How To Play Drums

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Easy Drumming That Sounds Hard

Thinking about learning how to play drums? Do you have a drum set but don’t know what to do with it besides using it to drive your parents nuts? If you answered yes to at least one of these questions, then this is the right place for you to be. In this video lesson Jared Falk, one of the DrumLessons.com drum instructors, shows you how to set yourself behind a drum set, while teaching you to play your first beat and fill.

The main focus of this lesson is to get you playing for the first time. You won’t need to know how to read sheet music to be able to learn to play the patterns taught in this lesson. Jared explains each of the patterns in a step-by-step approach, so you’ll learn how to play drums in no time. If you’d still like to learn how to read and write sheet music, check the free drum lesson “How To Count Quarter Notes” to get started.

In this video, Jared shows you a very basic approach to holding the drumsticks properly. Nonetheless, we encourage you to check the free drum lesson “How To Hold Your Drumsticks” to learn a lot more about this essential subject.

Basic Drum Patterns

The first pattern we’ll be looking at is the standard 8th note rock drum beat. The first layer of this pattern is taught on the exercise below. The numbers and “&’s” are counts, while the “x’s” are notes played on the closed hi-hat. For each measure you’ll have to play eight 8th notes on the closed hi-hat. Start by counting out loud – 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and – and then play the hi-hats along with your count. Strive for having notes played at a consistent pace and with the same dynamic level, as you loop this exercise over and over again.

In exercise 2 we add the snare drum on beats 2 and 4 of the count. The snare shots are represented by the solid note heads on the middle line of the measure. Play the hi-hat strokes as you count out loud and just add in the snare drum. The strokes on both instruments must line up perfectly when played at the same time. Remember to keep the hi-hat strokes consistent to create a smooth feel.

With the third exercise we add in the bass drum on beats 1 and 3 of the count. For now, we’ll not be worrying about the snare drum. The solid note heads on this exercise are the bass drum strokes. Just like we did in the previous exercise, add the bass drum hits as you play the hi-hat while counting out loud. The strokes on both instruments must line up perfectly when played at the same time. Keep the hi-hat strokes consistent to create a smooth feel.

The idea behind the previous exercises was to have you gain the needed independence and control to play the basic 8th note rock beat. Now that you’ve learned how to play its three layers it’s time to put them all together. The hi-hat is played on all 8th notes, just like we learned on the previous exercises. The snare drum is added on beats 2 and 4 while the bass drum is played on beats 1 and 3. Remember to keep the hi-hat consistent and the snare and bass drum strokes lined up with the ones played on the hi-hat.

If you’re having any issues with this beat, feel free to go back to the previous exercises and work on them for a while. Remember to practice with a metronome. Once you have the independence and timing happening come back to this beat and give it a whirl once again.

The last exercise in this lesson is your first drum fill. A drum fill is a pattern played around the drum set that among other things is used for setting a new section of a song. The beat you just learned is 8th note based while the pattern in this exercise is 16th note based – patterns with notes played on the “e’s” and the “ah’s” of a measure.

The hand with which you strike the hi-hat plays the notes of the fill on the beats (1, 2, 3, 4) and on the “&’s”, while the other hand fills in with the rest of the notes on the “e’s” and “ah’s”. As you transition from the beat to the fill you’ll notice that the hi-hat hand keeps playing the same notes it was playing on the beat. The only difference here is the instruments it hits. So a good way to start practicing this fill is to only play the 8th notes around the snare and toms by playing exactly what you were executing on the hi-hat. As you get comfortable with that transition you can start filling in the notes in between with your snare hand.

Take your time with these exercises, they may be hard to play at first but if you keep at it you’ll have no problems. Once you’ve learned how to play them, we encourage you to apply them to music by heading to the play-along section on DrumLessons.com. This should be your final goal with each pattern you learn how to play with this website. So whenever you learn new patterns, don’t forget to use them with the free play-alongs on DrumLessons.com.

After you’ve learned how to apply these basic pattern to real music with the free play-alongs on DrumLessons.com, its very important for you to learn how to plan your practice routines. Organizing the time you have available for practicing drums will have you working towards your goals in a consistent and balanced way. This will help you make your practice sessions a lot more fun, focused, efficient, and rewarding. Fortunately for you, we have a free practice routine generator for download on DrumLessons.com.

If you’re not interested in using the free practice routine generator, we advise you to at least add some warm-ups and drum rudiments to your practice routines. Warm-ups are a great way of avoiding injuries, and drum rudiments are killer for improving your hand technique and creativity around the drum set.

For warming up your hands properly check the free drum lesson “16th Note Warm-Up“. The free drum lesson “Double Bass Warm-Ups” has very cool exercises for the feet that can be used with either a hi-hat and a bass drum pedal, or two bass drum pedals.

As for drum rudiments, we encourage you to start by practicing and applying to the drum set the most basic and fundamental of drum rudiments. They are the single stroke roll, the double stroke roll, and the flam.

Now that we’ve introduced you to some important aspects of practicing drum set, you can keep learning new drum fills and drum beats by choosing free beginner drum lessons on drum beats or drum fills from any section on the free drum lessons guide. If you’re not sure about what video to watch next, we encourage you to move on to the free drum lesson “Seven Beats Every Drummer Should Know.”


This Lesson Has 88 Comments

  • Amos says:

    You’re good with the drum and good teacher!!! God bless you always!!!!!

    • Areona Williams says:

      really love 2 watch drums lesson’s because i’m trying 2 get in at church thank u for the six min vid rock on

  • Wise says:

    please i want you help how to play drums, thanks

  • alfredo says:

    gracias aunque no entiendo ingles seria fabuloso subtitulos opcionales trato de aprender solo visualmente un millon de gracias :)

  • damien naidoo says:

    thanks alot u realy gud

  • Aneyah says:

    Which video should I view next?

  • Aneyah says:

    This lesson has helped a ton, but a suggestion would be to put the videos in order of how we should view them. I am a beginner and I have no idea where to start.

  • sawan says:

    hey. . .m quit confused of the note of drums.Will u please explain it to me
    in some normal way to understand these note for which i shall b ever thank full to you.. . .

  • alex mercer says:

    thank you jarred sir

  • hellen wanjiru says:

    Hi.Sooooo glad to have found a place where i can learn how to play drums and know FAST.Cant wait to begin with u till ibecame perfect in playing and also be creative. THANK YOU

  • Dhiraj says:

    thanks sir,
    u teach us lesson in a simple way. It’s help us to play well. Thanks again.

  • ARUN KUMAR says:

    I LIKE DRUM

  • Sevinç Şimşek says:

    Thanks for this lesson.

  • george kamau says:

    hey brother i want to know how to play the drum set.i like doing it in my church an i play it anyhow can you help.am George from KENYA

  • Jack Ritter says:

    To the guys who put this site togeather: are you actually READING our posts to one another?

    Notice how FEW posts ever get responded to? (BY YOU, in particular.)

    AS I said Feb 28, this is the Kiss of Death for an interractive site.

    Can’t fool me any longer. So long (although I could SWEAR I already ‘unsubscribed’ from y’all!)

    Jack Ritter

    • Wesley says:

      havent been playing long. free drum lenssos/drumeo has helped me set my basics and have taught me more about the kit and sounds. i have developed quickly since i found drumeo/free drum lenssos.there is a problem i have been coming upon alot lately and need some help. My pedal keeps falling off my kick and i dont know what to do or what is even wrong. the pedal is as tight as it can grip onto the kick as it can be.

  • sivakumar says:

    Hi,
    I am fresh, but ia most intrest in drums
    I want to learn more
    Thank You

    • Manish says:

      I think you guys should do a leossn on understanding drums for beginners. For example when I started a year and a half ago, I didn’t know anything about what drums were good and what weren’t. Drums are just drums to beginners and ppl that don’t play drums and also I thought that as long as cymbals were straight they were good and I didn’t know what sticks were good or anything. I don’t personally need this leossn but I wish I had known a lot about drums like this when I started

    • Eka says:

      Drums are real fun too. I mean besides the fact that you can beat on them to get rid of your fturrsations (jk), you can learn to play really intricate and amazing stuff on them. Of course, if you like being able to play and create actual melodies and chords with the guitar, you may find the guitar a better instrument for you. However, if don’t you mind about not playing melodies etc. then the drums are great fun. Keep in mind it takes quite a bit of coordination.

    • tyler weedman says:

      Im a begginer too i have to play for my school i was wondering if you can teach me?

  • Mery says:

    I don’t know how it’s with you guys but I hope that 18 is not too late to start with drums… First thing to to now – find a drum kit… won’t be easy!

    • Maciek says:

      Hi Mery definitely it is not too late. I am 47 and just got my drum kit today. Good luck to you.

    • Ryan says:

      do the stick twirl!!! its really not hard, you just hold the stick beeetwn your pointer and middle fingers, then twirl it around. if you do it right, it looks like youre actually spinning it around your hand. or, just toss a stick up in the air and catch it during any part where you have a 2-4 beat rest. maybe throw a sweet, but simple solo in there. in general, people dont know how to play drums. so as long as it sounds decent, people will be mroe than happy. hehe good luck! and relax, and have fun!

  • mark says:

    hey im 16 and i have been playing drum for 3 years now and it all started with just seeing this one and only video up on youtube. it got me in a band and i dont think i would be if i never saw this short clip. so thanks alot man.

    • Yanal says:

      sometimes I just suppose that folks write and dont rellay have much to say. Not so here. You definitely have something to say and you say it with style, my man! You sure do have an interesting way of drawing people in, what with your videos and your words. Youve got quite a one-two punch for a website!

  • Jack says:

    Hi, Neil. I’m 63, but I seem to be getting there. I have Yamaha DD55 7-pad thing (not real drums.) The pads are small, and the active part of them is even SMALLER. Need to be precise. Real drums are easier to play, I find. Anyone have any thoughts on rubber-and-electronic ‘toys’, vs real? -Jack

    • Gurdeep says:

      I have been playing drums for about 4 years now and I steatrd watching freedrumlesson videos when you guys decided to review double pedals. As for my favorite instructors, I’d have to say that it is a tie between Dave and Calum. Keep up the good work guys right now Ian practicing finger control and I have already noticed results. Cheers

  • George says:

    I am having a tough time learning how to find where the lessons are located and who is giving the lesson. So far, I’v stumbled across “Jake” teaching beginners drum, then I came across another drummer teaching the same thing.

    WHERE DO I FIND THE 1st LESSON, AND FROM THERE WHERE DO I FIND ALL THE OTHER LESSONS IN THEIR PROPER ORDER? I NEED THE WEB SITE ADDRESS FOR YOUR LESSONS AND THE WEB SITE FOR ALL THE OTHER LESSONS.

    Thank you so much…learning like this if fun….George

    • Jack Ritter says:

      > WHERE DO I FIND THE 1st LESSON, AND FROM THERE WHERE DO I FIND ALL THE > OTHER LESSONS IN THEIR PROPER ORDER?

      George- I agree with you. It’s not clear what the sequence of learning is. I see a lot of drummers stacked up, each with a useful bit to show, but no overall organization to it all. The intro video- “Here’s all our toys and cameras, aren’t we great?” isn’t very useful.

      And no one is RESPONDING to anyone else in this blog (usually the kiss of death.)

      So, I’ve responded to something.
      – Jack

    • Auth says:

      Our old drummer had rlanod V-drums I think.He smashed all the controls in and spilt beer all over it and they still worked.Sounded ok too.

  • Tia says:

    Hi.
    Im 15, I love the drums since like ever and I got my first drum set for my birthday. But I don’t know how to play. And from just watching this one video, it looks like I’ll get to play my drums in a while (:

  • Neil says:

    You make it look so easy, I guess its only practice and at 61 this will take me a lot of practice.
    Thank you

 
 

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