General information and resources for students and adult learners.

Drums


Drums are the oldest instruments in the world. Drums are quite simple instruments, all you need to make a drum is a stick and a surface to hit. Drums were once used to communicate, drums were also used for religious purposes and has become an important musical instrument in many cultures.
Drums come in many different shapes and sizes, but they all have some features in common.
How do drums make their sound?
  • A drum is cylinder (shell) with a membrane at one or both ends (the drum head). When something strikes the drum head, it produces vibrations in the air inside the shell. These vibrations make invisible ripples of air, our brains interpret these movements of air as sound.
  • Different types of head, and different shapes of shell give different shapes to the vibrations inside the drum. We hear these as different pitches when the drum is played. A smaller shell creates a higher pitched sound, whilst a larger shell creates a deeper sound.
What are drums made of?
Drum shells can be made of almost any material. Traditional drums are often made of carved or hollowed out-wood. Modern drums can be made of anything from specially treated wood to plastic and even metal. Different materials create different sounds.
Some drum heas can also be made from different sort of materials. In the past animal skins were used and still is the case with some traditional insturments. Modern drum kits use a plastic called Kevlar.

Drums can be played in a wide variety of styles from classical and jazz to rock and pop. They can be played alongside other percussion instruments.
One of the great things about the drums is that they are relatively easy to learn. With a little practice you will be able to play a basic beat within a few hours. Within a few months, you will be able to play along with your favourite songs.
Most drummers will tell you that they always tap on things before they even started playing the real drums. This is after all, how drumming started thousands of years ago.
But like any other instruments rhythm is a very important part of any piece of music and the only way to learn how to play the drums well is to practise, or you can enroll in a drumming class and by listening to other drummers too.

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