With all the different instruments out there, it can be challenging to know which one is right for your child and whether they will stick with it. Drumming, however, seems to have captured the imagination of many young people who want to learn how to play. It’s also fairly easy to get into and requires a minimum of expense.
With practice and persistence, almost anyone can learn how to play the drums in time. Whether you are looking to enrol your child on drum lessons for pre-schoolers in Singapore or purchase your own kit at home, learning the drums can be an excellent way for kids to let off steam and express themselves creatively. After all, music is pivotal in early childhood development.
1. Set realistic expectations
The first thing to remember is that everyone is different, so don’t set your expectations based on what other kids can achieve. They may have been playing since they were eight years old, but your kid may have different interests and passions that take precedence.
Also, while many people start with the drums, only a few become professional drummers, so don’t make the mistake of thinking that your child has to be the next Buddy Rich.
For some kids, drumming is an outlet for creativity and a way to work out some of their aggression and tension. It’s a creative and fun hobby that can keep them occupied for hours. Drumming is also a great way for kids to express their artistic and creative sides. It can build self-esteem, as it gives kids a chance to show off their skills.
Setting realistic expectations for your child’s progress will help prevent any feelings of frustration or disappointment when they don’t advance as quickly as expected. It’s important to be encouraging, but let your child know that you understand the process takes time, and don’t push them too hard to excel too quickly.
2. Find the right drumming style and tempo
Once you’ve found a drumming style that interests your child, you’ll also need to decide on a tempo or speed at which to play. Ideally, you should find a challenging rhythm but not so difficult that your child gives up out of frustration.
As your child progresses and becomes more confident, you can gradually increase the tempo. Many online guides and books will help you find the right tempo for your child. If they are particularly young, you can start them off with simple rhythms and build their confidence.
Once you’ve found the right tempo, take the time to practice with your child and let them get used to the feel of the drums and how it feels to play them. Let them know the different sounds the drums produce and how to change the volume of their drum. Let them play whatever rhythm and beat they want to play at first, and don’t impose any structure or form on the session.
Once they’ve got used to the feel of the drums, you can introduce them to some of the more traditional rhythms, such as 4/4 time, 2/4 time, 6/8 time, and so on. You can also see what kind of songs your child likes and try to incorporate them into their drumming.
3. Let your child choose which drum to play first
If there are many different drums to choose from, let your child pick the one they want to play first. If they have a favourite colour, you can try to match that to a particular drum. For example, red might be a good choice for the snare drum.
You can also let your child select the order they want to learn to play each drum. You may want to keep the volume levels in mind when doing this, as the drums may be too loud for them to start with the bass drum.
If your child is very young, you may find that they are not strong enough to play certain drums. If this is the case, simply let them play the drums that they can use comfortably. If they have a particular song in mind, you can allow them to begin with that rhythm and gradually add the other drums as they get stronger.
4. Help your child find the best seat and position
Once you’ve found the right seat and position for your child, make sure they keep using it. It can be easy to want to change the seat or position as your child progresses, but doing this can make things more difficult. Make sure your child gets into the habit of sitting in the chair and position they start with for it to become second nature.
You may also want to look into a footstool if your child sits in a chair that doesn’t have legs. This can help to even out the playing field and make it easier for your child to hit the drums.
5. Check for correct posture and positioning
It’s essential to keep an eye on their posture and make sure they sit up straight and not slouching. This will help your child be comfortable while playing and help them avoid back or joint pain as they progress with the drums.
Let your child know that it’s important to sit up straight while playing and encourage them to take frequent breaks. If you can, try to arrange the drums to be comfortable for your child. You can do this by placing the floor tom slightly in front of the rest of the drums and the snare drum somewhat in the back.
If you have enough space, the toms should be about shoulder-width apart, and the snare should be about three to five inches behind that. Your child may want to experiment with this positioning to see what works best.
6. Teach your child how to hold the drumsticks correctly
You may want to start by teaching your child how to hold the drumsticks correctly, as this skill takes time to master. Make sure your child is holding their sticks lightly and not gripping them too tightly. They should be able to remove the drumsticks with ease.
Hold each stick in one hand and let your child get a feel for them. There is no right or wrong way to hold the drumsticks, and it may take some trial and error before your child finds the right technique. Try different grips and see what works best. You can also let your child try different stick sizes and find which feels most comfortable.
7. Show your child how to strike the drums properly
Ensure your child is striking the drums in the centre and not on the rims. Striking the rims can cause damage to the drums. Hence it’s important to hit them in the centre.
If you have a drum with a rim, such as a snare drum, you can let your child know it’s okay to strike the rim occasionally. If your child struggles with how to hit the drums, you can place a carpet under their feet, so they don’t damage the drums.
8. Help your child build speed and muscle memory
Once your child has gotten a feel for the drums and striking them correctly, they are ready to start building speed and muscle memory. You can do this by setting a metronome and having your child play the same thing repeatedly. This will help them get used to playing at a certain speed and help them improve their timing.
You can also set your child a challenge where they have to play a song but with a few notes missing. Doing this will help them build up their speed and learn which notes come next. You can also help your child build speed and muscle memory by having them practice with a drumming buddy. Having a friend’s extra motivation can help spur your child on and keep them practising even when they feel like giving up.
Drumming can be a lot of fun, but it does take practice. To become good at it, your child will need to practice regularly and put in some serious hours. They must find a teacher and follow their instructions to learn the right techniques.
Drumming is also a popular and accessible instrument for individuals of all ages. Drum Tutor hosts beginner drum lessons for adults, whether they are looking to embark on this journey with their child or finally get started on their drumming ambitions.
If any of these appeals to you, contact us today, and we will be happy to answer any queries!