What Will be Taught in a Beginner Drum Classes for Adults?
You’ve signed up for adult drum lessons, and now you’re probably wondering what you’re getting yourself into!
Most teachers and music schools will have varied teaching styles and preferred approaches, often based on the needs and learning styles of their students; however, there are a few standard things that every new drummer will need to learn.
Three main grips are taught in drum classes for adults:
1. Matched German Grip – Both palms facing down, sticks make a right angle, arms at sides.
2. Matched French Grip – Both hands with stick pinched between the first finger and thumb, thumbs facing up, sticks making a right angle.
3. Traditional Grip – Right hand using French and/or German grip and the left hand is holding the stick like a fork or a spoon.
Which grip you use will be a mix between personal preference and practicality. Some styles of music may call for one grip over another, as will certain playing positions such as which drum or area of the set you are playing on.
There are many different playing techniques when it comes to drums. It is useful when you are learning to try out as many different methods as you can to see which ones work the best for you. Depending on who your teacher is, you will likely be focusing on just a few to start as you learn to play the drums. Different techniques can take a long time to master, but substantial progress can be realized quickly with daily practice and repetition.
Getting to Know the Drum Set
Your teacher will likely also go around the drum kit and make sure that you are familiar with all of the different drums and cymbals, teaching you their names, sounds, and uses. You’ll review how to properly use the pedals, along with a few different foot techniques. Like with the sticks, multiple foot techniques can be used in combinations or by themselves, depending on the situation.
After going over these simple but important basics, you are ready to begin playing. There are 26 essential standard American rudiments as recognized by most drummers, and by the Percussive Arts Society. All of them are important and have many uses and applications. Any proper drum instructor will start with the basic five:
- Single Stroke Sticking/Roll Right-hand lead = RLRL
- Single Stroke Sticking/Roll Left hand lead = LRLR
- Double Stroke Roll Right hand lead = RRLL
- Double Stroke Roll Left hand lead = LLRR
- Paradiddle = RLRR LRLL
These five are the most well-known, foundational rudiments. These will be the basis of everything you play, from beginner level to advanced. A good teacher will not pass these by and will encourage you to practice these every day. It is important to drill these into your muscle memory so that you can become and better drummer.
This will most likely conclude your first lesson. If you are a fast learner, you may also get to go over some basic counting and timing exercises. Sometimes, a teacher will try and figure out what their students are more likely to be interested in and give them their next exercise based on that.
The new practice may go into accents (volume levels known as dynamics) or possibly even go right into teaching a basic beat. It all depends on how the student is learning, the work they can put into it, their previous musical experience, and what they want to get from lessons.
Most importantly, you need to remember that it is not about the destination, but about the journey.
Drums are a fantastic instrument, and they have such a considerable depth of possibilities that you can spend your entire life studying them and still not know everything. Give yourself a chance. Drums are not easy, so don’t get discouraged if you don’t get it right away.
It’s all about practice, patience, and progress – not perfection.