The Beginner’s Guide to Playing the Drums

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Of all the musical instruments we have, the drums are the one that defines the beat, and if we’re perfectly honest, a piece of music would not be complete without the right beat and percussion. It is hardly surprising that man music lovers wish to learn how to create rhythms using a drum set, and with that in mind, here is a beginner’s guide to playing the drums.

Learning the Different Types of Drum

In order to gain a better understanding of the drums, you do need some basic knowledge about the various types, such as:

  1. Snare Drum – This is the centrepiece of a five-drum kit and it makes that loud crack, usually on the upbeats, and learning how to play the snare will greatly enhance your abilities to put together some neat rhythms. If you are looking to get your first kit together, the Five Star Music Shop in Melbourne comes highly recommended, as they have all the top brands at affordable prices.
  2. Bass Drum – Also known as the kick drum, this piece of kit defines the beat, with its loud rhythmic thump, and this is the one to master first. You can sit and play only the bass with your foot until you can hold a beat, then gradually introduce the hand operated drums, and there are lots of free resources online to help you master this.
  3. Cymbals – Another essential component of a set of drums, the cymbals create that tinny sound that complements a beat, plus the cymbals provide a transition into another beat section. If you live anywhere near Melbourne, there is an established musical instrument store that literally has everything, and they also take online orders and can deliver to any Australian address. When looking to purchase drums and accessories, it pays to go for a well-known brand that will stand the test of time, as this guarantees you many years of enjoyable playing.

How to Hold Drumsticks

If you take the time to watch a drummer at a live show or on an Internet video, you will see they hold the drumsticks in various ways, depending on the drumming. The two main grips are the traditional and the matched grip, with the matched grip you hold the sticks the same way with both hands; the thumbs should rest opposite the index fingers and this is the fulcrum point for pivoting the stick. Regarding the traditional grip, there are three methods, the German, American and French style grips, and you should become familiar with them all and will no doubt find a preference.

Finding the Beat

You don’t always have to be sitting at a drum set to practice tracking a beat, indeed, you can tap your fingers on the arm of your hair, or tap a table with a pen, which will help you become accustomed to identifying a beat and keeping to it.

There’s a lot of satisfaction to be gained from learning to play the drums, and if you can team up with a few friends who play other instruments, you could start your own band eventually.