Learn How To Play the Drums – A Step-by-Step Tutorial for Beginner Drummers

So many people want to start their drumming journey, but it is hard to know where you should start.

Playing the drums can be incredibly fun and so rewarding, but like anything finding a good starting place can be incredibly hard to do.

That is why today, we have decided to give you all the tips and tricks you need to know so that you can start your drumming journey.

We have arranged all these tips in an easy step-by-step guide to help you on your way to becoming a legendary drummer in no time at all.

Are you ready to hit it hard and become the drummer you are destined to be?

Sort out your equipment.

It might seem like stating the obvious, but you should probably start off by getting your essential equipment. Which by the way, is you. Think about it, the kit isn’t the most important part, sure you need it, but what use it is if you can't use your legs and feet, or arms, in coordination with your brain and muscles.

But, as you start up you will need some equipment with which to engage in your first drumming session, but you do not need much. You do not need to go out buying a whole drum set just yet.

We advise you hold off against buying yourself a whole kit for now, you may find that it is not all the fun that you first thought it was, so hold off, and find out if drumming is all you dreamt it was, then take that big step, which we will discuss later.

For now, we want to test out the waters, and spend as little as possible while you find your feet. The best way to do this is to buy some cheap drum sticks, and grab a cushion or four and start hitting them. Hitting a sturdy cushion is not that different from hitting a pad or an electronic drum kit, so use your imagination and go wild.

If you find that this doesn’t quite do it for you, or if you do not have the imagination for this, then take a trip down to your local music store and fool around with a drum set they have there, or you could even grab a practice pad for a few bucks and try that out. Trying out any of these methods should give you a good idea if this is the musical path for you.

Learn how to hold your drumsticks.

Given it a quick go? Awesome. Now you need to engage in a good practice session. Of course this is different to just fooling around, it is more challenging and is the first real learning curve that you will face.

You can do this without a drum kit, just using a cushion and your imagination. So, in order to do this properly you need to learn how to properly hold your drumsticks. Let's talk you through how to do this.

  • You need to start off with your hands at your sides, using your left hand to place one of the sticks in your right hand.
  • Now, use the flat part of your thumb to press the stick and wrap the rest of your fingers around the stick. Now you can repeat the process of placing the other drumstick into your hand.
  • While you grip the drumsticks, you should do so behind the balance point, otherwise known as the middle of the stick. Although there are a handful of methods you can utilize for using your sticks to play the drums, as a beginner you will have plenty of time as a beginner to experiment with different techniques and find out what works best for you. For now, use this technique to get the hang of it all.

The first Rudiment

Next, we have even more of a challenge for you. Are you ready to take the next big step to becoming a drummer? Yeah? Let's do it!

Now it is time for you to play your first meaningful rhythm as a drummer. No worries, it won’t be hard, you may just need some time to adjust to it.

You can be using a snare, or even a practice pad or cushion. You can build on this and make it sound even more impressive later. Now, maybe it is time to take things a little further.

Get yourself a kit!

Grab yourself a drum kit, of course the best thing to do is make sure that you are feeling ready to take this step. If you do not have the room, or the aural leeway to buy a standard drum kit then you can always get yourself an electronic drum kit, so you do not need to worry about your neighbors being annoyed at your all night practices as you learn.

You can find plenty of great drum kits for beginners of all ages and in all price ranges anywhere. Try out your local music store, or if you are more of an online shopper, you can get them from Amazon.com too!

Understand your kit

Has your drum kit arrived? Got it all set up? Fantastic! Well, now that you have your very own first drum kit, you want to get to know it like a dear friend.

Understand its workings, all the different parts it has. This is a good prerequisite to playing them like a pro as much as it is for caring for them. So, let's talk about its different parts shall we?

The bass drum

The bass drum, which is also known as the kick drum, is the largest of the lot. The shells are often made of wood but can occasionally be made of some metals too.

The bass drum works as you hit a pedal against it to produce that distinct thumping noise. It is also one of the most essential parts of a drum kit since it creates that ‘pulsing’ sound.

The Snare

The snare is the center of any five-piece, and it is in charge of those loud cracking sounds you are probably familiar with.

The sound of a snare drum comes from its shell which is usually made from wood or metal. This sound happened whenever you hit the surface of the snare.

Hi-Hat, Cymbals, and Toms

Toms are mounted on top of the bass drum, but sometimes they’re held in position using adjustable legs.

There are often two different types of toms, floor or rack. There is also the hi-hat and cymbals which add accents to your music and also allow smooth transitioning between songs.

Get a teacher

Getting a decent teacher is an imperative part of learning any instrument. Okay, you could try to learn on your own via books or online courses or tutorials. However, this will never be quite as good at learning from someone from an official music school.

A good teacher can help you learn specifically to your strengths rather than by following a hard and fast online curriculum.

You could find a professional tutor online if that is more to your preference. Just make sure that they have the qualifications and good reviews so that you are getting the most out of what you pay them for.

No matter what teacher you hire, do make sure they fit your needs, and your budget. Not everyone can afford a premium teacher and not everyone requires one either.

Drum care and self-care

Learning is important. Yet, so is care. Make sure that you care for yourself and your drums too. You can easily take care of yourself by stretching before each time that you play, increasing your blood flow in your limbs before you get playing is very good for your health.

You should also have adequate ear protection too, drums can get pretty loud while you play, so if you do not have adequate protection you could lose your hearing, so be careful of this. Be mindful too of your sitting habits, don’t slouch as this can strain your back. Try to sit up straight while you play the drums, even if you are a bit tired.

And don't forget to love your drums too, clean them, and learn to tune them properly and maintain that over time.

Drumming buddies!

As a beginner you should seek out other drummers too. You can share thoughts and opinions in your progress, and you can also motivate yourself to play as a group and improve as a unit.

Drumming groups and schools, or even a neighborhood brass band are great places to start your search for musical mates.

Combat the sheet music

The last step in learning the drums is tackling sheet music. You don’t necessarily need to learn it to play the drums, however it really can help and many music groups will require it.

If you want to play in a group this can be a substantial help and help you be a better team member in creating amazing music!