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Is It Possible To Learn To Play The Drums With No Drum Pads?

By Yann, published on 18/12/2018 We Love Prof - IN > Music > Drums > How To Play The Drums Without A Drum Kit

There are plenty of people out there that play a musical instrument, from beginners up to advanced musicians, so if you are looking to start learning how to play the drums and develop your musical skills, then you’re in good company!

However, if you are looking to take up drumming, it’s worth knowing that there are usually some fundamental things to take into consideration, such as:

  • If you have enough space at home to accommodate a drum set;
  • If the room your drum kit will be in is sufficiently soundproof;
  • The style of drum kit you’d like;
  • If you have enough money to make the initial investment in a drum kit; and
  • If you’re willing to pay for drum lessons to learn how to drum, whether they are online lessons or in-person.

At first glance, it seems as though learning how to drum might cost a fair bit of money and space!

However, the good news is that there are ways you can learn how to drum without having all the drum parts or a full drum kit, or even a drum kit at all. This article outlines all you need to know about learning drumming this way.

A small drum kit is a great kit to use to learn to play the drums. You can learn to play the drums on a small drum kit. (Image Source: CC0 1.0, Clker-Free-Vector-Images, Pixabay)

What Is A Small Drum Kit And Why Learn Drums With It?

As its name suggests, a small drum kit is a drum kit that’s more compact than your average drum set.

This means that it’s a great drum kit to use if you’re limited on space (for example, if you live in a small flat or house share) or if you don’t want to deal with the hassle of maintaining a larger drum kit.

Although that’s not to say that there isn’t a place still for standard-sized drum kits. If you have the budget and space to buy and keep a standard-sized drum kit, then certainly consider buying one – perhaps in addition to a compact drum kit!

One of the big advantages of using a small drum kit – aside from the reduced space requirements for storage – is when it comes to gigging.

If you play in a band or intend to play the drums in front of an audience, then the chances are that you will need to take your drum kit to your music venue. With a standard-sized drum kit, it can take some time to get everything set up and make sure that the drums are tuned, and this process often takes much longer to get through compared to what your guitarists have to endure.

However, with a small drum kit, your set-up and dismantling time is greatly reduced, which is a huge bonus!

Equally, if you’re concerned about how much noise a smaller drum kit can make, don’t think that certain kits can’t pack a punch when it comes to sound. Essentially, if you’re used to playing on larger drums, a small drum kit challenges you to adapt how you play to fit the kit and can be seen as a great way to develop your creativity when drumming.

Of course, if you’re new to the world of drumming, then learning the basics, such as keeping to a drum beat or following a metronome, on a small kit should not prevent you from moving on to a larger kit in the future. In fact, it’s likely that if you can’t learn to drum on a small kit, then you might struggle with a larger kit at any rate.

Finally, another great advantage of a small drum kit is the price. Ordinarily, such kits are more affordable than their larger-sized counterparts, so if you are on a budget and want to take up the drums, or buy a new kit, then it’s really worth looking into a small drum kit.

You can learn to play the drums with lots of different drum kits. If you want to go on tour with a band, it’s a good idea to learn to play the drums. (Image Source: CC0 1.0, Simone_ph, Pixabay)

Learn Drums Anywhere With Freedrum

If you want to learn how to drum, what do you think is arguably the most important tool for any drummer? Some might say the answer is the drumsticks, although that’s not to say that the bass drum, snare drum, drum pedal, or cymbals such as the hi-hat or the ride cymbal aren’t important too!

Admittedly, you don’t actually need to own a set of drumsticks in order to learn how to drum, as you can teach yourself things such as rhythm by tapping your hands on your thighs, but if you are considering taking up drumming, a set of drumsticks is a really invaluable purchase to help you on your learning path.

What’s more, it’s never been easier to practice drumming, thanks to the help of modern day technology. For example, what if I told you there was a device that you attached to drumsticks that allowed you to play the drums, without actually having any drums to hand?

This device is known as Freedrum, and it was initially funded via Kickstarter. Essentially, it acts as a virtual drum kit. Sensors are attached to each drumstick, and then you simply need to connect the device to your mobile phone, and then you can sit back, plug in your earphones, and play the drums just as if you were sitting behind a real drum kit.

When it comes to other features, there is also the ability to make use of double kick pedals and also play the hi-hat.

There are lots of advantages to having a virtual drum kit, such as the one offered by Freedrum. For example:

  • It’s compact. You can take your drumsticks and the sensors anywhere you want to;
  • It’s quiet. No-one will be able to complain that you’re making too much noise when drumming!;
  • It’s compatible with many types of music software, which is great for anyone involved in composition; and
  • It’s adaptable, as it should work and let you play with whatever drumsticks you have to hand.

Although such devices aren’t free, if you are drawn to the idea of being able to play the drums wherever you are, or want to play the drums but don’t have the space for your own drum kit, then learning to play the drums virtually could really be worth looking into.

Shelves of copper pots and pans. You can repurpose household items like pots and pans to learn how to drum. If you want to learn drums, you can always repurpose household objects and use them as drums. (Image Source: CC0 1.0, terimakasih0, Pixabay)

Make Your Own Drum!

Of course, if you’re looking for one of the most cost-effective ways of learning how to drum, you could simply make your own!

You’ve more than likely seen musicians playing percussion instruments in the street, repurposing objects as varied as:

  • Buckets;
  • Pots and Pans; or even
  • Pipes.

Percussion instruments, and by extension drumming instruments, can be found all around us if you know where to look. If you’re a keen drummer, you’ll already know this, as more than likely you’ve caught yourself on occasion tapping your foot to a beat or using your hands to drum a tune on a table or surface.

There are even some artists and musicians who have built their reputation on playing instruments that are out of the ordinary. One popular example would be STOMP, a show in which the performers transform a number of different everyday objects into percussion instruments to make music.

Ultimately, if you’re committed to learning how to drum, it’s important to remember that you can still learn to play this instrument, even if you don’t have the budget or the space that would usually be required if you were to purchase a standard drum kit.

Whether the idea of buying a small drum kit appeals to you, you’d rather learn to drum virtually, or you’re happy to learn more about drumming by repurposing everyday objects, it’s reassuring to know that you don’t have to encounter any barriers when learning how to drum and trying out different styles of music.

Of course, once you have started learning how to drum, you might also want to consider whether you’d like to enlist the help of a tutor to help you learn how to play the drums, whether you’d like help with your drumming technique or an upcoming drum solo, want to learn how to read music, or wish to improve your improvisation or ability to play along to a basic beat.

Superprof has a wide network of tutors, including tutors who offer music lessons, including online drum lessons and beginner drum lessons. Just enter your postcode and the topic you’d like tuition on and you’ll be matched with relevant tutors in your area that can provide tuition, either remotely or in-person.

So whether you want to become known as a famous drummer, such as Kenny Aronoff or Thomas Lang, or you’d simply like to improve your skill level through drumming lessons, having some extra help with a drum teacher along the way should help you improve your overall ability to play the drums and become a better musician!

If you found this useful, why not check out our blogs on rock and roll drum kits, fusion kits, and jazz kits!

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