Drum Tutorial Lesson 7

Welcome to the Learning How To Drum series...

A few years after starting on the drums myself, I was often asked "how hard is learning the drums?" or "how easy is it to play the drums?" or "can you teach me to play the drums?"

Because I never had any formal lessons myself, I didn't really know how a lesson was structured, but I figured the best way to see a person had the ability or any kind of natural talent, was to sit them down and start with a very basic 4/4 beat. And from there add in a little variation. Some enjoyed it so much they went out and bought drum kits and continued learning, eventually blowing me out of the water when it came to drumming skills.

What I did in these informal lessons was grab a blank piece of paper and a pen, and write a visual representation of a drum beat. One friend who took to drumming like a duck to water ended up with a lot of these sheets of paper on a music stand next to his hi-hat. Eventually he didn't need them and that duck in the water became an eagle soaring in the air.

Later I streamlined the lessons and typed them up in Microsoft Word. I'd print out a sheet at a time and teach my girlfriends nephew (she'd later become my wife, he'd later give up the drums and get into the guitar). Those documents eventually became the lessons that I published online elsewhere, before posting them here.

They're tried, tested and the great thing about them is they're simple and easy to understand. In fact you don't need a drum kit for the first 4 or 5 lessons. But as you progress and start learning dexterity, speed and co-ordination (such as moving from the hi-hat to the ride without breaking stride) you will need access to a drum kit. Or buy one. Even a second hand one.

In this lesson we're going to go over what we've learned in the first four basic beats, the introduction of the ride cymbal (from the last lesson) and in this drum lesson we'll be switching from the hi-hats to the ride, and back again.

Drum Lesson: The Hi-Hat and Ride Cymbals together

Now we'll mix these up a little so you go from the steady HiHat to the Ride, and on the repeat you change back.


Straight Beat 1
   1-2-3-4-|1-2-3-4-|1-2-3-4-|1-2-3-4-|
C  --------|--------|--------|--------|
Rd --------|--------|*-*-*-*-|*-*-*-*-|
H  *-*-*-*-|*-*-*-*-|--------|--------| repeat
S  ----x---|----x---|----x---|----x---|
B  o-------|o-------|o-------|o-------|


Straight Beat 2
   1-2-3-4-|1-2-3-4-|1-2-3-4-|1-2-3-4-|
C  --------|--------|--------|--------|
Rd --------|--------|*-*-*-*-|*-*-*-*-|
H  *-*-*-*-|*-*-*-*-|--------|--------| repeat
S  ----x---|----x---|----x---|----x---|
B  o-o-----|o-o-----|o-o-----|o-o-----|


Straight Beat 3
   1-2-3-4-|1-2-3-4-|1-2-3-4-|1-2-3-4-|
C  --------|--------|--------|--------|
Rd --------|--------|*-*-*-*-|*-*-*-*-|
H  *-*-*-*-|*-*-*-*-|--------|--------| repeat
S  ----x---|----x---|----x---|----x---|
B  o---o---|o---o---|o---o---|o---o---|


Straight Beat 4
   1-2-3-4-|1-2-3-4-|1-2-3-4-|1-2-3-4-|
C  --------|--------|--------|--------|
Rd --------|--------|*-*-*-*-|*-*-*-*-|
H  *-*-*-*-|*-*-*-*-|--------|--------| repeat
S  ----x---|----x---|----x---|----x---|
B  o-o-o-o-|o-o-o-o-|o-o-o-o-|o-o-o-o-|


The object of this exercise is that you practise until you can keep the beat without breaking or disrupting the tempo when changing from one cymbal to the other.

The thought process behind being a drummer...

Things to consider:

  • Patience, practice and persistence.
  • When you feel comfortable with a beat and can play it by sight and from memory, and just by feeling your way through it, then you're ready to go onto the next lesson.
  • You must be able to do it in your sleep, so to speak. But go at your own pace.

Stay tuned for more!

Over the following weeks I'll be finishing off each lesson and publishing them here. And then all the hubs for the drum lessons will be linked to each other. In the meantime just keep practicing this beat and going over the previous lessons!

Comments 13 comments

Andre 6 years ago

hey umm when will we be getting the new drum lessons.?? im anxious!!


Drums profile image

Drums 6 years ago Author

Another one coming soon. Just working on it as well as other good information about parts of the drums.


AM 6 years ago

Great lessons - I hope you do more of them.


aprillekris 6 years ago

your lessons really helps..great!can't wait for the next..u


keelch 6 years ago

'ei bro tnx for this tutorial./ we'll still wait for the upcoming ones :)


Mike 6 years ago

Good stuff man!!! Thank you. I mastered it in a week, can't wait for me.


Lea 5 years ago

When are the rest coming D:?


mary 5 years ago

you still planning on putting up more lessons?


Theodore 5 years ago

lol come on bro im excited. give em here haha


wannadrum 4 years ago

where's the rest?


snieve 4 years ago

nice lesson, can't wait for more


ronnie 4 years ago

hi, these lessons are really working for the beginners. please continue the lessons.


Drums profile image

Drums 4 years ago Author

Now that I've got a drum kit again I'll see what I can do.

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