Learning to the drum is not so difficult, but how to become a better drummer is another matter. It demands persistence, patience, and a great deal of practice.
Drummers undoubtedly play a vital role in the band besides songwriters. They help to show the guitar and bass players the proper position of the groove, keep the band together, and push the band forward. Thus, it is important to grasp the basic tips as to how to become a better drummer. Keep on reading to explore more!
Tips on how to become a better drummer
Learn from other musicians
It doesn’t make much sense whether you are in a band or not determines how quickly you make headway. If you are playing in a band, your band mates can give useful advice to help you improve. On stage, they lock in with you and realize your shortcomings, so don’t hesitate to bounce ideas with them for valuable feedbacks. Even if you don’t belong to any band, you can still seek chances to learn from others. For example, your teacher may give you some great tips to help you make progress.
For each genre of music, classical, rock, pop, Latin, or jazz, try to find a drummer that is expert in that field and focus on the appealing attributes to you about their style. Imitate them first and then create a unique style of your own.
Start with rudiments
Drummers often get more excited at chasing after challenges rather than mastering basic skills which seem monotonous. This can result in bad habits and gaps in playing the instrument in the long run. Acquiring drumming rudiments is the most effective way to build a solid foundation for developing advanced techniques. Once you can practice these fundamentals with dynamics and consistency, you will be able to take your playing to a higher level and unlock complex beats with ease.
Many drummers aren’t patient enough to practice the basics. Instead, they just focus on playing complex rhythms first. As a result, they never get the techniques right even after years of playing. It is important to learn to read the drum sheet music and practice with a metronome until your limbs can move in perfect rhythm without a single thought. When you cease thinking about beats, you will spend more stamina on long and fast-paced segments of music.
The balance between jamming sessions and practice
The next step in knowing how to become a better drummer is allocating an equal amount of time for practice and jamming sessions. Your practice time is commonly a solo ritual that creates the space to try with diverse beats, rhythms, and playing styles. It enables you to sharpen the rudiments and work on or improve your techniques. In the meantime, a jam session offers an opportunity to apply the techniques that you have focused on sharpening during your practice sessions.
Many drummers spend enough time on jamming sessions but seem negligent of focused practice sessions. Instead, learn to schedule different times for jamming and practice. This will enable you to concentrate on developing your unique style, control your speed, and keep better control of your sticks and feet.
Take it easy
When you start taking up drumming, you are likely to grab and hit drumsticks strongly, putting a strain on your wrists. This is understandable given your excitement about learning a new kind of musical instrument. However, when you do enough practice and reach the point of performing on stage, you should relax your shoulders and grip sticks more lightly.
There is a world of difference between performing well in your garage and drumming well in front of a large audience. Therefore, to overcome the fear of stage, you’d better increase your confidence by taking part in gigs or any opportunity you are given to play in front of a crowd. Master the rudiments so that you can wholeheartedly devote your mind to creating the tune instead of thinking about how hard or where to hit. Let’s turn playing into a part of your muscle memory to avoid physical and mental tiredness. It will help you gain enough confidence to reach another level of success.
Start keeping time and time signatures
As a drummer, what you need to do is know how to maintain a solid beat. Try to practice with a metronome. It is a device that serves to keep a steady clicking noise so you can stay on tempo. Besides, using a metronome is helpful in tracking your progress at least in case you are working to increase the drumming speed. It is advisable that you practice your rudiments and beats at diverse tempos from slow to fast.
Playing along with the recordings of your favorite drum songs is also a great way to develop your time-keeping skills. Otherwise, turn on the radio and play with each tune. For the more precise time, try putting on the headphones. Once you can play a whole song, it is possible to branch out to original ideas and create a version of your own.
Practice with both hands
Make sure to relax your hands while playing with drumsticks or hand percussion. At first, the dominant hand tends to be stronger, but you can focus on strengthening the weak one. Use your less hand to play more pronounced beats while your left hand should deal with softer notes. Afterward, try flipping sticks over and use the fat end for more aggressive playing. Brushes can be used for a soft and ballad-like style, which occur naturally in music.
Playing drums asks for the combination of the movement of eyes, hands, and feet, so practice using them both separately and together. Your hands will be followed by your eyes around the kit and your brain will know when to make your feet move with the hi-hat and kick drum.
Generally speaking, drumming can be physically demanding at first but it is mentally worth your effort. These tips above provide a satisfactory answer to the question of how to become a better drummer. By combining these tips with regular practice, you can improve your drumming skills at a faster pace. We hope you will have great fun with playing drums.