Whether you play the guitar, bass, flute, or drums, the key to learning any instrument are dedicated practice sessions. And the consistent, regular practice has always proven to be more helpful than short bursts of intense practice on just the weekends. It is understandable if you are unable to find the time. However, you may be surprised by the outputs of practicing just around half an hour on a daily basis! Here are some drum exercises for beginners to start you off right now!
The drums are one of the most popularly played sets of instruments in the world, and today we will be taking a look at some basic practices for it. Let us not waste any more time and get into it. Grab your drumsticks, let’s go!
You can also read: Free Drum Lessons for Beginners
Where to start
The first thing to keep in mind when you practice these techniques we will be mentioning below is to use a metronome. Using a metronome will help you keep track of your timing and rhythm, as well as your sense of beats per minute. These are extremely important, not only to drumming but to music as a whole. Remember: A drummer who cannot grasp a sense of timing is not a good drummer at all!
1. Drum Exercises for Beginners: Warming up your hands
This exercise is a fairly simple one, as we are just starting our lesson. The focus of this is to warm you up and get some flexibility into your hands before you dive in deeper. Play a stroke with your left, and then one on the right. And keep alternating. But the tricky part is that on every alternating beat of the first and third beat, make sure to add a kick. So when stroking a left, make sure to get a kick in as well. And when stroking down with the right, leave your feet idle.
Keep your ears glued to sound here, as your left and right stroke should not be louder, fiercer, or quieter than one another. We understand that it may be harder said than done, but that is the goal of this exercise. To keep your handwork consistent, and balanced. The left and right hits should sound identically the same, almost as if you were playing with the same hand!
2. Drum Exercises for Beginners: Doubling Strokes
We will be kicking it up a notch in this second exercise. Simply speaking, this exercise will have you multiplying the strokes from exercise one by two. Beat the drum with your right hand twice, and then with your left hand, again, twice. You will also be kicking the bass drum once on every four alternating hits.
This means on your first hit with your right hand, kick the bass, then play the next stroke with your right. Then play two left-hand strokes. Then again, with your right hand beat down on the drum twice, while kicking the bass on the first hit, and then two left-hand strokes. Keep this going on in a cycle.
3. Drum Exercises for Beginners: Playing in triplets
Are you familiar with what a triplet is? Just in case you are not – a triplet is a triple noted beat that takes up the same amount of time as a singular beat. It does three times the work that would be done in one beat. So if you were to play one beat, and counted the amount of time it took you to play that, a triplet would be three notes played in the same amount of time in that tempo.
As we have just explained what a triplet is, this is exactly what this exercise is all about. Here, you will be hitting strokes down with your right first, in three short bursts, and then with your left in another three. While this already sounds tricky, consistency is to be maintained with the previous exercises. On every first of three hits with the right hand, add a kick in there. This is progressively difficult, but it should also get you riled up for more complicated exercises. Let us move on.
4. Drum Exercises for Beginners: Strokes in alternation
This has no particular structure, but this is to teach you how to improvise. Combine the first three. Play a double stroke, then maybe a triplet. Then a single stroke, and then a double. You may be wondering that this is strange, but this is just to teach you versatility. It will help you adjust your basic understanding of the first three exercises and take it to a higher level.
These exercises are just to get you started off, so keep in mind that they are not going to teach you any particular songs. Songs are very complicated in structure compared with these exercises. They are not as simple as they may seem at first. Just remember that the basics are what will eventually help your skills grow greatly.
5. Drum Exercises for Beginners: Independently
Now it should be time for you to get creative. As we have gotten you to start off with the absolute basics, you can now look it up on how to do more advanced exercises. But to say it in short, combine whatever you know, and also implement your own ideas.
Think you can play a specific segment from a song? Try to do it. And also, see if you can do it without the help of someone else or a drummer’s forum. Learning from the ear is extremely important in terms of how much you will grow as a drummer.
Hopefully, this has helped you get an understanding of what kind of exercises you should be practicing in order to get better. And keep in mind, using a metronome is absolutely essential, especially for drummers. More often than not, a drummer is a person that the band or orchestra will depend on to maintains their pacing. So grab your set of drumsticks and get started! You never know how good you can get unless you start off from the very basics somewhere. Happy drumming!