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Drums And Drumming
Learn how to play the drums. Right NOW.
It's not all that hard. You just need to know the parts of the drum, what they do, follow these simple tutorials and practice, practice, practice!
If you're completely new to drumming then these tutorials are for you. Follow the easy steps, become familiar with the lessons. You don't even need a drum kit. And then if you feel you've got it in you, you can progress to the next level. Even if by learning these basic rhythms you have the confidence and courage to go and get lessons from a drum teacher.
A five-piece drum kit usually consists of the following: Snare, Bass Drum (aka Kick Drum), Tom Toms: usually two mounted toms and a Floor Tom.
In addition to this you have cymbals: HiHats, Crash, Ride, Splash (not shown in this illustration).
The Snare drum is the one that gives the CRACK or SHOT in a song. The Kick drum gives the very bassy BOOM which sits at the bottom of a beat. The Toms are usually used for a fill and the average five-piece kit has two mounted toms and a Floor Tom.
Extra drums can be added to a kit depending on the style you are playing, whats sort of sounds you're after and if your budget allows it.
You might add an extra Kick drum so you have a Double Bass Kit. Or a cheaper alternative (depending on the brand of drums) is to get a Double Kick Pedal. Though Double Kick Pedals are regarded as Hardware.
You can add more toms to your set up whether they are mounted or if they are floor standing. If you get a rack (see hardware) you can attach extra or all of the toms to the rack. You can also mount toms with brackets onto cymbal stands.
The average starting kit has HiHats, a Crash cymbal and Ride cymbal. Though depending on the price of the kit you may have only got what is known as a Crash/Ride which is a cross between the two.
Different sized cymbals and thicknesses give different sounds. So you could have a 14 inch Crash and 16 inch Crash and they won't sound the same. But even two 16 inch Crashes will have variations depending on the thickness. Different cymbal makers too have differences in sound quality.
Starting out you'd only want one Ride on your set up. It should be quiet heavy and thick.
You could have one or two Crash cymbals, preferably very different in sound from each other.
A Splash cymbal gives a very nice splashing sound (as the name suggests) and the smaller the better for one of these. Splashes are not as overpowering as Crashes and give a nice colour to even the simplest of beats without getting too fancy.
The China Boy is an odd shaped cymbal which is quite loud when hit properly. Best used for big gigs and a large stage. Fellow musicians tend to hate the overpowering effect it has on their ear drums, so use it sparingly.
There are plenty of other odd shapes and hybrids that Cymbal Manufacturers develop in the pursuit of new and exciting sounds as well as greater profits.
Think long term so consider buying a cymbal as an investment. It is better to buy one good quality cymbal than two or there cheap ones. Cheap won't last, and you can hear the difference. Quality costs, but provided the cymbals are used properly and not abused they will last you forever. And when you upgrade to a new bigger or better kit you can just take your cymbals with you.
Cymbal stands are regarded as hardware. So too are snare stands, racks, pedals, brackets or anything that's usually attached or free standing or holds things or is shiny, and therefore wanted by drummers who are nothing more than collectors of expensive equipment.
Stands come as braced and double braced. Double braced stands are sturdier and less likely to break. Stands also stand up straight or have a boom (example must be shown).
The drum stool (aka The Throne). It's best to have a good sturdy and solid throne because your comfort is important.
Drummers are also percussionists and can add things like shakers, clave and hand drums to their collection of colours and sounds. Some can be mounted as a part of your set-up, but that is up to the drummers discretion and what its function is for.
Made of wood and with a tip that is part of the turned stick or a nylon tip glued on. Drumsticks come in different lengths, diameters, weights and woods. It's good to start with a just a few and find what you are most comfortable with. Your collection will grow as you try different drumming styles and techniques. It's also a good idea to buy a set of brushes.
Drumsticks break, but don't purposely set out to destroy a set of sticks, because if you aren't using them right you will also damage cymbals, drum skins, the shells and even yourself.
The author of this hub playing a half sized drum kit
Drum Lesson: Drum Tab
Next I'll show you how to follow a special drum chart, it will let you know which parts of the drum kit to hit with which hand (which holds a stick) or which foot.
Your next Drum Tutorial Lesson continues here.