People often ask me how long it takes to play their first drum beat. I love giving them my honest answer, that all of my beginner students play their first beat during the first lesson.
I remember how strongly I yearned to play on a full drum set when I first started my musical journey in middle school band class, but alas there was no drum set. For several years I had to play a multitude of other percussive instruments, which frankly did not excite me as much at that time as the prospect of playing on a drum set. While I did gain a solid foundational understanding of hand technique while practicing on a pad, I understand now that I could have learned the same things on a drum set, and been more excited doing so.
People come to me for drum set lessons, so we play the drum set!