Let The Beat Drop
Drums are an integral part of any band, so drummers are usually in high demand. However, drumming requires a good sense of timing, a strong feel for rhythm, and great arm-leg coordination! For many aspiring musicians, choosing an instrument is easy. If you’re on the fence, consider joining the Percussion Family.
A (Very) Brief Overview of Drums
Drums are one of the oldest instruments – if not the oldest – dating back as far as 6000 BC! For thousands of years drums have been used in rituals, religious ceremonies, celebrations, and more in cultures all over the word. A drum itself consists of a membrane (skin) stretched over an open-ended cylinder (shell) and is played by striking with your hand or a stick. Drums are made from wood, metal, or other synthetic materials, like fiberglass. The skin’s material, size, and thickness all influence the sound produced, as does the shell’s length, diameter, and thickness.
While the individual parts of a drum were once played by separate people, modern day sets typically come in a kit. In it’s most basic setup, a drum kit consists of a bass drum, a snare, a raised tom-tom, and a floor tom-tom. From there musicians can build and expand upon their kit by adding additional drums, cymbals, and more. All beginners should familiarize themselves with these three basic drum types:
The bass, or kick, drum is the largest of all the drums and is played using a foot pedal attached to the rim, also known as a hoop. The front is called a “resonant head” which generally has a hole in it to alter the tone and two feet, known as spurs, to minimize shifting during a performance. Some musicians will place a pillow, cloth, or other material inside the bass drum to dampen the volume and control the sound emitted.
Snare drums are used in kits and as stand alone percussion instruments in marching bands, drumlines, parades, and more. The snare drum is small and produces a sharp, short sound often used as a backbeat. This drum consists of a wooden or metal shell, a batter head, a resonant head, and snare wires suspended beneath it (what produces sound).
Toms either sit independently or attach to cymbal stands or your bass drum. They have a batter head and a resonant head, but the resonant head is not mandatory.
Why Choose Drums?
So why choose drums over another instrument? Here are five reasons:
- Keep the beat going. Drums set the tone for the entire song. They count off the beat at the beginning and keep it going start to finish. Drums also control the speed and intensity of the sound, almost like a conductor!
- Loud and proud. Yes, acoustic drums are a very loud instrument to play. For parents worried about noise control, try getting an electric kit for your child to play. This recreates the feel of playing an acoustic set but at a lower decibel.
- Better coordination. Because drums require so much physical effort and dedication, it’s a good instrument to improve coordination and concentration. Two skills that will carryover to your child’s day to day activities.
- Stress relief. Drumming is very fast paced. For a student who suffers from stress or anxiety, drumming can be a safe way to work off excess energy and boost adrenaline.
- Stage presence. The drummer may be at the back of the stage but as other members move around, the drummer remains a stagnant focal point that’s always in view.
Start your child on the path towards a musical education. Performing Arts specializes in vocal, guitar, piano, percussion, strings, brass, musiking lessons and WAY more. Our instructors are the best around. We offer exclusive 1-on-1 lessons with our qualified instructors who will create a structured & individualized age-appropriate curriculum just for you! Contact Performing Arts to learn more about lessons for your child.