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5 Tips To Learn Playing Drums Without The Drum Set



5 Tips To Learn Playing Drums Without The Drum Set

© [Tatomm] /Adobe Stock

Drumming beginners are not always ready to invest big funds in the purchase of a drum kit. And that’s ok because the lack of a real set wouldn’t stop your progress. Just turn your imagination on! In this article, I will give you five methods to practice drums almost everywhere.

How Does It Work?

Of course, you can just get a full drum set and even the best drum throne to feel yourself like a real rock star on a live performance. But let me teach you some basics that will save you time and money.

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Drum practicing consists of two main elements:

● The development of coordination and muscle memory.
This means that you have to learn to move your limbs at different times, with different speeds and intensities.
● The development of a sense of rhythm.

Neither your brain nor your muscles care whether you play real drums or, for example, pillows. You will remember the movement anyway.


Take a pillow and a pair of drumsticks and start practicing rudiments just like you do on a pad in a music school. The presence of real sticks here is important since you must keep them strictly in the same grip that you will use when playing the drum kit.

© [Bennnn] /Adobe Stock

Besides the fact that this method is 100 percent portable, due to it, you will get an advantage over drummers who work only on a real drum set. Actually, the pillow is much softer than the surface of the drum, so it gives less rebound. It means that after each stroke, your muscles will also have to raise the stick.

At first, it will be challenging to do this exercise, but that’s what is called practice. But then, returning to the drum kit with much higher rebound strength, it will be easier for you to develop the speed of the rhythm.

Imaginary drums

For each drummer, beginner or experienced, there are times when they begin to “drum” through the air to the beat of the song they liked. In fact, this activity is not just a fun game. As mentioned above, your muscles do not know which object the movement is directed to. The main thing is the movement itself. So just take any part from the song you are learning, visualize where the parts of your set are, and play it.

The key point in training on imaginary drums is that you should try to clearly repeat the movements, as when playing on a real kit. If you imagine that you play a hi-hat, then your hand at this moment should be at the same point in the air where the real plate is. If you still doubt the effectiveness of this method, watch some Youtube videos where musicians are practicing this method too.


This method involves playing on the hard surface, so it will be easier for you to imagine as you play on a real drum set. However, concerning the direction of action, it is more similar to the pillow method described above. Playing on the floor develops muscle memory, and also gives an advantage when switching to a drum kit. The floor does not have such a strong rebound as the pedals on the installation, so you will begin to feel the muscles of your lower leg in a few minutes of training. Such rehearsals will help you increase the speed of the performance significantly.

© [Mraoraor] /Adobe Stock

Clapping hands

Unlike previous methods, this one is aimed not to develop muscle memory, but to improve the accuracy and sense of rhythm. Clapping your hands is a simple task that allows you to concentrate on getting into duration fully. In some music schools, children practice this way for up to six months before they first sit down to play at least the snare drum, not even the whole set.

Training pad

Pillows, imagination, and playing on the ground are no doubt cool and effective methods. But if you want something more drum-likely, consider buying a training drum pad. As a rule, this device imitates a snare drum; therefore, it is most convenient to practice the basics on it. The pad can be purchased at any music store, there are hundreds of models and configurations: with a built-in metronome, with a stand or a special mount.

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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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