- 01. Can you really learn drumming for free?
- 02. How to learn with a drum mentor for free
- 03. How to take free classes at drum festivals
- 04. Where to find free online drumming tutorials
- 05. Why you should join percussion groups
- 06. How to make the most of your free drum lessons
- 07. What to do if you want to level up your drumming skills
"Music is moonlight in the gloomy night of life."
I couldn’t agree more with this quote by German novelist, Jean Paul. Actually, I would take it a step further and say that music can go beyond just moonlight and also become the stars that illuminate the night sky. It’s even better if that music is free for everyone! But to be fair, if you have a Wi-Fi-ready device, just search for it.
Now, we’re here to talk about the drums, and just like free music, there are of course ways to learn how to create such music for free.
Taking a drum lesson is not for everyone. On top of the cost, the schedule and the structure of the classes with the drum teacher can be detrimental to your learning. This may not put you on the right track with your progress.
If you are new to drumming, it could help to have a hands-on teacher to show you how to do everything. But once your confidence grows, it is possible to take drum lessons for free online. Of course, these courses will not be personalised, but they will allow you to expand your learning in your own time.
Let’s think about how you can take drum lessons for free.
Can you really learn drumming for free?
Here are some tips for learning the drums if you don’t want to break the bank. Have you ever thought about taking a drumming or percussion course in your nearby association or even a music school?
Yes, of course these places will charge you a certain amount for joining their drum courses. More often than not, however, trial classes are offered to get more people to sign up for their courses, or even as a promotion during special occasions. This allows music schools to introduce their courses to everyone while giving you the chance to take free classes!
Here’s how you can do it.
- Before the beginning of a new school year, it is often possible to take free drumming lessons or beginner tests at a music school or association.
- Some schools and higher learning institutions that offer music degrees may offer free lessons or short one-day workshops which you can access in your choice of topic. They do this to attract new students to their institutions.
- Remember that you can ask for a free trial period with a music school to see if you can test several drum courses, which is often allowed for one to decide whether a drum instructor suits them.
If you live in a place with lots of schools and colleges that offer drum lessons, there is nothing to stop you from attending free trial classes in your area. You can learn to play the drums according to different styles and with different learning methods by trying out various trial classes. Consider this a secret drum skill hack!
It is enriching to learn or advance your progress as a percussionist in areas that you had difficulty understanding. If you choose to work alone, it is easy to start getting into unhelpful habits, such as hitting the drums by force, that could hinder your progress. But learning the proper techniques with a drum instructor teaches you proper drumming techniques and ways to gain essential dexterity with the right hand or left hand.
You could use the opportunity while at the trial classes to network. Besides, all of the other students in the class are interested in learning to play the drums just like you are. Perhaps you will find an opportunity to create a band and further improve your skills that way.
Let’s say you want to go beyond these trial classes and want to consider attending a music school for real. You can see if any of these music schools for drummers are right for you.
How to learn with a drum mentor for free
Usually when the word “mentor” comes to mind, the words that pop up include “lecturer”, “instructor”, and “teacher”. We do agree that these people can professionally guide you through the drums, but at what cost? Remember, we’re going to exhaust all our options to learn the drums for free before thinking about making any investments.
What about learning the drums from someone you already know?
It’s time to get the word out that you want to learn the drums. You can do this by letting your friends, family members, classmates or work colleagues know that you are open to having someone mentor you on the drums. If you know a friend who lives in a family of musicians, you could ask if someone knows how to play the drums and would be willing to teach you.
Alternatively, you can put a post online and see if anyone has some spare time to help you out. Instagram, Facebook or even making use of your Whatsapp status are quick ways to reach out to others in your circle. You’ll be surprised that people are willing to share their knowledge without expecting any compensation!
Speaking of compensation…
You may be worried about getting your friend’s help for free. Well, something that you can consider doing is a service exchange. Ask your friend if they also would like to learn a skill that you can teach to them. For instance, if you’re good at the piano, then that’s a skill you can “swap” or teach to your friend while they educate you on the drums.
If you feel that you have nothing to swap, think about things that people tend not to like to do. Everyone can offer a service: cleaning, cooking, ironing, babysitting, or tutoring in your profession. The options are truly endless if you are able to be creative and find a good, fair way to help someone in exchange for building your passion for the drums.
A word of caution.
If you do have the chance to learn with a professional drummer for free, then do that. But if you are being mentored by an amateur or simply a friend who is also interested in the drums, then you should expect a teaching format that is less structured, and maybe little mistakes here and there made by your mentor. These are not trained drum instructors.
Nonetheless, you cannot deny that this is a great way to benefit from personal and individual lessons without opening your wallet and, you get to feel useful in return. You can easily benefit from your mentor’s practical advice and learn the art of improvisation, the basics of drums or learn your own rhythm in a fun way.
How to take free classes at drum festivals
With the drums being an increasingly popular instrument, festivals regularly take place throughout the year and offer free taster sessions of instruments or even short courses to learn the basics of becoming a drummer. Think of it like taking a master class from drum professionals who are also stage performers.
Here are several festivals that can open new horizons for you to practice your percussion instrument:
- Let It Roll in Milovice
- The World Drum Festival in Popakademie Baden-Württemberg
- The Hands International Drumming Festival in Kuala Lumpur
You’ll be happy to find extensive workshops and drumming lessons, and even symposiums, that’ll help increase your knowledge of the drums and important drumming skills. In fact, you can take live percussion performances as lessons, too! There’s nothing like watching a world-class percussionist take to the stage and break the limits of the drum set.
Okay, we’ll admit this is not completely free. You’ll probably have to buy a ticket to get into the festival (but remember there are some with free entry!) but once there you will have access to free classes which are taught by successful drummers. Sounds like the perfect bargain to me.
Where to find free online drumming tutorials
With a little determination, it is quite possible to learn the drum entirely online - yes, even for free. The internet is a treasure trove of information and is full of free content for you to go from beginner drummer to expert drummer. Complete drum tutorials, free advice, free sheet music, and free step-by-step classes to learn a song: all without paying any money.
One of the best resources for you to find these drumming tutorials is YouTube channels. These channels are dedicated to supporting your learning and can help you to learn the basics of the drums. With guidance from these YouTubers, you will learn to reproduce full songs with different musical styles.
Here are a few of the best YouTube channels for getting free drum lessons:
The Orlando Drummer (Adam Tuminaro)
There are many reasons why Adam should be the tutor you turn to if you want to get good at the drums. Known for his clear and concise methods of teaching, you can easily pick up new concepts and materials related to the drums.
His " Drum Lessons " series is simply titled “Drum Lessons” and is full of - you guessed it - lessons regarding everything you want to know about playing the drums. Some of the most popular videos of the series are “How to Play Trap Beats”, “Hand Technique HD”, and “Super Easy High Hat Tricks”.
But perhaps what really makes The Orlando Drummer worth the free drum lesson is his genuineness towards helping drummers become the best version of themselves. His other channel series on motivation, vlogs and podcast clips teaches others to never give up.
The 80/20 Drummer
Just like the Pareto Principle, this channel is based on the idea that 80% of your results are derived from 20% of what you do. With this belief in mind, Nate Smith’s groundwork pinpoints key areas that drummers need to work on and very efficiently, how to do well in these areas.
We’re talking about how to play better drum fills in one week, tricks to play hi-hat stomp beats, how to boost your drum coordination and many more handy tutorials that introduce you to the drums. There’s nothing like learning the percussions the smart way.
One of the more well-known YouTube channels for percussionists, Drumeo (short for Drum Education Online) is run by founders Jared Falk (who is a professional drummer) and Rick Kettner (the drum instructor of the pair). With over 2 million subscribers, this channel claims to have the highest number of free drumming videos in the world.
The cool thing about this channel is that they regularly invite other famous drummers to perform and share in conversations about the drums. Learn from the likes of Tommy Aldrige, Steve Smith and Jonathan “Sugarfoot” Moffett.
That is cool straight away, then they are also teaching you everything that you need to know to be an awesome drummer. “Lessons for Beginners”, “Drumming Styles” and “Boost Your Hand Technique” are among the series you should totally check out.
You could say that 180 Drums is truly a channel dedicated to providing tutorials for every drum enthusiast. They even claim to bring you real reviews that will help you to get real results. Let’s dive deeper.
The channel doesn’t rely on a single drummer to provide drum lessons, rather they draw from the knowledge and skills of numerous drummers (of diverse backgrounds) to teach their audience about warm-up exercises, improving your drum time, making killer gospel chops and more.
They also hope to inspire listeners with songs from pro drummers while sharing tips to make your learning journey easier. If you’re unsure about where to start, search for their popular lesson videos.
You have the opportunity to access drumming videos at any time of the day or night.
The drum teachers really explain to you what is going on and what they are doing and why. If you are able to pick a few of these methods through these YouTube channels and mix them up to suit your lifestyle, you will be playing the drums before you know it.
But wait, there's one more method you should try out so you can study the drums for free.
Why you should join percussion groups
Unlike the other methods to take free drum lessons so far, this one involves putting yourself out there and spending time with other drummers. Why is this important?
Drumming can be a fulfilling journey as you discover your potential as a musician and find fun in creating your own music. However, it can prove to be a lonesome one if you are playing just for yourself or having drum practices in your room every day.
Although it may be scary at first, you’ll find that just like yourself, other drummers would like to meet those who share the same interests and be able to connect with those of similar mindsets. But we’ve been looking at the advantages for your social well-being so far. What else can you gain from joining a percussion group or club?
Let’s see now…
- You will elevate your understanding of drum music and music in general.
- You can further develop skills needed to become a successful drummer, such as drum coordination, discipline and concentration.
- As you need to maintain active participation, you will also get access to drumming competitions, drum scholarships and even discounts to drum festivals. All of these can help you build experience to become a professional drummer.
- Since you’ll be performing with your group, this could you get noticed easily and could help you in your drumming career.
- Overall, you’ll become more confident in your drumming abilities.
Now it’s time to find some percussion groups!
Drumming groups near me
We’d like to take this opportunity to highlight the special drumming groups found only in Malaysia. As we’ve already discussed free drum lessons for picking up the conventional drum kit, this section is for those who are into traditional percussion instruments such as the 24 Festive Drums, the kompang, and the gamelan.
One of the most outstanding percussion groups in the country, Hands Percussion is always on the lookout for drummers with experience in the 24 Festive Drums. Just a heads up: they are targeting those in their late teens and early 20s, and you’ll have to be physically fit to keep up with their training routine.
Gangsapura is a standalone contemporary Malay gamelan group that strives to inspire and educate others through music. As a pioneer in traditional Gamelan music playing, joining this group will not only hone your skills in percussion instruments such as the keromong and saron besar, but you are also helping to spread awareness among the community about Malaysia’s traditional art forms.
Orang Orang Drum Theatre
If you were ever interested in both the drums and the performing arts, here’s a group where you can do both. Apart from running classes at secondary schools, the group runs both a 24 Festive Drums class and a recycled percussion class for those who are interested in learning basic drumming techniques.
If you cannot find any percussion groups that fit your style, you can always look out for other clubs around you. Even your school’s music club may need a drummer! Otherwise, why not connect with other drummers and form a club of your own?
If you want to achieve your goal of learning the drums, then you must do your best to make it a priority in your life. This is why it is also advisable to vary your drumming methods so that you will remain interested, motivated and focused on your musical goal. So which free drumming method will you choose?
How to make the most of your free drum lessons
These drumming methods aren’t going to help much if you are not really putting in the effort to boost those essential skills. We never said learning the drums was an easy task, but we hope that these tips below can help you out if you want to get good at the drums:
- Picked up something new in your lesson today? Jot it down in your notes so that you can better remember it and have it on hand if you ever need to recall it.
- If it’s a video tutorial you’re watching, make sure you apply what you’ve watched to an actual drum kit. Practise what was played, and you can play as you’ve practised.
- When attending free workshops, inquire with the staff or even the instructors themselves if they are offering any further free classes in the near future, so that you can continue learning for free. You should also keep their free handouts of drum sheet music if they are provided.
- Set a regular time for drum practice every day. Even if you have joined a percussion group, dedicate some time in the week for playing the drums and make reflections on which areas to improve.
Now that’s all said and done, there’s just one last thing…
What to do if you want to level up your drumming skills
At the end of the day, what method you choose to get access to free drum lessons is entirely up to you. Whether or not you want to learn from YouTube tutorials, or join a free workshop at your local drum festival, you will surely grow as a drummer.
Take your drumming skills up another notch.
In each of these methods, you’ll notice several shortcomings in your free drum lessons which are often due to a lack of musical knowledge or harmless human error. But these aspects can be overcome with the right advice and guidance from someone who is a drum knowledge master.
A Superprof drum instructor could be that person to advise you on how you should hold your drumsticks or tips on hitting the beats correctly. More than that, you can finally talk to someone reliable about your concerns when playing the drums so that they can walk you through what you need to do to improve.
We should also mention that there are free trial classes too for your first drum lesson on Superprof. There are plenty of tutors on the platform that are offering drum lessons but it is our policy to let learners try their first class for free to ensure learners are paired with their best tutor.
On top of your free drum lesson, you’ll find that many drum teachers on Superprof offer a student package so that you can save more in the long run, especially if you want to continue your lessons. Now you can experience the best drum lesson!
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