Learning to play the drums can seem like a daunting task. You watch your heroes play, and they make it seem so easy. But, when you sit down at the kit, it’s quite difficult. You can’t seem to get your hands and feet to work together to create a steady beat. Don’t worry, even Neil Peart had to start somewhere. If you can follow two pieces of advice, you will be on your way.
Start with the basics
Too many times, new drummers want to jump in with both feet and play a song on their first day. It’s probably not going to happen. The lessons in this course are laid out in a way to help you build slowly and master each piece before you move on to the next. For example, when you first learn timing, and you practice by playing the high-hat or ride, keep doing it until you can go for 5 minutes or more without making a mistake. Far too often, students will play ¼ or 1/8th note time for 30 seconds and think they have it. But when they do the same exercise for 10 minutes, they lose the timing quite often, and they find their arms get tired quickly.
Remember that established drummers will play for hours at a time, so if you struggle to hold a beat or follow through with a pattern after 5 minutes, then you need to keep at it until it becomes natural. A common trap is that practicing the same thing over and over can become boring, but if you move on before you’ve got it, the playing won’t become part of your muscle memory, and you will forget very soon after.
Follow the lesson plan
First a disclaimer. If you have some percussion experience already, find a lesson that represents your starting point vs someone who has never played before who starts at the beginning. Then from there, take each lesson in order, and practice each piece until almost perfection before moving on to the next one. A goal would be to be able to play for 5 minutes straight without a mistake. Then, wait 2 minutes and play it again. Do this 5 times, and if you are flawless, then perhaps move on.
If you get to lessons that incorporate parts from other lessons into one exercise, and you find you are struggling with a certain motion, go back and watch that video again, and practice that particular segment.
Once again, each lesson builds on the previous. If you master each one before moving on, the bigger exercises will go off without a hitch. You will find yourself playing complex patterns in no time. If you rush to get to the next class too quickly, over time you may struggle and become frustrated with your progress. I want to get that video of you playing like a pro, so I can add it to my growing student portfolio. Have fun!!