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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 Photo by Josh Tidsbury

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