Five Traits of Great Drummers

Most music groups would be lost without a drummer. These percussionists establish the rhythm and keep each set moving along smoothly.

If you’ve just picked up drumming, it can be easy to get discouraged or distracted. Even if you’ve been learning for a while, maybe you haven’t experienced as much progress as you would’ve hoped for.

Here, we’ve provided you with 5 traits of great drummers – which will hopefully help you get an idea of what differentiates a dabbler from a serious percussionist.

Drummer

1) Disciplined

Try to practice every day. While practicing often will help you improve, it’s important to not over-do it. Over-practicing can cause you to feel burned out and discouraged.

Make an effort to practice for 30 minutes every day. A focused 30-minute practice session is much more productive than a 2-hour session of going back and forth between your phone and your drum kit.

Keep your personal goals in mind to help you on your journey of becoming a great drummer. Alter your goals as you improve, and add to them if you’re struggling to make progress. Record measurable goals and use a metronome to track your playing in a tangible way.

While it can be tempting to jump right into impressive, advanced forms, don’t neglect the fundamentals. Learn how to read drumming sheet music and remain loyal to basic drum beats.

2) Teachable

Even if you’re teaching yourself, it’s beneficial to your progress to be teachable. Be open to adopting new techniques. Learn to recognize and correct bad habits, like a poor grip on your drumsticks.

If you’re taking lessons, listen to your instructor. Be receptive to feedback and don’t take criticism too harshly. Instead, use it to work toward your goals.

3) Passionate

Passion is something that can’t be learned. However, you can foster it. Take gigs in stress-free environments. This way, you’ll be playing because you want to, not because you feel like you need to.

If you work better with a group, find a band to be a part of. Fellow musicians can keep you motivated and eager to learn more. Maybe you work better alone. Find what will advance your interest in drumming and take action to make it happen.

4) Experimental

While exhibiting discipline is essential, it’s okay to branch out a little. Play dynamically. Play loud and soft, and develop strength in both of your hands. Experiment with classic and contemporary music styles to broaden your knowledge and abilities.

5) Sociable

If you are playing with other musicians, work with them to improve the band’s sound and your personal playing.

If you aren’t part of a band, reach out to other drummers in your community. Practice together and share ideas to improve your skills and confidence.

You can also request feedback from friends and family, and fans if you play for crowds. There’s always room for advancement, no matter how long you’ve been playing for or how quickly you pick up new skills.

Be Willing to Invest in Your Music Career

In addition to adopting these 5 characteristics of great drummers, we recommend investing in yourself. Don’t sell yourself short when building the perfect drum kit. A typical 5-piece drum kit includes the following parts:

  • Bass drum
  • Stool
  • Hi-Hat Cymbals
  • Snare drum
  • Tom-toms

You can purchase these components separately or as part of a complete set. If you have specific requirements for each part, you should consider buying the components on their own for more freedom of choice. For example, the DCPs list for best snares suggests that the type of snare drum you buy should fit with your budget, the sound you want to create, and the material you prefer.

Don’t settle for a cheaply-constructed kit. Make sure you have high-quality equipment that will make you excited to practice.