6 Basic Terminologies Every Drummer Should Know

6 Basic Terminologies Every Drummer Should Know

Drumming is a beautiful art that anyone can venture into, from the young to the old. And before you perfect the art to be considered a pro, the theoretic part of drumming is as important as the practical part of it. Obviously, it is safe to assume by now that you know what a drum set is and that drumsticks are your main tool of trade. However, there are other important terms that you should know as a drummer, whether you’re a beginner, a novice player or a soon-to-be professional drummer.

Here are 6 basic terminologies every drummer should know:

1. Drum Throne

The drum throne is the special kind of seat or ‘stool’ that drummers sit on when going about their business. Most modern drum kits like the ones reviewed on Begin your drumming come with a drum throne as part and parcel of the package.

2. Drumming Grip

Higher chances are that you already got a hint from the word grip. The terms drumming grip simply refer to the way you hold the drumsticks with both your hands. This having been said, there are two main types of grips in drumming. These are the traditional and the matched grips.

  • Traditional grip – The right stick is held like a wand and the left stick like a fork
  • Matched grip – Both the left and right sticks are held like wands with the palms facing down

3. Tempo

In music, the term tempo is all about time and speed. In this case, drumming at higher tempo means that you’re playing at a higher speed per minute. This is why in most cases; the tempo is expressed in terms of beats per minute or bpm. Most drummers find it easier to player lower tempos and gradually improve as they practice more and gain experience.

4. Drum Fill

This one is an equally important terminology in the world of drumming. It is also referred to as a chop or a lick and refers to the phrase played to fill in the space or pause between sections in a song. It is mostly used when jumping in-between verses, from verse to chorus, or from verse to a bridge, and vice versa.

drum terminologies
5. Groove/Beat

Remember when we mentioned beats per minute? Well, a drum beat, also known as a groove, is a rhythmic pattern that is played against time in music.

6. Drum rudiments

Rudiments are simply different sets of drum patterns. They can be used as drills or used to make music on a drum kit/set. There are dozens of drum rudiments that you will learn as you advance your drumming practice. 40 of these are apparently the most popular ones in drumming, especially for the new learner and practicing drummer. The main difference between rudiments is the pattern you use when alternating between hitting the drum on the right hand and the left hand. Here are a few examples, with the letters R and L signifying the right and the left-hand drums respectively.

  • Single Stroke Roll – The R, L, R, L pattern, which is the most basic rudiment. You can also start with the left hand (L, R, L, R)
  • Double Stroke Roll – The R, R, L, L pattern, also known as diddles. You can also play the left-hand lead (L, L, R, R)
  • Paradiddle – An 8 note pattern that you can vary to suit your desires and rhythm. For instance, R, L, R, R, L, R, L, L

The above basic terms are some of the most important ones every drummer should naturally grasp. With these at your fingertips, you’ll find it more fun from the word go as a beginner, through your practice, and advancement to a seasoned pro.


Hi, my name is Erick Ycaza. I have a BA in Advertising & Graphic Design. This blog is to provide you with daily music news and share my personal style.

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