Playing the drums offers a variety of benefits. Learning to play the drums gives you a fun form of exercise, helps you develop confidence, and acts as a medium to release the stress and frustration of a busy day-to-day life.
Playing the drums is an art form that requires an advanced level of musical skill. Learning this instrument can give you a sense of accomplishment as well as an impressive ability to share with others.
Despite the appeal of these myriad benefits, learning to play the drums can be daunting to a musical novice. Keeping rhythm while simultaneously maintaining proper foot positioning and stick technique may seem like an unattainable level of coordination for someone who has previously never touched a musical instrument. However, learning to play the drums is a plausible goal. Here are some tips to help you get started.
Buy a Drum Kit (And Other Essential Equipment)
While this tip may seem obvious, buying a drum kit will make your desires to start playing the drums into a reality. Analyze your budget and purchase equipment that will meet your drum-playing needs.
Since you are likely just starting out, initially buying a practice pad may be the most reasonable option. A practice pad is lightweight, portable, and doesn’t produce as much noise that could bother people around you. This smaller version of a drum kit still allows you to pick up essential concepts just like a full drum kit would.
In addition to your practice pad, invest in a pair of quality drumsticks. These sticks should be durable and comfortable to handle. Consider what other equipment you may need based on your current skill set. For example, if you find it difficult to keep rhythm, invest in a metronome to make this aspect of drum playing easier.
Find a Reputable Music Store You Can Rely On
Research different music stores in your area, ideally ones that specialize in drums like this Portsmouth Drum Center. Once you settle on a store, create relationships with their employees. They are likely to give you enthusiastic advice on how to start your journey of learning to play the drums.
A lot of music stores are multi-purpose: they sell instruments, do repairs, and provide music lessons. Take initiative to begin drum lessons on a weekly basis. Work with the instructors to create a lesson schedule that you can commit to.
It is a good idea to establish a go-to music store that you can frequent whenever you need equipment or advice. Having a safe haven to visit whenever you feel discouraged from playing the drums will serve as a source of inspiration. Music stores offer a sense of community for those with a common interest in playing instruments.
Learn to Read Sheet Music
While it is possible to play the drums without it, learning to read sheet music will help you develop a consistent system to recognize what you should be playing.
Luckily, drummers use rhythmic notation instead of the melodic notation that other musicians use, like pianists and guitarists. Rhythmic notation is arguably easier to read than its melodic counterpart. Rhythmic notation depicts the spaces and lines on the musical staff as parts of the drum, like the snare drum, bass drum, or cymbals. In contrast, melodic notation has the player interpret lines and spaces as specific melodic tones.
Learning to read this simple form of sheet music is essential to drumming. It gives you a reliable and universal way to keep rhythm. Your skills will improve more quickly, and you will build a more solid foundation with the knowledge that learning sheet music brings.
Learning to skillfully play the drums is a dream for those who enjoy listening to music and envisioning themselves achieving the success of famous rock stars. Many do not realize that starting the process of learning this instrument is very realizable with the right equipment, community, and dedication to the fundamentals.