Beginner Online Drum Lessons – How to Start Learning Drums Even If You Don’t Have a Set

This is the first in a series of online drum lessons for the very beginner. In this lesson you’ll get up to speed quickly by laying down a basic beat. You’ll also learn how to start practicing without a drum set.

Beginning drum students are lucky that way. They can start learning before committing to purchasing their instrument or seeking out a practice space that already has one. Just try that with a guitar!

So if you don’t have a drum set, you’ll be tapping your hands and feet on a table and the ground. This practice won’t make you a complete drummer, as there are a lot of nuances in using drumsticks and pedals, but it goes a long way at the start.

In the following short beginner drum lessons you are going to tap your right hand to simulate a hi-hat, your left hand to simulate a snare, and your right foot to simulate a bass drum. If you’re left handed you may switch left and right. Also, if you do have a drum set and are looking for your very first drum beat lesson, just follow what’s written here on your set.

Now, let’s proceed to your first beginner drum lesson. Sit down comfortably, preferably at a desk or a counter-top, and start tapping steadily with your right hand. Now, start counting mentally or out loud as you tap “one, two, three, four, one, two, three, four…”, where each number gets a tap. You don’t have to keep counting, but for now at least keep in mind that we’re going to do things in cycles of four.

Next, let’s bring the snare drum in. For every count of three, tap your left hand. When you tap your left hand, tap it a bit harder than the right. You can also tap with the left hand finger nails, which make a sound more similar to a snare drum.

Now we’re finally up to the bass drum. Keep both hands going, and at the same time tap your right foot for every count of one. The beat you’re tapping is the most basic rock beat in 4/4 time.

As always, you should start practicing slowly and speed up as you gain more confidence in sustaining a steady beat.

The framed box below concisely shows how to do this beat using sounds and a drum tab diagram. Click the help link within the box for an explanation on exactly how it works.

Help
Basic 4/4 Rock Beat
Count:  1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4
Hi-Hat (Right Hand) x x x x x x x x
Snare (Left Hand) . . O . . . O .
Bass (Right Foot) O . . . O . . .

The interesting thing about this beat is that it fits nearly every pop song out there, since most songs are written in 4/4 time. To have some fun, put on your favorite song, and see if you can count 1, 2, 3, 4… with the song’s beat. Once you can do that, add the tapping beat you just learned, and play along.

After you feel comfortable with performing this beat (or any beat at a subsequent lesson), what you can do is switch hand and foot parts left to right, and practice the beat again. This way you’ll work on ambidextrous drumming from the start.

We hoped you enjoyed this drum lesson. At this point, if you can easily play the basic drum beat, you are ready to add a little bit of complexity, and move on to the next online drum lesson.

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