Play It Again: Drum Kit
A bit rusty? Don't be put off. Browse our helpful hints, and watch a video guide to get you started.
Hints and Tips: Playing the Drums
If you’re assembling your drum-kit from scratch make sure you have everything you need such as stands, pedals, cymbals, sticks and a drum key for tuning the drum heads.
You'll also need a cushioned drum stool that you can adjust to a comfortable height.
Playing the drums calls for a huge amount or co-ordination, so if you haven’t played for a while start really slowly with a basic drum pattern.
Practice regularly as this will help develop your muscular memory. Once you have mastered a drum pattern slowly you can begin to speed it up.
To help you master complex beats try counting aloud, and when speeding things up try playing along with a metronome or click track.
A good upright posture with loose arms and wrists will make playing easier – if you feel tension creeping in stop and relax.
Sticks have a habit of breaking or getting damaged so make sure you have back-ups. Experiment with different thicknesses, weights and tips (wooden or nylon) to find which suits you best. Don’t forget to practice playing with brushes too.
Drums can be very loud so make sure you practice at times that won’t disturb your neighbours, or invest in some practice pads which will reduce the volume considerably, or even a specially designed practice kit.
If you’re looking for lessons try your local music shop, where instrumental teachers often advertise. Drum kit is also taught in many schools so your local education authority Music Service will also be a good source of information.
For buying a drum-kit music shops and specialist percussion shops are the best places to look – they often have their own websites too so you can compare prices.
To find a group or band to play with visit your local music shop or rehearsal rooms, as this is where bands often advertise for players – you could even advertise yourself.