The quickest way to learn drums
I have been playing drums for several years but purely as a hobby. I never really bothered to focus on specific exercises or to practice with a metronome. I mostly played along with other songs or learnt a few basic beats. Today I took the time to finally record my drumming and the results were.... shocking!
My timing was all over the place and what really sounded fantastic in my headset, sounded really cringe-worthy when played back, particularly fills. It really made me lose a lot of faith in ever becoming a decent drummer.
Luckily I searched around a bit and it turns out I am not alone. It seems to be fairly common that drummers realise how bad their timing is when they finally record themselves. So despite the shocking realization, it has given me a fantastic opportunity to improve!
So how do I get started on improving my timing? How do I go about unlearning 20 odd years of bad habits? It's not going to be easy, but I found something that I believe is going to help a lot!
Melodics is a program that you install on a laptop which you then connect to an Electronic Drum Kit, a keyboard or a pad using a MIDI Cable. Here's what you will need to get started if you want to learn to play drums:
- An Electronic Drum Kit
I have a Roland TD50 which is a bit pricey if you are just starting out. Alternatively, you can look at a lower range Electronic Drum Kit, such as the Alesis Debut. Personally I would recommend going with a Roland kit but if you are just starting out, any bottom range drum kit will be enough to get going. The problem comes in when you become a better drummer and the drum pads aren't responsive enough to pick up your drumming, which won't be a problem when you just start out.
- A Midi Cable
To connect the drum kit to a computer, you will need the right cable. I use the Roland UM-ONE MK2 USB Midi Interface which is available from Takealot for R719.
- A Laptop/ Computer
I used my own personal computer for a while but it became a pain moving it between the kit and my workspace. So I bought a Mecer MyLife Z140C-Xpress Notebook from Takealot for R3999.
You get the basics for free and it gives you a very good idea of what the app is about but to really get all the benefits of the app, you will need to pay for the full version. That will set you back either +-R500 per month, or R2000 per year. Needless to say, I took the yearly option.
So let's look at what this is going to set you back:
- R6000 for a kit
- R800 for a midi cable
- R4000 for a laptop
- R2000 per year for a Melodics Subscription
It's not cheap to get started but well worth it! However, if buying a kit is too expensive, you can look at learning to play the keyboard or pads. A cheap pad will only set you back R1200.
Bottom line, it's never been easier to learn electronic drums or how to play the keyboard or a pad. Give it a shot, you'll be rocking out in no time!
Melodics might not be for everyone. It does require you to sit down and practice and doesn't give you any sort of personal touch. For that, I'd take a look a Drumeo. Online lessons from professionals at a very affordable price. Try it out for free and decide for yourself!