The drum set rudiments are 26 sticking patterns that give us a comprehensive range of musical options on the drum set. Practicing them individually can help build good technique, and understanding how and when to use them can take your drumming to the next level.
With that said - how important are they for beginner drummers at the start of their journey? Given as your early days as a drummer will involve practicing drum beats, drum fills, and working on other important fundamentals, don't be surprised if you don't get introduced to them straight away.
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Are old school teaching methods still valid?
Conventional drum wisdom will tell you that studying the drum set rudiments should be your starting point. Many drum instructors like to start on them straight away, and it's not uncommon to focus entirely on this area in the first few weeks or even months of drumming. While we certainly see the value in practicing them and the benefit of improving fledgling drum stick control, many beginner drummers find them boring. The early days of drumming must be fun if this is to be a successful endeavor, and learning cool beats and fills and playing along with songs is more of a priority for hobbyist drummers. At Drum Ambition, we wholeheartedly support this.
How is the Drum Ambition approach to rudiments different?
Our approach is to give you a broad introduction to the fun of playing the drums and then show you how the rudiments can embellish your playing once you have a little more experience. Our Founder and Presenter, Simon DasGupta, explains the benefits of this approach in this video. We show you how to play basic drum beats and drum fills, read music and understand basic non-rudimental sticking concepts, and then show you how the rudiments can further embellish and transform your drumming. The technique you will develop over months of early playing will put you in a better position to understand the rudiments. At this point, they become fun to practice and even more fun to implement.
Why will the rudiments become important?
We like to use a car analogy here. When learning to drive a stick shift or manual car, you must first understand how to go from first gear to second gear and then gradually move through all of the gears. In drumming, the first gear is the basic drum beats, the second gear is drum fills, the third gear is reading music and understanding non-rudimental sticking, and the fourth is playing along with songs. The fifth gear (and nowadays 6th gear) that further enhances our musicianship is a culmination of the previous gears and the rudiments' practical application. To get from gear one to six, you must go methodically through all the gears. You can't jump from one to six, or you will stall. Many teachers believe that the rudiments should be the first gear, and we respect this view but have found that it doesn't work for most beginner drummers.
Which rudiments are covered first?
Some rudiments will naturally come up during our curriculum's first few months, particularly single strokes and double strokes. At Drum Ambition, our focus is on the core four rudiments, which are single strokes, double strokes, flams, and drags. The remaining twenty-two rudiments are all made up of one or a combination of these core four. Plus, you can do a lot with the core four alone. We'll also eventually introduce you to other useful rudiments like the paradiddle and flam-accent and are careful to focus only on the ones you will use in your day-to-day playing.
When you eventually turn your focus to rudiments after becoming competent with beats, fills, music reading, and non-rudimental sticking, it will be life-changing. We will show you how to apply these patterns to beats and fills, and this will open up a whole new world and make you a controlled and musical drummer. But, they are not something that should stress you out in the early days of drumming. Your attention is best focused elsewhere, and you will get to this study area in good time. Enjoy the ride, keep it fun, and follow a structured plan.
We are here to help.
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