Why learn to play drums?

Do you have a passion for music, but want to learn to play a musical instrument that's different from the rest?

If the guitar or piano bore you, then the drums might be just the thing for you.

Taking private lessons to learn to drum is a great way to train your mind and your body and just have some fun!

There are great drum teachers registered all over Hobart, Tasmania, just waiting to pass on their years of experience and passion to the right students, both in-person and online.

So let's review some of the great benefits of playing the drums.

Physical benefits

You might well be surprised, but playing the drums is a fun way to rock out and get in a great work out at the same time.

Over the years, research like the Clem Burke Drumming Project has shown that drumming is an "intense and physically demanding workout" which "demands a high level of energy expenditure".

Students can burn calories during lessons and learn new skills all the while.

Another gain for students is the improvement in motor skills that they often experience. Drumming is an activity that requires a high level of hand-eye coordination, so students may become more dexterous.

This means they can get better at using both hands, and more effective in situations where a steady hand is needed.

Mental benefits

Learning to drum can reduce anxiety and stress
Playing the drums can be a meditative and relaxing experience | Image by Markus Winkler from Unsplash

Whether piano, guitar, violin or even singing, taking music lessons has been shown to help students improve their mental health as well.

The first benefit students will notice after some lessons are that they are more relaxed in their mind both during the lesson and for a period after.

This is because performing music requires high levels of focus on repetitive actions, which, in theory, is a form of mediation, allowing us to be in the present moment and become more mindful.

Playing any music, especially in a group, is also thought to improve social connection, relieve anxiety and even alleviate some symptoms of depression.

For example, a study was conducted at the Royal College of Music, where participants took group drum lessons for up 10 weeks with professional teaching.

They found that the activity had a clear effect on the students' mental health, "reducing depression by as much as 38% and anxiety by 20%".

According to more than one scientific theory, learning to drum can even improve brain functioning and academic performance. When you drum, you use limbs on both sides of your body, teaching both sides of your brain to work together at the same time.

Research has shown that repeating this type of activity allows your brain to grow and functions like memory to improve.

Drumming for children

Lessons could also be a great idea for children who want to get into music or want some extra classes to review things they learn at school.

For little kids with lots of extra energy, drumming is a good way to get them moving.

They can have a ton of fun while putting all that extra energy into practising skills that will stay with them for life.

Also, remember all of those great improvements to the brain that we discussed before? Well, they also apply to children.

So starting earlier means they're likely to have an even greater effect.

Drum lessons can even aid children with special needs in a variety of ways, from reinforcing sounds and voice to developing social contact skills.

Also, seeing progress lessons by lesson is a great way to build self-esteem and confidence, both for children and adults.

Once students experience the feeling of performing for others, both their teachers during lessons and the audience during performances, they'll find their confidence beginning to soar.

And last but not least, a great reason to start drumming is that it's just really fun to rock out and feel like a pop star!

Equipment you'll need

It's important to buy the right equipment for drum lessons.
You'll need the right equipment to get the most out of your drum lessons | Image by Brent Ninaber from Unsplash

There are a few pieces of equipment that any serious drum student will need both for private lessons, as well as practising.

First, you'll need a good set of sticks, which come in various shapes and sizes.

You can also get a practice pad, which can help you get used to playing a snare drum, without the expense of buying one.

Then, of course, there are the drums themselves. You can buy each type of drum separately, and configure them as you like.

The most basic pieces are a hi-hat, a snare drum and a bass drum.

Of course, there are a range of pedals, stands and other goodies that students can buy, but this is just the basics to get you started. And don't forget to buy a good stool!

Technology for online lessons

As more adults and children are starting to try online music lessons, it's also appropriate to think about the equipment you'd need for a Zoom or Google Meet Lesson.

You'll of course need a strong internet connection, plus a webcam.

You may want to set up a camera with a tripod in front of your set, and another above, so your teacher can see exactly what you're playing.

You could even get a bluetooth connected microphone, so teachers can easily hear every strike.


What will your drum lessons cover?

Different musical genres use drums in specific ways
From jazz to rock, drums are a feature of many genres | Image by Dole Iglesias from Unsplash

Like any musical instrument, from classical violin to bass guitar, drums are not easy to get the hang of and take time and consistency, as well as a lot of practice.

Both a music school or a private teacher can use their experience to teach their students a range of important skills and knowledge, from basic music theory to performance.

Key Concepts

Percussion instruments involve their own set of theory which allows a student to build the strong foundations needed to become a great drummer.

Classes will involve teaching simple things, like how to count music, as well as concepts that will take more time, such as reading music notation.

As a beginner, a student can study a variety of specific concepts, like fills, beats and rudiments.

You will also need to study stroke techniques, which will change depending on how quickly you're playing, the heights of the different elements of your set and more.

For example, a rebound stroke, where the stick bounces back off the drum is great for building speed. This is in contrast to a controlled stroke, where you stop the rebound.

Drum styles

From pop to contemporary, jazz to Caribbean, there are range of genres of music where drumming plays an important role in forming sound and rhythm.

Each of these styles has its own specific techniques and skills that tutors can teach.

If they've mastered the basics, students can use lessons to focus in-depth on a specific style or take a quick look at many different ones.

For example, if you're into classic rock and roll, you can focus on using the snare and bass drums and learn about backbeats.

A jazz drummer would need to focus instead on triplets to be able to establish a swing feel in the music.

If you're interested in more contemporary music, like electronic, you might need to focus carefully on being accurate and consistent.

Performance Skills

There are many skills needed to perform well in a group
Performing in a band is a great learning experience | Image by Elizeu Dias from Unsplash

Of course, very few musicians are satisfied just performing in their rooms or in classes.

The goal is usually to get on a stage and perform with others in a group or band.

While it may seem fun and cool to be in a band (and it is), it's also hard work.

Performing with others takes high levels of accuracy, as well as reliability and persistence. Your bandmates need to know that you'll be hitting the right notes at the right moment.

In private lessons, teachers may decide to focus on these types of skills.

For example, learning how to manage energy throughout a performance is essential for a drummer, especially given the physicality of the instrument.

They could also teach students about different microphones and other equipment and more.

Where to find a great tutor in Hobart, TAS

Tasmania has an interesting culture and tradition of live music venues, and Hobart is no exception.

If you want to get specific qualifications, you can find a registered school like the Hobart College of Music or International Music Academy Hobart.

Otherwise, there is a range of teachers offering private lessons both online and in-person all over the city.

Take a look at some of the Superprof teachers' profiles, read a review or two and contact the best fit for you to get started!

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