“When you're happy, you enjoy the music but when you're sad, you undestand the lyrics.” - Frank Ocean
Music is part of our everyday lives. For most young people, music is their favourite pastime. With rock, country, blues, jazz, etc., there’s something for everyone.
Some people even decide to learn how to play a musical instrument in order to develop their creativity.
How can you take music lessons and learn to play the drums?
How do you find the right tutor or teacher for private drum lessons?
In this article, we'll be looking at the different ways you can learn to play the drums, the pros and cons of each, and some good resources for aspiring drummers to sink their teeth into.
Getting Private Drum Lessons
Starting to learn how to play an instrument isn’t always simple and a lot of people need help to get them started. This is true for many instruments including the piano, violin, saxophone, cello, harmonica, etc. However, music lessons aren’t necessarily accessible to those living rurally since there are fewer establishments for learning to play musical instruments.
That’s why a good number of amateur musicians are learning with private tutorials. Whether you go to the tutor or they come to you, there are plenty of advantages to becoming a drummer with the help of private tutorials. They’re useful for helping you work out which style of lesson works for you (weekly lessons, a course over a semester, intensive lessons, etc.). This also gives you a chance to play music the way you want to rather than having to follow a programme set up by a music school.
The best thing about private lessons is that you can share your passion for music with your tutor whose only goal is to help you learn. Private drum lessons can also help you learn at your own pace. The only negative of private drum lessons is that there aren’t any other students for you to work with. However, you could arrange for you and a group of friends to take a class if your tutor is fine with it.
Jazz, blues, rock, you can have fun with whichever music style you like. Don’t forget to be clear about your goals and your level (beginner, intermediate, advanced) so that your drum tutor knows exactly how to help you to progress.
The success of your private lessons depends greatly on choosing the right private drum tutor. Don’t just go for the first person you meet, you need to shop around!
If you're after beginner drum lessons, your instructor or drum teacher can even help you pick out your drum kit and show each part of the kit (the bass drum, snare drum, tom-toms, and the hi-hat and cymbals). They'll probably also give you recommendations on which drum beats to start with and which drumsticks you should be using.
Learn to Play the Drums in a Music School
There are plenty of other ways to learn how to play the drums and music schools are popping up everywhere. These are another way to learn how to play drums or other percussion instruments.
In fact, music can be fun, creative, and relaxing for adults and children alike. A lot of successful musicians have decided to open their own schools. However, most music schools are private and you'll have to pay to attend them.
Music schools offer classes for various instruments (piano, guitar, drums, woodwind, etc.) which means a lot of different students can be taught at the same time.
Drumming lessons take place throughout the year. There is a variety of classes like:
- Music theory for children
- Music theory
- Musical training
- Playing as part of an orchestra
- Guitar lessons
- Piano lessons
- Drum lessons
You’ll have to learn about keeping time, music theory, musicology, and different styles of music (jazz, funk, etc.). Music schools are often more relaxed than learning music at a university or conservatoire (which are usually prestigious establishments offering higher education in music).
People from all backgrounds come together in music schools; from beginners who want to form a band for a bit of fun to those who want to make music their career, everyone is welcome at a music school.
There are usually practice rooms for students to use outside of their lessons. These rooms are great for those learning to play the drums, especially given that a lot of students don’t have their own drum kit or drum set.
For those who have an instrument at home, it can sometimes be difficult to practice without bothering the neighbours or your family. Learning to play the drums in a music school is great for those just starting out who aren’t sure what to expect from their lessons and gain a solid foundation. Students are organised by level or by the instrument they play. You should have a look around online to find out more about your local musical schools to see what they offer for drummers.
Learning to Play the Drums in a Conservatoire
For those wanting to make a career out of music or play drums professionally, you may want to consider drumming at a conservatoire. However, this is mainly for those who want to become a classically-trained musician. Conservatoires are establishments that teach music, dance, and drama.
In theory, anyone can attend these types of schools. However, it is far more common for musicians to play instruments like the guitar and piano or sing. The drums aren’t commonly played at conservatoires and very few people are aware that you can get drum lessons in these establishments.
Since other instruments are more common (electric guitar, ukulele, synthesisers, flute, clarinet, saxophone, trombone, etc.), many drummers don't even give conservatoires a second thought. However, if you do decide to attend a conservatoire, you should know that a lot will be expected of you. You may even have to take entrance exams or attend an audition just to get onto your course.
A lot of conservatoire students are trying to become professional musicians or music teachers. If you want to learn drums just for fun, this probably isn’t for you. You need to ask yourself a few important questions before you start. You should also consider asking yourself and your friends and family if this type of musical education would be right for you.
Then you’ll be sure of your choice.
Teaching Yourself How to Play Drums
Regular drum lessons mightn’t be possible for some students. In this case, it might be worthwhile teaching yourself to play the drums without a teacher.
How can you teach yourself to play the drum?
There are a number of ways to learn to play the drums on your own. You could start by going online and looking for lessons. The internet is a great source of information on playing drums. Make the most of it by looking for online drum lessons and tutorials!
Look for YouTube channels with tutorials covering the basics of drumming and learn a few songs by ear. You just need to watch someone online and copy what they do.
I did exactly the same to learn how to play the drums and the guitar. This was a good way to learn when I didn’t have the time nor the budget for private tuition. You can also choose exactly which songs you want to learn.
Learning is much easier when you’re having fun and you can even learn to play drums with some of the free drum lessons on the internet or by playing along to your favourite songs. Listen to the advice in the videos you watch because they are the experts, after all. They’ll probably tell you which common mistakes you’ll need to avoid.
You can also try playing the drums by listening. If you’re innately rhythmic, you’ll find this easy. You just need to listen to a song and copy the beat. However, this can be incredibly difficult in certain songs. You run the risk of wasting your time and making little progress.
Before the internet, most self-taught musicians used guides and manuals. They tend to cover a lot of music theory, rhythm, time signatures, and tempo.
You just have to choose the method that works for you. Before you get your first drum lesson and start learning some drum beats or drum rudiments, think carefully about how much independence you want during the learning experience and which of the methods mentioned above will work for you.