in a 2014 interview with John Edginton. “When you’re growing up in the 50s, which is hard to sort of understand probably now if you’re a kid, growing up in this era. But back then you got a soldier, a toy, you know. In my instance I got a toy drum and I can remember.”

“I was only 3, I think, but I can remember my kind of shutter went off when I got this drum. I can remember the instance, you know. (There is) a lot of infant stuff you forget obviously over the years but I can remember this instant.”

Phil continued, “I was given a drum by my uncle, sort of family uncles, they weren’t really uncles. Apparently I took to it, so I played with it. Then a couple of years later I had taken to it so much that my uncles made me a drum kit which fitted in a suitcase, you know.”

“And I used to sit in the living room and play this along with the television. So somewhere in there the bug was taken. It was kind of extraordinary, Pop music as such. I mean, The Beatles (still didn’t exist). My sister was a big record listener, (she used to listen to) Neil Sedaka, Tommy Steele. My brother was a Jim Reeves fan, so there was music one way or the other in the house.”

He bought his first proper drum kit at the age of 12

The performer went on to say that his parents belonged to a boat club on the Thames River. So he used to play the drums there when he was around twelve years old. He already owned a decent drum kit at the time.

“(I had practice) so much that when it came to my birthday I sold my brother’s train set I found out. I thought it was my train set but he then reminded me that (it belonged to him). So I made the ultimate sacrifice and sold that and my mom put the rest. (Then) I bought my first drum kit.”

“So it’s always been there, from the age of 5, seriously, to the age of 12, getting a proper drum kit. Then playing in my school bands, we used to play Motown stuff, Otis Redding stuff. I used to sing a bit from behind the drums, (but) we had a singer as well. So it’s always been kind of in my life.”

“I’ve learned how to play listening to records. So if it was a Who record, I would be playing like Keith Moon. If was a Kinks record, I would be playing like Mick Avory. If it was The Hollies, I would be playing like Bobby Elliott. I kind of worshiped all the drummers in different bands.”






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