Free Drum Lesson: Beginner Lesson 1 – First Drum Beats and Grooves

When a pupil first comes to have lessons with me they are taught how to play two drum beats. They are, without doubt, the two most important and popular drum beats anyone could ever learn and are the subject of this lesson.

These drum grooves should be learnt off by heart and can be played along to most songs. You should be able to play these beats without hesitation or mistake as they are the foundations for so many other grooves

Let’s get started.

Drum Beat 1

Drum Beat 1

 

The hi-hat (right hand if right handed) is playing 1/4 notes throughout the bar. The hi-hat notes are played on Beats 1, 2, 3 and 4. Even though no drums/cymbals are being played on the +’s you still have to count the +’s as we will be adding notes (specifically the bass drum) in future lessons.

The snare drum (left hand if right handed) is played on Beats 2 and 4 at the same time as the hi-hat notes. Make sure both hands are played at exactly the same time.

The bass drum (right foot if right handed) is played on Beats 1 and 3. Again, make sure they are played at exactly the same time as the hi-hat.

PRACTICE TIP: Start at a slow speed while counting out loud and slowly speed up. Once you have the drum beat memorised you can stop counting out loud. This beat can be played really fast so try performing it along to up-tempo music.

ADVANCED PLAYER: Try playing this left handed (if right handed).

Drum Beat 2

Drum Beat 1

 


This drum beat is exactly the same as Exercise 1 but the hi-hat is now playing 1/8th notes. We are now playing notes on the +’s with the hi-hat but note how the snare and bass drum are still only on Beats 1, 2, 3 and 4.

The snare drum is still played on Beats 2 and 4 while the bass drum is still played on Beats 1 and 3.

PRACTICE TIP: Start at a slow speed while counting out loud and slowly speed up. Once you have the drum beat memorised you can stop counting out loud. This beat can be played really fast so try performing it along to up-tempo music.

ADVANCED PLAYER: Try playing this left handed (if right handed). Try playing Drum Beat 1 and then, without stopping, play Drum Beat 2. Repeat these two bars until it feel’s totally natural making sure that the counting remains the same speed for both bars.

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