Acquiring Musical Skills • Ask Aureus • Drums

February 2022

All You Need to Know About Drum Lessons!

Has your child always been more drawn to the beats than the melodies of music? Rather than sending them to piano, violin, or singing classes, perhaps you have been toying around with the idea of letting them attend drum lessons instead! This article will attempt to answer all your questions about drum lessons so that you can make a better choice for your child.

How will my child benefit from drum lessons?
Firstly, there is the joy of playing along to the beat of their favourite music, or the sense of pride in achieving a brand new skill. Secondly, it also helps the child in their growth as an individual, expanding both their mental and physical abilities simultaneously.

Playing an instrument generally involves many aspects of critical thinking and problem solving. Additionally, learning music enables a child to fully learn how to coordinate both their mind and body. This includes practising hand-eye coordination, and learning to focus their attention while playing a piece of music. Having to constantly make sure that they are staying in tempo with the piece puts them in a situation where they have to actively exercise their mind.

What kinds of musical styles should a learner focus on?
The drums are essential to a wide range of musical styles. The list runs from Pop, Rock, Jazz, Samba, Reggae, Blues, Soul, Swing and many more! More often than not, drumming instructors will cater to a more Pop and Rock-centric lesson plan. As most Pop and Rock music place a lot of emphasis on the drumbeats, these genres are a lot more accessible for early learners. Through that, they will be able to acquire all the building blocks necessary to proceed to the next level in the most timely way.

Are the drums very challenging to learn?
Each and every instrument comes with its own challenges. When it comes to the drums, it is not a difficult instrument to start playing. However, much like other instruments, it requires patience and practice to master in the long run.

Motivation is a key factor in ensuring that your child puts in the time to practise their craft. The more invested the child is in the instrument, the more discoveries he/she will make on their own. Nurturing the constant desire to discover more music and to gain new knowledge and skills in order to play them is crucial for young learners.

Is my child of the right age for drum lessons?
As far as we know there is no right or wrong age! As soon as your child starts to show interest in the drums, they can begin their musical journey.

However, there is a tiny catch when it comes to the drums. A child can be of any age, but should be of a certain height, as the instrument is still a huge one even at its smallest available size. That being said, It is recommended for children between ages 6 to 8 years old as they will have the strength to play the drums for an extended period of time, and would be able to reach the bass pedal with their feet.

For parents whose kids are of a smaller build, there is absolutely nothing to worry about. What you can do is start them off with a children’s drum kit or drum pad at home. This is where they can cultivate their interest on their own while those bones and muscles are growing. That way, once they have reached a certain height and are able to reach all the components in a standard drum kit easily, they will be ready for lessons!

What happens in a typical drum lesson?
First and foremost, drum lessons begin with body warm ups. Drumming is a craft that is arguably the most physically demanding as the player is required to utilise all of their limbs. As such, it is important that a student is well limbered up by doing a couple of quick and easy stretching routines.

Once the student is all good and warmed up, the teacher would normally dive into a 10-minute routine of hand-rudiments. What are rudiments? Think of full sentences as pieces of music; the letters and alphabets are the rudiments. The better a student can execute their rudiments, the better they can execute pieces of music. Rudiments are the bedrock of drumming as they enable a player to be able to systematically categorise rhythmic patterns and sequences, which are the building blocks to playing the drums.

The lesson will have certain aspects of music theory involved as well. The student will learn how to read music off a score in order to understand what is required of them to play in that song. Lastly, the teacher will do a review of the new materials that have been covered during the lesson.

Should my child pick up another instrument while taking drum lessons?
Picking up another instrument is never something to be discouraged! If your child is already taking drum lessons, it would be preferable for them to pick up a melodic instrument. This way, they can apply the different aspects of music learnt through both courses simultaneously.

What type of drum kit should I get and what is the cost?
The drum kit can, by nature, be quite a hassle of an instrument to handle, and especially so at home. It consists of a bunch of small parts and key components (cymbals, drums, stands, clutches, pedals) assembled together. It is not the most home-friendly instrument as the traditional acoustic drum kit is costly to mute and can still be pretty loud when muted. This can be quite a problem for the neighbours.

Thankfully, we live in the 21st century. Digital drum kits are widely available and they are much more economical in terms of cost, space and overall noise reduction. What’s more, they have the added benefit of having a multitude of drum sounds to play with. They can be used with an external speaker or even just with a set of headphones. A Yamaha DTX402K electronic drum kit costs about $600 and is a perfect starting kit for home practice.

Even so, owning a drum kit may not be the most ideal solution for your home. In that case, you can purchase the next best thing for your child – practice pads! These go for less than $100 and allow a student to practise their hand and leg rudiments easily. These skills can then be transferred over to a drum kit when they get to practise on one in lessons.

Have more questions you would like answered by the drum experts? Attend a free drum trial lesson with one of our teachers today! Simply sign up for one here and kickstart your child’s musical journey!

Aureus Academy