There’s a common belief that, in order to master any task, one must devote 10,000 hours to practising the correct way. Drumming, and certainly the wider world of percussion, surely is proof of this.
There are different types of drums and there are so many drum lessons available online. These lessons make it possible for one to learn how to drum at your convenience, at the pace that suits you and from any location in the world but if you can find an online tutor who is close to home, even better, as like all musical instruments you cannot beat face-to-face contact (where possible) for the finer nuances of learning.
The drums are an instrument which can have a varying number of pieces within a drum set or drum kit, in order to create sound.
A basic five-piece drum set typically includes the following:
- High tom (or first tom)
- Mid tom (or second tom)
- Floor tom (or low tom)
The drum set is usually set up for a right-handed drummer with the snare on the left side, however if you’re left-handed you can just reverse the setup. Remember that if you get used to playing with a left-handed setup, it can be harder in the future to use someone else’s drums.
If you’re worried that drum sets may be expensive, you can get a basic kit for as little as £200 and even electronic kits (a possible saviour for partners, family and neighbours) start at around the same price.
The drums are as difficult or as easy as almost any other instrument to play. You just need to invest time and energy into mastering the instrument if you want to get proficient and if you want to start playing with other musicians. With dedication, aptitude and work, you will be able to learn the drums fairly quickly – say, ten to 12 months to become proficient, and about 18 months to two years to get really good. But the drums are an incredibly rewarding instrument to play.
Apply yourself, practice, practice, practice and listen. There are so many styles, you will inevitably connect with a style that is for you, then your tutor will train and adapt you. What it really comes down to is whether you have an aptitude for the learning you’ve set yourself.
How do I start learning to play the drums?
Start a practice routine and learn basic drumbeats. Your tutor will then teach you how to learn drum fills. Get a metronome to stay in time.
You will then learn the basics of drum notation. These are the most basic elements needed to play drumbeats. Ninety percent of all drum playing is played on these pieces: hi-hat, snare drum, bass drum, oh, and a seat. Don’t get distracted by lots of other drums and lots of other cymbals – have you the kit of one of the best drummers? Look at Ringo Starr’s and that of Charlie Watts.
Drums are definitely more physically demanding than most other instruments. Drums take up a lot of space (plus you’ll need a car or van later on) and take a bit more effort to learn, but you should remember that being a drummer makes you the rock of any band.
Do I have to be able to read music to play drums?
Being able to read music will improve your understanding of music in general but while you won’t necessarily be a better musician if you can read drum music, you don’t need to be a fully fluent reader of music to still get the positive impacts from being able to follow along, learn and grow by reading.
Your tutor will explain the importance of tempo, breaks and when to hold back!