Learning to play any musical instrument like the drum can be a challenge. Thus, it typically demands patience, devotion, and lots of hard work. Although experienced drummers make playing the drum appear to be very easy, it often requires years of dedicated practice to play with professional-level quality. This should not discourage you, however. Even expert drummers had to start out with “baby steps” and persistently develop their skills over time. Keeping that fact firmly in mind, below are some excellent hints for learning the drum online.
Reading Drum Notation
Learning sheet music is considered by many to be the best approach to learning the drum; although it is possible to learn without doing that, it means that you may not find it as easy to explore different musical styles. You can improve your overall skill as well as your technical expertise by experimenting with different styles of music and it is not as difficult as you might think to learn sheet music. The pace at which an instrument is played is known as the tempo, and understanding this and other musical terms is one of the first steps.
Most music sheets use a single note and a number to indicate the tempo. Secondly, music notes lie on the staff — five horizontal lines running the whole length of the music sheet. Another important drum notation is the time signature. This consists of two numbers with the top number showing each beat’s worth. The lower number indicates the number of beats in each bar. Sheet music writers use drum keys to indicate drums. The rule of thumb is to read drum notes slightly ahead of the ones you are playing. This gives you time to prepare physically and mentally to play the drum.
Cultivate Good Rhythm
To ensure that every other aspect of the music is synchronized, drummers need to have a strong sense of rhythm; this sense of rhythm can be the difference between a good performance and an average one. The key to developing good rhythm is simply to practice as much as you can; there is really no quicker way to accomplish this and one way to practice effectively is to play at a set tempo, having set your metronome to that specific tempo. If you adopt this approach, start out with a slow tempo and then increase the speed until you get the hang of it. You can also develop a better sense of rhythm and improve your timing by drumming along to pre-recorded music.
Hone Your Drum Techniques
Today’s drummers use both their hands and feet to play the drums, although in the past most drums were played only by hand. The heel up and the heel down techniques of drumming are two widely used examples of drumming techniques involving the feet that you will need to master.
To hit the drum with the heel up technique, you will need to apply the weight of your entire leg to the drum’s foot pedal and keeping your heels a couple of inches off the floor is strongly recommended. The heel down method of drumming means that you use the ankle joint and calf muscles to apply force to the foot pedal on the drum.
To pull off the heel-down technique, you must keep your feet in contact with the foot pedal surface at all times. Do not fret if you find it hard to master this technique. Instead, keep practicing and make sure you stay as relaxed as possible. Furthermore, let your feet assume a natural and ergonomically suitable position.
Obtain a Practice Kit
Of course, your family and neighbors may not appreciate you practicing the drums at all hours of the day and night, although plenty of practice is needed for learning the drum. A practice drum set consists of wooden blocks covered with rubber and is a lot quieter than the regular kit. Another solution is to place sound-off pads on top of your regular drums to keep the noise to a minimum.
Although learning the drum is not a “cake walk,” you may enhance your skills through regular practice. Begin by learning how to read drum notation. Afterward start developing good rhythm and fine-tune your drumming techniques. If possible, buy and use a practice kit. .