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Four Tips to Gain Confidence as a Beginner Drummer

Learning to play drums can be a daunting experience. It can be challenging not to compare yourself to drummers you see in concerts or videos. However, it’s crucial to avoid focusing too much on others' playing or their skill level relative to yours. Every drummer is unique, so you should learn at your own pace and discover what works for you. Below I have outlined some steps to gain confidence in your playing, hope they help! 

  1. Make the most of the tools around you. You can learn to play the drums with just sticks, the internet, and a pillow; having an exercise book, a drum kit, and a drum teacher is even better! While self-teaching an instrument may seem impressive to some, utilising the resources mentioned above makes learning easier, helps you know you’re on the right track, and broadens your drum knowledge, so why wouldn't you use them?

  2. Consider that simple drumming is not bad drumming. If you are able to play in time and know at least one groove (like a basic rock beat) you can play with others. While complex grooves and fills can be fun and impressive, they don't suit every song. Think of Meg White’s drumming in Seven Nation Army, it’s simple but it suits the song and ensures the catchy guitar riff and vocals stand out. 

  3. Celebrate what you know, instead of dwelling on what you don’t. While it’s good to be inspired by other drummers, it’s also important to appreciate your own skills as you learn and grow. When you are able to play a groove you were struggling with the week before or master a fill in the song you’re working on, take time to reflect on your progress and feel proud of your achievements, drumming isn’t easy and any progress is good progress. 

  4. Acknowledge the power of dynamics in your playing. Even if the only things you know how to play are a basic rock beat and a single stroke roll (right hand left hand), dynamics can make a big difference to your playing. Knowing when a song needs loud drumming compared to quiet is important for the feel of the song and can greatly improve your confidence to play with others. Adding ghost notes (quieter notes) or accented notes (louder notes) can also spice up simple grooves and fills. Refer to the attached PDF for practice examples to enhance your skills.

(Make sure you download the full PDF below the image)

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