Percussion is considered one of the coolest instruments to play. Many people want to try it and end up buying one for themselves.
Whether acoustic or electronic drums, you would look cool behind the instrument, especially when you start hitting the membrane.
It may seem easy to play, but it would be challenging when you are already sitting there and about to play along to a certain song.
Even for easy songs, it is still difficult for some people to get the timing right.
According to Ted’s List, a professional musician, playing the drums does not only focus on hitting the instrument. There are many ways to improve your playing, and here are the best recommendations.
One of the most common mistakes music learners make is skipping the basics. They want to focus more on building a cool image.
Before you can do that, you should stick to the fundamentals.
We recommend playing the drums with your eyes open for the first 20 minutes. Then try to make the same pattern you did, but this time with your eyes closed.
Visualize the drums in your mind. Using a metronome would help. You just have to listen to the beat until you get used to it.
When you practice with your eyes closed, you build muscle memory in your arms, legs, hands, and feet. Avoid technical beats at first.
But when you get used to it, you can move to the next pattern, again, with your eyes closed.
Timing is a critical element when playing music, so it is best to learn how it works. Without proper timing, you could mess up the whole song’s tempo.
You can set up a laptop near you to check the time while playing. Connect your headphones to it.
Doing this will make your beats synchronize with the time. You can watch for the timer and practice keeping your time if you are covering a song.
However, keep in mind that prolonged usage of headphones or earphones is unhealthy. According to a published article in Harvard, it could damage your ears and affect your sleeping patterns.
So we recommend taking a break at least every hour.
It may sound difficult for beginners, but even amateurs can play amazing songs. When you are practicing in a studio or perhaps in your garage, your band members can help you improve by sharing their thoughts on how you play.
This will also make your practice sessions more fun while you progress.
When you practice, they can advise which areas you need to improve more on. Also, they can provide detailed feedback regarding your playing.
If they see that you’re hitting the drum too much or too loud, you’ll easily notice it with their faces. This is the same thing when you try to perform on stage.
You and your bandmates have a connection that will help each other improve.
We also recommend jamming with others. If their genre isn’t what you normally play, go ahead and try it out. You’ll most likely learn a thing or two.
The skills you learn from playing with others will help you become a better drummer.
Practicing every day will help you improve your drumming skills. But before the practice, warm-up exercises are necessary.
You need to stretch your arms and legs to loosen up and make your body relaxed. Besides physical warmups, you also need to start by playing the basics.
Record your playing. This will track your progress. You don’t need to post it on the internet yet. Instead, focus on the goals.
Review the videos and check which areas you are making mistakes in. The video will also point out whether your position is good as it could also affect your playing.
You don’t need to buy a fancy video recorder to shoot yourself. Lifehack has posted an article that can help you take videos using your phone.
As an aspiring drummer, you most likely have a professional drummer who you idolize. Their style is probably the one that hooked you to playing drums.
We understand that you probably want to become like them someday, so while you are still learning, go ahead and watch their videos playing live.
If they are too fast for you, you can slow it down by adjusting the playback speed.
You will also learn how to set your drums similar to them, and it could make you feel more comfortable while you play. But remember to stick to fundamentals first.
The videos are there to inspire you and help you improve.
The road to becoming a great drummer might not be easy. But by sticking to the basics and applying the tips above, you’ll surely get there.
So grab your drumsticks, and start practicing as you are a few steps closer in your journey to being a great percussionist.