Beginning to drum is always an exciting journey, no matter the type of drum a person is drawn to. Choosing the perfect djembe drum or building the ultimate drum set can be a personal journey, or, the thoughtful gift of a friend or family member can start a person on the drumming adventure of a lifetime. So, the next step is to start playing the drum. Tapping out a few rhythms alongside favorite songs can start those rhythmic vibes flowing, but, what do you do to actually learn how to drum? Simply stated, you drum.
Rhythm and timing is the core of drumming, making it one of the easier skills to dive into. Practicing rhythm is certainly easier than practicing the tuba or piano, because of its accessibility in any situation or throughout our days. Rhythm is everywhere; it is in our footsteps and the tick of a clock. Finding the rhythm in your daily life can help train your ear and brain for your actual drumming, and, you get the same type of benefits from listening to and engaging with natural rhythms as you do when playing a groove.
Find a teacher, a mentor or sign up for some online drumming lessons. It is rare to find a person who has not had to be taught some of the rudiments of rhythm, or the different styles of drumming. Many people are surprised at just how complex learning how to drum can be, and a “guided tour” of sorts into drumming can put you well ahead of the game. Plus, by taking the time to learn the basics, you are sure to build a strong foundation that won’t have to be “un-learned” in the future when bad habits could surface.
Drum circles and drum jams are also great ways to experience rhythm in a less structured environment. Many times, these can encourage rhythmic improvisational skills, or, the basis of drumming as a community, depending on the type of drum circle you choose to attend. Plus, drum circles and jams allow everyone to experience the different types of hand percussion instruments and drums, and how they weave a spellbinding song together.
Drumming is as personal as any other artistic activity, but, it also has a very practical side to it. Mastering the art of rhythm requires devotion to the craft, patience and a lot of practice. There are plenty of resources available for any beginner drummer to learn the basics or rudiments of drumming on a drum set, djembe or cajon drum, all it takes is the right motivation and a love for rhythm.