Back when I was young, I have always aspired to play drums on a professional level. Well, of course, it does not only take a day to learn that kind of art. Thus, I enrolled myself in Melbourne drum school for beginners. At first, I had second thoughts. Considering that I am already an adult and that my classmate would be a lot younger than I am, I could feel the pressure circulating through my whole body by just having the idea of enrolling myself in a drum school. But, I did not let my fear of being judged and compared to younger ones stop me from fulfilling my childhood dream.
When I attended my first drum class, the teacher or rather mentor, repeatedly stated: “Basic drum lessons should not be taken for granted.” Well, he has certainly predicted that all of his students, which of course included me, would be bored with those basics. I could not care less until the day I understood what he meant. It was true! The basic lessons in a drum class play are significant in learning the succeeding lessons. Without the basics, one would not be able to cope with the more complicated way of playing the instrument. This is proven by my classmate who lagged behind us.
Our mentor allotted the next session in familiarizing us, his students, with a basic drum set. Before this session, I just called the components of a set by the following terms: small drum, medium drum, large drum, left or right small drum.
Sometimes I even distinguish one from the other through their positions without necessarily taking into consideration their sound and real name. There were three basic drum terms that I can remember. These are the bass drum, the snare drum, and the tom-tom drums. The first type is the one that produces a low booming sound and is struck by stepping on a foot pedal. The second one is usually positioned on the non-dominant side of the drummer. It is basically characterized by a clicking sound followed by a certain rattling sound of beads. Lastly for the tom-tom drums, which as many types with one being distinguished from another through its pitch.
A basic drum set may only have one of this kind of drum. Well, the drum set would not be complete at all it is does not have the famous cymbals. The four types of cymbals popularly included in the drum set are the hi-hat, the ride, the splash, and the crash.
The next classes were devoted to teaching us the different styles of holding drumsticks. Basically, there are two types of grips. The so-called matched grip and the traditional grip. The former is when the sticks are held between the thumb and index finger with the other fingers wrapped around the stick. This is considered as the more comfortable and common way of holding the drumsticks. The latter, on the other hand, is a combination of using the matched grip for the dominant hand and a grip style characterized by placing the stick atop of the ring finger while lying between the index finger and the thumb. I personally prefer the former because it is way easier to handle than the latter.
Our mentor was kind enough to give us tips on how to practice on our own properly. It included the lectures on how a metronome can improve our beat and timing and how proper posture contributes a lot while playing the drums. He regularly checks up on his student to ensure that one is not intimidated by the others’ paces in learning. He advised us to practice our strokes and timing which included the motions needed to produce a rhythm. He assured us that after investing significant effort and time in learning how to play the drums, we would feel fulfilled and hungry for more techniques yet to be learned or even discovered.
Our mentor has certainly harnessed the potentials we, his students, have within us. It was a good thing that I got rid of my hesitations brought about my age and the bad view of enrolling in a drum school rather than being self-taught. I never regretted that I chose to spend money on this school because there were lessons and tips which can never be self-taught or got from the internet.
Learning to play drums is both time and effort demanding but is something worthwhile. With patience and hard work, anyone can be a good drum player in no time. If only everyone recognizes the benefit of music education in our brain development, particularly in critical thinking, I bet many would not think twice of enrolling themselves or their children in a music school. Learning to play an instrument is a good habit and a satisfying one.
While we can enjoy playing music by our favorite artists, learning to play an instrument gives you the freedom to express yourself through creating your own rhythm and beat.