5 Things You Can Learn On Basic Drum Lessons

shutterstock_2375551539At the basis of all musical study is the component of rhythm.  Not only is establishing a steady overall beat important, but also executing rhythmic variations within that beat.  This may sound rather complicated, but in a drum lesson, this can become a fun and interactive experience for a student of any level.
People of every age have a certain fascination with percussion instruments.  And why not?  They are fun to play, quite approachable, and instantly gratifying.  In fact, even without music lessons, a person can create interesting rhythms and patterns on simple percussion instruments.  So what can you learn when taking a drum lesson?  Even in one session, here are 5 things:

 1. Technique

With every musical instrument, there are components of correct technique that teachers establish and build upon in future lessons.  Though drums and percussion instruments can easily make sound using incorrect techniques, this instrument group is enjoyed most using a proper grip, posture, wrist motion, etc.  Drum instructors will introduce and demonstrate how to execute these points, and the student will have a newfound understanding of the fine movements that go into playing correctly.
For example, if a student were starting lessons on a snare drum, the drum teacher would explain the concept of how to hold the drum sticks properly and make sure he or she is at an appropriate height from the instrument.  Also, the way the wrist, hands, and arms should react and be used to produce sound would be covered.  Already, to the student’s surprise, an interesting and unexplored aspect of playing drums has been discovered!

 2. Note Reading

Drummers can learn to read notes?  A resounding “yes” is in order!  Drummers and percussionists use musical notation just like other instrumentalists.  Though drum sheet music may look a bit different than piano or strings music, the same note values and rhythm notations are used amongst all instruments.

 3. Coordination

From simple rhythms to complex ones, playing the drums and other percussion instruments requires good coordination and control of movement.  This starts with possibly one drum and a steady beat in the first drum lesson and progresses to the addition of more drums and further subdivisions of a beat.  For students of all ages, including small children and adults, this aspect of playing the drums is not only advantageous to build from a physical perspective, but also from a mental coordination view point.

4. Practice Techniques

Music instructors not only teach the basics of how to play a song or exercise, but they also establish good practice techniques from the beginning of the student’s study.  In a drum lesson, the teacher can provide constructive ways to practice that are outlets for creativity and efficient for mastering a certain technique or rhythm.  Examples of practice variations can include slow practice, use of a metronome, counting out loud, and working on small areas of difficulty, instead of the entire song or exercise at once.

 5. Creativity

Drums and percussion instruments naturally lend themselves to creative expression.  Some of the most innovative and interesting improvisational music is composed for percussion instruments, because they can be much less regimented than other instrument groups.  Also, rhythm is at the heart of every person and can be explored in the study of drums.  A drum instructor will have many exercises for their students centered around ways to vary rhythmic patterns within a steady beat, which reinforces the individuality and improvisational spirit of percussion study.

In Summary

Many students and parents are unaware of the depth and musical advantages of studying drums and percussion instruments.  Much more is gained in one drum lesson than meets the eye, including exploration of proper practice and playing techniques, note reading, and building coordination.  All music instruments provide an outlet for creativity, and drums have a wealth of musical possibilities for both solo and ensemble performance to explore this further.
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