Have you thought about becoming a drummer before? Drummers don’t just play amazing tunes and set the pace for the whole band; they also get to have a lot of fun. It turns out that hitting loud things with a pair of sticks is as fun as it looks, and many drummers develop a lifelong passion for the art.
That said, fun isn’t the only reason to give drumming a try. There are also many other benefits to learning the instrument. Some of these benefits are perks you can get from playing other instruments as well, while others are rewards that only playing the drums will afford you. But before we cover those, let’s go over the main practical barrier that keeps people from becoming a drummer.
Do you need a drum kit to learn the drums?
Many would-be drummers take one look at the price of a drum set, the space needed to get one, and then promptly give up on the idea. However, there are many ways to go about learning and practicing your drumming, and they don’t all require having an acoustic drum kit in your house.
As a beginner, you can go a long way by taking classes and practicing on your teacher’s drums or the drum kit available at your music school. When practicing at home, you can get by with air drumming or put together a DIY drum practice pad. That will help you build the coordination and muscle memory you’ll need to play on the real thing.
In other words, all you need to get started learning the drums is a pair of drumsticks, which are cheap and easy to get. Just make sure you get them in the right size — you can check this 5a vs 5b drumsticks guide for more info on that.
Once you have learned enough to want your own drum kit, you still don’t need to get something massive and expensive. There are plenty of excellent electronic drum kits on the market. These are both more compact and less expensive than traditional options. An electronic drum kit also comes with volume settings, so you can play without waking up your neighbors.
Now that you are out of excuses to avoid the drums, here are some of the reasons why becoming a drummer will be a great use of your time.
1 – Blow off some steam
What do music and hitting things with a stick have in common? They’re both therapeutic, and as a result, playing the drums and other types of percussion can be a great way to blow off some steam. Many drummers find that playing can be a great way to bring down their stress levels.
This is aided by the fact that music can be an excellent form of self-expression. Once you learn the basics and a few fundamentals, you’ll be able to just jam on your drum kit for a bit whenever you’re stressed out or just need something to keep your hands busy while you think. You’ll also be able to get together and jam with other musician friends, which can be even more fun.
2 – Improve your motor skills
Of course, anyone can hit things with a stick. That alone does not create music. To get music out of a drum kit, you’ll need to be able to manage all of its various components while maintaining the right tempo, which requires a fair amount of left-right hand and feet coordination.
This motor requirement makes learning the drums frustrating at first. You’ll often find that you can visualize what you want to do, but your body won’t be able to keep up with your brain. But that’s fine because you’ll become more coordinated with practice, and that effort can also help you become more coordinated in other areas of your life. Drums are a great instrument to learn if you are looking for a foundation for learning other instruments, for example. Or you may later find it easier to pick up skills like dancing or driving, thanks to your drummer training.
3 – Break a sweat
Playing the drums can be a very physically demanding endeavor, especially if you are intentionally choosing songs that will have you moving hard and fast. Becoming a drummer won’t mean you get to skip the gym entirely — not unless you’re playing 8+ hours a day — but it can be a way to burn more calories every week. And being sweaty after a long drumming session can produce a sense of satisfaction similar to what you get after a good workout.
4 – Maintain a healthy brain
Creative endeavors like playing music and writing often activate areas of the brain that aren’t often stimulated in everyday life. Thanks to that, engaging with these habits can be a good way to keep your mind sharp as you age. And while drums aren’t unique among musical instruments in this regard, the fact that drumming is both physically demanding and requires a lot of coordination makes it a good pick if you’re looking for hobbies to help you age gracefully.
5 – Become valuable to other musicians
Bass and drum players are always in high demand among indie musicians and newly-formed bands. And unlike a bass, percussion is something that all music genres need and benefit from. This means that as you expand your skillset, you’ll become more and more valuable to the local music community, which can give you plenty of opportunities to meet new people and attach yourself to different groups and projects.
This is not to say that becoming a drummer is the best option if you want to make a living from music. But it is a good choice if you are looking for an instrument that will keep you busy over the years.
6 – Leverage the versatility
One of the advantages of learning fundamental drumming skills is that it can give you the basics you need to play all other kinds of percussion. On top of that, there are thousands of ways to change and customize a drum kit out there, which gives you plenty of options to play with and explore. Some drummers build entire collections of cymbals and snare drums because different brands and build styles produce unique sounds.
Combine that with the fact that drumming is a deep skill set that can take a lifetime to master, and you’ll never run out of new things to try out and learn as a drummer.