Arts & Entertainment, Music

Getting Started on the Drums

Sheila E.

Lesson time 8:06 min

Sheila introduces you to the drum set and demonstrates three essential warm-ups, also known as rudiments: singles, doubles, and paradiddles.

Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars

Topics include: Getting to Know the Drum Set • Warming up With Rudiments


[00:00:00.00] [MUSIC PLAYING] [00:00:06.76] SHEILA E: Drummers are the drivers of the band. We're the time keepers, the foundation. I'm super excited to teach you how to play this powerful instrument. Grab your sticks and let's get started. [00:00:20.00] [MUSIC PLAYING] [00:00:31.27] If you only have a pair of drumsticks and you don't have a drum set, what I'd like for you to do is just practice on a pillow, a chair, your couch. The floor is very cool, on a rug even. And all you do is do single strokes like this. And then just try to do faster and faster but be consistent so that they both sound the same. [00:00:56.01] The way you hold the stick, again everyone is a little bit different. Sometimes people hold it too close in the middle, which is going to feel weird. The balance is wrong. You can't get the power. It doesn't feel right. If you can, hold the stick further back, where the butt of the end of the stick is, so that you can play like this. It feels better. It feels more natural. [00:01:18.37] If you move it up here, it's harder to control the stick. You're supposed to play this way and use your wrist so that you don't hurt yourself. If you're wanting to practice like this, more like a snare drum, you can do this as well and play like this. It's almost like using chopsticks, a little bit different. [00:01:48.65] The pieces of the drum set, high hat. Right here, it's a pedal that opens and closes two cymbals together. This is a pedal, the second one here, is a kick drum pedal. I actually play two of them together. [00:02:12.25] And most drummers play with this pedal on the inside. But I play it on the outside because I like to sit straight. Snare drum. This is the snare drum. This is tom 1. This is tom 2. This is tom 3. [00:02:36.71] These are cymbals. And they're different sizes. And you can pick whatever you want. Right now I have a 17 and an 18. And this is a ride cymbal. This is a 20 inch ride cymbal. This is we call a splash or China pang. And it looks like it's upside down. And it is, because that's the way it's supposed to be. But you don't have to play it like that. [00:03:02.45] I have a cowbell here. And it's mounted to the kick drum. And this is what I use a lot in most of my shows. And that's it. If [00:03:12.35] You saved up your money and you want to buy a drum set, there are many ways of putting together your kit. You can buy one that comes together like this. You can choose different sizes. This is a 8, a 10, and a 16 or 18. [00:03:29.45] They're different sizes, meaning different tones. The smaller ones are going to be higher pitch. The lower ones, bigger and lower. So you can choose and pick this kick drum as a 20 inch kick drum. But they have smaller ones that are 18. Or you can go to a 22. Sizes are different. It just depends on what you're looking for. [00:03:49.94] I sometimes add different percussion instruments as part of the drums as well. Just get the simple things, really. If you're going to start pla...

About the Instructor

Raised in a family of musicians, Sheila E. has collaborated with icons like Marvin Gaye and Ringo Starr and was named one of the all-time greatest drummers by Rolling Stone. Now she teaches you how to find your rhythm. Learn the principles of percussion—with or without a drum set—and discover techniques for dynamic solos and fills. Jam with the Escovedo family and find your own groove, as a beginner or as a bandleader.

Featured Masterclass Instructor

Sheila E.

Legendary drummer Sheila E. welcomes you to the world of percussion and teaches you how to express yourself through rhythm.

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