Introduction: Learn to Drum

About: Drum Author/Editor/Clinician/Teacher

Drumming is a very enjoyable art form. However, if you want to play well, it requires practice and coordination. Below are some steps to get you started!

Step 1: Buy Drumsticks & a Drum Pad And/or Drum Set

Buy a pair of Drumsticks. A very common, comfortable size of drumsticks is 5A. (They are not too big, not too small.) Buy a drum pad or a drum set. If you cannot afford a drum set, you can get a lot of practicing done on a drum pad.

Step 2: Hold the Drumsticks Correctly

Next, you want to hold the drumsticks correctly. Do not hold them too far up, or too far down (with your hand at the very bottom). You should see a little room (about an inch) of the stick under your hand. Also, do not grip the stick tightly. You want to keep it loose, so the drumstick can work for you on the rebound, and have a nice bounce back!

Step 3: Play the Basic Rudiments

Go to's rudiments page, and learn the single stroke, double stroke and paradiddle.

Single strokes alternate right to left. Play these on the pad slowly and comfortably, evenly spaced. Do the same for double strokes (Right Right, Left Left) and paradiddles (Right Left Right Right, Left Right Left Left). You are now learning strokes and conditioning your hands.

Step 4: Learn to Play Quarter Notes & Eighth Notes

Quarter Notes are counted "1, 2, 3, 4". Eighth Notes are played twice as fast as quarter notes, and can fit twice as many in a given space or measure, and are counted "1 an 2 an 3 an 4 an". Play quarter notes, alternating your hands (single strokes); then play eighth notes, alternating your hands.

Now play the eighth notes with just your right hand.

Step 5: Playing Your First Drum Set Beat

In playing your first drum set beat, you will play eighth notes with the right hand, and play the left hand on just beats 2 and 4. Another way to think of this is "right right both right, right right both right" - on the third and seventh hit, both hands hit at once.

Now get comfortable lifting your right foot up and down. This will be your bass drum foot. Now play 8th notes again with the right hand and tap your foot on beats 1 and 3 (the first and fifth hit).

When you combine these two steps, you will have a full 3-way drum set coordination beat - the main beat.

My beginner drum set book Drumopedia explains all of this in-depth and much more for further reference. Also, Drum Class Method Vol. 1 and 2. are great sources for reading and learning drum rudiments and notation.