How to Play the Drums

In our team, we have a very faithful and gifted drummer who stills struggles with some of the fundamentals of drumming. I’m not sure that anyone ever taught him the fundamentals, so I can’t blame him. This week, I got together with him on Friday morning to talk about some of these fundamentals. I made up a handout for him to get a visual idea of how certain meters are played on the drums. These are pretty simplistic, but he’s in need of some basic instruction. Specifically in the area of playing compound patterns like 9/8 or 12/8. These might sound very complicated, but they actually occur a lot in black gospel and it’s blues/jazz counterparts.
In these tables, K= kick, S= snare, H=hi-hat. Kick is played with your right foot, snare with your left hand, and hi-hat with your right hand. Practice at home on your thighs with your car keys in your right pocket.
The numbers indicate how the meter is counted. Sometimes, like in the case of 12/8 time, you don’t really count 12, you would more likely count 4 with a triplet feel. The numbers in black indicate how you would count the meter.
drum patterns.jpg
I realize that this is very simplistic and doesn’t take into account a lot of factors that make up drumming. So I apologize that the boiled down version of drumming that I have presented here is like when people claim that you can just learn 3 chords, and you’ll be able to play 90% of pop music. It’s not really true, but it has some truthiness to it.

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