So, are the drums easy to learn? Well, the short answer to this question is both yes and no. Initially, drums are easy to learn; however, the level of complexity can increase rapidly. To play a simple rhythm on the drums or learn a basic beat is pretty easy, as there are a few common grooves, rudiments, and rhythms that are not that complicated. Yet, many grooves require independence (the ability to play multiple rhythms simultaneously), syncopation (complex rhythms), and finesse (nuance to make it sound good).
In my many years of teaching young drummers their first lesson to showing advanced college drummers how to play intricate jazz patterns, I have found that both skill levels require grooves to broken down to be learned. When I meet a new drummer, I can usually teach them a basic rock/pop groove, single strokes, double strokes, and paradiddles in less than 20 minutes. Yet, when I teach a complicated Latin, jazz, or gospel grooves to college students, I usually show them the concepts and ideas, but they have to take the time to practice the patterns before it is mastered. This can take a few days or weeks before a groove is really understood and playable.
To demonstrate how drumming can be both easy and complex, here are two examples of a Halftime Triplet Groove. The first example is simple and the second is significantly more difficult, but they are both the same groove.
Likewise, some rudiments are really easy to play initially, like the single stroke. This rudiment can be taught in a manner of seconds. Yet, even the most advanced players can keep increasing their speed. Here is an example of this concept.
Last, I want to share the Pop/Rock Drum Groove, which is one of the easiest drum grooves there is. It is a great place for beginning drummers to start and begin making music right away. Plus, it is used in a ton of music.
For a guide on easy to drum grooves, check out my FREE eBook 6 Essential Grooves for Drum Set, which can be found at www.johnowensdrums.com.
John Owens, Ph.D. (Author, Drummer, Educator) is the author of Street Drumming: The People, History, & Grooves, 6 Essential Grooves for Drum Set (Free eBook), and Music at Home: A Parent's Guide to Raising Musically Insightful Kids, which can be found at www.johnowensdrums.com.