Learning Drums on Your Own

Posted by Mike Schumacher

It’s not that difficult to learn how to play a new instrument— you just need to focus on the beat and remain passionate. First, in order to learn how to start drumming, you need to choose the type of drumming you’re interested in. Yes, there are different types of drumming, such as heavy metal, funk. Reggae and even hand drumming. Learning drums on your own can be tough, but here is a guide that can ease the process:

1) Initial stage

At the initial stage, the type of drumming equipment recommended for beginners is totally free: their own body. At some point in your life, you must’ve found yourself playing a beat by hitting your thighs or your arms. Similarly, beginners should initiate their learning process with hand drumming. Now, you can either drum on your body or use easily available things such as pillows, cans, etc. The key is to avoid things that may damage your hand from repetitive tapping.

You can start learning by tapping along to songs and concentrating on the drumming beats in the song. Another way is to keep practicing by maintaining a steady tempo and by alternating your right and left hand while tapping.

2) Drum equipment for beginners

Whenever you’re ready for the next step, the first piece of equipment recommended is a good pair of drum sticks. Drum sticks are very easy to find. Just head down to any music equipment store or purchase them online. It’s also recommended that you purchase a practice rubber drum pad. However, if that is costly, then you can practice with your drum sticks on pillows, books, cans, etc.

The last piece of equipment required for you when learning drums on your own is a metronome. A metronome helps you maintain a stagnant and steady tempo. Drummers are required to maintain a steady beat.

Metronomes are both analog and digital, so you can opt for either option. Drumming with a metronome at the initial stage of your journey will give you a strong sense of rhythm.

3) How to hold drum sticks

Once you’ve bought the suitable drum sticks, the next step is learning how to hold them. There are proper techniques to hold drums sticks. Some of the grips are matched grip, traditional grip, German grip, American grip, French Grip, etc. The two main grips that you need to learn at the initial stage are the traditional grip and the matched grip.

You can choose the most appropriate grip style as you progress. The best way to do that is to practice a good drum stick technique. Poor drumming techniques can lead to injuries and are not very effective.

4) How to play drum rudiments

Drum rudiments are the basic patterns of drumming. After you have your basic equipment and have a sense of drumming techniques, then you’re ready to learn drumming fundamentals.

There are essentially 40 important drumming rudiments, all of which consist of distinct stick holding patterns and unique rhythms. Drumming rudiments are the building blocks of learning how to drum, so you should take your time learning all the rudiments slowly. Grasping all 40 rudiments effectively is the key to mastering the art of drumming. You can learn by watching online videos of drumming rudiments.

5) How to read drum sheet music

Drummers need to learn how to read drum notations. Once you comprehend drum sheet music, it can be employed as your secret weapon. Drum notation comprises of fairly simple codes. Drummers are encouraged to learn the basics before learning advanced techniques. You can read up on the internet about the basics of reading drum sheet music.

Now that you have everything prepped, it’s time to start playing. Use a combination of notes on only one drum initially. Reading the rhythmic exercises beforehand will help prepare you mentally. The rhythmic exercises should be read out loud so you have time to work it out before time.

6) How to get the rhythms down

Starting out with basic rhythmic exercises includes playing one surface only. This aids in the improvement of coordination and timing. After you’ve learned how to read and play rhythms on one drum, you can add another playing surface. You can start playing rhythms involving the left hand and the right hand. When your coordination starts improving, you can add on more surfaces.

7) How to read drum tabs

Drum tabs differ from drum sheet music as it focuses on a particular instrument. Drum tabs contain abbreviations of the drum parts such as:

  • T1 – Hi Tom
  • T2 – Low tom
  • FT – Floor Tom
  • B – Bass Drum
  • HF – Hi-Hat (with foot)
  • O – Bass Drum hits
  • X – Snare and Hi-Hat hits

Drum tabs are an easy way to read music.

8) How to practice drums for beginners

Once you’ve got the hang of all these steps, it’s time to start practicing if you want to master this craft. You can start by practicing simple and easy drum songs for beginners. Another easy way is to try and practice along with your favorite songs. However, nobody can master the art of drumming overnight; it takes a lot of time and practice. Watching online drumming videos and reading drumming blogs can be very helpful for learning drums on your own.

What are you waiting for? Grab your drum sticks and start learning drums on your own. Remember, the most important thing is to enjoy yourself!

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