When you think of music, a guitar and drums probably come to mind, and rightly so.
Along with piano and guitar, drums has been the mainstay of contemporary music for years and years, with the latter however only really coming to prominence in the couple of centuries.
Musical theory used to centre around typically classical instruments around the time the drum resurfaced in popularity around 1200, despite it being around for millennia.
Drum lessons only really became popular in the late 1800s therefore, as their versatility was fully recognised (around the time they made their way to Sydney also).
Today, thanks to their prevalence in popular music, drum lessons are easier to find than ever before.
Drumming popularity and Sydney
Learning drums or getting refinement lessons is easy in Sydney; there is a studio or music school on every side of town, north or south, as any Google search will show.
Being such an expressive and musical city with a taste for drums and guitar is no surprise for Sydney, so to help you take advantage of this, we will talk you through the types of drum lessons on offer, the style of drums to consider, and any sort of tuition to look into, all while maintaining your motivation while learning. T
hen we will take you through the social side of classical, jazz, and rock drum playing.
Thinking about taking drum lessons
A quick read of the classifieds (online and in person) are a practical place to look, as are good old fashioned supermarket cork boards if you're wanting local percussion play.
Have a read of the profile and years of experience of the teacher, an send them an online email to find out if they will come to your home or invite you to their studio. Finding a drumming teacher in Sydney isn't that complicated thanks to online internet searches.
A quick Google search of 'music/drum/percussion lessons/class Sydney' will yield lessons all over the city, and email contact with musical teachers for private tuition or with a school is an easy way to get an idea of what you'll get from your teacher and class.
The benefit of the latter is that you will receive tuition from professionals with years of experience, and is highly recommended if you are wanting to pair it with guitar or singing skills, or take up orchestral drumming and theory.
Australia is a country that prides itself on choice, so considering what you want to get from your learning and what style of drumming and music you want in your lessons is key, as is the consideration of the level of theory you have versus your years of experience with the drums.
If you want to test the waters with your learning, but aren't sure yet what rhythms and musical profile you fit, a good website to consider is Sydney Music Teachers as they have a variety of teachers for each level, are located across the city, and provide tuition in basic drum skills for rock, jazz, and orchestral drums and percussion.
It is also important to think about the specific style you want to master, what kind of drum or drums you're interested in, and how you want your lessons to look.
We'll break this down a little further to make the choice easier.
Main Types of Drums
You probably have known what the drums sound like from an early age, and the main types of drums you'll hear people play in rock, jazz, or pop music are:
- Double Headed
- Frame Drums
- Kettle Drums
- Kit Drums
If you really want to get some in depth information beyond just the main types, check out our in depth guide.
Tubular drums fit the percussion profile of many parts of the world, particularly Africa - think a bongo.
This is such fun to play and learn because it can be hit with the hands on the skin and the rim. Typically, leather or a stretchable material will be pulled tight over the top of the drum and sealed there.
Especially if you're a beginner who needs more help, be careful of what time you choose to practice and undertake your tuition, as this one can make a lot of noise.
Double headed drums come in many shapes and sizes, but a drumming student will need to stand upright to use this one as it's often suspended from the neck, and needs easy access to both sides.
These drums can vary from rugged tribal varieties, to studio made in Sydney types for a smooth experience, to big band front suspended ones that compliment hundreds of other musical instruments and have a bass tone.
The good thing about these is their portability, meaning you can play in any location.
Frame drums are similar to a tambourine, but much larger and without the cymbals. They are typically supported under the armpit, or enclosed by the arm to be played.
These are in theory less common to teach, as they're mainly tribal, and can be hit with a baton.
Not as common in rock music, it sounds quite folky and can sometimes be heard in classical. A common band who used these is Fleet Foxes, who are big fans of varying their drum playing.
If you fancy yourself good at classical music, or like the idea of singing solo in your free time, a kettle drum would make you feel right at home. This being said, it also lends itself well to the rock experience.
This is typically best for a solo artist and singer as it is more of a feature than kit drums. These can look like a timpani, which sit at the back of an orchestra, or something that sits between your legs and has a very metallic tone.
And last but not least, the classic drum kit, composed of a floor tom drum, bass drum, snare drum, hanging tom drums, a high hat cymbal, and two cymbals.
For those students who want the full rock experience, this is obviously the way to go. It's highly versatile and can be played with all sorts of music.
It's also great for kids because there are heaps of tutors who know how to keep children engaged on this.
If you're an adult beginner too, and want to have fun as well as learning to read music and play around with different percussion styles, this is definitely the way to go.
Consult your drumming tutor to find out what you desire from your learning and how best they could adapt their tuition.
Think about the type of rhythms that interest you, as well as how easily you want to be able to play the drums - a full drum kit might not be so easy to transport to parties!
Types of lessons and their benefits
There are a variety of lesson styles across Sydney and NSW that are each great for just what you need help with in your learning.
Superprof is the home of the private tutor you've been seeking - it's the place where you can access dozens of people to teach you, with years and years of experience as teachers across them, and who will also specialise in different styles - jazz, rock, bass drum, classical etc.
For a complete beginner, we highly recommend this as a class style, since you can get the required attention for the complicated rhythms and musical pairing that drumming involves.
Small group classes
Feeling more confident and in less need of one on one time with the teacher?
Then this is a good option for you, since you get the group spirit and also benefit from the social aspect of drumming and music.
You will even find that this increases greatly once your friends find out you're an ace drummer, as you will be able to collaborate together! Who knows, you could even be rock legend in the making, or teach future generations in years to come about the fine art of drumming.
Private classes tend to be offered either in your own or the teacher's home, or perhaps at a studio or school in a private space. Small group classes would most likely be held in a public place with muted walls so you can play, or at the music school itself. This option is recommended if you know the location suits you, or if can get to the specified location easily, as it makes it more of a fun activity to have to go somewhere to play.
Understandably, online lessons are also a viable option. A teacher can still demonstrate technique and theory, and can share materials with you via email.
The online option is also quite financially viable since there are plenty of drums tutorials on Youtube that can help you self-teach on top of the tuition you receive in classes.
Sop dive in, you could just be the next Phil Collins, Ringo Starr, or Joe Morello.
Get thinking about the style you want to master and what sort of classes suit you, and start banging those drums!