8 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Learning to Play Drums – Updated
Drumming is a hugely popular activity and is an excellent way to both learn an instrument and get active at the same time. When it comes to learning the drums, there are many pitfalls which can discourage and set back your progress.
In this article, we will discuss the top 8 most common mistakes that people encounter when learning the instrument.
1. Not Finding a Suitable Drum Set
It is crucial that you find a suitable drum set to suit your physicality. If you are 6 feet tall, you are going to struggle to play a small child drum set. It may sound silly, but this is a surprisingly common mistake people make when purchasing drums.
Likewise, a child under 10 years old will struggle with some adult setups. Therefore it’s critical that you spend wisely. There are many types of drum sets available from acoustic to electronic drum kits. Do some research before you buy.
2. Using The Wrong Sticks
Sticks are often overlooked by beginners, but their role in the instrument is paramount. The stick should be an extension of the arm. For this reason, it’s essential to find the right stick for your build. Playing with sticks that are too heavy or too light can lead to injury.
When you find the right stick, it’s so much easier to play with ease. For example, the 7A sized drumstick is nice and light and suitable for most kids. Adults will most likely favour either size 5A or 5B depending on comfort.
3. Unsuitable Practice Space
Do look ahead to when and where you are going to be playing your drums. There’s no point in shelling out a load of cash on a super drum kit if you’ll never get to play it. If you are restricted for space or are not allowed to play at high volumes, then it may be wise to do one of two things.
You can hire a rental space or purchase an electronic drum set. Rental prices vary, and some spaces even supply the drum set. Electronic drum sets come in all sizes to suit all budgets and are great for quiet practicing.
4. Failing to Set Goals
It’s a good idea to have something to aim for. Perhaps you’ve always wanted to play that one song by your favourite band. Or maybe you like to see how fast you can play. Making a note of your progress is a great motivator and will spur you on to improve.
You can make use of a recording device (a microphone and recording software will do) to listen back to your practice sessions. You’d be amazed at the progress you can hear when comparing old recordings.
5. Poor Technique
The technique is how we hold the sticks and how we strike the drums. It’s essential to have proper technique to avoid injury. Drumming can lead to physical strains and worse injuries if you’re not careful. One common injury is carpal tunnel syndrome.
This is a severe wrist injury which requires expensive surgery to overcome. The majority of injuries on the drums are from playing too tensely. Gripping the stick too tightly is a no-no and will only lead to blisters or worse.
6. Inconsistent Practice Regime
Regular practice has two main benefits. The first is that you become physically fit to play the instrument. The second is that you develop a habit of playing and grow to love playing. Both are positives. Lack of practice can be demoralising as when you return to the instrument your skills will not be as sharp.
This leads to disappointment and can, in turn, become discouraging. Keep on top of your practice and dedicate some time slots each week to playing the drums. Even if you are only getting in 15 minutes at a time, it’s better to keep your practice regular and consistent.
7. Lack of Focus on Timekeeping
Don’t lose sight of what is a significant role the drums play. Every musician should be able to keep time by themselves, but this is not always the case. In most bands, the drummer becomes the main timekeeper, and the rest of the band play off this rhythm.
Purchasing a metronome is an excellent idea for all drummers. Metronomes have perfect timing and are great to practice along to.
8. Not Mastering the Basic Skills
Like any instrument, mastering the drums can be a lifetime of dedication. When it comes to playing with bands and other instruments, you will find that the bulk of what you play is stuff you learned a long time ago. Professional drummers all over the world are paid to play simple but steady drum beats, as this is what is called for in many cases.
This may sound easy but to play a simple groove that people want to dance to takes a lot of skill and musicianship. Play to your strengths and find your style and remember that sometimes it takes weeks or months to master a skill finally.
Conclusion: 8 Common Mistakes To Avoid When Learning To Play Drums
Hopefully these article was helpful and you’ve found a few things you should avoid when learning how to play drums. It’s a fun hobby but you have to stay consistent and always keep learning and progressing. Otherwise, what’s the point?
It’s easy for a beginner drummer to overlook common mistakes and this blog post should help you at least to become aware whether you are on the right track or not. Stay tuned for more helpful and informative articles about drums, keyboards, guitars, and other instruments!