Learning to play the drums can be fun and exciting. But getting started can be difficult for some drummers – especially those who are very young or have never played an instrument before. Playing the drums requires a certain level of practice and commitment before your child can fully enjoy its benefits. The following drum tips will help you minimize the pain and maximize results.
1. Prepare Your Practice Space
Typically, drumming doesn’t go hand-in-hand with building good relationships with your neighbors. Unless you plan on moving soon, you should do everything you can to reduce the noise. Many solutions are quite inexpensive and easy. You don’t have to start out on a full drum kit.
You could invest a couple hundred bucks on a set of practice pads or upwards of a thousand dollars for a complete electronic drum kit. If your child prefers to play a “real” drum set, or if you don’t have the cash for an expensive electronic kit, you can always soundproof the space and communicate with your neighbors. Once your child feels comfortable practicing whenever they like, their skills are sure to improve.
Evans RealFeel 2-Sided Speed and Workout Drum Pad
You can either get your sticks flying or build your chops with this compact practice drum pad. 6″ diameter pad has a gum rubber side for speed and a neoprene surface for workout practice. Buy Evans RealFeel Workout Drum Pad >>
2. Set a Practice Schedule
If your child isn’t self-disciplined, setting a consistent practice schedule could be in his or her best interest. Keep in mind that a half an hour a day will do more for your child’s progress than three hours once a week. And an hour a day is even better than thirty minutes. But, at the end of the day, don’t set unrealistic goals. Overwhelming your child can be a recipe for disappointment.
While some teachers prefer their students practice every day, four or five practice sessions a week can suffice. This is especially true if your child is in enrolled in other extracurricular activities.
Learning the Basics Like the 40 Rudiments
The rudiments are the basis for all drumming. They’re like learning the fundamentals in sports. It’s important to incorporate them into a daily practice routine. This is why lessons with a professional instructor is so valuable.
If you’re having trouble keeping your child motivated, learn How to Motivate Your Child to Practice.
3. Get a Lesson Plan
Although there are plenty of lesson plans available online, the best resource for lessons plans is your child’s teacher. Not only do they know your child’s skill level, but they’re also aware of your child’s strengths and weaknesses. Typically, online lessons plans are a one-size-fits-all solution, while those created by your child’s drum teacher will be personalized in nature.
Whether you enroll your child in group lessons, head to the local music studio for private lessons, or find a teacher for your child on Music & Arts, professional music lessons are the absolute best place for your child to learn how to play the drums. Plus, many studios will cover music theory during lessons, which could help your child if they ever decide to try a different instrument.
YouTube can be a great place to find ideas, inspiration and helpful content with drumming tips for complete beginners. But eventually all students get to a place where they need guidance from an experienced instructor. An expert instructor can help your child notice mistakes and course correct and can provide insights about equipment, progress, etc.
4. Practice Good Form
Once you’ve created a safe space for your child to drum in, you should work with them to build proper form. In many cases, learning how to sit will make the difference between good and bad drumming. In general, drummers should always sit up straight with their drum throne situated high enough so that when their feet are on the pedals their knees make an angle of 90 to 100 degrees.
Not only will this help your child produce better sound, but it will also eliminate unnecessary strain on your child’s body. Once your child is sitting correctly, have him or her practice holding their drumsticks. While there are three main styles of gripping drumsticks (matched, traditional, and French), most drummers choose and stick with one. Once your child starts taking lessons, they should be able to find a gripping style they prefer.
Gibraltar 6600 Series Motorcycle-Style Drum Throne Standard
This Gibraltar 6600 Series lightweight compact seat delivers premium performance and comfort at a great low price. Drummer’s throne adjusts from 18″ to 24″ high.
5. Develop Your Child’s Ears
As a parent, an important thing to remember is that not all lessons are learned in the classroom. Similar to the way your child may learn math skills at the grocery store, he or she could improve their drumming skills by watching other drummers perform and picking up on their techniques and style.
If your child is old enough to have a favorite band or musician, catch them live or find a live performance on DVD. If there’s space in your child’s practice area, set up a small TV and a DVD player near their drum set so they can watch the videos and play along. It’ a great way for your child to improve their drumming skills while letting loose and having fun.
6. Practice with a Metronome
A drummer’s role is to keep time, Practicing without a metronome can actually hinder your child’s drumming. After all, if a drummer can’t play a solid drum beat or roll on time, how are they supposed to lead a band? If playing with a metronome isn’t an option, then have your child play along to their favorite songs.
Most songs recorded professionally are on time, so your child can always play along to their favorite band than a monotonous click track. Just make sure your child doesn’t become too distracted- this tip works best for students who are comfortable with the instrument and have played with a metronome before.
Korg MA-1 Digital Metronome
The MA-1 is a compact metronome that solidly covers all the basics with a broad tempo range and a rich variety of beats and rhythm patterns. The MA-1 also shows the beat in an innovative way that makes practicing easier. The MA-1 is available in your choice of two-tone color schemes: blue and black, or black and red. With stylish design and reliable functionality, this is an indispensable rhythm training aide for any musician.
7. Have Fun!
The last tip is perhaps the most important of them all- make sure your child is having fun! While learning an instrument isn’t always the easiest thing in the world, it should at least be fun the majority of the time.
Ultimately, let your child play when they want to play. If your child doesn’t seem to be having fun or complains about playing the instrument, perhaps you should consider switching them to a different instrument. After all, drumming isn’t for everyone!
Curious about which drumsticks you should purchase? Check out How to Choose Your Drumsticks.