Virtually anything can be learned from online outlets: academics, practical skills such as building furniture and, of course, learning how to play music... any type of music, on all varieties of instruments.
Thus it follows that one could learn how to play the drums simply by following instruction from online tutorials.
Wait! Not so fast!
Before you go searching YouTube for drum solos and advice from masters of the craft, there are a few steps you must take.
Let Superprof guide you in maximising your drum lessons online so that you can derive the most benefit from the time you spend learning how to drum.
First Steps to Successful Drum Lessons
If you want to learn how to play the drums, you must necessarily have a drum kit, or at the very least, a practice pad.
These percussion implements come in assorted styles to accommodate a wide variety of drumming needs, and correspond to an assortment of drum types: a snare or a floor tom, for example.
Banging around on an upturned bucket or two may help improve your hand-eye coordination and build up speed.
However, buckets do not approximate a real drum’s surface: how the sticks bounce and the refined hand and arm strength needed to control your drumsticks properly.
You may also want to invest in a metronome.
The fundamental purpose of drums in any ensemble is to set and keep the rhythm. Therefore, it stands to reason that practising your drumming with a metronome will help you internalise a sense of timing.
Even if you can keep a pretty decent tempo and have a great sense of rhythm, drum teachers advocate using a metronome to refine them.
What have you got to lose? You may even discover that you are better than you thought... or that you truly do need this tool to improve your playing.
You may set your metronome to tempos higher or lower than your comfort range to improve dexterity, and especially to practice drum fills.
These fills are generally short, occupying the break between musical or lyrical phrases, and tend to rely on the drummer’s ability to improvise.
Because they are so quick, generally only a beat or two, quarter notes, eighth notes and sixteenth notes are used in constructing fills.
You could set your metronome to 60 beats per minute (BPM) with a 4/4 time signature to practice a song’s beat and inject fills at random.
What a great way to build coordination and speed!
Finally, you should know how to read drum sheet music.
Naturally, there are websites that are quite good a providing guidance on reading drum notation, but you should not base your entire elementary education in drumming on them.
You cannot get any feedback or correction, if needed, from a video tutorial or web page.
That is why it is vital that you start learning the drums with a qualified teacher or a drum tutor who will appraise your performance and technique, and offer valuable critique.
Discover more frequently asked questions about playing the drums...
Enhancing your drum lessons through materials online, or reinforcing skills and information that your drum instructor has already imparted to you by watching videos would be ideal.
In fact, many of the pages and videos we’ve viewed in preparing for this article emphasised working with a teacher first, and then branching out on your own!
So, instead of combing the Internet for drum lessons London or Manchester, why not work with Superprof drum teachers?
With that being said, let us now investigate some of the best websites and most useful online tutorials for learning how to play the drums.
Not that we’re keeping score, but Drumeo was voted best music teaching website for the past three years and is already raking up awards this year.
For a good reason! Their site hosts articles and video lessons from more than 100 drum teachers, and they address topics that some people who are just starting out on the drums don’t necessarily think about.
Are both of your hands equally strong, equally capable and equally fast?
Drumeo’s video series, titled De-stupefy Your Weak Hand provides you with tips, tricks and exercises you can do to build strength and speed into your less-adept hand.
This video series and many other they host are free, but they do require you to register with their site before benefiting from their wisdom.
Once you become a member, you may read their blog, watch more videos or enjoy entire series that deal with specific topics and issues that drummers face.
Or you could accept their 90-day drummer challenge.
For just under $200, you will be treated to video tutorials by master drummers of every genre of music, from metal to jazz.
This series guarantees that, if you are not satisfied with their drum lessons, you may apply for a full refund.
If you are looking for beginner drum lessons or accompaniment when practising rudiments, Drumeo may be a top choice for you!
Or, you may check out Drum Lessons, a site powered by Drumeo, specifically meant for the beginner drummer.
Our next featured site was listed in The London Metro for its award-winning drum forum...
The Online Drummer
This site’s main claim to fame is drum sheet music, but you can also find ebooks for sale on various common and some obscure topics, such as instruction manuals on odd-time coordination – 7/8ths beat and others.
At the high end, such a book may cost $9 dollars; the average price is closer to $5.
Would you like to find the best books for learning the drums?
What we really like about the Online Drummer is its vast library of video tutorials, hosted by some of the biggest names in drumming, such as Jared Falk and Travis Barker.
If you were looking for free drum lessons, that might be a great site for you!
You might be interested in their quick-start guide or their step-by-step learning guide which, much to its credit, starts out with safety aspects of drumming.
Protecting your hearing
Tuning your drums
Setting up best practices
Metronome training lessons
From there, you will be taken through reading and playing basic drum beats, all the way through to playing the appropriate fill for the song you’re playing.
What we like the best about this site is that that they offer a drum journal, which serves as a practice log and lesson planner, complete with a glossary of drum terms, should you somehow forget what a paradiddle is.
It is available on Amazon for £8.99
The last site we’ll feature here originates in Nottingham...
Dex Star Drummer
Disclaimer: Dex did not start out as an online tutorial video library doyen; he is an actual music teacher, complete with CRB check and a studio in his home, where he works with students of all ages, teaching both guitar and drums.
Would you like to know the ideal age for learning how to play the drums?
Throughout the decade that Dex has been teaching, he has also been uploading tutorial videos to YouTube. Finally, he caught on to the idea of building his own website, where you will find an organised collection on the topic of how to play drums.
licks and tricks
rudiments and technique
If you should happen to live around Nottingham, you may drop in on Dex for a chat on percussion instruments and playing drums in general.
You may even schedule a lesson or two with him!
Elsewhere on the Web...
As you most likely already know, YouTube is a vast repository of amateur, semi-professional and professional videos that cover just about any topic you could imagine.
Fortunately, there is a search function...
Among the channels that deal with learning and playing drums, we found a few of note.
Learn Some Drums
This channel deals mainly with instructions of how to play popular songs by ye average rock band while providing plenty of extra information along the way.
If you’ve gone past the beginner’s stage and are starting to define what music you’d most like to hammer out a beat to, this generous collection of videos will surely help you along.
The Drum Professor
This channel is a bit confusing, as its welcome page states there is no content! However, with more than 20,000 subscribers, there must be something there...
Indeed, if you click on the Video tab, you will find a cache of instructional videos, most around 10 minutes long, that detail how to play world renowned songs by Nirvana, Linkin Park and others.
Again, we stress: there is no substitute for taking drum lessons with a qualified teacher who will provide helpful critique as well as correction when needed.
However, between lessons, when taking a break from practising... why not catch a few John Blackwell or Matt Garstka tutorials?
Find out now how long it should take to learn how to play the drums...