There’s no simple answer to the question, “How long does it take to learn drums.”
How fast you will learn can depend on your:
- Talent & effort
With proper practice and instruction, most people can become proficient drummers in a relatively short amount of time. Through thorough online research of other people’s experiences, I found out that it might take a couple of months or a couple of years to learn drums, depending on how fast you can learn and what is your intention.
Some people state that there is no real point when you will stop and say, “I learned to play the drums now” because there is always room for improvement and practice. Even though I’ve been a drummer for ten years now, I still watch tutorials, practice new techniques and try to improve my skills.
Since the drums are one of the loudest instruments, beginning to play the drums is pretty bad news for your neighbours, and you might drive them nuts, especially if you are bad at playing. This is what the living next door to a drummer looks like:
Oh no – my next door neighbour’s just bought a full drum kit – cymbals & everything.
How long does it take to actually learn to play? It’s all just noise & crashing so far, even though he’s been at it for at least an hour.
— Bat Aimless (@ladyaimless1) January 31, 2021
If you are at the beginning and want to set up your pace and start drumming, I will walk you through some basic stuff that will put you on the right path.
How Long Does It Take to Learn Drums: the Basics
In the beginning, you will probably want to know how long it will be before you can call yourself a drummer. I will try to answer this question, although it’s not simple.
When creating your own pace of learning drums, the basic thing to consider is your intention, so you should ask yourself why you want to learn how to play the drums. If you want to be a professional drummer or even a drum teacher, you will need more time and practice.
I underlined some factors that may be the answer to our main question: “How long does it take to learn drums?” and gave a pinch of my personal experience with learning the instrument. One of the answers that I found is that the most important factor for learning drums is the goal, but it’s not the only one.
If you want to play the drums just for fun, the things are pretty simple. You will need a drum kit and tolerant roommates who agree with or even love your drumming.
Yeah, some people want to play the drums just for fun since it’s one of the coolest instruments. It could look somewhat like this:
Emma’s officially signed up for drum lessons. When she first told me that she wanted to learn, I showed her this clip and said “I hope you know that we’re going to recreate this scene as soon as possible!” pic.twitter.com/jkfzDiT9Un
— Ernesto G (@sayingbooerns) January 19, 2022
But, to be honest, it doesn’t happen so often that people will spend quite a buck for drums and just fool around with them. That’s why I will focus more on those who set up goals a bit higher.
It’s important to be realistic with your intentions, or you might be disappointed if the progress is slower than expected. Think about your abilities and how much time and effort you can give.
At the beginning of drumming, it can be hard to sync your hands and feet, and you might feel you will never get where you want to be, which can be frustrating. That’s why my first advice for beginners is: go for smaller, more achievable goals to make your progress faster.
Check out this short but quite inspirative video that can help you with the first steps:
It is essential to dream big but start small. Long term dreams require time, but short term targets will give you small wins towards your progress.
The bigger your plans are, the more time you need to accomplish them. However, the big plans can motivate you to put more effort into the work, influencing your pace.
I found interesting facts in an article from soundadventurer.com, a pretty thorough sum-up of the time needed to learn drums compared to the specific goals you might have. Check it out!
The first thing you’ll need to begin drumming is, of course, a drum kit. However, you can start drumming even without personal drums.
Drums can be quite expensive, and you might need some time to save money for your equipment. You can find a studio with drums to practice while saving up for your first drums.
If you don’t have drums, there are practice pads that you can start with, or you can even use drumsticks with improvised equipment. The beginning of learning drums is all about understanding rhythm and developing coordination, so any kind of equipment that you can bang on is good enough for a start.
I didn’t have a drum kit initially, so I practiced in my friend’s studio for the first couple of years. Later, I built my own studio in the garage and bought my first drums.
The new technology gave many tools to help beginners and ease the learning process. Most drummers use a metronome to keep up with the rhythm, and you should use it from the start.
Electronic drums are great for beginners, and you will find many useful tools and programs that will be helpful. Most electronic kits come with a built-in metronome and a wide choice of samples and songs that can be good for the practice.
The equipment is an essential part of drumming and can significantly influence your progress, but it’s not the main thing that will determine the answer to the question “How long does it take to learn drums?” You can buy the best drum kit and equipment possible and still be slow with learning how to play.
I think that small steps are key to success. You can plan your steps and walk slowly towards the desired result with a good strategy.
There are different ways you can start, for example, live drumming lessons, online courses, or music school. Or you can start on your own by watching tutorials, reading, and practicing alone, which can give you a more relaxed way of learning, especially if you have anxiety about playing in front of other people.
You can go freestyle with practice, but that way might slow down your pace. If you create a good strategy and practicing schedule, you will find it easier to monitor your progress, develop goals, and speed up the learning tempo.
For those who would like a systematic approach and determine how long does it take to learn drums with their strategy, I found a useful video:
Having a teacher can greatly influence your pace and help you learn drums faster and more efficiently. If you take a drumming course, your teacher will set up the scheme and lead the way, and you might be more efficient and successful.
If you are wondering how to find a good teacher, you can be sure that there are some great options online. I found an article that offers an excellent course for beginners that might help you learn how to play the drums with a plan of action created by professionals.
One of the key elements of learning is research. You can read various blogs and articles written by professional drummers and learn from their experiences.
Motivation and inspiration are very important parts of a good drummer. It’s what puts you in action and keeps you moving forward.
The inspiration comes from your love for the instrument. No matter which instrument you are playing, you gotta have that special feeling and appreciation that connects you to it.
There are many ways to meet your “soul instrument” and fall in love with it. You might feel it when you listen to certain bands, orchestras, or when someone in your environment is a musician.
The more you love your instrument, the more motivated you will be to learn how to play it. This will significantly influence the effort and time you put in it, and therefore you will learn faster.
As you start learning and practicing and dig into the world of your instrument, you will find even more motivation. You will have experiences and find things that will inspire you along the way and influence your direction.
I was inspired by many great drummers and improved my technique regarding them. Although I strive to build my personal style (and I’m confident that I managed it at some level), I cannot say that other drummers didn’t influence me.
I think the snare drum is an essential component of any kit, so I made a special effort to master it. The inspiration to focus on the snare drum came from the great snare drummers I appreciate, so we dedicated an article to the best snare drummers in the world that inspired us.
If you have enough inspiration, the sky is your limit. You will want to improve your skill constantly and enjoy the learning process.
Your learning plan will not always go smoothly, but if you love your instrument, even the mistakes and hardships will be fun. I recently bumped into this guy’s tweet that proves my point:
Been trying to learn to play drums. This is me trying to write a cool part. So clumsy, but I like the part.
Learning is fun! Being clumsy & getting noticeably better over time is fun! pic.twitter.com/jALCUKCEtU
— Lightleak (@lightleakthing) January 20, 2022
The proper learning process requires constant motivation to do better and go forward. Take your time to learn drumming properly, and don’t let challenges lower down your spirit.
The Talent & Effort
Your motivation and goals are your fuel, but your talent and effort are a car that will drive you towards becoming a drummer. Without that car, your fuel might be useless.
You might never discover some of your talents. But if you do, you will probably want to go for it and see how far you can develop it.
Some people are exceptionally talented and can become amazing musicians without much effort. However, even though the talent means a lot, practice along with the learning process can help you develop your musical gift and make something out of it.
Even people with average talent can make their dreams come true. It may take more time and effort for them, but they can reach their goals with hard work and dedication.
There is a famous “The ten thousand hour rule” that you will find more about in the link. The main idea is that in order to master any task, one must devote 10,000 hours to practicing the correct way.
The amount of hard work you will have to invest in the learning process depends on your goals. If you want to be able to play live one day, learning and practicing can be a time-consuming process sometimes.
Drumming can be a physically demanding and challenging activity, which can be hard for you. If you are wondering how hard it can be to learn drums, I dug out an article that you might find interesting.
Everyone can learn how to play an instrument to a certain level, but you will probably not go so far without a “musical ear” or musical sensibility. However, the love for music is what matters, and it’s the final factor that can make all dreams come true.
I consider myself a musically gifted person, but I also put a lot of effort and time to become a professional. But, this hard work wasn’t something I disliked because drums are an amazing instrument, which can give you a lot of joy as it does for me.
- 9 Tips for beginners learning to play the drums →
- How to play drums →
- Free drum lesson videos →
- What is the best age to learn to play drums? →
To conclude the answer to the main question, “How long does it take to learn drums?” we need to take into account all the important factors that can influence the learning process.
No rule or chart will determine the exact time you’ll need for it. But as long as you try hard, make an efficient strategy and have high motivation, you will reach your personal goal as quickly as possible.