You might have heard this so many times – How can I learn to play the drums professionally and adequately? Out of many musical instruments that are out there, drums continue to become something handy and much sought after. The reason? They are full of energy and require so much passion and power. It is why some people like to go for drums rather than any other instrument.
So, if you want to become a good drummer, then stay with us, and we will guide you step by step in this journey, and make sure you excel at it.
First, Let’s Learn About Different Parts of a Drum Set
Before you start, learn the different parts of drums, so you know which one to play along. The figure explains the many parts of a set, which includes:
- Cymbals and Toms
Toms are on the very top of any drumset, while cymbals allow for accents and transitions in between any songs.
- Snare drum
Due to its shell, the snare drum makes a high cracking sound in any song. This part can be a little tricky to learn and the most essential as well.
- Bass drum
Bass drum is what gives a pulse to the song, making it the centerpiece of your drumkit. The bass drum consists of wood or even metal. It has a pedal that you will use by thumping with your foot. You have to make sure to coordinate it with the rest of your movements.
Get yourself a basic beginner set
It is pretty obvious, but you cannot learn drums ad perfect your skills until you do not own a drumset of yourself. Even though drums are not something you can get for a low cost, but it is an investment. Check out our recommendations for the best beginner drum set but note that even a basic set can cost you around $500. If you are low on budget, you can get two sticks and use a pad to bang on. You can, later on, invest in it later when you feel a little bit more ready. But the most critical piece of equipment you can get ready is your own body. Since drumming seeds a lot of energy and hand ad foot coordination, therefore you need to practice on that. You can tap on any of your favorite beat of your desk, pillows, or even get a practice pad.
Now when you have passed the initial phase comes the next point where you can purchase a pair of drumsticks and a metronome. Drum sticks are essential and are available everywhere. You can also get a practice pad to make sure that you can bang it on and learn. Next, you can get a metronome, which is available in both digital or analog form. It helps to keep the tempo of your beat steady. Practice with it so you can understand the rhythm very well. In different instruments, the rhythm is different from one another.
Learning how to hold drumsticks
Now comes a very technical part – about how to hold the drums sticks. Before you start to play the drums, you need to focus on a very integral part that are the sticks. These are what makes the noise when you bang them on the drums. Until you do not use proper techniques to hold on to them, you will not be able to play rightly. There are two basic grips you can use, and these are:
- Traditional Grip: This is an easy-grip used for jazz notes. For this, you need to hold the stick with your left hand, in between thumb and finger, and end should be resting on the ring finger. Your middle finger is right on the top of the stick. Tou will be rotating the whole length of the forearm just as a doorknob moves.
- Matched Grip: It is the same hold for both right and left hand, where the stick is between the index finger and thumb. Further variants include:
- American – Use your wrist with power by rotating it to 45 degrees and coordinate the movement with your fingers
- French – Palms will be towards each other while thumbs upwards
- German – Palms will be towards the floor, while wrist helps with the movement
You do not have to learn all the styles at once – take your time to start with one and experiment as you go. Always remember to work on your practice and train as you play. A proper technique will help you a lot to master drums in no time.
Master the drums rudiments
Now that you have mastered sticks and learning the basics let us move on to the next important part: learning drum rudiments. You might be wondering what exactly are rudiments? These are an essential part of playing drums. Just like you have chords in learning guitar, there are 40 basic rudiments in drumming. These 40 rudiments work as basic drum lessons, which involves rhythm and hand movement. If you learn and master these all, you can play anything, and become an expert.
Now, if you are a beginner, you might feel anxious about starting to learn 40 rudiments! Do not worry. You can always start with basic seven rudiments, and then learn as you go. Just as you can’t master any skill in one day, similarly, you cannot learn all basics in one night. To learn to play, you have to give it time and maximum effort, and you will be there in no time at all. There are many ways to learn, and plenty of resources and videos are available on the internet for you to discover. On a few websites, you can enter your email address and get free videos in your inbox. Some free tutorial are also available on Youtube, such as:
Learn How To Read Sheet Music For Drums
The next vital part is to learn how to read drum sheet music. Sheet music is critical for playing any song or beat. In simple terms, it is more like a secret code for drummers. Whether you play in a band or for any occasion, you will have a drum sheet to play along. It is effortless, and once you get the hang of it, you will be playing together with it just fine.
As a beginner, you always have to take things slow and easy. Whenever you get a sheet, you will find a combination of notes to play your drums. The best way to excel at playing drums is to practice it very well on your drum set before you play it finally. You can also practice and exercise your limb well. Once you play them loud out, it will be easier for you to play them again and again. A basic tune will involve only your left and right hand and no feet yet. Also, you can use any of the audio clips and practice with it.
Before starting, always practice your hand movement on any particular surface. Once you have achieved that, you can practice adding more rhythms, and both left and right hand playing differently. After that, you will slowly add your foot one at a time with your bass drum. Once you do that, you will start going with the flow in no time. You can also try to practice exercises and movements that involve your coordination and hand and feet movement.
All your four limbs are involved in playing the drums. That is why it becomes difficult to play. You need a certain level of energy to maintain the movement. Start by hands and slowly involve your feet when you are ready. Eventually, you will use up your feet for the bass drum. Only playing snare drum is more comfortable than the whole drum kit. So practice and train your body for it every day. You can always incorporate exercises in your lifestyle, which involves moving your limbs and feet.
Find A Drum Teacher
Although drumming is a complicated process, you can get the hang of it quickly if you take help from anyone experienced in the particular field. Sometimes, it is easy to follow any quick tutorial from the internet and follow and play along with it. But, for drumming, it is essential to get help from an expert or a professional in this field. Why is an expert necessary? Maybe because they know all the details and the tops that no one else can guide you on better. They can see you play right in front of their own eyes, that is why they can guide you on the spot. While you are learning from online tutorials, no one will stop you if you are wrong. That is why face to face is a lot more effective.
For enthusiasts who want to learn, they need first to search the best and top names of their field. Next, find out if anyone near you is offering one on one coaching and sign up for that. Just do your research thoroughly. Find someone who fits right into your budget. You do not have to find someone who charges high or at an extremely premium rate. So many experiences trainer are available that can fit perfectly into your budget. The most important thing here is to be consistent in your approach and not to let them down. Let them know that you are way more committed and invested in it.
Practice Playing Your Drums Everyday
A lot of people might agree to it, but any excellent musicians need lots of time, energy, and practice to make it to a certain level. The reason being is that you can learn all notes you want, you can buy the best equipment, you can get the best trainer, but nothing will be worth it if I the end you do not practice for it. It takes years and ears for anyone to become as close as being a good drummer. As of any other field, this also needs days and nights of practice, hard work, and determination.
Now, at one point, you might feel like you want to give up. Frankly, it can be quite physically demanding at times. Your limbs need to be toned and moving ideally along with each other. Some day, you might be exhausted and maybe not ready for it. That is the time you need to go back and come with a strong will. Take a break if you need to, but come back even more robust and promise to train harder. Think of it no less than any other physical exercise – it all takes great determination and patience to make it to a certain level.
The practice is also essential physically since your body is usually not used to this much movement. Mind you, playing drums is not an easy task, and you need a good focus; hand and foot coordination will also maintaining your grip onto your drumsticks. You cannot take any factor easily. In the beginning, it is severe than with time, it will start to ease up on your body, and you might not feel straining as much. That is why regular practice is necessary to make sure you build up enough stamina that will help you a lot while playing. At the beginning, you may want to take a look at our list of Best Beginner Drum Songs.
Connect With Local Drummers
One effortless and fun way to train is to involve in jamming sessions. In the beginning, you might not be able to play that professionally; hence you might not be playing for an actual band or an event. But that is okay, and you still have to practice. A very great way to sharpen your drum beats is to reach out to ay friend or acquaintance and involve in an informal or casual session. These jamming sessions are going to be fun and lively, and can much help to train your skills day by day. It will also enhance your confidence and showcase your talents at specific public events.
One significant advantage of a jamming session is that you do not have to worry about the notes or the rhythms being at their best. Since these sessions are supposed to be casual, you can play whatever you have learned and show off your skills. These off the record jams are going to help you to polish your craft and even know your weakness and strength, which you can work on later. You will also get an idea of how to work and play alongside a proper and professional band, which helps in grooming, and it is vital for your growth.
The best type of jamming sessions are ones in which an expert or a professional artist joins. That is amazing to boost up the confidence of beginners and newbies since they can get to know so much from their seniors and counterparts. Also, they will be able to see live sessions and performances and will see them in action right before their eyes. That helps a lot in learning more about different techniques and approaches to playing. You can even get to know much more practical tips and understand how drumming works. Some may tell you tips about playing the snare drum, while others will guide you about play drums. All in all, it is a great chance to help you along further.
You can even lookup online and find any local bands or new groups you can jam alongside. It will be great for networking and growth, as, in the future, you might even end up forming a band together and working alongside each other. With these connections, you will able to start playing for small scale events, school bands, weddings, and then build up your portfolio like that.
Always Take Care of Your Drum Set
As mentioned, your drum kit is a precious asset. Not only will you be able to play on it, but you also need to practice and train on it regularly. After you play the drums, take good care of it. They go through under a lot of stress and tension; therefore, they need regular maintenance too. As soon as you play the drums, make sure to clean your drum kit properly. Over time, they will lose their efficiency if you do not take adequate care of it.
It is also vital to do a regular tuning. All musical instruments need a regular thing session so that they are in line with the rhythm and work properly. Similarly, your drum set also needs its much-needed tunning from time to time. Remember that buying a good drum set is not an easy job. It is a once in a lifetime type of thing. It takes a lot of years and effort to build up your drum kit. Tomake your drum beats are right, you just have to continue taking good care of it. Only then will it be able to perform correctly.
The Drummer Needs Good Care Too
As a drummer, you will be undergoing a lot of strain and stress. It will not just be physical but also mental. You will be using your fingers, wrists, hands, and your limbs together. Even so, both of your hands will be playing different rhythms at one time. You will be working on your whole drum kit at a time. Therefore, indulge in proper exercises that target those areas and strengthen the muscles in these areas. While working with them, you will be able to rest these areas too.
You also need to have an excellent In ear monitor for drummer to cancel out the noise so you can focus on the beats. You should know that the drums can be pretty loud and damaging to your hearing. So use in ear monitors to protect yourself. Also, since you will be sitting to play, use a good quality stool that is both upright but also comfortable. Staying in one position might be damaging for your spine and bones, so do not forget to stretch after every few moments to get your blood flowing.
I hope these tips have helped you if you are a beginner and starting out drumming. Remember we also made a guide on How to become a better drummer?. You may want to take a look at that when you learned the basics of drumming. Happy playing!