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Beginners Drum Lesson

Now we've learnt the basics of music notation and rhythm, we're ready to start our first piece.

Try to play the following example on the snare drum. Don't forget to count the different note-values, as shown. The letters over the notes tell you which hand to use:

  • L - left hand
  • R - right hand

Adding the Ride Cymbal

We're now going to play the ride cymbal and the snare drum together. The ride cymbal is played with the tip of the drum-stick, about 6-8cm in from the edge, as shown:

Using your right hand to play the ride, and your left to play the snare, now try the following rhythm:

The midi version again has a four beat intro:

Adding the Bass Drum

There are two main ways to play the bass drum - which one you choose is totally a matter of preference.

  • The first option is to keep the foot flat on the pedal at all times, moving only the ankle to press down the pedal.

  • The second option is to rest only the ball of the foot on the pedal and 'stamp' the pedal down using the whole leg.

Try playing this piece using just the bass drum and the ride cymbal. Don't be put off by this symbol -
It's simply a minim note, played on the cymbal.

Once more, the midi version has a four beat intro:

Time to Groove

We're now ready to put the elements we've learnt so far together into our first real drum groove. We've covered quite a lot in this lesson, so now might be a good time to review what you've learnt so far.

The standard rock beat we'll now learn could be considered the basis of all rock drumming. Master this and you're well on your way. Practise it very slowly at first. Once you get good, you can speed it up a little.

After you've listened to the midi version try playing along with the various metronomes at the bottom of the page ( you may have to turn the computer speakers up quite high! ). Playing in a strict time is at least as important as what you are playing, so take the opportunity and see how close you can stay to those metronomes.



Crotchet=60 Crotchet=80 Crotchet=100 Crotchet=120
STOP Metronome

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