If you have dreams of playing the drums like Keith Moon and Sheila E., you’re likely going to need to dedicate years of practice. However, that’s not to say you can’t make significant progress in just a few weeks if you commit yourself to learning and practicing.
To help you improve your drumming skills, we’ve outlined a guide of the best drum practice routines and tips for taking your music to the next level. Follow our advice, and be sure to practice every day to start seeing a major difference in your drumming ability.
Create a Daily Drum Practice Routine
We hate to break it to you, but there’s no way you’re going to master Led Zeppelin’s epic “Moby Dick” drum solo if you don’t put in some daily practice. Make it a habit instead of a chore.
Begin a daily drum practice routine by building practice time into your daily schedule and following it every day. Maybe you want to sit down at your drum set for at least 30 minutes before you head off to work, or perhaps you find playing after you get home helps you unwind and release some stress. If you miss a day, don’t stress, but if you can, add some extra practice time into your next session to make up for lost time.
Take Private Drum Lessons
If you want to set yourself up for sure success, sign up for private drum lessons. With a private drum teacher by your side, you kickstart your drum journey with the proper techniques so that you don’t pick up bad habits along the way. Your private drum teacher will create a drumming regimen for you to follow to help you kick off your drumming progress. Within just a few sessions, you’ll start to notice a difference.
At TakeLessons, we offer both in-person and online drum lessons. Our lessons are affordable and most importantly, flexible, which means you can find a drum class that suits your schedule and preferences.
Focus on a Few Drum Practice Routines at a Time
Knowing the 40 basic drum rudiments is essential to playing the drums well. Rudiments refer to specific sticking patterns, which basically assign certain notes for you to play with either your left or right hand. These exercises help you with your hand coordination.
During the next 30 days, choose a handful of drum practice routines to master. These exercises will help you work on rudiments, techniques, and rhythms and get comfortable alternating between the different drums. Once you get the hang of one, you can build on it and create new exercises. When you practice routines on the drums, you will become more familiar with all the moving parts of playing the drums.
For beginner routines, ask your drum teacher for some suggestions or check out this guide, which includes several exercises involving the snare drum, bass drum, and hi-hats.
Setting realistic goals should be an integral part of your drum practice routine. This involves both short- and long-term goals. As for short-term goals, what do you want to accomplish in the next week? Do you want to get the hang of that one tricky drum rudiment? Or what about that challenging drum exercise? Creating these small goals will help you see big progress over just the course of a few weeks.
And don’t forget about long-term goals. Maybe you want to try out for the local band ensemble next spring, or perhaps you want to master an iconic drum solo by your next birthday. Write down your goals and start working toward them today.
Practice Reading Drum Music
You’re not going to progress very far if you don’t know how to read drum music, so it’s important that you learn right off the bat. After all, how are you going to learn Dream Theater’s ever-challenging “The Dance of Eternity” without knowing the notes?
If you already know how to read sheet music, then you’re one step ahead. However, many drummers will also come across drum notations, drum charts, and even drum set notation, so it’s important to understand it all.
As with learning any new skill, start out with some simple drum music with easy rhythms to follow. Once you get comfortable reading this kind of music, you can start challenging yourself with more difficult drum patterns. Check out our post on how to read drum music for tips and tricks.
Play Without the Drums
The beauty of learning to play the drums is that you don’t always need to be sitting down at your drum kit to practice. You can easily transform any surface into your very own drum set, which is great if you don’t have access to your drums or need to play your instrument quietly.
Playing on an imaginary drum set lets you practice rhythms and techniques from virtually anywhere, whether you’re commuting on the train to work or waiting for your prescription at the pharmacy. Use tabletops, drum pads, pillows, or even your knees. And don’t forget about using your imaginary foot pedals! This is a great way to improve your muscle memory, practice your arm movements, and master difficult drum beats. Follow our guide for more tips on how to practice without a drum set.
If you commit to a daily drum practice routine, you will notice leaps and bounds in your playing ability even after just 30 days. Now imagine how well you’ll be able to play after 60 or 90 days! Don’t stop. Keep drumming, and you just might surprise yourself when your drumming skills drastically begin to improve.
What are you waiting for? It’s time to start your private drum classes right here at TakeLessons. Sign up with us today to begin practicing with a private drum teacher of your own.