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first step for the beginner









































Remember that we don't do tonic/tone on drums, that's why we call it percussion. This is an atonal instrument and the 'classic' concept about this instrument is this is an ensemble instrument, which mean; a musical instrument that has to have accompanied in playing the music.

I have to say classic, means there's a newer / contemporary / progressive idea that makes this a solo instrument, just like Terry Bozzio did on his "ostinatos and melodic drumming" CDs.

Well, at last, this is a contemporary instrument at all. It borne by a musical style called Jazz in early 20th century. So young, compared to mostly other instrument we know. This makes that so many people in the world still not familiar with this instrument, for many reason :

  • it's new
  • it's an expensive instument
  • too loud to enjoy, not much people can play it nicely
  • if it sounds nice, must be even more expensive
  • it's new and still improving

Suppose a guitar...

Counting system

On this , you'll need a metronome, or at least a watch.

BPM stands for Beat per minute, that's how we measure speed of a pulses/beat. For a start, let's try 60 BPM. So, you get 1 beat every second. Tap your foot or clap your hands on it then count out loud along the pulse/tap/clap: 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 etc. We called this 1 part counting

Keep the steady time, now you got the tempo.

You see, for this step, we just count until four, and next pulse/beat, we start over again to one. Every four pulses which is four counts means 1 bar / measure.

Now, we see, each counting, we get one tapping sound. That is the sound of quarter note (1/4 note)and it's written like this :

so if there's 2 measures/bars of quarter is written like this :

For the next value, we do a simple mathematic logic. If there's 1 quarter note for each counting (a quarter = 1 counting), there should be 2 eighth note value (1/8) for 1 counting, right?


to count it, simply put an "and" between pulses.

1 - n - 2 - n - 3 - n - 4 - n - (back to one again...) and we called this 2 part counting system

careful not to "swing" it, like 1 - n2 - n3 - n4 -n...

keep it equal, imagine like when you walking. Right foot is 1-2-3-4- then the left foot is the "n". Got it?

And now for the sixteenth, we play 4 tap in each counting


and we count it like this : 1-e-n-a-2-e-n-a-3-e-n-a-4-e-n-a- and so on...we called this 4 part counting system

Keep it on time, drummer! That's what you do for living - keeping time.

Important note:

Now I suppose we know how the note is written, but there's certain composition to write a notation, as we know, a good writing is the one that easy to read. So this :

If there's more than 1 eight note:

the flag is connected like this and also the sixteenth :

the flag is connected like this


its much easier to read this

than this

Remember to do everything slowly first, to get natural flow of the time to your body, before raising up the tempo. This is what normal human being does.

a drumset or a jazz drumset contains snare, bass/kick drum, tom-tom drum (2 or 3 of em with difference size) hi-hat and cymbals. On cymbals we have ride cymbal and crash cymbal.

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