As a newbie drummer, it’s important not to try to run before we can’t walk. Similarly, there are things every drummer should know before they pick up their first pair of sticks.
Being the largest group in the drummer community, beginners come in various shapes and sizes. While their enthusiasm and dedication are always great, they usually lack information and studying materials. With that being said, many find themselves stuck and are unable to advance in their learning path.
Unlike the minorities who have their own teachers or mentors to teach them, most newbie drummers are self-taught, and they are really in need of some good advice from fellow veterans. That’s why, in this article, we’ll be covering some of the most important things every drummer should know in their journey to the temple of legends.
Study the rhythm
Remember, drumming isn’t a child’s game where you can just play around with your drumsticks. It’s a serious subject that requires every student to have commitments and dedications. A drummer isn’t simply a person that “play” drum, you’re also a musician. Thus, you should equip yourself with the proper knowledge and likewise.
And rhythm is undoubtedly one of the most important aspects that you need to thoroughly understand as you’ll be working with it all the time. Spend your time reading about the basic concepts, terminologies, and music theories if you’re still new to this. It would make a whole lot different instead of jumping right in with drumming techniques.
Not to mention that once you’ve mastered the rhythm, learning other instruments would also be easier.
Invest time in tuning
Every veteran in their fields must have proper understandings of their tools to be successful like a driver/racer must know his car, a designer should know how to use editing software, a writer with typing software, and so on. You should know how to tune your drum kit to produce the best sounds before playing any of your favorite grooves.
There are already many books and online guides about this topic, so we’re not going to details, just providing a few notes. Two other things every drummer should know is how to tune the drums on both sides to ensure they sound best, and remember to keep the drum key in your pocket because a simple tuning can take you a long way.
Even Leonardo Da Vinci can’t draw his Mona Lisa in his first try. Instead, he was told by his master Verrocchio to draw an egg over and over again. It was this important lesson that provided Davinci the knowledge of drawing objects as not all eggs are the same. With each perspective, you’ll have an entirely different painting with different meanings.
So, when you’re starting to play drum, just start by playing simple drum songs that are easy to learn rather than jumping right in difficult pieces from Van Halen songs, play along with the beats and try to spice things up a little if you feel like to. With each practice, you’ll learn a little more, and eventually, these small steps will get you where you want to be in no time.
With something that is built to be hit on, drum kits are relatively sturdy compared to other items. However, it still requires regular maintenances if you want to keep yours in good condition for a very long time. Not to mention that doing this regularly would also make it sound better.
Clean the cymbals, the drums, and your pedal. For normal dust and dirt, you can use compressed air to suck it away. For stains, it would be best to use 303 Aerospace Protectant to clean your cymbals and non-abrasive chrome polish (or lemon oil polish if you have a wooden drum set) to clean the metal parts.
Try different sticks
Do you know that there are many different drumsticks out there? Each with their own unique sounds and feelings. Different size and shape, length and thickness, wood type and tip will produce many different sounds on your drum kit.
So even when you’re used to playing with 5A or 5B sticks, it wouldn’t hurt to try out a 2b with a nylon tip. You’ll be surprised to find how much impacts it would have on your performance by using different sticks. Not to mention that something which are as simple as the heads can give you different sounds and gigs. Thus, you can’t possibly play rock music on a pair of jazz head, and vice versa.
The proper hands position
It might sound silly, but it’s true, not many people know how to hold their hands properly when first playing their drums. Many experienced drummers also admit that they’ve been holding their drumsticks in the wrong way for quite some time until they realize it.
A proper hands position would give you much better control over your drumsticks and kit. Not to mention that holding the drumsticks properly will reduce the fatigue they produce over time and allow you to perform difficult techniques with ease.
Take care of your ears
As important as the hands, you need to take good care of your ears if you’re an instrumentalist, especially when you play something like a drum kit because it’s considered the most dangerous instrument for hearing damage. As you play on your drum, your ears would be the first to take the damage as it’s really close to the cymbals and snares.
So, consider wearing a pair of earplugs or something that could protect your ear from the loud sounds that are coming out of your drums the next time you practice. And if you’re using an electronic drum kit, you should consider reducing the sound from your headphones for electronic drum kits. Doing this in a long time will definitely protect your hearing from being damaged.
Above are some of the essential things every drummer should know to be really good at playing this musical instrument. Thank you for reading, and we’ll see you in our future posts.