Drumming is a fun and easy hobby for anyone. It doesn’t require any formal musical training and can be enjoyed by people of all ages. Playing drums is also a great form of exercise- drummers tend to exhibit better coordination than most non-drummers, and the rhythmic beat that forms in your head when you’re drumming can help alleviate stress or anxiety. Whether you’re trying to find something new to do after work with friends, staying active in retirement, or just looking for some new tunes to add to your playlists, picking up the drums might be just what you need.
Is Playing Drums a Good Hobby?
Drumming is an inexpensive hobby; there’s no need for expensive equipment if you don’t already own it (although it does make things easier). All that’s necessary are sticks, a practice pad, and drumsticks. Making your own drums can be an excellent way to save money- PVC piping, empty tubes of fabric softener (or even old socks), or other homemade materials could serve as cost-effective alternatives for this purpose.
Engaging Body and Mind
Drumming is an excellent way to engage both body and mind, offering a unique combination of physical and mental exercise. This isn’t just about pounding away on a drum kit. It’s about learning rhythm patterns, coordination, and focusing your attention, which can significantly improve cognitive functions. Just like solving a complex puzzle, mastering a drum beat exercises your brain in exciting ways.
Boosting Fitness Levels
Perhaps one of the less obvious benefits of playing drums is the physical workout it provides. It’s not just your arms and hands that get a good workout; you’re also using your legs and core. A high-energy drumming session can easily compare to a cardio workout at the gym. Don’t underestimate the fitness potential behind that drum kit!
A Stress Reliever Like No Other
The rhythmic nature of drumming has a soothing effect on the human mind, offering a natural form of stress relief. The focus required to play can take your mind off worries, while the physical activity can help alleviate tension in your body. This blend of physical and mental engagement makes drumming a potent tool for stress relief.
Improving Social Connections
Drumming often occurs in a group context, whether it’s a band, a drum circle, or a class. This social aspect can lead to the development of deep friendships and a sense of community. Being part of a synchronized group activity also fosters teamwork skills and enhances social cohesion.
Learning Persistence and Discipline
Mastering the drums isn’t something that happens overnight. It requires persistence, discipline, and a willingness to practice regularly. These qualities can translate into other areas of life, instilling a resilient mindset that can tackle other challenges.
Playing drums is not just about reproducing existing beats and rhythms; it’s a creative pursuit. Drummers can experiment with different rhythmic patterns and sounds, fostering a spirit of creativity and innovation that can extend beyond music.
How to Get Started with Playing Drums
Choosing Your Instrument
Before you can get started, you need an instrument. If you’re just starting, a basic drum kit would suffice. You may choose between acoustic and electronic drum sets, each having its pros and cons. Acoustic drums give a more traditional feel and sound, while electronic ones are versatile and more suitable for quiet practice.
Finding a Suitable Learning Method
There are many ways to learn how to play the drums. Traditional lessons with a professional drum teacher can provide you with personalized instruction and immediate feedback. Online tutorials and courses can offer flexibility and a wide range of resources at your fingertips. Apps and video games designed to teach drumming can make the learning process fun and engaging.
Investing Time in Practice
Once you’ve started learning, the key to improvement is consistent practice. It’s better to practice a little bit each day than to cram several hours of practice into one day. Make sure you’re practicing effectively by focusing on your weak points, using a metronome to keep time, and gradually increasing the complexity of what you play.
Playing Along with Music
One of the best ways to apply what you’ve learned is to play along with music. This can be as simple as choosing a song you like and trying to play the drum part. This can help you understand how the drums fit into a song’s overall structure and improve your ability to keep time.
Joining a Drumming Community
Joining a local drum circle or finding a group of fellow drumming enthusiasts can be incredibly beneficial. Not only will it give you the chance to learn from others, but it will also give you a supportive community to share your progress and struggles with.
Always Prioritize Enjoyment
The most important thing is to enjoy playing the drums. If you’re not having fun, it’s going to be difficult to stay motivated and keep practicing. So, make sure to choose songs you love, set achievable goals, and remember why you started playing in the first place.
The centerpiece of your equipment is undoubtedly the drum kit. For beginners, a basic five-piece kit, consisting of a bass drum, snare drum, and three toms, is typically sufficient. Don’t forget the cymbals – a ride, a crash, and hi-hats are standard.
You’ll need a pair of drumsticks suitable for your style and genre of drumming. They come in different sizes, types, and materials, so it’s essential to choose something that feels comfortable in your hands.
A good drum throne is crucial for maintaining proper posture while playing and avoiding any long-term back issues. It should be adjustable and provide firm support.
You’ll need a bass drum pedal and, if your drum kit includes a hi-hat, a hi-hat pedal. There are many types of pedals with different mechanisms, so it’s best to try out a few to see what suits your playing style.
A metronome is an invaluable tool for any drummer, helping you maintain a steady tempo and improve your timing. These are available as physical devices or digital apps.
Practice pads are quieter alternatives to drums, perfect for practicing rudiments or when you need to keep the noise down.
To protect your ears from potential long-term damage, consider getting a pair of earplugs or noise-cancelling headphones designed for musicians.
A drum key is a small tool used to tune drums and adjust hardware. It’s an essential part of a drummer’s toolkit.
Optional: Electronic Drum Kit
An electronic drum kit can be a practical alternative to an acoustic kit, especially for those living in apartments or spaces where noise could be an issue. They can also offer a wide variety of sounds and can be connected to headphones for silent practice.