I was at a music festival and ran into my good friend Spencer Smith yesterday. For some that do not know him, he is an up and coming drummer that is helping beginner drummers get started in the community for free. I picked his brain and posted some of his best tips for getting started on this blog. If you have a moment you can always reach out to him on social media for any drum questions.
Drum Music and Getting Started
If you already have a drum set then you are ready to go but some of you may be curious about playing drums. If you are certain you would like to play the drum set, then I recommend getting a basic kit to get started. You can usually find these locally or second hand depending on the area you live in. If you are unsure if you are ready to make that commitment either find someone you know that has a drum set you can try or just pick up a basic practice pad.
After you have decided what route you wanna go, it is a good idea to pick up some other drumming equipment. Some of the things you will need are drum sticks, drum music, and something to sit on. When you are getting ready to play, it is always a good idea to make sure you stretch and warm up. You can always injure yourself while playing drums so be safe when playing and don’t over extend yourself.
Some basic things to start off with are going to be drum rudiments. Rudiments are the building blocks of drumming and every drummer should take the time to learn the basics before moving on to more advance materials. I have included a video below on your first rudiments that you will learn as a drummer and as you advance, the rudiments will as well. The best advice that I can give is to take it slow and master one thing before you move on.
Reading Drum Sheet Music and Rudiments
When looking at drum music, you will notice that there are different notes that indicate different things. If you are lucky enough by purchasing a drum set then you will have other items than just a snare drum. Some of the other things that will come with your drum set are the hi-hats, bass drum, and other possible cymbals. Each different note on sheet music will represent one of these items. Music nuke has provided some images of what drum sheet music looks like so you can use it as a reference.
If you are brand new to all of this then it is a good idea to go easy on yourself. There is no rush to learn everything over night and to make sure you have mastery over one thing before you move on. Setup time 3-4 times a week to practice and stick to it. In no time you will be a great drummer and be able to move on to more advanced things.
One of the most and least discussed things in music is posture. Most people may think that this can be overlooked when first learning to play an instrument. Today we will take a look what good posture is on the piano because there is much more than meets the eye.
Focusing on The Basics in Piano
The first part of your piano lesson is where your piano bench is compared to where your piano sits. Even if you just have a keyboard, the same rule applies. Everyone is a different size so the best distance is when you are sitting at the piano and your elbows and shoulders can rest with ease and still be just in front of your center line. Remember to think natural when you are considering your posture. If you are tense or in the incorrect position, you will fatigue more easily and feel pain.
Another crucial consideration when playing the piano is the height of the bench. There are so many benches available and it may be in your best interest to try one out at the local music store. When you are sitting on the piano bench in a relaxed position, your forearms should be parallel with the ground. This should allow your fingers to rest easily on the keys. When you body is in the correct position, it allows you to flow more easily while playing music.
Your Hands Over the Piano
Your fingers are probably one of the most important things to focus on. When your fingers are over the piano keys, your wrists should be straight. The best way to think of your hands over the keys is if your hands laying on top of a ball. That makes sure your palm is in the best position and supports your fingers. We have included some images and videos on correct piano poster that you can use as a resource. It may take a couple tries to get it right.
The last thing I want to discuss today is correct posture when you play any instrument. Warming up should be a part of every jam session and I don’t mean on just your instrument. It is always a good idea to stretch and warm up your muscles before you get started. Take the five minutes to take care of yourself. Some instruments you will risk serious injury which can affect your ability to practice.
After you get your posture down it is always a good idea to start with some basic scales and easy piano music. A great resource that we have found is: http://www.burningbushesmusic.com. Using a free resource online will only get you so far though. Looking locally for a few local lessons or friends that play your instrument is huge! Even if you are on a budget there is a music teacher from you. Teachers can give you live feedback on what you are doing correctly and what you aren’t. This is the fastest way to learn correct posture as well as become a better musician. If you have specific piano questions, Josh Roland has offered to help. Have fun with all of this and let us know if I can help.
Many people want to get involved in music but just don’t know where to start or what instrument to pick. Some of the things I regularly hear is people ask what is the “easiest” instrument out there to learn. That is a very hard question to answer and depends mostly on the person. First, some people will pick up different instruments easier than others. Second, you have to have a desire to learn the instrument that you select. Let’s take a better look at some of the things you should consider before purchasing or even renting a musical instrument.
Making an Investment in Your Musical Instrument
One thing that I want to address is that there is no easy instrument out there to learn unless it is a basic drum that you are after. Anything worth learning is going to take some commitment of your time and energy. The more you put into an instrument, the more rewarding your results will be. The easy part comes from the desire to learn that instrument. If you have strong desire then you will have strong motivation to play. So, let’s look at the next few steps at selecting a musical instrument to learn.
The next step is to look at your motives of playing an instrument. Do you want to join a rock band? Are you wanting to join an orchestra or maybe just play solo. Different instruments work better for different situations. I have found a list of some of the most common instruments available so that you can get a feel for what you like right here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_musical_instruments
Another option is developing your own voice. This can be very rewarding and only takes your effort and lessons. After you have sat down and done some homework, you can now purchase the instrument of your choice. If you have all the money in the world then you really don’t need to take my next bit of advice. If you are on a budget though I would recommend that you look for a quality second hand musical instrument. Usually if you are unable to purchase something locally, you can find it online with free shipping.
Are you on the fence about purchasing an instrument? Well, maybe renting your instrument may be a viable option for you. Some larger music stores have this option available to you and you can try before you buy. If you know you want to purchase then Craig’s list may help you find a large discount. I had a friend that never played his drum set anymore and it took up a large corner of his guest room. I offered him a couple hundred dollars for it and now I have a drum set that I play on a regular basis.
Having Fun Shopping for an Instrument
There are so many ways to get to try an instrument and it is a creative process. The more creative you are, the deeper the discount. If you need any more suggestions then please reach out to us here and we will be able to assist you in finding your next instrument.
Music has always had the ability to bring people together over time. It has healed peoples hatred for another and has moved nations. Music’s power is in its ability to move emotions. This is still to me one of the most powerful ways to touch our senses. It can release stress from a long day at work and also put a smile on my face. To me music is life and I am hear to share with you my love of music and harmony. This is my first official post and would love to get your feedback.
Different Types of Music for Everyone
I love so many different types of music and it depends on the mood I am in which makes me decide on what to listen to. If I am angry then I will probably listen to rap music or heavy metal. If I am working out, it will be to some type of EDM mix. I am sure this is somewhat true for everyone even though most people have a particular type of music they enjoy listening to. We live in an amazing time where we have the ability to listen to so many different types of music.
Diversity is what makes music and our planet one of the most amazing things. Each person has a different way of expressing themselves and music is such a fantastic outlet for doing so. Everyday, I see someone in a new way performing music. When I was a child growing up, I learned how to play the french horn. I joined a band and enjoyed all the music I got to play. As soon as marching band was available I started playing there as well. Today, I see students playing music through keyboards and turntables. There are so many different ways to play beautiful sounds and that is what makes music more and more unique, diversity.
The Power of Coming Together in Music
There are so many different types of music festivals these days that bring people together. The more I attend, the more I feel a sense of unity between the people that go. It is a magical experience if you haven’t been to one. I have met people there that I am still friends with today. I have met artists that have inspired me to become a better musician in my own life as well.
If you are reading this article then music has brought you here and that is something that shouldn’t be overlooked. With diversity we have to focus on what is important to us and not what others are doing that we don’t like. If you play an instrument or are involved in music, reach out to others. The community is growing everyday with like minded individuals like you and the world needs your music. If you are truly passionate about the music that you play and you get out there to share it, you will run into people that share the same passion as you. Keep music in your heart and share it with anyone you can.
If you have never been to a jazz music festival, we recommend that you visit on in the near future. This video is of Earl Klugh perfoming at a Jazz festival. This website is dedicated to festivals and music of all types.