Whether you're after an action-packed show put on by Brisbane drumming band, Bang!, a Caribbean-inspired Steelpan Drummer, the classic swing, jazz and ballads of TBQ or something young and modern by The Mundays Band — Queensland's sunny capital is the place to be.
Drums have been around for thousands of years. They feature in the music history of every culture and are an extremely popular instrument to learn — often to the parents' (or neighbours') dismay.
It's not all about a drum kit though. While this may be what you're keen to explore — remember there are other drum types and drumming styles to choose from as well. What about African drumming? Blues, jazz or reggae instead of rock and pop? Marching bands are also seeing a resurgence in popularity and there are many small community drumming groups out there as well who love welcoming new members — including Australian indigenous groups.
The drums are about gravity. Your hand naturally falls down on the drums as you hit them.
— Tommy Lee —
Why Learn the Drums?
As with all music, there are multiple benefits to learning the drums. Think you're too old? Rubbish — anyone of any age can learn to drum, you just need passion.
Scientists and research organisations, like the Australian International Academic Centre, regularly report the benefits of music and drumming lessons, including:
- Brain health: learning new rhythms, and forcing the coordinated use of both hands, helps develop the hippocampus which is responsible for learning and memory. The bigger the hippocampus, the less chance you have of suffering the mental effects of aging and dementia.
- Mental health: in the last decade, drumming has been successfully used in the treatment of many mental health conditions, including depression, PTSD, anxiety and aggression. It acts as a form of meditation, allowing you to focus on one point and clear your mind, and providing a positive effect on your mental well-being.
- Physical health: when you think about it, drumming is essentially a whole-body activity. Research suggests that an hour of vigorous drumming can burn up to 600 calories — all of this also leading to reductions in blood pressure, stress and chronic pain, and an increase in immunity.
But, more than anything it's fun and a great way to meet new people! Plus, the options are endless — just pick a sound, style and rhythm you like and get started.
If you're keen to take drumming lessons Brisbane is also where you will find whatever style you're keen to try.
Drumming Schools Brisbane
If you prefer a larger class environment, or a regular timetable and location, there are a number of drum lessons Brisbane music schools offer.
Brisbane Music Studio (BMS)
The philosophy of BMS is that everyone can learn music — and they love working with students of all ages, from 4 to 94. All of their drum teachers are qualified and highly experienced. At BMS, you can have both one-on-one and shared lessons, or you can join one of their rock band groups or the adult jam session. There are performance opportunities as well, with two showcase events a year.
Brisbane Drum Lessons (BDL)
Owner of BDL, Scott Nosworthy, has been playing the drums for over 16 years and teaching for 10. He studied at the Conservatorium of Music and plays a range of styles, including jazz, blues, reggae and indie/pop. BDL offers one-on-one tuition for students aged 10 and over, focusing on technique, music notation and songs and grooves.
Founded in 2003, InRythym offers a variety of experiences in African drumming, including retreats, corporate and conference drumming, drum circles and mindfulness. In Brisbane, they run drumming classes and workshops in blocks of 6 to 8 weeks, as well as one-off sessions and therapy courses.
If a large class of enthusiastic students, taught by African master drummers, is what you're looking for, then InRhythm might be for you.
Private Drumming Lessons Brisbane
Large community or class-based lessons are not for everybody. If you are someone who prefers private tuition with just you and your teacher, either in your home or their studio, there are multiple options available for you as well as a large number of drum instructors work on a freelance basis, rather than as part of a music school.
Finding a private drum tutor can take a little research and, of course, you need to make sure they are a good fit for what you want and need. One of the best ways to do this is simply to ask people you know — word of mouth, recommendations and testimonials from your friends and colleagues are great because they have nothing to lose or gain by telling you about their experiences.
If nobody you know has any recommendations, you could also try searching physical noticeboards, in your local library, community centre or school, or check online noticeboards and platforms like a few we've suggested here:
Music Teachers Online
This basic platform provides information about styles taught, skill level and pricing. There is a short profile of each tutor followed by their contact details. Tutors are listed by category, that is 'drum lessons' and also by region.
The best thing about the Superprof tutoring platform is that, as a student, you can access everything you need to know about the subject you're interested in at the click of a button. Information on each tutor's profile includes lesson format, lesson location, levels, subjects (or style of drumming), experience and qualifications, the methodology used and the hourly rate. It is important to note that most tutors provide the first lesson for free, as a trial, and that you have access to the recommendations and testimonials provided by past students.
This popular sales platform is not only about buying and selling products; many people, including drum teachers, advertise their services here as well. You will find the bigger schools and studios here, but you may also find your ideal drum lessons Brisbane right here.
Learn Drumming Online
In the current climate, online lessons are becoming more commonplace as people seek ways to learn from the comfort of their own homes. The greatest benefit is, of course, that you and your drumming teacher do not need to be in the same region, let alone the same country, to have successful and enjoyable lessons.
Most of the tutors on the Superprof platform have an online class option, meaning that if you can't find a teacher for the types of drum lessons Brisbane you want, there may well be someone who fits your needs in Sydney, or Perth, or even in London. The world is very small and accessible online.
These days, many music schools are also beginning to offer online options for learning which are hybrid in their teaching approach with a mix of video tutorials and live sessions.
Don't forget YouTube either if you are after some free lessons that are video content only. YouTube clips are perfect to fine-tune a specific skill or to start you off with the basics, but at some point, you are likely to need and want something a bit more advanced.
The Beginning Drummer's Toolkit
Before you rush out to buy a whole brand new drum kit, or a djembe or other drum — stop! If you're just starting out, you don't need everything at once. Several drumming schools say, on their website, that to practise at home all you need is:
- practice pad (or something you can use as a practice pad, like a mouse pad)
That's it! If you want to invest in something, invest in a quality pair of drumsticks at the outset. Everything else can follow as you gain more experience and discover what you love and what you really need. As your tutor for advice.
The same goes for other styles of drumming, such as African drumming or Japanese taiko drumming. A good quality djembe is not cheap, nor is a taiko drum. At the start, your focus really should be on what your hands are doing. You may not get the right sound out of a cardboard box or the coffee table, but if you're doing the right things with your hands it will become part of your muscle memory and the music you play later will be awesome.
A few key decisions to make and you can get started. You won't look back — in fact, it was Viola Smith, one of America's first professional female drummers, that said that drumming was one of her keys to longevity.