Drum Lessons

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Drum Lessons

drum lessonsCreativity shapes our world. It’s what sets us apart from every other species on the planet; the ability to think about our choices, think about our own thinking, and reshape our patterns into something new. When you see a totally creative person, someone who is unabashedly themselves, you might say they march to the beat of their own drum. That’s an undervalued, absolutely essential trait. 

Every person alive has something unique to contribute to the universe because no one else can possibly have their experience; no one can ever create in the same way they can. The world moves to a beat; we are the players; we are the students. We each add our own flair, our own rhythm, in the endless dance we undertake together. You can see this synchronization all over the place; you might find it in a boardroom, where people are tossing ideas back and forth. You might find it in a parent playing with their child. You’ll definitely find it on a dancefloor, where the rhythms take the body and mind into transcendent bliss. Everyone dances to a good beat. 

That’s why you should learn the drums with us at the Academy of Music!

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Drum History

To trace the history of drums is to trace the history of music; a beat, after all, is music’s core, its pulse. The earliest drums date back to millennia ago, somewhere between 5500-2300 BCE, though we have no doubt people were hitting sticks together rhythmically before this era. When we talk about drums today, we’re usually referring to a drum kit. While a wide variety of percussion instruments can be found in these, a typical kit will have some combination of a hi-hat, snare drum, bass drum (with a foot pedal), ride cymbal, crash cymbal, and tom-toms.  The first successful foot pedal was created in 1909 and since then, drum kits have become ubiquitous in popular music, the charge for the kits having been led by jazz drummers in the 1920s. These kits are incredible because they reduce the number of members you need in a band. Instead of requiring a different percussionist for each instrument, one drummer can create an incredibly intricate rhythm.

How Drumming Works

Drumming is a fascinating discipline. It combines chaos and order in a way little else does, which means practice in drumming will teach you great skills for real life. Rhythm is a constant; it’s between the notes, even found in silences when you feel your blood pumping. What a drummer does is unique – they find a way to represent omnipresent rhythm to create a pulse for the rest of the band to follow. 

That’s where the order comes in. A great drummer is “in the pocket,” playing in perfect sync with their band members – they’re never offbeat and always in time. Speaking of which, at the same time, the drummer can change how the pulse feels, even while keeping the beat. For instance, there are so many ways to play 4/4 at 120 BPM, it seems strange to even call them the same rhythm. The things you learn from this discipline, from applying chaos to order, and order to chaos*, are incredible.

When you learn to drum, you learn limb coordination like you’ve never known. Try tapping a rhythm with one hand, a different rhythm with another, and a different rhythm with each of your feet. It’s really difficult at first, but experienced drummers can play beats you wouldn’t believe were even possible. That’s because they feel the beat – they’re one with the instrument and in the zone – so what seems to be a dissociated series of taps to one person becomes a complex rhythm in a drummer’s capable hands. In order to learn this, you need practice, practice, and more practice. This means hours at the kit, feeling out rhythms, playing slowly at first, then more quickly until you’re up to speed. 

You need to develop creative thinking as well. This is where our online drum lessons can be extremely handy. A band can keep the beat with a metronome, but a drummer needs to take that beat and make it groove. As you continue to play, you’ll learn what the right flourishes are for each moment in the song just by feeling it. You’ll learn to read time signatures, notation, and more. You’ll learn about music theory and history, including unique techniques you can try out yourself. It’s like learning a new language, a new way of thinking, incredible dexterity, emotional and rational intelligence, all in one. In short, drumming is one of the greatest practices you can take up, and its benefits are innumerable. You can even use it as an exercise regimen!

Ideal for All Ages

All the benefits you’ll find from drumming are available to your child, too! They’ll develop all of the intelligences and skills associated with learning music, as well as self-confidence as they master a new and difficult technique. The socialization that can come with drumming is handy, too; drummers will be in demand so long as we’re making music because everyone loves a good beat. They’ll make friends, get a workout, and develop their minds – what more could you ask for as a parent?

*If you don’t understand this seemingly paradoxical statement, listen to Keith Moon drumming. Ordered chaos.

Our Courses

The Hal Leonard Fast Track Drum Course

We love this program because of its natural progression. You learn skills that compound on each other, ensuring you never become overwhelmed but are always learning. It’s accompanied by an audio CD recorded by a professional band, and you can pan the CD to hear more or less of the drum part. That way, when you don’t know the part, you can turn it up and, when you want to practice your own fills, you can turn the drums off! Each Fast Track course uses the same songs, so friends can each learn an instrument and start a band with the same repertoire! Great if you have kids who want to learn different instruments.

Learn at Home Remotely

You can learn drums at home with our amazing program thanks to online capabilities and the ability to easily communicate with our instructors. Don’t worry about noise, either as, with electric drums or special pads; it’s easy to mute them enough that you won’t draw any glares from the neighbours. Learning at home makes people feel more comfortable, and draws out the best music from them, so we strongly endorse this practice! Book your first lesson today.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I absolutely need a drum kit to start learning?

Due to the way learning drums requires a focus on feedback and synchronizing with the beats in order to improve skills, yes, it’s better to have even a basic kit when starting out. The good news is, these don’t have to be purchased – not many folks own a full drum set as some take up a lot of precious space! Instead, look into renting from local music schools, mom-and-pop music stores and other experts familiar with the kits you’ll need. 

Why should I take online drum lessons?

Our online drum lessons are designed to help you refine – or redefine – your skills behind the pedals in a supportive, streamlined manner that allows you to focus on the music itself. By learning at home via Skype, Zoom or even Facetime, you won’t have to lug your kit with you to another city. For parents in particular, this can literally be a sigh of relief if they have to stick to a tight schedule! Our remote and in-home lessons offer much the same experience as in-person programming, so you’re not missing out on anything important if you live far away from us!

What age is best to start learning the drums at?

Any age is an ideal candidate, but kids can benefit in essential skills development including patience, hand dexterity, eye coordination and more as their minds are more receptive and adaptable to learning experiences. That being said, we love working with those of all ages and talent doesn’t discriminate, so don’t worry, there’s an ideal and deeply enriching program for students of all ages. Whether you’re a beginner, pro, or somewhere in between, we’d love to help you master the drums and have a fun time marching to your own beat.

How much do drum lessons cost?

This depends on the particular program you choose, how many sessions you’re interested in signing up for, and other factors. Our instructors are happy to find a solution that allows you to learn compelling new drum skills and improve your abilities within your budget and scheduling availability. Feel free to reach out to us for details anytime – we can’t wait to experience the beats you’ll create with our help!