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Learning Drum Beats

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Drum Video Instructions with Dann Sherrill

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Learning basic beats - this is where pretty much every drummer begins. It's important to learn and master basic beats because they form the basis of rhythms and are the foundation of more advanced beats.

The basic drum beats are relatively easy to learn. It's all about limb coordination and timing.

Please note: The following explains only the basics of basics. For a more extensive and practical guide, see Learn And Master Drums with Dann Sherrill.

Basic Drum Beat

The basic drum beat is played with the kick (bass drum), the snare, and the hi-hat. Most beginners find adding those three elements together quite difficult. Don't worry too much, if you don't do it perfectly the first time. You'll get the hang of it. OK, here we go.

Sit down and make yourself comfortable. Your right foot will be playing the bass drum, your right hand will be playing the hi-hat, and your left hand will be playing the snare drum.

We will count to 4 - this will be the basis of your beat. Most drum beats are built around the basic 4/4 time. This simply means there are 4 counts before the beat repeats.

Here is how you do it:
  • on beats 1,2,3, and 4 you play the hi-hat
  • on beats 1 and 3 you play the bass drum
  • on beats 2 and 4 you play the snare drum
Start with the hi-hat, then add the bass drum on 1 and 3, and finally, add the snare on 2 and 4.

Video is probably better than words, so here it is:



Congratulations, now you can play the basic drum beat. Remember, start slow, take your time and have patience. Practice until you truly got it.

What's next? When you're ready to go to the next level and beyond, go take a look at Learn & Master Drums.

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