Drumming

6 Drum Techniques to Take You to the Next Level

6 Drum Techniques to Take You to the Next LevelA typical goal for any musician, whatever your proficiency level, is to make it to the next level with your instrument.  Drums and percussion are the foundation of most bands and ensembles, so the skills you possess can benefit the whole group.  Keeping the rhythm and adding a unique element is the goal for drummers.  So how do you do it?  What habits do you need to add to your practice time?  Most importantly, what drum techniques will help you get there?  Here are six techniques that can help you improve your individual drumming skills and overall musicianship:

1) Mind over matter – A common theme that connects the best musicians is confidence.  Were you born to play?  You better believe that, because your mind, motivation, and determination are what are going to get you on your way!  The first technique you need to employ in your skill set, then, is the unwavering belief that you are going to succeed on drums.

2) Practice, hard work, and more practice – This could be interpreted as a habit, but also think of it as a technique.  To master anything, you have to practice it every day.  Even if you can only dedicate 15 minutes a day, that’s still 15 more minutes of experience than you had before.  Keep in mind the more time you set aside for your craft, the faster you can achieve your goals and become a better drummer. The best in the business put in plenty of hard work, effort, and practice – they also know that you never stop learning.

3) Physically prepare – Drumming is hard work.  Bodies twist and bounce; arms, feet, and legs are in constant motion; and when you’re performing or practicing, it can be physically exhausting!  Think of yourself in training.  Like any good marathoner, building your muscle foundation is essential to improving and going the distance.  Think of it as an endurance training for drums.  The more efficient your muscles are, the longer you can practice and play, and the closer you’ll be to getting to the next level with your drumming.

4) Play well with others – It’s one thing to play at home on your own, but it’s another to play with others.  Working with a group of musicians helps you learn many important drum techniques. For example, it will help you focus and learn to tune in to what others are doing. You’ll learn the delicate skill of playing as a unit, a key to becoming a successful drummer, as well as being part of a successful band. Plus, if you’re regularly playing with amazing and talented musicians, you might be motivated to up your game, as well!

5) Improve each individual drum technique – Whatever route you want to go musically, it can be helpful to learn the individual techniques of each type of drum.  Think snare technique, bass drum technique, and so on.  Start with drumming basics, and then build upon it. The better you get, the more you can work on developing your own signature style.  There are also plenty of online resources out there — videos, blogs, books, forums, etc.  Musicians tend to be a friendly group willing to share the keys to their success.  Take the advice from others and formulate it into your own success.  The basics are there for a reason; once you master them, you can go in almost any direction you want.

6) Try different styles of drumming – The beauty of drumming is that there are so many different styles you can learn!  For some cultures, drumming is a way of expressing spiritual beauty.  Each style and culture offers new techniques to try and perfect.  Some styles require your hands and feet, while others involve sticks, brushes, brooms, or pedals.  There are cymbals, chimes, cowbells, and Djembes.  The world of drumming is vast.  In the end, whether you want to be a heavy metal drummer or play Latin styles, the more you know, the better!

The opportunities to improve and learn new drum techniques are practically endless.  Arm yourself with a drum pad, metronome, practice space and time, some challenging music, and a drum teacher to guide you along – above all else, remember to have fun!

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Snare Drum

5 Best Drum Books for Beginners

5 Best Drum Books for BeginnersLearning to play the drums is not something you can do in a single day or a single lesson. Drumming is an art form, in many ways, and it takes time to develop. Beginner drummers can get frustrated easily, but stick with it and you’ll be playing the drums (and playing them well!) sooner than you might think. While private lessons are the quickest most efficient way to learn to play, you’ll also need to practice at home to really develop your talent. Combine this with the right drum books, and your skills will develop quickly. Below, we’ve listed five of the best drum books for beginners, so you can get started studying and practicing today:

If you’ve begun playing the drums, but want to expand into different beats, “The Drummer’s Bible” is one of the beginner drum books you should pick up. “The Drummer’s Bible” and its accompanying CDs offer a sampling of several different drumming styles and how to play them. This book takes readers through notation and reading music as well, but the CDs help to really drive the point home with aural examples. Because the book covers so many styles, you will only get a general overview of each, but it’s a great way to learn which styles interest you the most. Drum books like this one can also help you develop your own style by introducing you to drum beats that aren’t common.

“The Drummer’s Complete Vocabulary” is an excellent drum book for both beginners and intermediate players. It jumps past the absolute basics of drumming, and dives right into 86 rudiments. The book is written by John Ramsay, who happened to be a student of the late Alan Dawson, a prominent jazz drummer and teacher. While this book isn’t the perfect beginner’s book, it’s a great option for those who are looking to move from being a beginner drummer to an intermediate drummer quickly.

“Drumopedia” is a book intended for novices. Author Dan Britt takes readers through the basics of drumming, and then progresses to more difficult exercises. Pictures and large graphics make it the perfect book for a beginner to start learning from. Britt also ensures everyone who buys this book will continue learning by suggesting future reading to take players above and beyond beginner drumming. Overall, it’s a great book for the first-time player, and complements private drum lessons particularly well.

“The Complete Idiot’s Guide” series have been mocked by literary critics, but those who have used the books to learn something new usually disagree! This book will guide you through the very basics, up to intermediate drum playing. You’ll learn how to hold your drum sticks, exercises for basic beats and rudiments, how to read drum music, and more. It also offers great background information about the drums and the drum set, sections that many drumming instruction guides miss. Seasoned players can also benefit from this book, as well. Because it focuses on the basics, it’s a great brush-up guide for those who haven’t played in a while, or for drummers who taught themselves how to play over many years.

If you’re looking for drum books that focus on playing with others, you might feel like you are coming up short. “Berklee Practice Method: Drum Set” is one of the few drum books that takes a real look at how playing with others can hone your skills as a drummer. The book takes you through the basics of drumming, but then veers off into playing with others and playing by ear.

These drum books are a great place to start learning and further developing your skills as a drummer. If you are serious about learning to play the drums, combine these drum books with private lessons and effective practice at home. So sit down, read, and enjoy your new hobby! As long as you have passion and the patience for practice, we know you’ll become a great drummer soon enough.

 

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Young Drummr

Drums for Kids: What Should You Do if Your Child Wants to Quit?

Drums for Kids: What Should You Do if Your Child Wants to Quit?Parents, you know that your child’s likes, dislikes, and interests can change at the drop of a hat. Maybe your toddler started by banging on your pots and pans on the kitchen floor, and went on to develop a strong affinity to rhythm-making in the years that followed – so much so that you took the plunge, bought a drum set, and enrolled your little Dave Lombardo into private drumming lessons. You’ve put up with a lot of loud after-dinner practice sessions, then fewer, and fewer, until you heard: “I want to quit playing the drums.”

Even if there’s a part of you yearning for a quiet home life, what’s the right thing to do?  How should a supportive parent handle the issue of quitting ahead of mastering a musical skill? Is it okay to let your tween give up on something simply because it’s getting increasingly difficult? Or should you force them to continue playing the drums purely because you’re against the concept of quitting? Or because you understand the benefits of drums for kids that your aspiring rock star will thank you for later? Let’s explore a few suggestions you could consider if you find yourself wanting to encourage your child to keep playing the drums…

Talk to Your Child

When you hear moans and groans about practice (or no drum practice at all), it’s time to start doing your own investigation. Your first stop should be your child. Talk to them about why they feel like quitting, in a relaxed environment – perhaps take them on a low-key ice cream date. When it comes to quitting drums for kids there’s no one-size-fits-all approach, because every little rock star has his or her own personality and musical sensibility. Try to figure out the underlying reasons for this new lack of interest by asking a few questions:

  • Why do you feel like quitting?
  • Are you finding lessons too difficult?
  • What exactly are you finding difficult?
  • Do you want to play another instrument perhaps?
  • Are you interested in trying out a different hobby altogether?

The most common response is perhaps hitting a roadblock with a particular beat or area of rhythm development. This, however, can be addressed with our next suggestion.

Chat With Your Child’s Drumming Instructor

Having a conversation with your child’s drumming instructor (without your child around) can help you gain insight into what’s happening during lessons. Be honest with the teacher about your child’s lack of interest or desire to quit; the odds are that they have probably noticed a behavior change by now anyway. By addressing this as a team, you can both give special attention to the area that your kid is possibly struggling with – maybe they can spend more time on it in class and you can offer positive reinforcement around it when your child practices at home.

If in your initial conversation with your child, their response was related to their instructor, then be sensible when you address this issue. Perhaps discuss technique or teaching methodology in relation to what you know about your child’s learning style and personality. Remember that while you are not an expert on drums for kids, you do know your child best and can offer suggestions about the best way to encourage him or her. There should be a team effort from all the adults involved, as well as the child in terms of extra effort.

Get Inspired Together

Make a deliberate effort to expose your kid to great drumming – even better if it somehow relates to drums for kids or teenagers. Go to concerts or experience a few fun workshops, perhaps; do whatever you need to do to get those hands and feet tapping again! You can get really out of the box here by even doing a family djembe drumming workshop or something similar. Another great idea is to do some homework on YouTube. Try finding a few awesome drum tutorials online or solos performed by kids at a similar age to your child. Watching these clips together may inspire your little drummer to get back at it! This combination of formal drum lessons for kids with a dash of fun or social drumming could be just the thing your child needs.

Change Up the Music

Consider learning more about the kinds of beats your child gravitates toward. He or she might have a flair for something you may not be familiar with; you can then listen to the music together in the car or at home, which will keep your child excited and inspired. You can also try chatting with your child’s drumming instructor about finding a way to work some of these pieces into a lesson a two.

Encourage Home Practice

After you’ve gone through some of these steps and your kid has agreed to stick to drumming lessons, it’s crucial that you create a positive atmosphere around home practice. Learning any musical instrument requires a high level of discipline, and practice must be placed in the mandatory section of your kid’s to-do list. It should fall under the same bracket as normal homework.

The parents of many a drumming legend have walked the same road you’re on today. Be patient and stay positive – it will be worth all the hard work and effort. Most people look back on music lessons fondly, even if they struggled at the time. Later on in life, your child will appreciate the extra push you gave to them!

 

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Drum Benefit

Our 8 Best Tips for Effective Drum Practice

Our 9 Best Tips for Effective Drum PracticeWhat’s more important: the amount of drum practice you do, or the quality of the  practice? Although you might be tempted to lock yourself in your room for a week to goof around on the drums, studies have shown that the amount of practice isn’t always an indicator of outstanding drumming performance. Rather, drummers who employ long practice sessions of average quality will never perform at high level. And high-quality practice over short periods of time won’t help drummers achieve the results they expect, simply because they don’t practice enough.

So, how do you make sure you’re developing good practice habits? How can you ensure your practicing is efficient? Read on for ten helpful tips to think about the next time you sit down at your drum set:

  1. Make a practice plan. One of the things you can do to get the most out of your drum practice is to set goals for each session. For instance, if your hand techniques are more advanced than your foot techniques, you should place more emphasis on practicing foot techniques during the next few weeks. Then, you can gradually include more and more hand technique exercises until you obtain a perfectly balanced practice schedule. Consider keeping a practice journal that you can check at a later date to see what exactly worked best, and plan future practice sessions based on your strengths and weaknesses.

  2. Maintain a positive attitude. For effective drum practice, it’s important to stay positive! Unfortunately, your own fear of failure can prevent you from developing the attitude you need to succeed. So what can you do? If you feel that drumming is just too difficult for you, tell your drum teacher about your concerns, and then create a “plan of attack” together. Maybe you need to set some easier goals to begin with, or try some different styles to feel more inspired. Adopting the right attitude can help you overcome any challenges and get you back on the right track if you lose your way.

  3. Follow the 80/20 rule. The 80/20 rule is simple: basically, 80% of your success is determined by only 20% of your efforts. The trick, then, is determining where that 20% lies – and focusing on that. Reflecting back on your practice plan, whatever you’ve identified as your weakness should make up a big part of that 20%. By following this rule, you can eliminate the “useless” practice and instead really hone in your goals and progress.

  4. Pay attention to posture. Good posture is critical when practicing drums. That’s because posture plays an essential role in building physical habits, which can make or break your ability to play by affecting your speed, control, power, and overall technique. Since the body posture you adopt when practicing will become  like second nature over time, you need to pay attention to your posture from the very beginning. In addition, specialists advise drummers to warm up their muscles before a drum practice session if they want to gain speed and endurance.

  5. Use a metronome. Since a metronome emphasizes rhythm problems, using this tool may be discouraging, especially in the beginning. However, it’s the only way to improve your timing and help you stay in control of your playing. If you continue to practice with a metronome, you’ll be able to develop a solid groove and play the drums like a pro.

  6. Mix up your practice. While you’re using the 80/20 rule as your practice, keep in mind this doesn’t mean just practicing the same thing over and over – that can get boring! Instead, make sure to mix in fun songs and new things, jam with friends, play along with your favorite music, and practice in new ways (such as without your actual drum set). If you feel like you’re stuck in a rut, don’t be afraid to speak with your teacher! He or she can offer advice and give you new things to practice, so you stay motivated and passionate about your playing.

  7. Set up your practice area. Setting up a comfortable, inviting practice area will help you find joy in what you do, which will encourage you to practice more. You might consider adding a mirror to your practice space, so you can check your posture, or record yourself using a video camera and then watch it to review your performance with a clear mind.

  8. Have fun. Practicing with attention is very important, but don’t forget to have fun while you’re at it! Play what you love to play and practice exactly what you want to practice. This way, you’ll learn new techniques, develop excellent drumming skills, and become a pro without even realizing it.

Drumming – what a wonderful way to express yourself! We hope that these tips offer you a perfect practicing recipe, which will help you get the most out of your drum practice sessions. Good luck!

 

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Drum Tutorial

5 Resources for Finding Drum Tutorials Online

5 Resources for Finding Drum Tutorials OnlinePlaying the drums can be a ton of fun – and it’s certainly a popular instrument to learn, as is clear by the number of drum tutorials you can find online. Like anything else on the Internet, however, you really have to be careful about the sources you’re learning from. It’s far too easy to learn things incorrectly, and some bad habits can be very difficult to break! When it comes to drum techniques like your grip, it can be particularly detrimental to learn incorrectly, and may even lead to injuries.

With so many online resources out there, your biggest issue is going to be finding one that is not only good, but that is geared toward your or your child’s learning style.

The following five websites can really help with basic knowledge and getting to know the ropes, as well as pointing you to other useful sites for aspiring drummers:

DrumLessons.com

This is a great website for basic drum tutorials. From warm-ups to working with your weaker hand to lessons for different types of drums, this website can help drummers of all levels. Additional articles and tips accompany each drum tutorial, which can be very helpful. There are different instructors featured in the videos, so if you have a preference you might be disappointed when a different instructor appears for the lesson you click.

VicFirth.com

This is another great site for free drum tutorials, as well as product info and news from Vic Firth, one of the leading drum stick makers. You can also read stories from professional drummers and watch them drum, which can be helpful to see the different angles and playing styles. You’ll also find a drum stick comparison chart, downloadable playalong tracks, and branch out to other websites with their library of resources and links.

YourMusicMuse.com

This website has much more than just drum tutorials! To start, you have to sign up for their weekly emails, and this also gives you access to several free drum tutorials. Most of the content is geared toward beginners, so once you mastered the tutorials they offer, you may need to find another resource to learn from. Or, you can pay for their premium membership plan, which gives you unlimited access and additional videos and resources.

OnlineDrummer.com

If you want to learn how to read drum sheet music, this is one of the best sites to find instructions. Check out the Sheet Music tab for diffent categories and lessons, which makes it easy to zero in on what you need. The site does have a major flaw though: it’s cluttered, both with pertinent and irrelevant information, particularly the home page. By skipping over to the Drum Lessons tab you can access the drum tutorials, but even those can be a bit much to look at. If you are easily distracted you may want to avoid using this as a resource. If you can keep your focus, however, there is a lot of great content to explore!

YouTube.com

Once you have some of the drum basics down, YouTube can be a great place to search for specific songs or more advanced techniques. Avoid running a search for something vague, like “How To Drum,” because you will get a lot of stuff you don’t want or need. Keep in mind that YouTube also isn’t ideal for learning techniques like proper grip, because that’s something you’ll want to learn from your drum teacher, as a literal hands-on approach will ensure you’re learning it correctly!

The biggest benefit of YouTube is that it’s free. As long as you are careful about what you’re search for – and double-checking the information you learn with your drum teacher –  this is a resource you can return to again and again for nearly everything.

Conclusion

Ultimately, if you really want to learn how to play the drums, working with a private drum teacher will make a huge difference. A teacher can monitor your progress, correct issues you aren’t likely to notice, and guide you along at the right pace. No matter how good an online tutorial is, it lacks the personal approach that ensures you’re progressing in the right direction. Think of online resources instead as fillers to help you in between lessons or to refresh your memory on things you learned. By surrounding yourself with resources, guidance, and support for your learning, your drumming experience will be much more efficient – and fun!

 

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Sticks

Here’s Why Drum Sheet Music Can Be Your Secret Weapon

Why is it Important to Learn Drum Sheet Music?So, you’re ready to take your drum playing to the next level. Contrary to popular opinion, throwing down some rocking beats isn’t just a matter of grabbing a pair of drum sticks and hitting the skins. Drumming is both an art and a skill enhanced by proper training and the right tools. The ability to read drum sheet music falls into both categories. Read on to learn more about how to improve your drumming through this powerful technique to add to you musical toolbox.

Rock Harder

Drum tabs can be useful when you are just starting out, but they become increasingly ineffective as rhythms progress into more challenging territory. While drum tabs indicate a music passage’s most rudimentary aspects, such as rhythm, they omit essential intricacies, such as tempo, time signature, and accents. Understanding how to read drum sheet music can help you make sense of these instructions and turn them into the correct beats.

While learning to read drum sheet music may seem overwhelming at first, a good instructor can help you achieve your goals and can work with you in applying your new skills. For an additional resource, check out How to Read Drum Notation, which offers a handy introduction to reading drum sheet music. Remember, the more you practice and develop your sheet music reading skills, the more confident you’ll be in drumming technique.

Communicate and Collaborate

While you might initially work on your drumming alone in your garage or basement, you will eventually want to take your skills out into the real world. Playing with others is a rewarding part of being a musician and offers an exciting opportunity to develop your abilities. The power to read sheet music enhances the experience for you and your fellow musicians. Knowing how to read sheet music also improves both your accuracy and responsiveness as a musician, allowing you to specifically denote what and when things should be happening. Simply jot down your beats and refer to them later.

Being able to read music is also an important part of improving your marketability if you’re interested in picking up gigs; your contribution as a potential band member multiplies exponentially when you can just glance at the music and immediately start playing along. The ability to read drum sheet music helps you to quickly and comprehensively engage in the collaborative experience of playing music with others.

Explore New Territory

Exploring different types of music fosters the development of new skills, while expanding your knowledge of various types of music. Drum tabs are helpful for getting by when playing music you’ve already heard, but reading drum sheet music offers you a unique invitation to play unfamiliar styles, from classical to contemporary and beyond. Furthermore, the better you are at reading sheet music, the more you will appreciate the diverse range of musical flavors that fill the world. In other words, reading sheet music lets you transform novel notes on a page into brand-new drum hits simply by looking at them. While it may be difficult at first, your brain will eventually begin to decode notes on the fly.

While not all successful drummers have the ability to read drum sheet music, the ones who do reap countless rewards. Check out The Ultimate Guide to Drum Sheet Music for a quick introduction on how to read sheet music, then make a commitment to becoming a better drummer by learning this valuable skill. Good luck!

 

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Feet

Five Drum Exercises You Can Try – No Equipment Needed

Five Drum Exercises You Can Try - No Equipment NeededHave you ever worried that not having access to a drum set would prevent you from learning to play? Think again – there are actually plenty of drum exercises that you can do without a drum set or a pair of drum sticks! And even if you do have a drum set, these exercises can be very helpful in learning basic rhythm patterns and paradiddles – especially if you need to practice quietly. Continue reading and check out some of these exercises, if you want to perfect your drumming techniques (and maybe pick up a few new ones) without a drum set  - or the risk of disturbing your neighbors.

1. Build Strength on Your Weak Side

Unless you’re ambidextrous, you naturally favor either your right or left side. With some instruments this isn’t really a problem, but with drumming you need to be able to work your weaker side for both your hands and feet. Your weaker side will likely get tired sooner, so it’s important to build strength on this side to keep up your stamina when practicing and performing. Otherwise, you risk negatively impacting your drumming, since it’s harder to stay balanced. Try simple things like brushing your teeth with your non-dominant hand, or when watching the TV try to raise your weak leg up and down slowly in series of reps to help build strength and mobility.

2. Listen to the Greats

Drumming is a musical art form like no other; when you play a drum set you’re really playing 10 or more percussion instruments at once. While some popular music these days is pretty simplistic (and repetitive, in some cases), it’s important to listen to a variety of music styles to help culture your musical ear and introduce you to new styles. Try listening to music that uses irregular time signatures or different grooves, like reggae, to really train your ear. With each song you listen to, you’ll be improving your ability to discern different drumming within just a few beats.

3. Use a Metronome

Drum exercises don’t necessarily require any accessories, but a good one to invest in is a metronome. Traditional or electronic ones are equally effective. You can use a metronome when working with a practice pad or even by simply clapping or tapping along to its pace – as the metronome clicks, tap out rolls or fills. This will help make sure your rolls stay in time when you do sit down at your drum set. Your muscle memory, built up from working with a metronome, will also help your timing when you play.

4. Focus On Your Feet

When practicing, don’t always allow your hands to do the work; your feet are just as important when it comes to playing the drums. If you don’t have pedals at home, tapping your feet in time to a metronome or recorded music is a great alternative. If you’re just starting out, watch your tapping to see if you only bring your heel down in time to the music. If you do, try making your whole foot come down in a tap, which will help you prepare for new techniques. Once you’ve perfected this method, you can move on to alternately tapping your toe and heel to achieve the heel-toe technique, and add double kicks to your repertoire of skills.

5. Keep in Time

If you’re stuck in the car and want to use your time productively for drum exercises, simply turn on the radio and tap along in time with the music. You can check your ability to keep pace by turning the the radio down for 30 to 40 seconds, and then back up to see if you’re still keeping the right time. As you keep practicing, increase the time you turn the radio down to make it more challenging.

Working without drums, or even a pair of sticks, can help make you become a better drummer and improve your skills. Once you’re in front of a drum set, these few drum exercises will help you be your best.

 

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Practicing Drums

Want to Learn Drums? Here’s The One Thing You Shouldn’t Ignore

Want to Learn Drums? Here's The One Things You Shouldn't IgnoreToday, the Internet abounds with tons of free online tutorials on how to play drums. So why would you be interested in private, one-on-one lessons? If you choose private drum lessons, you not only have to pay a teacher, but also to attend every single lesson. Although these two things may determine you to opt for a free online drum course, taking private lessons is actually the one thing you can’t ignore if you’re serious about playing drums.

Why? Well, simply because learning how to play drums correctly is more difficult than it seems. Chances are you’ll misinterpret something or develop a bad habit you may not even be aware of. Thus, to learn drums correctly, it’s imperative to correctly learn everything you need to know about playing the drums, without necessarily limiting yourself. This is where a qualified teacher can step in.

Private Drum Lessons: Are They for Everyone?

The unfortunate truth is that some drummers make little progress after years of studying drums on their own. And some of them are playing far below their potential. The reason? They’ve never had a qualified teacher to explain to them how to play with proper technique or how to read drum music – both necessary skills to help you elevate your skills as a drummer.

Max Weinberg, Dave Weckl, and Neil Peart – three top-notch drummers who have taken private lessons well into their professional years -prove that drummers of all levels should always be working to improve their skills!

Private lessons are a good choice because you get one-one-one guidance from a professional who can show you exactly what you need to work on. Since everyone learns (and teaches!) differently, finding the right teacher for you is key. Your teacher should be experienced and qualified but also know how to communicate, explain techniques well, and be patient. With a supportive teacher on your side, you’ll not only learn drums correctly, but also gain confidence, which is so important in achieving your goals!

Learn to Relax

Feet, hands, and passion – you may think that this is all you need to play drums like a pro. However, no matter what your goals in drumming are, you have to learn drums the right way if you want to make them sound alive. Learning proper foot and hand techniques is a key element that will dictate your success as a drummer. A good drum teacher can show you these techniques, as well as teach you how to relax while playing the drum set. Relaxation is critical because it can help you avoid many problems, such as getting out of sync with your band or speeding up without noticing.

When Feet and Hands Don’t Want to Work Together…

Many newbies have this problem. Could it be because most of them focus on their hands and ignore their feet when they first start to learn drums? You can easily avoid this issue if you work with a qualified teacher, who can identify where you’re stumbling, and assign you specific exercises that can help you improve.

Additionally, your teacher can teach you specific tips and tricks, such as playing the bass drum with your right heel up and the ball of your foot on the foot board, while lifting and lowering your leg when you need to get more power. If you intend to play soft music like jazz, your teacher may advise you to play with your right heel down and your foot flat on the pedal, pivoting from the ankle.

For perfect coordination, you need to also improve your hand technique. According to the best teachers, the only way to learn drums correctly is to know the basics very well. A solid foundation is the key to becoming a true professional.

Practice, Practice, and Practice Again

Many newbies are confident that they can learn how to play drums by themselves. However, most of them fail because they don’t set a regular practice schedule. Even if you create such a schedule, daily tasks can easily get in the way.

On the other hand, if you’re paying for your drum lessons, you’ll most probably do everything you can to attend all of them. Establishing a regular practice schedule is very important because it gives you the chance to learn exciting things and gain new skills, which can keep you interested and motivated. Further, a consistent drum practice routine will help you stay in great drumming shape.

Finally, a drum teacher can show you how to choose the best drum sticks, how to improve your posture and balance, how to practice at home without annoying your family and neighbors, how to continue improving your hand and foot techniques, and many other things. Above all these, a teacher can provide encouragement and support when you’re struggling.

Simply put, working with a qualified teacher to learn drums is one of the best decisions you can make. Not only can a professional direct you toward the best learning methods, but he or she can also help you achieve your musical goals without facing the hardships of self-learning. Good luck!

 

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Neil Peart

How to Play Drums Like Your Favorite Rockstars

How to Play Drums Like Your Favorite RockstarsWho can resist the beat of a drum? The drum has been around for many generations and has been used in many different ways. From ancient tribes that used the drums to tell stories and guide ceremonies to your favorite rock band that uses the drums to enhance everything about their music, drums have a long, enchanting history. If you’re interested in learning how to play the drums, you’re certainly not alone!

So what is your drum fantasy? Would you like to be able to play the drums well enough to imitate your favorite rockstar? Can you see yourself on stage as the drummer in a popular band? Whatever your reason for learning how to play drums, with a dedicated drum teacher you can learn how to play drums quickly and efficiently. Let’s take a look at a few popular drummers, their playing style, and how you can achieve the same from your musical practice.

Neil Peart

A member of the band Rush, Peart is well-known for his drum solos during concerts. You can listen to Peart’s solos on any of Rush’s live albums, just to get a taste for his style. Peart is considered to be a drum genius, and is perhaps best known for his amazing hi-hat beats.

Learning to play hi-hat beats requires hand-foot coordination, so take the time with your instructor to learn the basic moves until they become second nature to you. Your movements on the drums should happen as easily and unconsciously as breathing!

To begin, make sure your drums are set up correctly, so you’re able to efficiently coordinate hands and feet. One way to get used to coordinating your body is to practice a series of exercises that will help your mind separate your limbs. For example, play one beat on the hi-hat cymbal, one beat on the snare drum, one beat on the bass drum, and one beat on the hi-hat pedal. You will be playing with a sequence of right-hand-left hand-right foot-left foot. Take it slow until you can move through the sequence with few mistakes. Increase your speed as you become comfortable, and you’ll be on your way to creating more involved hi-hat beats as you progress.

Carl Palmer

Much of Palmer’s success was found as a member of Emerson, Lake & Palmer, an English progressive rock group. One of the styles that set Carl Palmer apart from others was his ability to play in complicated time signatures.

The key to learning time signatures is to first start with the pulse. The “pulse” of music is the basic beat that the music carries throughout the piece. There are a few ways you can learn to find the pulse of music:

  • The simplest way is to tap your foot to the beat of the music as you play.

  • When you practice, use a metronome. This will help you to keep in time with the pulse of the music as you are learning how to play drums.

  • Learn to count notes out loud, which helps you internalize the beat as you’re reading drum sheet music.

Hal Blaine

Blaine is an American drummer best known for his performances with the Wrecking Crew. He has also performed on several Grammy Award-winning hits, including “A Taste of Honey” (Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass, 1966), “Mrs. Robinson” (Simon & Garfunkel, 1969), and “Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In” (5th Dimension, 1970). He is also a member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum.

Throughout over four decades of work, Blaine has performed on over 35,000 musical pieces – and because of this, he is one of the most versatile drummers today. This is an incredible skill for any drummer to work on, and will help you stay at the top of your game. To do this, simply incorporate all different styles of drumming into your practice sessions. Here are some styles you might incorporate:

  • Rock

  • Funk

  • Blues

  • Jazz

  • Latin

And that’s just the beginning! Learning how to play drums is a wonderful hobby. And who knows – with the right amount of dedication and practice, maybe you’ll become the next drum rockstar!

 

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Teaching Drums

Is It Possible to Teach Yourself Drums?

Learning How To Play Drums By Yourself Are the drums your favorite instrument? It’s no surprise that you want to learn how to replicate the complicated off-beats and insane rolls you hear your favorite drummers pull off with ease. After all, the drummer is the backbone of the band, the foundation on which all other musicians build their music. But is it possible to teach yourself drums, or should you hire a professional instructor? Use this guide to get started and make that decision for yourself.

Buy a Drum Set

Before you can begin, you’ll need an instrument! Until you’re sure that drums are the right instrument for you, choose a basic, beginning drum set. Expect the required investment to be about $300 to $500. Buying a beginner drum set gives you time to develop your style and learn what you really need before you spend thousands on the perfect drums. Your basic set should include:

  • Bass drum with pedal and mounted tom drum

  • Snare drum and stand

  • Floor tom drum

  • Crash-ride cymbal and stand

  • Hi-hat cymbals and stand

  • Stool (also known as the drummer’s throne)

Also, don’t forget the drum sticks and drum key to tune the heads. If in doubt, choose 5B drum sticks with a wood tip. These are the most popular because the length and diameter are pretty standard. As your skills grow and your needs change, you can experiment with different drum sticks and add more pieces to your drum set.

Keep in mind that digital drum sets are also available to teach yourself drums. These have pressure-sensitive pads that make no more than a light tapping sound, but with headphones on, you can rock out to different drum sounds, allowing for hours of fun as you customize your drumming with different songs.

Dive Right In

With your drum set assembled and beckoning you, go ahead and give in to temptation. Pop in a CD and dive right in, playing along to the beats you know well. You might laugh at your efforts to sound like a seasoned drummer on your very first attempt to teach yourself drums, but there’s nothing wrong with that. Now’s the time to adjust the height of your stool, move the cymbals around, and tweak the floor tom’s angle as needed.

Find Useful Resources

You’ve taken the first big steps. Now it’s time to get serious about learning to play the drums! That means finding resources that can teach you basic beats and rhythms, how to build your stamina, and so on. Some of our favorite resources to teach yourself drums include:

  • Vic Firth playalong tracks: Playalong tracks are incredibly useful for perfecting your drumming prowess. Vic Firth offers free downloads of PDFs with useful explanations and pictures, as well as drumming sheet music for some of your favorite songs. Free mp3 tracks with and without the drums let you practice with as little or as much help as you need. Vic Firth’s website is full of great resources, too.

  • Mel Bay percussion books: Mel Bay has been producing great instructional percussion books for over 50 years. Your local music store is likely to sell Mel Bay drumming technique books, but you can also download an eBook version from the website.

  • Alfred Music drums & percussion books: Alfred is another big name in musical technique books. Many books come with a CD, DVD, or video streaming access to enhance your learning experience and make it easier to teach yourself drums.

  • MusicRadar: Playing the drums isn’t all fun and games. You also need to take time to maintain your drum set if you want it to last. This resource has everything you need to know about sprucing up your drum set without accidently damaging anything.

Consider Hiring a Teacher

While books and Internet resources are incredibly valuable to teach yourself drums, there’s nothing that compares to meeting one-on-one with a teacher. Signing up for formal drum lessons will help you:

  • Ensure your drums are set up correctly: Yes, you can look up guides to get an idea of how to set up your drums, but you miss out on the option to ask someone who’s present in the room whether your setup is correct. You can move forward with confidence when a teacher is right at your side making adjustments to your drum set’s layout if needed.

  • Establish good technique: It’s easier to learn good technique the first time around. If you pick up information online and teach it to yourself incorrectly, you either hang on to that bad habit forever or you’re forced to retrain yourself if you decide to hire a teacher in the future. A teacher can pass on knowledge of stellar stick technique, foot positioning, and snare work so you get it right from the very start.

  • Get recommendations for additional learning materials: While you can find plenty of resources on your own, your teacher has years of experience and knows which books are truly the most effective. Some teachers lend you books for free as a benefit of taking lessons from them, which helps the cost of lessons pay for itself.

  • Receive personalized advice: Do an Internet search of which drum set or sticks are the best and you’ll come across plenty of contradicting information. Much of the time this is because someone is selling something. Your teacher genuinely wants you to succeed and will offer the best advice that years of experience can offer.

  • Learn to tune your drums: Tuning drums is an art that not all drummers master. Those who become teachers can show you the right way to tune your drums for a more appealing sound and longer equipment lifespan. It’s much easier to learn this important step with an experienced drum teacher by your side.

  • Be held accountable: It’s all too easy to slack off when you teach yourself drums. You might be enthusiastic at first but then lose the will to practice. A teacher will hold you accountable and guide you along at an appropriate pace.

  • Continue progressing: Perhaps you have some experience playing the drums, but you stopped taking lessons years ago. Without a teacher, it can be difficult to force yourself outside your comfort zone. After all, you already know this set of off-beats or those killer drum rolls; why would you go through the difficulty of learning something new when you can just mess around with what you’re already good at? Working with a teacher is the best way to challenge yourself and improve your skills beyond their current level.

Whether you’re a beginner or you’re looking to refine an old skill, it’s always better to work with an experienced teacher instead of trying to teach yourself drums. All the resources in the world are useless unless you learn to apply them correctly, and a good teacher is the key to accomplishing that. Good luck!

 

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Photo by Keenon Lindsey