Playing the drums is easy.
Playing them well is another matter.
When learning how to play the drums, beginners need to focus on the basics and get those down first.
But what are the basics? What should you be focusing on?
Our guide on how to play drums for beginners will answer those questions and more.
It will tell you where you should begin and the type of equipment you’ll need, walk you through the drumming basics, and show you what exercises to use to get you playing along to your favorite songs in no time.
Learning how to play drums as a beginner can be a fun and challenging experience. But before you can get started you need to purchase a drum kit and drum sticks, and determine what your drumming goals are.
You also need to decide what style of drumming you’d like to learn based on the type of music you enjoy.
Once you have all the equipment, you can begin practicing drum rudiments and focus on learning at least five rudiments out of the forty total. Practicing rudiments and drum patterns daily will teach you how to control your movements, and can improve your timing and rhythm.
Continue reading to learn how you can get started on your path to drumming, which exercises work, and what type of drum set is perfect for beginners.
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The high cost that comes with purchasing a new drum set is often the biggest reason people who are interested in learning how to play drums settle for an instrument that’s more affordable. In most cases, a traditional drum set can really hit your wallet hard, and unlike other types of instruments, drums consist of several pieces.
However, if you decide to learn on an electric drum set, then kits such as the Roland Entry-level Electronic V-Drum Set are not only affordable, they come with all the pieces you’ll need to start practicing right away.
How To Play Drums: Getting Started
Once you have your drum set, the next step is purchasing a pair of drum sticks and a metronome. Some models of electric drum sets will come with an onboard metronome, which is a great extra for drummers of all skill levels.
You should practice with a metronome daily. Using one consistently will help you to develop a strong sense of rhythm and timing, which will save you a lot of frustration in the long run.
Most drumming instructors recommend beginning your training by learning drum rudiments.
A rudiment is considered the basic building block when it comes to learning how to play the drums. There are a total of forty essential rudiments to learn. Each rudiment consists of a distinct rhythm and unique sticking pattern.
If you manage to master all forty rudiments you’ll enjoy better rhythm and control. However, you shouldn’t worry about learning all forty rudiments in the beginning.
Instead, focus on getting the hang of at least four or five. As a beginner, four or five rudiments will give you a solid foundation, which will help you to learn how to play basic songs and drum patterns.
If you’re practicing daily, you should begin with drumming exercises that consist of a combination of quarter rests and quarter notes, all of which should be played on a single drum.
Before you play, always read rhythmic exercises out loud because it can help to strengthen the connection between your limbs and your brain. It can also help you to easily identify any challenging rhythms before you get started.
With a new piece, focus only on coordinating your right and left hands in order to ensure that your timing is perfect. Basic drum exercises should be clear and easy to understand.
You can search online on sites such as YouTube for drumming lessons that are beginner-friendly and designed to help you gradually improve your drumming technique by focusing on timing and rhythm.
Rhythm is Everything
Regardless of a drummer’s skill level, it’s important to start off by practicing routine rhythm exercises that involve just one playing surface. This will help a lot in terms of improving timing and coordination.
Once you’ve learned how to play rhythms on one drum you can add another playing surface. During this time you’ll focus on using your hands only. You will not use your feet in the beginning.
Start off by playing patterns that involve the right hand playing one rhythm and the left hand playing another. Most drum beats will involve a few different playing surfaces, however, the beginner should focus on just the cymbal and snare.
You can add your feet to the mix once you are able to accurately perform exercises that involve a couple of different rhythms using just your hands.
When you’re ready, you’ll add the kick drum and work on exercises that focus on coordinating your kick drum foot with both hands.
I’m Struggling to Coordinate My Limbs, What Can I do?
If you’re having trouble coordinating your limbs, make sure you break the exercises down so that you focus on just two limbs at once. Before trying to combine all four limbs you should be comfortable with each limb coordination.
Go at your own pace and only add one or both feet once you feel confident in your right and left-hand coordination.
What’s the Best Way to Increase Your Drumming Speed?
At one point or another, all drummers will try their hand at speed drumming, but it’s definitely not as easy as it looks. It’s also a skill that you won’t be able to master overnight.
If you’d like to learn the right way to increase your drumming speed, click here to read our article on how to drum faster. This article will go over proven methods that the pros use for a faster drumming speed that doesn’t sacrifice sound quality.
Learning To Play Drums: Final Thoughts
Now that you know the basics of how to play drums for beginners you can purchase the best electric drum set for you, and get started on learning basic drumming techniques.
Many electric drum sets also come with training modules, which will teach you how to play along to your favorite songs or try out simple drum patterns.
Remember, when you practice, it’s very important that you make sure you’re using the correct techniques. Make sure you’re playing rudiments correctly, holding the sticks correctly, and pace yourself before you try to take on complicated drum patterns.