How do I practice the drums effectively?

Author: Simon DasGupta.
September 15, 2022

In this article

When it comes to practicing drums, did you know that just a few minutes of regular practice per day can make a big difference over time?

  • What is the best way to practice the drums?
  • How much should I practice?
  • How can I stay motivated to practice?

5 tips for successful drumming.

When we designed Drum Ambition, we understood that most beginner drummers do not have huge amounts of time to dedicate to practice. We all lead busy lives and have had to adjust many of our priorities, particularly in the last two years.

That is why we purposely keep our videos short, always provide practice guidance, set realistic goals, and are there to support you when you need help. These five simple tips can help put you on the right path.

1. Keep a practice journal.

No matter how much or how little time you have available for practice, keeping a practice journal is an excellent idea. This doesn't have to be a detailed novel and could be as simple as using the notes app on your smartphone.

It should include details such as the date, which lesson you practiced, how much time you practiced, and a note of your metronome tempo if you use one. We discuss this in the closing section of our free course preview.

Then, include a brief sentence on your achievements and victories, what you found challenging, and where your improvements might be. This is always an interesting read when looking back. Also, make a note of your practice time to date. We think you will see significant progress when you reach your first 20 hours.

2. Ten minutes of practice per day can make a big difference.

We all have constraints on our time. Some people can allow an hour for practice each day, but that is completely unrealistic for most.

Progression on any musical instrument or hobby depends on practice time. It's all about practice and repetition. However, the good news is that 10 minutes of focused practice daily can make a massive difference to your experience. Of course, it's great if you can do more. If you can only do your 10 minutes every other day, that's fine too. This is about finding out what works for you.

3. Smart practice vs. letting loose.

One important point to clarify is that when we talk about 10 minutes of practice, we are talking about practicing the lessons you are learning through our courses. We call this smart practice.

It's also imperative to just let loose and have fun. This can include just letting off some steam and busting out some end-of-the-day, blood pressure-reducing grooves, making your best Neil Peart or Dave Grohl impressions, or something we strongly recommend; playing along to music. Even if you don't feel ready for that, have a go! It's great fun, and you can always simplify drum parts.

It's worth noting that anything in the letting loose category should probably be in addition to your 10 minutes, but that's your call. Any time behind your drums is time well spent.

4. Manage your expectations

Remember that drums, like any musical instrument, take time to learn. If you put in your practice time, keep a journal, and always be mindful of the smart practice approach, you will see some good development over time.

Setting realistic goals along the way is a good idea; we help with that in our videos. The lessons in Course 1 are designed to give you the tools to develop a good foundation so that, ultimately, you can play along to songs and have fun.

Perhaps choose a song and work towards it. Be mindful not to pick something too fast or over-technical, and remember what we said earlier about simplification. A piano student would not expect to play Mozart after six months of study.

Ultimately, you get out what you put in. So if you are ever unhappy with your progress, you might want to reflect on that. Just reach out to us if you need help.

5. Keep it fun!

Never forget why you started learning the drums. It could be the idea of sitting behind the set and playing along to your favorite music, getting in a garage band with friends, dominating the competition at Rock Band parties (is that even a thing anymore? We need to bring that back!) or just something to do at the end of the day to forget about the pressures of the world. With the last two years behind us, we need a fun release!

Perhaps this is your first step to a career in music, or you have aspirations to attend music college. Whatever your aims and goals - have fun and enjoy the ride. There will be some ups and downs, and great progress will follow some natural plateaus. There will be mini breakthroughs, minor setbacks, and major achievements. This is all to be expected.

Most hobbyists abandon their interests when they lose the fun element. If you combine these tips and remember to have fun, you will set yourself up for success.

Our FREE guide is packed with useful tips for beginner drummers!

Rich Redmond

“I have never encountered a drumming course this complete. It has everything you need to start your life-changing journey.”

Rich Redmond

Drummer - Jason Aldean, Kelly Clarkson

“I feel more confident as a drummer after one month of Drum Ambition than I did after 4+ months of alternatives.”

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“I am loving this beyond words. I am a 55 year old physician. A day doesn’t go by when I don’t think about playing the drums.”

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