Drums are one of the most popular instruments in music. It is an essential part of many genres and serves as the foundation of a song. Many aspiring musicians want to pick up the instrument, not only due to its sonic qualities but also due to it being an excellent exercise for the body and mind but often ask themselves: how hard is it to learn drums?
Like with any other skill, learning to play the drums takes time and how long it will take for you to master it will highly depend on a number of factors, such as how many times per week you’re practicing and whether your goal is to become a professional drummer or just play it as a hobby.
There are also a few other variables in play, such as the fact that children tend to pick up new skills faster than adults above the age of 20. That is not to say that age is a restriction: it is 100% possible to learn any instrument at any given time in your life.
In this article, we will explain in detail how hard it is to learn drums, as well as give you some tips on how to start with the instrument.
Also check: How Long Does it Take to Learn Bass Guitar?
How Hard is it To Learn Drums?
The drums are an instrument that requires a large deal of motor coordination, perhaps more than most other instruments.
This is because you have to use both your hands and your feet when playing, at varying rhythms, so you can imagine that playing a 1/16 rhythm with your hands while you play a ¼ rhythm on the kick with your feet is not the easiest thing in the world. However, it is a skill that can be achieved with a few weeks of practice.
Another important factor that goes into the list is the feeling. Part of what makes music so appealing is the fact that the performances are filled with little details that only a human being can imprint into it, such as tiny variations in the dynamics and the timing of it, how fast or slow the drummer is playing (pushing or dragging), etc.
Playing with feeling is a skill that takes time to achieve and is not only related to the physical part of playing drums but also with the emotion you put into your performances.
How Long Will it Take to Learn Drums?
Like we mentioned before, the answer will largely depend on a number of factors such as:
- Your goals as a drummer: hobby vs professional
- How many times per week you’re practicing
- How long your practicing for on each session
- Each person’s own motor and coordination skills
If we were to pinpoint a timeframe, you can expect to be able to play simple beats and songs after your first month of drum practicing. To get really good at it, however, we predict that it will take between 1 to 2 years of playing for most people. Remember that it is all about the consistency you put into it and as a drummer you will never stop learning.
What’s The Best Age to Start Drumming?
The best age to start playing drums is as soon as possible. Children in the early stages of their lives tend to learn new skills much quicker than adults, so it might be worth considering starting on the instrument at a young age.
Children are natural learners as well, so they will probably require less time and dedication than an adult beginner would. However age is not a problem when learning any instrument, and a great thing about music is that you can pick up any instrument at any given time in your life and get very good at it.
How the Drums are Different from Other Instruments?
To start with, drums are a solely percussive instrument so obviously, the drummer won’t deal with things such as melody and harmony. Drumming usually takes more motor coordination for playing than most other instruments because, as we mentioned before, you have to learn how to control each of your hands and feet individually.
As if it is harder to play drums than playing other instruments, it depends on what we’re focusing on. Perhaps harder isn’t the right word, but rather different. When playing guitar, for example, you’re focusing on different musical aspects than when you’re playing the drums, so it is a totally different experience.
Is Playing the Drums Expensive?
The cost of a drum set and all the pieces that come with it can be expensive, but thankfully there are other options. You can buy a used drum set, or you can rent one. If you do decide to buy a drum set, you will want to make sure that you spend your money on quality equipment. There are many different types of drums on the market and not all of them are created equally.
It is important to take your time choosing your perfect kit so you end up with something that is well-made and sounds good. You can also search for deals online when looking for new drums in order to save some money.
Which is the Best Choice for a Beginner: Acoustic Drums or Electronic Drums?
Electronic drums are much more convenient than acoustic drums: they are smaller and they don’t produce sound unless you plug them into a pair of headphones or speakers, so they are the perfect choice not only for beginners but also for those who live in places such as apartments and can’t annoy their neighbors with the sound.
Do I Need a Teacher to Learn the Drums?
Nowadays, with the amount of information that we have on the internet you can be a self-taught drummer, but we always recommend that you have the guidance of a professional teacher since it will be much easier and faster to learn this way. You can also mix and match both styles, having one class per month with a professional to check your progress and practicing at home in the remaining time, for example.
Finding a good drums teacher can be a hard task, so we recommend checking online for professionals around your area and, if possible, get recommendations.
Do You Need to Read Music to Play the Drums?
One of the many benefits to start playing the drums is that it doesn’t require any reading skills or knowledge of music theory at first. If you know how to count, then you can learn how to play the drums. The only thing you will need is a good teacher who will help show you the basics and give you some exercises to practice on your own.
However, as you progress on your learning journey, you will come across drum music sheets. These are pieces that show exactly the timing and the duration of each note (see an example here). These sheets may look complex at first but it is a skill that will come naturally as you progress.
Some people find it difficult to read music and would rather learn by ear instead. The process of learning drums without reading music isn’t particularly hard but it does take considerably more time than learning with a guide. It is advisable, however, for any drummer to have both skills: playing by ear and with a music sheet.
How Good Can You Get?
When it comes to how long it will take you to learn to play the drums, nobody can answer that question but you. The key is persistence and practice – if you practice consistently, your skills will improve. If you would like to become a professional drummer, then it’ll take a lot more time than someone who simply wants to play drums as a hobby.
That being said, it will boil down to how much time you put into practicing and how long you want your goal of becoming a drummer to be.
We recommend that beginners practice at least 2 times a week when starting with the instrument. You can gradually increase the time spent drumming so that you achieve more in less time. If you can, we also recommend the guidance of a professional teacher but it is not 100% necessary.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Drums Harder than Guitar?
Like we mentioned in the article, it depends on what aspects we’re focusing on. Harder isn’t the right word to use, but rather different. Playing the drums is different than playing the guitar because when playing a string instrument you’re focusing on elements such as melody and harmony, whereas when playing percussive drums you’re usually focusing solely on the rhythm.
Can Adults Learn Drums?
Absolutely. Although kids usually pick up skills much faster, adults aged 20 and up can still learn the drums with considerable ease since our brains never stop evolving throughout the course of our life. This is also true for any instrument so age is not an excuse not to pick up a new skill or learn a new art form.
Drums are one of the most energetic and expressive elements in music. It is also one of the loudest and most exciting musical instruments to play and can serve as an excellent exercise for the body and the mind. You can have a lot of fun with drums and get very good at it if you practice constantly.
Although you can study at a conservatory or music school, you can also start learning drums on your own by learning some basic drumming techniques with YouTube videos. While being a self-taught drummer is totally fine and a popular route nowadays, you can also mix it up with some occasional classes with a professional to enhance your learning curve.
Drumming is all about playing with feeling, so you must feel the beat in order to play it. You will learn this skill as you spend more time practicing. Playing drums involves using both hands as well as your feet, which makes it quite challenging for beginners to get used to playing it at first. However, once you master the basics of drumming, you will be able to create different beats that are filled with rhythm and energy easily!We hope this article was helpful. If you’re thinking about starting playing the drums, make sure to check our related articles about the instrument and research very well before you buy your first set. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions regarding the subject or suggestions for our website. Happy playing!