Drawing from questions he is often asked by fans, Jordan Perry, drummer for Montreal tech death outfit Derelict has released a blog post offering tips for new players.
(The original post can be found on the band’s official website, http://www.derelictmetal.com)
The hardest thing about learning to play the drums (or any instrument) is not being able to play as well as your idols RIGHT NOW. That shit takes time and dedication, and most of all, the ability to control yourself from trying to play as fast as Derek Roddy before you can play a basic rock beat cleanly. Here’s some motherly advice from a fellow drummer who’s not your mom.
1. Start slow.
Before you can blast like Flo Mounier, you’re gonna have to rock like Phil Rudd (AC/DC, for the younger of you reading this). Learning things at a slower pace will make sure you can play them cleanly and tightly. If you try to play too fast off the bat, you risk playing sloppily, or hurting yourself in the long run from tensing your muscles and tendons.
2. Try different styles.
This is mainly geared towards metal drummers, but can be helpful for everyone. Metal is traditionally a very fast and technical style of music that takes many years to develop. Playing other styles will increase your versatility and ability to play cleanly at different tempos. It’ll also set you apart from a lot of other drummers who have played nothing but metal. For example, there’s nothing more dangerously impressive than a metal drummer with a jazz or fusion background!
3. Consider taking lessons.
When I first started, I didn’t want anyone to tell me how to play the drums. I thought I knew how to do pretty much everything, and what I didn’t I could teach myself. Sure, I taught myself lots of things, but it was sloppy and took longer than it needed to. Taking a few lessons really opened me up to new possibilities I wouldn’t have ever thought of myself. If you don’t like one on one lessons, Youtube has a lot of great drummers sharing their knowledge for free! Search for your favorite drummers, or even just technique ideas from dudes filming themselves at home. Like, *ahem*, this guy:
4. Create a practice routine that’s fun.
The last thing you want to do is make practicing a chore. Come up with some exercises that are beneficial, but that you also enjoy. If you don’t enjoy practicing the instrument you’ve chosen, maybe there’s a different one that suits you better. Or videogames. You should play videogames. ##
Jordan has not been playing videogames lately… in fact he just got out of the studio recording drums for Derelict’s upcoming new album, Perpetuation. Check him out playing this preview version of the album’s title track: