How to Learn Drums – The Complete Beginners’ Guide
There’s a certain kick to playing drums that no other musical instrument can give you. And, being able to play drums is liberating, to say the least. Maybe it is the bold beats that sync up with human emotions so well, or maybe it’s just the instrument itself that reflects your rebel-self.
Since drums have always been a powerhouse of music and self-expression, it has always been in great demand. And, knowing How to Learn Drums and knowing how to approach it is just as important as mastering it; it will pay off very well in your life whether you pursue it as a profession or even as a hobby or interest. But getting started itself can be overwhelming and confuse you, so in our article, we will go through the entire checklist on How to Learn Drums the right way. Let’s get started!
How to Learn Drums
Ever noticed how action-packed and energetic drummers are on a stage? Well, the thing is drumming is going to burn out quite a good amount of calories out of you; it is fun, but it is hard-work. Drumming will demand the use of for your hands and legs just as much as you would expect from a strenuous sport and you need to be prepared for a little movement if your want to know How to Learn Drums.
Flex your hands and wrist for the drumsticks. Same goes for your feet which you will be using on foot pedals. Harboring a stiff, non-flexible and lazy body will get you nowhere if you want to learn How to Learn Drums. It needs to be as light and airy in your movements as possible; each joint and every muscle should be able to complement and cope with the intensity of your practice. Start warming up a few weeks to a month prior to getting your drums and also before each practice session to loosen your muscles.
Research and look out for the best drum kit for you needs
And we say “needs” because not everyone will work best on the same drums. The single most important point in effective learning is proper drums. If you are a beginner who has no prior experience playing drums, then we recommend you skip the high-end and expensive drums and opt for a user-friendly as basic starter pack at first. These drum starter packs have been put together especially for learners and beginners. These packs are much cheaper and come with all the basic, sometimes more, inclusions of a complete drum set.
If you’re an advanced learner, then go for a more complex and higher-end drum set. If possible, avoid packs and choose every element and component of your drum set separately. We all know complete kits are for kids.
But whether you are a pro of a beginner, look out for these important features in your drums:
- Good-quality drumsticks that can take on some serious manhandling. Pick ones that are resistant to damages from sweat, moistures and cracks. And of course, make sure they fit comfortably in your hands. Check for thickness, tips and finishes.
- At the store, sit at the drums and test out the sound output of each component: drums, toms, cymbals, kick tower, etc. Try out with both high and intensity beats. See if you like the way they sound. Remember, drums will sound different varying from brand to brand and make to model.
- Look for the size of drums that your feel comfortable with. Consider the height of kick towers to foot pedals or opt for adjustable components.
Placement and Setting
Where you place your drums are important too. Now, this isn’t really an ingredient on How to Learn Drums to be precise, but it helps with the process. We all, drummers I mean, have a tendency to set our gigantic drum set in our box-size bedrooms; big mistake!
Place your drums in a place that is somewhat spacious. The sounds and noises should be able to flow through the air without any resistance or interruption. And the same goes for spaces too large; too large space means echo and sound dispersing too much. Choose an open and spacious setting; this gives you the closest and best idea of your set’s true sounds.
Unbox your drums, step back and take a minute to admire the beauty; now get to work.
Introduce yourself to each and every part and component of your drums. As sadistic as it may sound, but you will want to get your hands on every little nooks and cranny on every part; it is important. Kick the foot pedal, run your hands on the drums, grip on the drumsticks. This step, more like a primitive ritual, makes sure that you understand and have a general idea to what every component feels like. Through this, you understand the instrument better and clearer and feel more welcome and comfortable towards it.
Surely enough, you obviously want to test out your drums like a normal human being too of course. Try out a few routines (if you can) and see how well the sound syncs with you. Learn what each component does; their functions, features, tones, etc. Are you playing way too loudly and with too much pressure? Do you need to tone it down? This initial familiarization is one of the most important lessons on How to Learn Drums.
If you already know your ways around the drums, then it won’t be too difficult for you to catch up with the rest of the journey. But this does not mean you’re any special egg. You will still need plenty of guidance and work. Get your hands onto some drumming tutorial CDs to watch on your wee hours. YouTube is also an excellent way to have some of the best teachers show you the how to’s and all. If you have a friend or any acquaintance that is an expert or has a good hand on drumming, bribe them with food and ask them for some lessons.
However, if you are a beginner and have no knowledge or education on drums, then I strongly recommend you look for professional lessons besides YouTube, expert friends, and all the other resorts. Having a teacher show you and teach you the basics of drumming is so much more effective than watching it online. Before all and everything, get the basics mastered like “fills” and “16th notes”.
“Practice makes a man perfect” and this couldn’t be any truer when it comes to learning how to play drums.
Practice as much as you can. Start off by doing 15 to 20 minutes of drumming sessions at a time to accumulate an hour or two of total work time. But don’t just practice; practice smart. Note down all the problems you are facing and try to correct them. Share your work with a few experts or learner like yourself and make the best use of each criticism and compliment. It is about time you started attention to timing now that you have your basics covered. Make sure every stoke, every hit, and beat are executed perfectly at the right time; not too late nor too fast.
Having said all this, don’t go overboard and drive yourself to the edge of insanity. Take frequent breaks and have fun with playing.
Gear Upgrade and Improvement
If you were working with a basic starter pack, then it is about time to upgrade up to a notch or two. This doesn’t mean you have to change the entire set and break the bank for a new, high-end or expensive drum set; just upgrade! Change your drumsticks for instance. Or maybe, get a better kick tower.
Having a great arsenal of accessories always helps you How to learn Drums better and faster. Learn to take care and maintain your set; keep cleaning kits, brush, dusting rags, etc, always ready. The cleaner and fresher your drums are, the more likely you are to be eager to learn from it.
Two means competition; you always learn better in a group than you would alone because they are room for comparison, competition, and improvising.
Collaborating with other drummers, or any musician at all, is a great way to make friends with people with same interests as you, which is a blessing in itself. Other than that, you of course get to judge each other’s performances and works. And let’s be honest, you will compete you stand out, to be the best among them all and this very thing is the recipe for motivation, hard-work, and improvement.
And don’t just limit yourself to drummers only; collaborate with guitarists, violinists, pianists, and anyone you feel could complement your drumming. The interaction of various instruments will give you a more personal vision of team-work and synchronization. And you never know, you may end up forming your own band. This is usually how big gigs start!
How to Learn Drums if you have stage-fright? Well, the answer is to tease the fear itself. Challenge yourself; perform in front of your friends and family. It would be a shame if you had to hide away in the corner of your room considering how well you play. Share it with people.
Sharing your efforts in front of a crowd is the best way to learn how to play your drums like a pro! The appreciation and attention you receive from people is always a boost to your learning process. The exposure gives you confidence and ambition to perform better and give it your best, every time!
This point here isn’t necessarily an aid on How to Learn Drums, but it is a trait that will always separate you from the crowd: individuality.
Learn from your idols, follow your friend’s instructions but never, incorporate their style of drumming into your own. Imitation is boring and naïve, steer clear of it. Music is an art and everyone has their own aura and style, and so should you. Develop your own style of drumming. Originality and individuality are the key to success in the sea of million other drummers. When people hear you drumming, they should instantly be able to identify the style with you. Therefore, throughout your entire learning process, don’t forget to nurture your inner artist too.
- Don’t rush into buying drums. Take your time to research the best one for you, for your needs and budget. Refrain from buying top of the line and expensive drums if you are a beginner; opt for starter packs. However, if you are an expert an experienced learner then we recommend you avoid starter packs and opt for something a little more advanced.
- Sitting posture is very important if you want effortless, pain-free and long practice session. Do not slouch.
- Be patient. You don’t always have to get it right; mistakes are everything normal. Don’t be discouraged and try to be consistent with regular practices.
- Respect your surrounding and people’s space before starting a loud, full-on drumming session.
- Always warm up.
And with this ends our guide on How to Learn Drums. Drumming is easy and fun, undoubtedly, but it can be very frustrating if you don’t have a direction and a starting point. Which is why we have broken down the entire process into comprehensive and approachable steps so that you don’t just learn, you learn better and faster!
We hope you enjoyed our learning guide that we put together for you and got to learn a thing or two from it along the way as well. One last tip for great learning before we part ways is to simply have fun playing your drums. It should bring pleasure and joy, not stress. Be patient and keep practicing. Happy drumming!