learning drum set?
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Learning drum set can be challenging. After your first attempt at getting your limbs to do different things, you may have thought, "what am I getting myself into?" You wouldn't be alone if you had. There are different aspects to playing the drum set well. You should address all of them to become a well rounded drummer. The end goal is to be able to play whatever comes to mind with ease and fluidity. If you're going to be playing with other musicians, there are other things to consider as well. First though, you'll need a certain level of confidence and ability to be able to play with other musicians. 

Don't worry or psyche yourself out. Most of the time, the easier stuff to play works the best! Some of the most successful drummers in the world aren't flashy or super technical in their playing, but have a rock solid foundation and are masters of playing with other musicians.

Some different aspects you should work on to improve your playing are;

  • Hand technique- Your choice of grip, how tightly you hold the sticks, Your use of rebound, Even the way you swing the stick and strike the drumhead or cymbal all affect how well you play smoothly, quickly, and with power.
  • Independence- This refers to your ability to get your limbs to move independently of each other. This can be the hardest thing to improve for some players. Some styles of music and playing can require more independence than others.
  • Playing 'around' the drum set- Your ability to smoothly and accurately move around the kit. knowing how to adjust your set so that everything can reached comfortably is very important here.
  • Foot technique- There are different ways you can work the pedals to get speed, dynamics, and fluidity from your feet. Learning how to adjust the pedals for your personal technique is important. once you start to develop your foot technique, you'll realize what your own preferences are.
  • Time keeping- If you are the drummer in a band, it's your job, in the absence of a click track, to keep time. Usually you set the tempo, and it's your job to keep it steady. Nothing screams "amateur drummer!" like an inability to keep steady time.

Learning drum set notation and how to read drum set sheet music may be important to you depending on what your musical goals are. Some gigs as a drummer will require this.  Even without reading music, a knowledge of time signatures and basic song structure is essential. There are plenty of resources you can use to help.

learning drum set without drums

There are ways you can work on your playing when you don't have your drum kit nearby. For working on your hand technique, invest in a good practice pad.

You can work on independence almost anywhere. Even just tapping out drum set rhythms and coordination improving patterns while sitting in the car or at the desk at work can improve your independence. It forces your brain to work in the same way it would behind the kit. AKA, learning drum set without a drum set.

Invest in a good metronome and USE it when your working on your hand technique, your rudiments, or your coordination exercises. There are even some great metronome apps for your cell phone. Practice at different tempos, not just the ones you are comfortable with. Play along with music that you like and pay close attention to how it 'feels' when doing fills or transitioning from one part of the song to the next. This will help you to not speed up or slow down when things change in the song. You can even use the blinker of your car while you're waiting to turn.

Learning drum set can be as fun as it is challenging, but stick with it! The better you get, the more fun you'll have.

*Quick disclaimer, if you drumming while driving, which you probably will, (most of us do), don't forget to DRIVE the car. Tapping out that sweet funk beat you just learned is great, but not if it causes an accident!*

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