Drummers represent only 1.4% of US musicians. If you’re thinking of learning the drums, you need to know where to start, how to hold your sticks, and how to practice.
A drummer requires an excellent sense of rhythm, a precise hand, and confidence. Ready to begin your drumming journey? Keep reading for seven beginner drumming techniques you need to know.
Holding Your Sticks
Holding your drumsticks properly is essential for excellent playing and can also help to prevent you from experiencing discomfort. Clutching your sticks improperly could lead to strain if you’re using your drum kit for a while.
Your grip shouldn’t be tight - this isn’t sustainable. Instead, it would help to hold your sticks delicately with a loose grip. Of course, hold your sticks tightly enough that they won’t fly across the room when you start playing.
When you play with your sticks, try to let the sticks do the work for you. Fatigue will cause your playing to suffer.
With your finger on the trigger, hold your sticks as if you’re holding a gun. It would help keep your palms up when you have your stick above your snare drum. To balance the drumstick, rest it on the joint of your forefinger. Then, gently hold the stick in place with your thumb. To begin playing, turn your palm to face downwards.
Playing From The Wrist
To prevent tension as you play, you should play from the wrist. If you don’t play from the wrist, you’ll be tightening your clutch on your sticks, and your playing won’t be sustainable for long practice sessions or sets.
So, keep the movement restricted to your wrist, as this will provide a more relaxed way to play and allow you to use the natural momentum of your sticks while playing instead of manual effort.
Playing from your shoulders could lead to back pain, and you might put too much pressure and hit your drums too hard. Playing from your wrists gives you more volume control.
Medium Full Stroke Roll
The medium-full stroke roll is a basic pattern for beginners to learn. It is a single-stroke roll of medium volume. You can achieve the right volume for the medium full-stroke roll by adjusting the height of your sticks. Hold your stick at a 45-degree angle.
The trick to perfecting the medium-full stroke roll is keeping your stick height and power regulated and consistent. Each stroke should have the same volume. To do this, imagine there is a barrier line preventing you from lifting your stick higher than your last stroke.
Rebounding Double Strokes
The rebounding double stroke is another crucial drumming pattern for beginner drummers to learn. It involves playing double strokes with each hand (RRLLRRLL).
To perfect this move, you need to think of the stroke as a bouncing or rebounding stroke - achieving a second hit without using your wrist. Using this technique, you can use the right, left, right, and left patterns to structure your strokes rather than the double-stroke pattern.
The sticks will rebound to get the doubles, reducing the work you need to do. Using your fingers, you can achieve the second or reverse stroke. Your fingers guide the drumstick, making it rebound to strike the drum.
Practice Singles To Doubles
To consolidate your knowledge of these essential singles and doubles patterns, consider using an exercise that puts them both together, allowing you to transition easily between both patterns.
Play 8 notes of singles and 16 notes of doubles to create a consistent pattern, and continue to practice it to improve your skill and talent.
Dynamics go a long way in improving your drumming ability. The dynamics of your playing is the speed at which your sticks travel to impact the drums. A skilled drummer can maintain consistent dynamics while playing and even alter the dynamics to emphasize certain parts of a song.
Regarding foot technique, you have two options - heel up or down. Playing heel-down provides a softer way to drum, as your heel is on the floor, and you don’t have as much momentum when hitting your kick drum.
On the other hand, playing heel-up is less gentle and allows you to provide more volume with your kick drum. It would help if you suspended your whole leg to keep your heel off the floor, which can be more tiring when playing for a long time.
Suppose you’re beginning your journey as a drummer; good for you! It takes great courage and determination to learn a new skill. Hopefully, the tips and tricks in this guide will give you a sense of direction when beginning your practice. Keep up the practice, and you’ll improve your skills in no time!