Like pop or rock music? Then you will know how important the drums are! The drums are the rhythmic backbone of most songs, driving the music along and giving you that pumping in your veins when you hear a groovy song.
Drums are a popular instrument to learn because of the ‘cool’ factor and because some people think it’s easy.
After all, what’s more to it than just hitting the drum, right?
While drums may seem simple because you don’t need to worry about being in tune, there is more to it than just waving your hands. Drumming requires a keen sense of rhythm and coordination, which takes a lot of practice to nail down.
If you are interested to learn more about playing the drums, here are some things you can expect to learn when you attend a basic drum lesson.
1. Know your instrument
Before you begin to play any instrument, you ought to be familiar with the parts of your instrument. You may have heard of 3-piece or 5-piece drum sets. The terms refer to the number of drums in the set, where the main essentials are the bass (or kick) drum, the snare drum, and the tom-toms.
In a 3-piece set, there is only one tom-tom, whereas in a 5-piece set, there are three tom-toms of varying pitches. The drumset typically also includes cymbals such as the hi-hat, crash, and ride cymbals.
A beginner drummer would need to take some time to learn the position of the different drums and cymbals, and associate them to the sounds they produce.
2. Build up your sense of rhythm
Having a sense of rhythm is the primary skill you need to play the drums, so this should be the key thing you will need to work on.
The best thing is you don’t need to actually play the drums to practice your sense of rhythm. You can practice in any way, from clapping your hands to tapping a pen on the table.
To make sure you are keeping on time, always practice with a metronome. You will need to begin with straightforward rhythms, before going on to more complex rhythms like off-beats, dotted notes, triplets, and mixed meters.
3. Train independency in both hands and feet
If you are a person with ‘two left feet’, you got a tough road ahead of you! Drumming involves coordination of both hands as well as both feet, which requires each of your limbs to be able to move independently.
For most people, they are dominant in one hand and foot, so their weak side tends to make the rhythm sound unstable. To achieve a more even sound, new drummers need to make the extra effort to train up control in their non-dominant side.
Some ways to do this include doing all your daily tasks with your non-dominant hand! It will be awkward at first, but once you get the hang of it, you will be able to play crisp rhythms and get the hang of more complex ones more quickly.
4. Practice regularly
Practice is vital to cultivating muscle memory and building up performance skills. Because the motions involved in drumming are larger than for most instruments, you will need to practice on the drumset to be able to hit the right drums and cymbals correctly.
A confident drummer will naturally also look the part, setting the right mood and groove with their every hit and bounce. Most drummers are also trained to memorise their scores so that they can be fully involved in the performance. Practice is thus a useful way to get their drum parts ingrained in their heads.
We’ve just given you a taste of the basic things you will encounter as a beginner drum learner. If you are keen to hone your drumming skills further and be able to rock out to your favourite songs, look out for basic drum lessons in Singapore today!