“Music is the true breath of life. We eat so we won’t starve to death. We sing so we can hear ourselves live.” – Yasmina Khadra
By 2020, the UK musical instrument market is expected to grow to over £400m. Obviously, this isn’t just a bunch of rich musicians buying loads of instruments, plenty of people are deciding they want to express their creativity through music.
More and more people are choosing to play the drums, too. It isn’t always easy to teach yourself how to play the drums and if you don’t want to take lessons with a drum tutor, you’re really going to have to put the effort.
You’re going to need motivation, rigour, and a drum kit with at least a snare drum, bass drum, and a hi-hat cymbal to get started with some basic beats.
Teaching yourself to play a musical instrument is a lot of work and if you lack motivation sometimes, don’t forget your goals! You can always opt for music lessons if you feel that you’re struggling.
However, in this article, we’re going to focus on driven musicians who are happy to go it alone without the help of teachers, tutors, or traditional music lessons.
It doesn’t matter whether you have an electronic drum kit or an acoustic drum kit,there are books and methods to help you learn the basics of drumming.
Before you can show off your drum technique, you have to learn some drum techniques! (Source: Free-Photos)
While some drummers learn just by listening to music, sometimes this isn’t enough and you’ll have to study music theory, which can help you with reading music and then playing a piece. As it’s the academic part of music, you won’t be surprised to find out that there are plenty of books available on the matter.
Of course, it can be difficult to express musicality in writing. That’s why it can be worthwhile investing in other resources.
Here are the some of the best:
There are also other ways to learn the drums. For example, reading a book on the history of drums and interviews with famous drummers could also help you to improve.
A drum session can be organised in the same way as going to the gym: you need to warm up before you move onto the exercises else you won’t get the most out of each session.
Sometimes you’ve just got to play like you were on stage! (Source: Free-Photos)
You’ll also sweat like you would at the gym, push your limits, go further, and end the session with a few aches and pains after having had a good go on the cymbals, practised a ternary rhythm, or worked on your hi-hat technique. The only difference is that you’ll need more creativity when you play the drums than you would doing a few sets at the gym.
Before you get started, make sure you’ve got everything ready so that you won’t waste any time. Set your phone to silent and start your session with:
If you can’t dedicate an hour each day to practice, you should still practise every day, even if it’s just 20 minutes during the week (and a full hour during the weekend). In fact, regularity is far more important than how much time you spend practising.
In this case, you’ll have to spend less time warming up and do 10 to 15 minutes of actual practice.
Find out more about how to learn the drums by yourself.
If you just do an hour per week in a music school, you won’t progress that weekly. You need to commit more time to drumming than that.
Becoming a professional drummer takes hours of practice and study. (Source: facundowin)
You need around 10,000 hours of practice in order to become a professional drummer. This means that you need to practise for 2 and a half hours every day, 365 days a year, for 10 years! Even if you’re really driven, it’s very difficult to keep to this schedule (especially on days like Christmas).
However, that mightn’t be your goal. 20 minutes of practice three times a week is already a good start.
We often wrongly think that the drums are one of the easiest musical instruments to play. It’s not because your right hand and your left hand will do completely different things and so will your feet. You need to use all your limbs independently in order to become a good drummer.
Furthermore, the drums aren’t a harmonic instrument, you need to keep time, which is no easy feat. The rhythm will change depending on the genre, too. A drummer needs to adapt as they’re the one carrying the whole band.
During the day, don’t hesitate to practise your drumming even if you don’t have your drums to hand. Drum away on your legs, cushions, or your desk during your lunch break.
Think about it. You could effectively spend 10 minutes practising a rudiment rather than idly scrolling through your Facebook feed. Spend your 30-minute commute listening to a drumbeat and de-constructing it in order to play it later on.
You need to form a habit of playing at a given time during the day for a certain number of minutes on each exercise. After a month, you’ll see that you’ve got into the habit.
There’s a lot of advice around that can help you in a variety of different styles.
Don’t forget that it’s much easier to remain motivated if you practise regularly and keep your goals in mind than trying to learn everything in just one long session.
Playing in a band will really help you to improve your drumming. (Source: robci95)
The drums, just like the electric guitar, bass, or saxophone, have their own language that you need to learn. You’ll quickly find yourself lost if you haven’t got a clue what your new drumming books are on about!
This is a graphic representation of the music to play. For drums, this will tell you which drum to hit and when. This is slightly different and easier to understand than traditional sheet music.
This is a musician who plays the timbales, shallow single-headed drums with a metal casing that are often played in pairs.