Tips for learning how to play the drums

While learning how to play the drums might look a bit daunting to people on the outside, with a few positive tips, it can actually be broken down and become a bit simpler. It is important to understand that learning the drums is a fairly long term goal and is something that you will have to fully commit to if you want to learn some awesome new skills.

The good news is that there is a lot of online tutorials, especially on YouTube that help beginners learn how to play the drums. However, if you want to take learning this new instrument seriously, then it is probably important that you enlist the assistance of a professional drum teacher. A teacher can help guide you through the difficulties of first learning and provide reinforcements.

Drums can also be a little bit expensive, especially when you add up all the different parts and equipment that you need to purchase. So if you get lessons from a teacher, they will likely have their own set of drums for you to play on.

Down the line if you find you are really enjoying playing drums you can purchase your own set. There are plenty of second hand drum kits for sale that would be cheaper if you purchased a brand new set.

Also, you are already probably aware that drums can be quite loud, so talk to anyone else living with you to see what they think. If you live in an apartment block, you might also need to consider the noise levels as you might get complaints if you are playing too loudly or late in the night.

Even though you may find playing the drums difficult in the beginning it is important to stick to it and keep practicing as before you know it, you’ll be playing the tune from one of your favourite songs off the radio. Take your time to learn the foundations correctly as everything else is built off that.

Have a look below at some of the tips for learning how to play the drums:

Tip #1: Patience is a virtue

No matter how old you are when tackling learning a new instrument like the drums, it is important that you are patient, and you must not give up so easily! Remember that learning a skill that is as difficult to master so make sure you are committed to putting in the work. If you do that you are set to become a good drum player.

You aren’t going to become great over night, so take the time to learn the basics properly and set realistic goals that make you feel like you have accomplished something. Do not stress if you think you aren’t learning as fast as others, remember this is your own journey to drum playing greatness!

Tip #2: Practice, Practice, Practice

This is probably one of the most important tips, make sure you practice regularly, you aren’t going to become a good drum player if you don’t practice on a regular basis. Set a time aside every day to practice. Now this can be hard in the beginning, especially if you don’t have you own drum set.

So, maybe try once a week to start with, with a professional drum teacher. Then you can discuss your next options with your teacher. Drums can be expensive as well as take up a fair bit of space, so you want to make sure you are fully committed to the drums before purchasing your own set.

playing the drums learning tips and tricks
Photo: Isaiah Colson, Pexels.

Tip #3: Find a good teacher

Yes, online tutorials can help you on your way, but you should also look at getting professional lessons. There are a lot of professional drum teachers that can help you reach your drumming goals, so it is important to find one that suits your personality and understands where you are coming from and what you ultimately want to achieve.

Having a good teacher by your side will ensure that you learn the basics properly and that you have a solid technique. Playing the drums isn’t just about banging the drums hard and making noise, there is actually a lot of technique involved, so make sure you pay close attention to what your teacher is showing you.

Tip #4: Keep a steady pace

In the beginning you’ll probably be so excited and want to go like a bull at a gate, but this may result in you becoming burnt out, so make sure you take your time and follow a regular regime. That way you are learning more sustainably and you’ll have a better foundation to build off.

Once you’ve found that you’ve got the basics, then you can start moving a little bit faster. Having a teacher is also good here because they can give you professional guidance on how they think you are tracking and what are some of the areas you are excelling at as well as other areas where you need to focus more of your time on.

Tip #5: Posture is key

Make sure you keep constant track of your posture. Having good posture is very important when learning how to play the drums. If you establish a positive posture from the very beginning, it will ensure you keep this good habit for the rest of your playing days – it is much hard to break a bad habit then establish a new one.

Your posture impacts most other areas of playing the drums, including your control, speed, general technique and power. Since your posture is so vital, it is recommended that you warm up your muscles before you start a session. This will help you keep a good technique over the entire session and will even mean you can play for longer!

Tip #6: Positive attitude

It is so important to maintain a positive attitude all throughout when you are beginning to play the drums. You are not going to be an expert overnight so remaining positive will help ensure you keep coming back to learn new things.

While the fear of failure remains in your mind, you probably won’t be able to accomplish much. So it could be a good idea to set yourself small achievable goals to reach so you feel like you are actually accomplishing something. A good drum teacher will also be able to help you navigate the tricky early days of playing the drums and let you know what you need to work on.

Tip #7: Have fun

Isn’t that the whole reason you wanted to learn how to play the drums in the first place, to have fun? Well, make sure you are actually having fun! Yes there will be difficult times, especially in the beginning when you are just starting to learn, but overall learning and playing the drums should be a positive and fun experience.

If you have fun while learning you are more likely to keep coming back and learning more techniques and tunes. It could also be a good idea to play with others and even start up a regular jam session with friends. When having fun playing the drums it doesn’t feel like such a chore and you’ll become awesome before you know it.