The art of drumming has existed since the early days of music. Its rhythmic patterns range from complicated and exciting to simple and powerful.
Oftentimes, the drummer has a great deal of control over the feel, the rhythm, and even the genre of the music being played. The drums serve as the backbone to every piece of music they appear in.
Learning to Play the Drums
Playing the drums can be a lot of fun, and depending on your practice routine, you can advance as a player rather quickly. Regardless of your goals, if you want to become a skilled drummer, you have to learn the fundamentals.
The sound of your drums can vary significantly depending on the types of sticks you use, the dimensions of your kit, the brand of your kit, in addition to whatever customized modifications you make to your drum set.
Common Elements of a Drum Kit
Here are some of the common elements that can be found on most drum kits:
- The bass/kick drum: this is the big drum on the floor, and it is usually struck with an attached pedal. It produces a low note (that can be of a specific pitch).
- The snare drum: most drummers position the snare drum to the left of their throne, and play it with their non-dominant hand. It produces a loud crack.
- Tom-toms: tom-toms look much like the kick drum or the snare drum, but come in different sizes. The most common types include the floor tom, the mid-tom, as well as the high-tom.
- Cymbals: cymbals are thin, typically round plates made of various alloys. They produce a resonant, high-pitched sound. They come in various sizes.
Remember to care for your kit, as it will last longer.
Progressing as a Drummer
Regardless of your skill level, there are always opportunities to progress as a drummer. Of course, it’s important to start with the basics, as even the most polished drummers can bring their skills to the next level by continually working on – and going back to – the fundamentals.
Drumming requires both commitment and dedication, especially when you are looking to play with other instrumentalists. This will ensure that you are constantly growing as a musician.
You may think that reading music is only for members of the orchestra, but the ability to sight-read can lead to a great deal of growth as a drummer.
Some may believe that drumming is merely the art of finding the beat and pounding the skins, but there is a great deal more to it than that.
A drummer can find the beat of the music simply by listening to it. However, being able to read the music makes a tremendous amount of difference in interpreting the piece.
If a drummer is unable to read music, then their playing style could be reduced to featureless repetition of the most undemanding rhythms (though there are always exceptions).
Also remember that if you have the desire to be a part of recording sessions, being able to understand music is often a prerequisite.