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How to Learn Drums: The Basics

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How to Learn Drums

Learning to play drums can be a pleasant experience which is hard to match if you do it with passion. The good news is that learning drums changed a lot over the past decade.

The days of exclusively using a professional or a teacher are far behind us. You can still benefit from using a teacher as personal interaction is great for conveying information, but now there are new methods which can involve online tutoring, self-instruction and even learning through apps.

Use a teacher

Going the traditional route and using a teacher might still be one of the best methods of learning to play drums. Although there are many variations such as taking a course or following a dedicated program at a music school, using a teacher will usually mean you have to follow a certain curriculum.

Music schools usually combine music theory and practice for a more complex approach. Although many new students might think that this method of learning is outdated, it still produces world class performers and can also be a good method of analyzing the theoretical aspects behind playing drums.

Hiring a personal tutor might be slightly different. If you prefer to learn with a teacher on your own you will have to pay per class. This also means you can have a custom learning experience and this is why you should focus on getting the most out of these classes.

Learning with a teacher is not always possible in your area so make sure you check for the latest opportunities in newspapers or classified websites.

Online course

If you don’t have an available option in your area or can’t find a free teacher, you can always look online. This might mean you have to either go with live training sessions or that you can buy a course and follow it at your own pace and on your own schedule. This might not always be possible in your situation, but if you take your own needs into account you should come up with a good solution.

Some websites offer dedicated learning courses and you can even follow the reactions and reviews of other learners. This might give you a better idea of what to expect from the course.

Some online music instruction sites even offer a number of free tutorials so you can test out their services. One such highly respected and diverse website is ArtistWorks.com. Check out their free sample music lessons here.


As for online drum lessons in general, some courses are individual while others might be part of a series of courses which could even take a few months to complete. It all depends on your skill level and you should always look for ways in which you can accurately determine your skill level and match it to those advertised by the course.


Learning drums yourself might be the longest suggested process. It is neither simple nor too complicated but it will depend on your ability to organize yourself and to subjectively assess your skill level as often as possible. Some notions of music might be beneficial, especially playing with musical notes. But this is not mandatory as many people can attest to this.

While learning drums can be a never-ending process, you should take the time to practice at least a couple of hours per day. Some professionals recommend even more hours if you truly plan to reach a higher level. While this can be subjective to your own schedule and preferences, you should make a plan and try to follow it as much as possible.

The good news is that times have changed and you are no longer alone. The simplest method to access great resources is by joining dedicated online communities like a forum or other groups.

You will find people with similar interests who might be able to share valuable information, tips or even equipment. All you need to do is take your time to organize them so that you will be up to date with the latest news in learning drums.

A good alternative solution is to try dedicated smartphone apps. They come in all shapes and sizes and they can start with the minimalistic drum tuning app and go to the options teaching you songs or advanced techniques.

While not all of the apps are free, you can start with some basic options and work yourself up to the premium apps. You want to avoid paying in advance for all types of apps which will only confuse you and bombard you with information. You want to learn progressively and spend your money wisely instead.

Playing in a band

Joining a band can also be a good option if you plan to learn drums and improve social interaction. Although it might be difficult to find a band to play with as a beginner, there are always new bands that are looking for new talent and you can take this opportunity to enhance your skills and even learn how to play together with other instruments and even vocalists.

If you can’t find a band to play with you can even advertise yourself and start a new band from scratch. The good part about this approach is that you can always take the time to explain your situation and progress further with your skills together with the band.

Learning drums is one of the most exciting periods which should be focused on perfecting the right technique. You always want to make sure the technique is perfect as you will end up playing in the same way for years to come with the habits you make now.

Learning with a teacher might be the best option if you don’t have the time to organize all the learning materials. Learning on your own, on the other hand, might take more time but it will also make you understand the process from a complex perspective.

This will mean you have to take charge of what you’ll learn and in which order. If you want a combination of these methods you can look for online courses or even dedicated smartphone apps which can give you a general idea and the dedication to work towards a goal. This is an important element which is not discussed enough in learning drums as you should always set small and achievable goals to ensure you have enough motivation to progress with your skills.

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