Do you want to learn to play drums for the very first time? Watch Mike Michalkow's step-by-step training video on this page to get started. It will guide you through four simple patterns that form a basic rock drum beat.
Exercise one is to be played on the hi-hats alone. The hi-hats are notated with the "x" symbols above the top line of the measure. The numbers 1-4 are there to indicate how you are to count these out loud. Simply put your foot down on the hi-hat pedal, and play the edge of the hi-hats with your stick on all four counts.
The second exercise includes the bass drum being played on counts one and three. Focus on keeping the four hi-hat strokes steady, and then add in the bass drum. The bass drum should be synced up perfectly with the hi-hat strokes as you continue to count out loud.
Exercise three brings the snare drum into the mix. Here you will no longer be playing the bass drum, but you'll hit the snare drum on beats two and four. Again, focus on playing overlapping shots in perfect sync. The two and four counts include two voices, but they should sound like one combined shot.
In exercise four, you will learn to play the first three patterns simultaniously. The hi-hats will continue on all four counts, while the bass drum and snare drum alternate. Focus on keeping everything steady and in time. Many beginners will have a tendency to start playing a little choppy. Be sure the hi-hat strokes continue to be even and continous while you bring in the other two voices.
If this is a little tricky, you can always go back and practice exercises 1-3 a little longer. Then come back and give exercise four another try. If you are able to play it continously - congratulations! You are ready to move on to more challenging drum beats!
When you are ready to learn even more - watch the video lessons on: basic drum techniques, drum theory and notation, drum set rudiments, rock drumming , jazz drumming, and our many other drum lesson topics!
The major benefits of the Drumming System compared to this website are that it offers more detailed training, uses the latest in video technology (and more camera angles) for faster learning, and provides a progressive gameplan for moving from one level to the next. Learn more.