Learning how to play the drums can be very rewarding. You will not only be learning about how to play the major drum rudiments but also about the commitment and dedication it takes to become a musician. 

Becoming a drummer is a multi-dimensional experience. Those who dedicate themselves to learning the intricacies of a drum might also learn about different drum patterns, drum notation, and even sight-reading.

You must put time and effort into an instrument. Perfecting your musical instrument will take years of lessons and practice but it will also bring you a lot of joy and amazing talent that you can share with friends and family.

Some people are able to self teach an instrument, but for others that need a little guidance, there are plenty of drum teachers available to mentor you through learning the drums. Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about getting your start in the world of music through your drums. 

Drums Lessons for Beginners

No one is born a drummer, which means that there are always beginners. Beginner drum lessons are readily available for anyone that wants to pick up some drum sticks. No matter your age, there is a class just for you, it is a matter of finding one.

Drum lessons give you a solid foundation for you to build off of. During your first drum lesson, you will likely only beat the drum a couple of times but instead focus on learning the parts of your drum set, how to hold your drumsticks and the basics for reading music.

drummer set
Learning about the parts of a drum kit can set you apart for the first class. (Photo by David Martin on Unsplash)

If you would like to get ahead of the curb, it would be good if you knew a little bit about each of the percussion instruments you will be working with.

Here are a couple of the most common pieces in a drum kit:

  • Bass Drum - this is also called a kick drum and is hit with the foot pedal located by on the rim of the drum nearest to the floor. This drum usually gives the lowest notes and sounds throughout the set.
  • Cymbals - most cymbals are used to give accent notes. There is a minimum of two cymbals in the average drum kit. They would most likely be ride cymbals and crash cymbals.
  • Tom toms - these are usually placed above the kick drum. There are usually two, a rack tom and a floor tom, in a regular 5 piece set.

Some drum sets will come with a lot more than 5 pieces, but you won't need to worry about that until a later date. For now, focus on getting down the basics and keeping up with working on your practice pad. 

How to Find Your Ideal Drum Teacher

Once you have decided you want to attend drum lessons, it is only a matter of finding the right teacher for you. The best way to learn anything is to have the proper guidance that you feel motivates you in the right way. You must find a teacher that understands your musical goals and knows how to best help you achieve them.

percussionists
If you choose to learn the drums at a music school, you will be playing likely to be playing alongside other instruments. (Photo by Dimitri Bong on Unsplash)

There are a couple of places that you can find listings for drum lessons, whether they be group lessons or private lessons.

  • Music school or conservatory
  • Online postings
  • Superprof website
  • Postings at local music stores

When you have a list of prospective drum instructors, you will have to narrow it down to one. Many music teachers might provide a free drum lesson so that you can see how they fit your preferences. This way you can decide with more certainty who you would like to commit to.

There are also other factors that come in when deciding on a music teacher. To begin with, they should have plenty of experience on the drums, especially if you are looking for a long term commitment. You also need to consider their style of teaching. Keep in mind how you learn best and what teaching methods you best respond to.

You might also want to ask for references and certifications. Reviews and lists of their qualifications as a music instructor will give the evidence needed to make an informed decision.

Make sure that in your search for a drumming teacher you specify what your preferred music style is and what skill level you hold.

How Much are Drum Lessons?

Drum lessons average at $30 to $50 dollars an hour. Online drum courses might be a bit less since the instructor does not have to take time to drive to a mutual location. Additionally, group lessons are also a cheaper option since the cost for a teacher is divided amongst the students.

Budgeting for drum lessons
Budgeting for drum lessons needs to include money for additional equipment. (Photo by Dmitry Demidko on Unsplash)

These cheaper options, online classes or group music lessons, are more budget-friendly but you won't have the one-on-one interaction that you might need to set a solid foundation.

Learning how to drum can be quiet intricate work. There are a lot of moving parts. A snare drum here, a cymbal there, and a drum stick to hold. All of these elements should be learned through thorough instruction, especially as a beginner.

Here are a couple of factors that affect the cost of drum lessons:

  • Location of class
  • Lesson length 
  • Qualifications of the tutor
  • Student skill level

Plenty of other components affect the cost of drum lessons but these are the main ones.

The price you pay per lesson is not the only investment you will make to play the drums. Drummers need a variety of other materials and equipment to make the most out of their skill.

Accessories such as a metronome, drum throne, hi-hats, and practice pads are all needed to make a good drum player to the next level. The cost of this equipment should also be taken into consideration when you are budgeting for your drumming hobby. 

What Drum Equipment do I Need?

When you learn how to play drums you will not be using one singular drum but rather a group of them, commonly known as a drum set or drum kit. 

A drum setup may include:

  • kick drums
  • snare drums
  • cymbals
  • tom-toms
electronic drum set
An electronic drum set includes all of the above but through digital sounds. (Photo by freestocks.org on Unsplash)

In addition to the instruments you will be playing, there are a couple of other accessories that every drummer should have.

A practice pad is a substitute for a snare drum and can help you practice your rudiments and drum roll. Practice pads are easily transportable so that you can practice everywhere. It is also a quieter version of a drum and causes a little less disturbance. Most practice pads can be mounted right on top of the snare drums.

A metronome is used to help you keep on beat and rhythm. Digital metronomes can be downloaded right onto your phone. Set your metronome to the indicated time signature in the drum sheet music and try to keep up.

You will also need to purchase or rent a drum throne. A throne is the seat used to sit amongst the drums in a set. They can be very helpful with posture and positioning. In addition, with so many hours of practice, it is important that you invest in a good quality throne.

Once you have decided upon your lessons, tutors, and the equipment that you will purchase, it is just a matter of setting time aside to practice and perfect some drum beats. 

You can be the next John Bonham or at least you will have some songs to bring out at a couple of parties. Whatever your level of dedication, learning to play an instrument opens you to not only the ability to create music but to also meet other people that have the same passions for drumming.

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Maria