So you’ve decided to learn how to play drums but are completely lost about where to start, and where to start, just waiting for your inspiration to strike. Well it’s not too late to start. You don’t even need a drum kit to get started.
Once you have a set of drums with your band then you need to decide how you want to play them. The standard option is to learn to play your set in a “drum circle”. In a drum circle there are always a minimum of 6-8 drummers (plus the electronic drummer) playing a specific rhythm. Everyone else sits around the circle and play their individual instrument at that rhythm. The best thing about this is that you can easily learn at your own pace. If you are already experienced at percussion, you can form your own circle and just play along, slowly picking up the different rhythms as you go. If you’re not experienced at playing drums, and don’t know much about rhythm, then you can start with the “riff-a-la-song” approach. This means that each person in the circle will play their own instrument (hopefully a guitar or piano) and you will simply play the melody (and if need be, the lead instrument will play the melody).
The most important thing for you to keep in mind when learning drums is that playing them is the most fun and satisfying part of your playing.
You’ll have to also learn a bit of about the terminology for drums. You need to know what “sound” means, what the “beater” means, and what a “record” is. You’ll be told what “counts” and how to do them.
Just starting out by playing some drums? Get a simple, inexpensive drum kit that is very basic. One that comes with, not so high pitched to be bothersome but one that produces good, solid tones on each drum (not that high pitched ones sound good, that’s why they’re called sticks!). Start with the lowest sounding drums (the sizes that are most approached to be playing) and work your way up, tune if necessary, but don’t overdo it, keep in mind you don’t have to do it right, just be consistent, 4 to 8 bars at first.
When you have your basic drum set, then its time to add some drums. There are many ways to do this. You can buy a whole drums of your choice and put them all on and play (them) or you can buy individual drums and pluck the heck out of them. Either way, go ahead and get a set and fill it up. Its best to do it gradually, tuning first one drum at a time, then the next, then the next. Then, tune all your drums and see how well your band can blend them together.
At this point your band is done with the basics, its time to expand your playing base. This is how most bands form up, a few songs here and there, a singer, a guitarist, a bass player a drummer and a singer songwriter or lead singer. Nothing too special here, that’s how most bands begin. But what about your sound? You just bought your brand new drum set and you love it, but what about your sound? Well, how do you make your band sound different from every other band out there? Its not natural that everyone else sounds the same, but the minute you start playing with all your might, then your sound actually diverges to a different genre. This may not be a good thing as you may not be able to pull off a new sound with your existing gear. You always want to add new sounds into your music, its sort of auminous that will start to grow over time, and then appear as a second nature along with your band.
So now you have just enough skill to impress your friends with a new sound, you need to go out and get new gear. There are a number of places you can go to see what gear is available and what the prices are. You can buy as new equipment from stores like Guitar Center and Sam Ash Music. If you go to thrift stores, you may pick up some best equipment there as well. There are often quite good deals to be made, especially for electronics and guitars.
Once you have the equipment, you will need to learn to play the stuff. After you have been playing a while, you will begin to understand different notes and how to get your drums to deliver the best sound. Once you begin to learn the subtleties of the music, then you can begin to understand the drums as a whole.