Should Drummers Learn Music Theory?

music theoryIf you’re a drummer, does that mean you’re off the hook if you don’t want to learn music theory? Maybe you just want to rock out and learn some killer fills and wow the crowd with your solos. No need for modes, minor scales or the Circle of Fifths… right?

Think again. Learning music theory can be incredibly helpful to any musician, and excluding yourself from those Music Theory 101 classes is only holding you back. Sure, you may not need to memorize the pentatonic scales in order to master your rudiments, but with a little music theory knowledge, you’ll turn into the well-rounded professional you need to be if you’re looking at music for a career.

We’ve discussed how learning another instrument can help your musicianship, and learning theory goes hand-in-hand with that. And since you’re constantly working with other musicians, providing the backbone, understanding the why of what they’re playing will only benefit you as you collaborate and become a cohesive group.

Still not convinced? Here are some additional ways learning music theory can help any drummer:

– Better contributions to music composition for your band
– Open up your career options (trying out other instruments, teaching, etc.)
– Sharpen your instinct for fills and dynamics when you understand the chord structures
– Improve your ability to read notation, understand note values and count odd time signatures

Readers, how has learning music theory helped your drumming? Leave a comment below, or stop by our Facebook page to join the community!

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Photo by laraloola.

1 reply
  1. Dan Farrant
    Dan Farrant says:

    I totally agree I think all drummers should learn a little bit of music theory. Ok so maybe they don’t need to know everything but knowing about chords and cadences will help massively in making drummers more musical. I wish every drummer I played with learnt it!

    Reply

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