How to play drums by ears

Good musicianship requires you to be good at reading drum sheet music as well as improvising and playing drums by ears. Learn how to play drums by ears with this informative article.

If you learned how to play music by taking private music lesson or going to music school, you most likely rely on drum sheets to play music. However, if you are looking to e a professional drummer, you need to have the ability to play drums by ears. These skills are especially important when you need to improvise while on stage.

There are many ways you can learn how to play drums by ears. One of the main points is to learn how to work out with other beats while listening to music. This can give you a clue or more inspiration on how to increase your drumming talents.

How to play drums by ears

As a drummer, you are partly responsible for making your and sound even. This means if you are out of key, the sound won’t sound so good. Ear training can help you develop quality capabilities to make your listening and playing more productive and satisfying.

Easy Ear training for drum players

The first step is to find the right sounds on your drum. To practice, try playing different variations of a sound by hitting different parts of the set. Use varying strokes to produce different sounds repetitively to familiarize them in your ears.

Next, find rhythm. To do this, find a simple song and try to understand the beats. Make sure the drum fills are easy to understand and replicate or can be replaced with a simple eat. Advancing to complex music with melodies and chords plus other concepts of music theory can help you distinguish the difference between music scales.

Listening to music, reading music theory and playing are the three steps that will help you learn how to play drums by ears, at an advanced level.

Pros and cons of playing drums by ears

Learning how to play drums by ears gives you a good sense of adjustment. It can come in handy when you are switching real quick and you want to catch up.

Another benefit of playing drums by ears is that individuals have room to be creative with their drumming techniques. Since you are not dependent on the chart, you can change or fill in when you think it is necessary.

As a musician, you may find that you are most relaxed in a music environment where you have the songs in memory. Because of this, most drummers do not need charts or drum sheets. It also gives you the chance to work on your technique and craft.

Playing by ear will make you more committed to the instrument. This is because it takes time and commitment to figure out how to play drums without sheets.

This way, it is easy to learn new music simply by watching other people perform. This is because your ears are trained to listen to the notes which means you don’t rely so much on written music

What are the cons of playing drums by ears?

Playing y ears limits you from playing professional. Many gigs require drummers or musicians who can read sheet music. This is limiting especially when you plan to make a living through playing drums.

So if you are interested in teaching drumming or music, it will be difficult to get a job especially a professional one.

Another disadvantage is that you will waste so much time trying to learn new notes. It is much slower to learn by ears, which means you will take up most of your crew’s time because it will take you more time to practice.

Finally, it will be much difficult for you to understand instructions based on rhythms, notes or a manuscript.

What are the main ways to learn drums by ears?

Hire a teacher

Having a lesson once a week is a great way to learn drums. The benefits of hiring someone o teach you is that you will learn to play drums by ears as well as reading from the sheets. They will slow you the tricks, shortcuts and secrets of playing drums and this can make you a lot ester at drumming.

However, it may cost you a lot to hire a private teacher for your drumming lessons.

Figure it out on your own

You can choose to figure it out on your own but it can cost you much more than hiring a teacher. To be at a professional level, it would probably take you more than 10 years of practice if you are on your own.

Use self help material to learn drumming by ear

Self help resources can come in handy when you want to learn how to play drums by ears y yourself. Good thing is there is low pressure, you can save so much and control how fast or slow your progress is. Thanks to free information on the internet, you will not have to depend on other people to show you the techniques and tricks.

Try other drummers

If you are in a band, or lucky enough to have talented/professional people around you, you could definitely learn how to play drums by ear much easier and faster. Being exposed to the tricks and techniques of drumming by ear will make you better naturally.

Final word

Learning how to play drums by ear is not easy. First you need to learn music theory, learn how to play on the drum and distinguish between different sounds on your set. It takes a lot of practice, but it is worth it n the end.


Do I need to wear hearing protection when playing drum by ears?

Yes. Whether you are rehearsing with a team or playing up a concert, wearing hearing protection is important to protect your ears in the long run.

Do I need a drum kit when I’m learning how to play drum by ears?

Yes you do. However you can also get started on a practice pad with a couple of sticks before you can afford to purchase a drum kit.

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