02 Apr The Drum Essentials Every Potential Drummer Should Know
Alongside the numerous studies that have proven the benefits of music to the individual and society, you’re able to feel them innately. Not only does it help you to improve your music sense, but you can also revel in a boost in your cognitive function, improve your emotional stability and psyche. But as is common with all things that are good for you, the first steps are always the most challenging to make.
In this drummers edition, we will go through a few basics of drumming that every potential drummer and drummer should know.
1. Pick The Right Drumsticks
Whilst the selection of the type of drums is crucial, many beginners often forget to do the same for their drumsticks. Drumsticks come in different diameters and are made out of various materials, two elements that will influence your sound significantly. Below are just a brief guideline of the characteristics you should take note:
The type of wood: Drumsticks are typically made of hickory, maple or Japanese white oak. Hickory is the most common, favoured for its flexibility and impact resistance. Maple is softer and stiffer than hickory, which also translates to less durability. But they are light, which give you some allowance if you wish for drumsticks with a larger diameter. This also means their sound is sweeter and brighter than most. Its counterpart, the oak, is dense and heavy. This translates to more resistance and even bigger and darker sound.
The type of tips: Whilst the material doesn’t significantly influence your sound, they affect how fast your drum rebounds. Typical materials include wood, nylon and Delrin. What does affect your sound is the shape. For instance, tips such as the ball tips have little surface area, thus creating a very bright contact sound.
Thickness: The sound will vary depending on the thickness of your drumsticks as well. The thicker your drumsticks are, the fuller and darker your sound tends to be.
2. Tuning Your Drums
At face value, you may think that only stringed instruments would require tuning but your drums need it too! Tuning your drums can get rather complicated, especially if you don’t have a good ear for pitch and sound. Of course, it’ll come slightly easy for you if you’ve enrolled in any drum classes in Singapore, otherwise, you may want to get the help of an expert or somebody who has a good ear!
3. Practise Using A Metronome
Rhythm is the most critical thing in your role as a drummer, especially if you’re performing as a band or ensemble. Without the proper rhythm, your friend who took adult guitar lessons will mess up whatever they’ve learnt in class. Practising using a metronome will help you maintain a sense of rhythm and accuracy.
4. Balance Your Play Volume
Whilst it may be somewhat daunting to confidently play loud sounds, one of the few skills you will need to pick up is balancing the volume of your drumming. Of course, it will highly depend on the genre of your music you’d be playing. For instance, you wouldn’t want to play like a drummer in a rock band when you’re supposed to do jazz. Also, since songs will usually have its crescendo and diminuendo – increase and decrease in loudness and intensity – you’d need to know when you should give those hard hits and vice versa.
5. Take Drum Classes
Whilst it’s possible that you pick up drumming skills on your own, it’s best to enrol in a drum class, especially if you want to have quick improvements. Your mentor will not only guide you in the basics, but they will also help you find a style that may fit you and correct any mistakes and bad habits.
Learning how to drum is never easy but it’s one of those instruments that you can seamlessly get into. This is scientifically backed since the brain is able to pick up patterns in music without having any training, all because of a sense of rhythm that’s essentially innate. Conversely, consider enrolling in vocal lessons in Singapore and bring your skillsets anywhere.