Reading Music For The Drums
Hey newbies! I’m glad you’re here. Reading music is such an important part of learning on any musical instrument. The drums are no exception. Think of this as an important skill that you want in your mind from the very beginning. In this short lesson, I’m going to break down musical notation for the drums since you will need this skill moving forward. Scroll down to download the PDF.
If you are an experienced drummer but you’ve never learned how to read, don’t sweat it. You will be amazed at how easy reading music really is. You can’t learn it all overnight however, so it’s important that we start with the basics.
PDF Download: Reading Music For The Drums
This PDF makes a great cheat sheet for you to keep near your drums to help you with reading music. Print a copy or save it to your device. As you progress through lessons, use it to remember which notes are for which parts of the drum set. You will eventually memorize the notation for the drums and cymbals but there’s no rush to do so.
Why Is Reading Music Important For A Drummer?
When you don’t know how to read notation you are limited to learning only what you see in the lesson videos. But that’s usually just scratching the surface. Every rhythm has many different applications and by shifting notes around, you can create many different beats out of one simple rhythm. If you can read, you can explore variations and exercises on the PDF worksheets and get 10 times more out of every lesson.
You don’t have to be a beginner to learn how to read notation. I have met many experienced drummers who play well don’t know the slightest thing about reading music. It’s possible they never had to learn. If that’s you, then this lesson is also perfect for you.
Reading music notation really is one of the most useful tools you can have. It is a tremendous benefit to your development as a drummer and here’s how. It alleviates your brain from having to memorize everything you play and practice.
Reading music also enables you to be more certain about the parts that you play. For example, you might hear or see a groove pattern in a song that you like. You can have great listening ears and practice it all day but in the end…are you really 100% sure that you’re playing it correctly?
Now imagine finding sheet music online for the same song. If you know how to read, then all of the notes and rhythms are spelled out for you. You can learn the song knowing 100% that you are catching all of the details. Ta-da! More effective learning because of reading music.
I’ve said enough. Watch the videos in this lesson about reading music and notation for the drums. See for yourself how easy reading music really is.
Sorry, no metronome!
Basic Stick Technique
If you are new to playing the drums, you should start by learning how to properly hold and play with your sticks. We'll try a few simple exercises for you to understand how to synchronize with me, before you jump into playing basic beats.
1/8th Note Backbeat
Now that you understand some basic rhythms, it's time to learn some basic groove patterns. In the next lesson, you will learn a basic pattern to help you keep time.