Drumming for beginners can be hard.
I mean, like really hard.
There’s just so much going on.
A lot to learn.
And a lot to suck at.
No wonder, why drumming for beginners – and not only them, trust me! – seems so hard.
Is there anything you can do to make learning to play the drums easier?
Glad you ask. 🙂
I’m sharing 13 lucky drumming tips with you.
Why are they lucky, you ask?
As they were a game changer for me, they certainly can do the trick for you as well.
To make it short:
My 13 tips will help you to get into drumming not only way easier, but also with more fun.
Also, the drumming tips for beginners are not in a special order or something.
Each of them can be a huge benefit for you.
The tips I’m sharing in this article are based on my own drumming experience.
I’ve been making music for over 15 year, including teaching the drums and cajon since Friday the 13th September 2013.
See a pattern? 😉
So I know they work.
Not for somebody.
But for you.
Psst ... That's what this article is about
- Understand What You’re Playing
- Practice Slowly To Master Drumming For Beginners Faster
- Simply slow down your drumming to start-off.
- Practice Until You Can’t Get It Wrong
- You Don’t Have To Read Drum Notes – But It’s REALLY Helpful
- Drumming For Beginners Is Not Cool? Hell, NO! Every Pro Started Out As A Beginner
- Don’t Overwhelm Yourself
- Drumming For Beginners: Practice Smart
- Make Music!
- Set Motivational Goals
- That’s why motivational drumming goals are crucial.
- Do What Inspires You
- Drumming For Beginners & Beyond: Be Patient, Patient, Patient!
- Take The Shortcut – Get Professional Drum Lessons
- Remember: You’ve Got Time
- When the time is right, things fall into place.
Understand What You’re Playing
You don’t know how you’re going to play a certain drum beat or fill?
It’s crucial to change that.
Let’s be real:
If you don’t know what you’re doing, you need a big portion of luck to play it correctly. Like making a wish.
Maybe you’re lucky. Or not.
You don’t need to rely on pure luck.
How can you understand a drumming exercise you simply don’t?
Ask somebody for help!
This is the most efficient way to expand your knowledge.
You can also search for answers on YouTube, Google or on Instagram.
If you like to, you can ask bloggers like me as well.
Visit a forum and place your question there.
Or read a book.
Many people tend to make things too complex.
That’s why I know about this stuff so well. 🙂
So, if you feel stuck in your drumming journey, simply ask for help.
That’s one reason why drum lessons are so helpful.
But that’s another tip.
Practice Slowly To Master Drumming For Beginners Faster
It could be that you’ve heard something like this before:
You have to practice slower to learn quicker.
Maybe you think this makes no sense.
Not at all.
Or does it?
If you ask me, learning slowly is a HUGE factor for learning quicker.
I basically notice this with all of my students.
And yes, I still know I practice way too fast sometimes.
I do recognize it quite soon, however.
Surely you know this situation:
You want to learn a new drum beat or fill.
You can play it right, right and suddenly, you get it wrong.
This seems to happen by accident.
This makes you feel having no control over what you’re doing.
Here’s the thing:
You’re in charge of what you’re doing.
Simply slow down your drumming to start-off.
By doing so, you can think about what you’re playing on the drums.
- Understand the note and rest values,
- make sure you use a supportive drumming technique
- and benefit from an ergonomic position behind your kit.
You will be able to feel the movements.
This is a solid basis for learning the drums with way more ease and fun.
I’m sure you’ll notice:
After some quality drum practice time, you feel good playing something.
Now, you can add some more BPM to take your drumming for beginners to the next level.
And repeat this process.
This basically describes how slow practicing helps you learn to a music instrument faster.
Certainly, this tip not only is gold worth for beginners.
Every musician is able to benefit from it.
Practice Until You Can’t Get It Wrong
Many drummers wonder:
How long should I practice the drums?
My advice has to be: Until you can’t get it wrong.
If it takes you ten minutes to nail a drum beat:
If you need to practice the transition twenty hours until you nail it:
Wonderful as well!
Don’t just punch the clock.
Really get into something and learn your exercise.
And don’t compromise.
Practice the drums until you can’t get it wrong anymore.
Then, expand it.
Take your musicianship to the next level like integrating your drum exercises into your favorite songs.
You Don’t Have To Read Drum Notes – But It’s REALLY Helpful
I really don’t like drum tabs.
However, I love drum notes.
There are plenty of reasons for this.
These are my two most important pros for learning to read drums sheet music:
1) Drum notes help you to remember grooves, fills and anything drum related much easier.
And of course:
2) Understanding note values and rests helps you to know what you’re actually doing.
These are my most important reasons why I highly recommend every beginner to learn drum notes.
However, you certainly don’t have to do so.
No, you don’t.
In fact, there are some circumstances when I do not teach drum notes.
Like for children or adults that really dislike learning them.
But that’s another blog article worth writing about.
Drumming For Beginners Is Not Cool? Hell, NO! Every Pro Started Out As A Beginner
Maybe you wish you’d be a drum pro already.
You’d love to skip the beginning of your drumming journey.
Drumming for beginners?
It just doesn’t feels like this big thing for you.
Trust me, I know this feeling.
But it’s not more than this:
Every pro started out as a beginner on the drum set.
That’s how things work, you know.
Nothing to be ashamed about.
It just is what it is:
Drumming is a journey you start with the first step.
So don’t regret or make yourself smaller than you are.
Embrace your uniqueness.
After all, time will pass.
And that’s what I can tell you:
Looking back, your time as a beginner on the drums will be a dear memory to you.
I still get nostalgic when I think back.
Was the period of drumming for beginners always easy?
Heck, absolutely not.
Was it worth it?
You bet your drum stick!
Don’t Overwhelm Yourself
There’s a lot to learn on the drums.
Whether it’s drumming for beginners or already advanced musicians:
Each and every day, you can master something new.
So make sure to not overwhelm yourself.
You don’t need to be able to play everything at once.
In fact, you can’t.
Even professionals practice on a regular basis.
I don’t know ANYBODY who doesn’t.
Keep this in mind.
We all need to practice.
There’s always more to learn, not only as a drummer.
Drumming For Beginners: Practice Smart
If you want to master a musical instrument, you have to practice.
However, it’s about a quality practice time.
That’s crucial to understand.
So instead of practicing hard, try the smart way.
- Set goals,
- get professional advice and
- practice as if your teacher is watching you.
There are of course many ways to practice the drums the smart way.
You need to figure out what works best for you.
Check out 8 of my favorite hacks for smarter drumming.
Why do you spend so much time learning to play the drum set?
Because you want to.
But there’s more to this dedication than what meets the eye.
I think we all can agree that drumming makes us feel better.
Despite the ups and down, challenges and frustration.
Yes, still drumming makes us feel better.
Actually, that’s my top reason why I love to drum.
So it comes down to emotions for me.
And how can you feel those things?
Right, by doing something you enjoy.
For me, this has to be making music.
And no, practicing sometimes sounds crappy and feels awkward.
Good news is:
That’s a great sign that you’re learning something new.
So don’t shy away to make music, even if it might still sound unpolished to your ear.
Remember, we all start out as beginners.
We all struggle at some point.
And yes, we all sound unpolished now and then.
That’s part of the game.
Set Motivational Goals
Have you ever heard about the importance of goal setting?
I’m a strong supporter of it!
Because it gives you a guideline for your practice efforts.
Thanks to your musical goals, you know what you need to practice behind the kit.
However, I know the goal setting thing can be a little tough when it comes to drumming for beginners.
So to help you with a quick tip, try this short goal setting method today:
- Think about one drum beat you really want to learn.
- Write this down! Learning it is your next goal.
- Look at the beat and figure out what you’re going to play.
- Then practice the groove slowly and note for note.
- Got it right? Great! Repeat the beat correctly at least 20 times.
- When you feel good playing it, increase your pace. Don’t rush! Keep the tempo.
- Repeat this until you can memorize the drum beat.
And why is it important to set motivational goals?
If it doesn’t motivate you, you’re likely not to do anything about it.
Or you just invest a little effort.
That’s why motivational drumming goals are crucial.
And yes: They should be realistic as well.
Need help with that?
Read this article about goal setting in drumming.
Oh, and definitely WRITE YOUR GOALS DOWN.
You might think you will remember them.
Most people tend to forget about their goals.
So no, I wouldn’t place my bet on remembering your goals.
Just write them down.
Takes you a few minutes.
Helps you safe time, efforts and nerves x-fold.
Do What Inspires You
Will you be able to only play what is fun and inspires you?
I won’t lie to you.
Some exercises might be a pain in the ass.
That’s ok and no big deal.
Sometimes you just need to overcome obstacles to reach the next plateau.
However, doing things you don’t enjoy at all will suck the motivation out of you.
So whenever you can, make sure to do what inspires you.
This could be
- being the drummer in a band,
- attending live concerts or
- listening to and making music.
Also, read about drumming, watch YouTube videos and just have a great time playing the drums.
The amount of practice time you gather certainly is not everything.
A wise man once told me:
You play the way you are.
I don’t know whether that’s true or not.
But what I can say is this:
Drumming is awesome, but there’s so much more to life.
Don’t narrow your sight down.
Look right and left.
We’re drummers, but also artists.
We’re artists, but also humans.
Being inspired is a choice we’re able to make.
Make up your own choice whenever you can.
Drumming For Beginners & Beyond: Be Patient, Patient, Patient!
Drumming for beginners is a challenge now and then.
Also, intermediate and advanced drumming is a challenge now and then.
I wrote about it before.
So no matter where you are at your journey:
Be patient, patient, patient!
Someday, you’ll be able to play this nasty beat or those sixteenth notes.
I think we’ve all been at the point where we just can’t imaging ever learning something.
And then, poof, someday we do.
Our drum practice shows results.
This can happen in a blink of an eye.
So never give up.
You just don’t know how far you’re away from reaching your goal.
Take The Shortcut – Get Professional Drum Lessons
Can you teach yourself to play the drums?
That’s a frequently asked question.
And a fantastic one.
To make it short:
Sure, you can learn to play the drum set without a teacher.
However, I wouldn’t recommend self education for most drum beginners.
The reason is quite simple:
A professional drum teacher is your shortcut to learning the drums.
He or she provides you with drumming
- strategies and
- lots of motivation.
Also, your drum teacher can help you get into the music scene more quickly.
Hey, some of us are strong networkers. 😀
There are various other benefits of taking drum lessons, of course.
But to keep this already long article shorter, I’ll write about them in the future.
Remember: You’ve Got Time
Speaking about time or the future:
It’s important to remind ourselves that we are able to take the time to finally do what we love.
Even if you don’t start drumming for beginners today, you can do so tomorrow.
I know, this sounds a little off.
After all, I’m the all-or-nothing-type-of-girl.
And stuff like that …
In this case, however, it’s different.
I don’t know how you see it, but sometimes, it’s just not the right moment for something to happen.
Maybe you’re not ready for taking drum lessons.
Or maybe you just need to find the courage to give drumming a try.
It’s just fine to allow yourself to take the time you need.
Maybe you’ll act tomorrow.
Maybe next year.
Nothing’s wrong with you.
Why do I say this?
I’ve had a funny experience two days ago.
Reading in my goal setting book, I noticed something fascinating:
I reached a goal I set for myself back in 2021.
And: I was totally not aware of it.
It’s crazy to think about it.
And maybe this will sound crazy to you.
I think I learned this lesson:
When the time is right, things fall into place.
I’ve wished for it.
I worked for it.
And now, it’s there.
Is this a universal law?
But it worked for me.
And as it did, it will work for you as well.
Keep your courage and seize the day.
Drumming for beginners is awesome.
It can change lives.
But it takes time.
You’ve got it.
In fact, time’s on your side when learning a musical instrument.
So think about what you’re going to do now.
- Will you set a motivational drumming goal?
- Are you going to call a drum teacher nearby and book your first lesson?
- Or will you give yourself more time to think about your drumming ambitions?
Hey, it’s up to you.
But make at least one decision that feels just right.
Take inspiration from the tips I shared with you.
Wishing you all the best!