How To Play Drums
TIP: Learn the drums faster with Mike Michalkow's Drumming System.
How To Play Drums
Are you ready to learn how to play drums? You can get started by watching Jared Falk's video lesson above. It includes step-by-step training that will show you exactly how to play the beginner exercises on this page.
The four drum patterns below make it easy to learn the drums progressively. They start out with just one part of the drum kit, and eventually include all the voices that make up a simple drum beat. This way you can learn how to play the drums with baby steps.
The Basic Drum Patterns
Take a look at the first exercise below. It has a single measure of eighth notes. The count is listed above each of the eight notes in the measure. The "x" symbol above the top line of the measure indicates that these counts are to be played on the hi-hats. Start by counting out loud (one and two and three and four and), and then play the hi-hats along with your counting. Loop this a few times, and focus on playing at a consistent pace.
In exercise two, you'll learn how to play the bass drum on the one and three counts. As you can see below, the bass drum is indicated with a solid note in the bottom space of the measure. You can watch the video lesson for tips on how to play the pedal with control.
Next, exercise three includes the snare drum on counts two and four. The snare drum is indicated by a solid note on the middle line of each measure. As with the bass drum, you want to focus on playing these right with the hi-hats. The strokes should line up perfectly, so it sounds like one complete sound.
Finally, exercise four brings everything together. The previous patterns were all leading up to this. As you can see below, this beat includes the hi-hats, snare drum, and bass drum - all together in one complete beat. This is how to play the drums in a real band setting.
Be sure you really focus on playing this beat steady and in time. It is highly recommended that you play along with a metronome - especially when first learning how to play on a drum set. Everything needs to sound even and consistent. Just loop the pattern over and over until you are feeling very confident.
If you are having any difficulty with this last beat, you can always go back and practice beats 1 - 3. That will help you focus on timing and limb-independence. Then, when you feel ready, come back to beat 4.
More Online Resources
If you need more direction for learning the drums, you should consider Mike Michalkow's Drumming System. It is a comprehensive system that was created for drummers of all levels, with step-by-step training so you never get 'stuck' without knowing what to do next. It also includes the amazing "Smart Beat Technology" that essentially reads the sheet music for you, making it easier to learn new beats and fills. Click here for more information about the Drumming System.
Follow-Up Drum Lessons
For an alternate perspective on how to play the drums, you can watch Mike Michalkow's Learn To Play Drums video lesson. He is another instructor here on FreeDrumLessons.com, and may have some added insight and information that will benefit your drumming.
When you are ready to take your drumming to the next level - you can watch our video lessons on: beginner drum techniques, drum set theory and notation, drum rudiments, and many other great drum lesson topics!
Can't read music? No Problem! Learn how to read drum notation here!