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Top 5 Drum Tips for Beginners

Being a beginner drummer may seem daunting at first, but once you cover the basics, you’ll learn that it’s one of the most fun and rewarding instruments to learn. If you’ve already bought your first drum kit or you’re just starting to consider Toronto drum lessons, let us help you break down the top 5 drum tips for beginners to help you hit the ground running!

A Toronto drum teacher

1. Consistency Is Key

As with any musical instrument, the most important thing you need to do while learning is be consistent. This means consistency among drum lessons in Toronto and practice. You’ll want to mindfully practice each day for at least half an hour to see the best results. Mindful practice means putting your full focus into what you’re doing and honing in on the skills you’re working on in your lessons. Here are a few of our favourite tips to help you practice better:

  • Set up your space: Drum kits take up a lot of room which means you’ll need to find the right space to set them up and practice in. This area should be big enough for you to practice comfortably and should be as free of any distractions as possible. Keep in mind that drums are also very loud and you should take this into consideration when practicing. If you need to make things quieter, consider purchasing practice pads or an electronic drum set.

  • Carve out practice time: Life gets busy and schedules get packed which makes it easy to put practicing on the back burner. To help you stay consistent each week, try to plan ahead and set aside time each day dedicated to drum practice. Again, practicing for 30-45 minutes each day is better than 3 hours once a week.

  • Use a metronome: A drummer’s job is to keep the tempo and beat of the song which means it’s so important to learn how to keep track of time. Using a metronome while practicing will help you learn how to keep a rhythm and not go too fast or too slow.

A drummer performing in Toronto

2. Make It Comfortable

In both your Toronto drum lessons and during practice time, you should be comfortable sitting at your drum set. First and foremost, let’s discuss posture. Because you’re usually sitting on a stool without a back and need to be able to use your feet, it’s not uncommon for drummers to strain their back and/or neck. To avoid this, you’ll want to practice a good sitting form. A good rule of thumb is to have your drum throne (aka a drum stool) situated at a height where your thighs are angled slightly downwards. Put your bass drum pedal where your feet land naturally and always make sure to sit tall. This will help avoid the risk of injury and keep you more comfortable.

Additionally, you can always adjust your drum set to make it more comfortable to play on. Make sure that all of the drums and cymbals are in reaching distance from you when you’re sitting on your drum throne so that you’re not straining to play. Remember that each person is different so your drum setup probably won’t look like your favourite drummer’s and that’s okay! Make it comfortable for you.

3. Play From The Wrists

Many drum newbies will try to play the drums from their shoulders which is a big no-no. Playing from your shoulders expends a lot more energy, doesn’t allow for volume control, and can leave you feeling sore at the end of practice time. Instead, flow all of the movement from your wrists. Playing from your wrists will keep you relaxed and conserve energy so you can play for longer!

A drum kit and bass drum pedal

4. Slow down

Let’s be honest, one thing that both seasoned and newbie drummers have in common is that they always want to go fast. The drums are an exciting, loud, and typically faster-paced instrument but that doesn’t mean you should be playing fast from the very beginning. While it’s exciting to jump right into your favourite songs or beats, remember to keep things slow and steady at first. Slowing things way, way down to start will help you build muscle memory through drumming patterns and specific movements. Although it will be tempting to go fast and furious at first, always take your time to build control and accuracy. Once you get the hang of the basics, then you can pick up your tempo to match your favourite tunes!

5. Take Professional Toronto Drum

a drummer playing outside

In an age where anything you want to know is readily available to you on YouTube, it’s still advised that you take professional drum lessons in Toronto or online drum lessons to really help you get started on the right foot. The main advantage to taking professional classes is that your lesson plans and practice schedules can be personalized to you. This is so important because everyone has different strengths, challenges, learning/communication styles, availability, and much more. With a one-size-fits-all YouTube lesson, you won’t be able to adjust your learning experience to how you need to be taught. In professional lessons, your Toronto drum instructor will be able to determine the right pacing and learning style needed for you to achieve your musical goals with the drums. At the end of the day, these are professionals who have perfected the art of playing. Why wouldn’t you want to learn directly from them?!

Drum Lessons Toronto

If you’re thinking of starting drum lessons in Toronto, we’d love to have you at Greater Toronto Music School. We are currently offering in-person private lessons from your home, our studio or virtual lessons with our online drum instructors.. Start learning how to play the drums today with our roster of percussion professionals!

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