‘Practice’ is a word that we will probably hear constantly throughout our lives, especially as musicians or when you have drum lessons in Singapore. After all, anything that involves muscle memory requires practice to master. As a drummer / percussionist, I practise almost every day. For us musicians, practising on our instruments is part of our daily routine and it is also the only way to continue improving our skills.
Many schools or private teachers offer great drum lessons in Singapore. However, attending drum lessons once a week for 30 to 60 minutes is definitely not enough to keep yourself in “good shape”. It requires a lot of consistent practice for drummers to maintain the correct technique for tone, beats, and playing in time. In this article, I will be sharing some tips I have learnt throughout my years as a drummer and teacher for practising the drums.
First of all, you will need a dedicated practice room! It is very important to ensure that no distractions can reach you during your practice sessions. Secondly, plan your practice sessions. Come up with clear practice goals that target your strengths and weaknesses to better trace your progress. It will also give you a sense of reward when you achieve your goals!
Thirdly, always check your technique while practising. There are many different ways to hold a drumstick such as the French grip, German grip, American grip and traditional grip. Drumming techniques can vary as well, from the Moeller’s technique, push-pull technique for hands, to sliding technique and twisting technique for feet. All these techniques eventually lead to the same outcome, which is ‘work less and get more’. Thus, by developing a good technique, you will be able to make progress faster and easier.
Next, practise with a metronome. Most rudiments are based on single and double strokes. Changing the sticking can make the rudiments feel different to your brain. On top of that, you can even play all the rudiments in different note values such as triplets, quintuplets, sextuplets and so on. Therefore, it is important to make sure you practice with a slow tempo first and pay attention to accuracy, then slowly increase the tempo to a desired speed. This will help to ensure that your drum beats flow naturally along with the song. Once you can play fluently with the metronome, you can add in dynamics. The difference between accented and unaccented notes should be significant. Dynamics are also important to create interest in your drumming routine; having good dynamics can make a significant difference to your playing, including grooves and chops.
It is also helpful to pay attention and play along to the songs that you are listening to. For instance, if you are planning to learn rock drumming, make sure that you listen to more rock songs. While doing so, pay attention to the drum parts and try your hand at playing them until they become second nature. One way to test whether this has worked out, is to see if you can apply a specific drum groove or fill to a different song.
Additionally, don’t forget to be creative! You should try to develop your own sound or even some chops and experiment with grooves and sound whenever you can. After all, learning how to play the drums is supposed to be an exciting and fun journey! You can also gather some friends to jam together! This is also one of the most important stepping stones and a helpful process to improving your drumming skills as it forces you to step out of your comfort zone. While it is natural that we might be afraid to make mistakes in front of others or receive negative feedback, some of these comments might help you better see where else you can improve. There is no end to learning and it is crucial to know how to use constructive feedback to your advantage instead of getting put down by them.
Last but not least, find a drum teacher! There are plenty of drum tutorials available on platforms like YouTube, and there are thousands of similar drum tutorial topics taught using a hundred different types of approaches. While it may seem like a probable feat to pick up the drums on your own through these tutorials, based on my experience while teaching, students sometimes do not realise that they are making mistakes or using the wrong technique. Having a professional look out for these mistakes and correct them at an early stage can significantly accelerate a student’s progress.
In conclusion, it is always beneficial to have a teacher around to guide you in your drum lessons. Choosing the right drum teacher for your child or yourself is important to have a good grasp on and progression in playing the drums.
Aureus Academy offers drum lessons in Singapore that are conducted by highly qualified and fully committed teachers with at least a Bachelor’s degree in music. I believe that the knowledge of music our teaching faculty has will definitely help students in their musical journey. Most importantly, our drum lessons are one-to-one and individually tailored to cater to every student’s learning needs regardless of age and ability. Interested to find out more? Book your free drum trial lesson here today!