How to learn to play drums

If you’re drawn to rhythm in music and enjoy the art of drumming, you might well want to consider learning how to play the drums. Often associated with big names in music like John Bonham, Keith Moon, or Rick Allen, the drums are a widely used instrument in the funk and pop universe.

It therefore appeals to a large number of sound enthusiasts. At WIMA, we offer a variety of musical instrument lessons, both online and private. What are some ways to get started with learning drums? The experts from the West Island Music Academy give you five secrets that are applied during our drum lessons.

Do you know the elements of your drum set?

If you want to learn a musical instrument and play your favourite songs, it is obvious that you need to learn its essential elements. The advantage with the basic drum set is that it consists of virtually the same elements everywhere. In fact, an electronic or acoustic drum set has:

  1. A bass drum;
  2. A snare drum;
  3. One or more tom-tom(s);
  4. A hi-hat;
  5. One or more cymbal(s).

It is important to note that, depending on the level and the playing experience, these elements may be supplemented or reduced. But the snare drum remains essential. Apart from mastering the elements of a drum set, it is significant to master its maintenance and setup. All this allows you to become a little more familiar with your instrument.

Holding your drum sticks properly

The drums are an instrument that is obviously played with the hands, but with the help of drum sticks, proper grip technique is essential to playing effectively. They are an essential component of any band. For beginners, holding the drum sticks properly is a crucial step to learn how to play the drums.

When holding drum sticks as a pair, the grip should be firm without being too stiff. When starting out, it is often recommended to hold the sticks with a “match grip.” With this grip, the thumb, index finger, and palm of the hand remain vertical.

Acquiring the basics of rhythm

Drum playing is fundamentally based on basic rhythm. However, this can be learned, even independently of an instrument. The essentials of music theory on rhythm revolve around note figures and their value: the whole note for 4 beats, the eighth note for a 1/2 beat, the sixteenth note, etc.

In fact, basic beats are an ideal solution to familiarize yourself with rhythm. You can hit the beats with one hand and the rhythm with the other. By devoting yourself to this regularly, you will quickly adopt the right habits to play the complex rhythms.

In the same vein, using a metronome is an essential step. Indeed, this helps solve the problem of consistency in rhythm.

Mastering rhythmic language

Rhythmic language is expressed by rhythmic solfeggio and musical notes. These are the elements that make it possible to decipher a drum score. This is especially important, since the solfeggio of a piano or guitar score is different from that of a drum score.

Training with consistency and discipline

Acquiring skills is the most crucial aspect when learning to play the drums. Consistent motivation, discipline, and regular practice time are your best tools for achieving success.

To improve your drum skills, it’s significant to practice for a minimum of 20 minutes every day, just like with any other musical instrument. Consistent practice will help you get comfortable with playing the bass drum with your right foot and improve your left foot’s skill with the hi-hat. If you don’t have access to a drum set regularly, a practice pad can be a good substitute.

If you have the opportunity to be accompanied by a professional and other beginner drummers, go for it! On the other hand, if you are self-taught, it will require more effort to improve your skill level.

Our commitment at WIMA

At WIMA, our drum instructors provide high-quality education in the style of Keith Moon. The goal of every drum teacher is to provide beginner lessons that establish a solid foundation in drumming that is applicable to any style of music.

If you are interested in private lessons or practice sessions to learn to play your favourite songs, feel free to reach out to us.

a bammer who is playing drums






WIMA Pointe-Claire

222 Blvd Brunswick
Pointe-Claire, Quebec, H9R 1A6

WIMA Cote Saint-Luc

5555 Westminster #312
Cote Saint-Luc, Quebec, H4W 2J2

WIMA Beaconsfield

484 Blvd. Beaconsfield #204
Beaconsfield, Quebec, H9W 4C4