ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Drum Tutorial Lesson 1

Updated on November 23, 2009
These lessons are so easy you can follow them with your eyes closed.
These lessons are so easy you can follow them with your eyes closed.

Drum Lesson: Drum Tab

The following is not an official standard or an approved way to transcribe drum music. But it is the best way that I can think of for a beginner to understand the parts of the drum kit and what to hit and when.

In the early stages we are only concerned with the parts of the drum kit that will allow us to hold a steady beat. The use of toms in the latter stages is for fills. Usually used to connect one part of the song to another (eg: when going from a songs verse to a chorus).

Complex beats can also be accomplished with toms but they can only attempted once a person has a firm grasp and feel for the simplest of beats on the barest of equipment.

Here are the parts of the drums we will be using and the abbreviation that I use in the Drum Tabs...

C = Crash Cymbal
Rd = Ride Cymbal
H = HiHat Cymbal
S = Snare
B = Bass

Here are the parts of your anatomy that you will use when playing the beats...

* = right hand
x = left hand
o = right foot

For the purpose of these tutorials you will use your left foot to hold down the Hi Hat cymbal. You may leave it a little bit loose for a fuller sound, but for now don't go using your left leg, train it to sit still.

Drum Lesson: The Beat, and a Bar

We have four beats to the bar. Here are four bars of four beats. Try it while counting to yourself.

C  --------|--------|--------|--------|
Rd --------|--------|--------|--------|
H  *-*-*-*-|*-*-*-*-|*-*-*-*-|*-*-*-*-|
S  --------|--------|--------|--------|
B  --------|--------|--------|--------|

The simplest of beats can be transcribed to one line, however when adding variations such as a crash, an extra kick or snare might come in on bar 3 or 4.

It is a good idea to follow the music while playing, so you can get used to reading by sight, before you attempt to play the beat from memory. But alternate between the two when you are following one of the transcribed exercises.

In the upcoming exercises do one, all the way through, for as many times as you see fit. Then try the other.

Or do one until you can do it really well, then doing it from memory until you get that right too.

Quick Test: Where is the beat sitting on the bar?

On this next illustration we have a HiHat on the 4th beat in the 2nd bar.

We also have a Snare on the 3rd beat in the 3rd bar.

C  --------|--------|--------|--*-----|
Rd --------|--------|--------|--------|
H  --------|------*-|--------|--------|
S  --------|--------|----x---|--------|
B  --------|--------|--------|o-------|

What is the beat and bar for the Bass Drum?

What is the beat and bar and the name of that part of the drum for the last example?

Got that so far?

Then you're ready for your first official lesson!


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)