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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!

Any questions?

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      aqeel 4 years ago

      very nice

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      samantha 6 years ago

      ok, im a kinda new drummer i gt everything here but i think i need a lil more than this....

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      nirzzzzzz 6 years ago

      let me teach u 1 another

      1-2- 3-4-|1-2- 3-4-|1-2- 3-4-|1-2- 3-4-|


      Rd ----- ---|--- -----|---- ----|--- -----|

      H *-*-(x+o)-*-|*-*-(x+0)-*-|*-*-(x+0)-*-|*-*-(+0)x-*-|

      S ---- ----|--- -----|--- - ---|--- -----|

      B --- -----|--- -----|--- -----| -- -----|

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      Canadian man 7 years ago

      Awsome job

      I'm really interested in drums but have not started you know anything about electric drums?

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      mayank 7 years ago

      cool dudd,,, can i have something more like what are the diffrent types of drums u r reffering to

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      AhmedFreak 7 years ago

      Awesome Dude........Those stuff Helps A Man Much Like Specially A Noob Like Me.!