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How to read music - Quarter Notes Drum Lesson

Updated: Nov 25, 2022

Welcome back to Hackney Wick Drum Studio. This is the first in a series of Drum Lessons where I'll teach you to read Drum Notation. Today, we'll be starting with the Quarter note, and it's as easy as counting to four. In this exercise, you'll find all the examples have one rest within each bar. All you have to do is strike the drum or practice pad where you see a quarter note, and leave a pause where you see a rest. This is a great way for you to start practicing your counting and time keeping.

Make sure this exercise is done with a metronome. I recommend starting at about 60 BPM and working your way up, increasing the tempo slightly once you've got the hang of it. It's also useful to count the 1-2-3-4 out loud so you can really lock into the time. The first four lines of this drum lesson feature four different examples, with the rest moving one beat each time. The bottom sixteen bars (which also have a repeat if you look closely) are combinations of the above, which is a really useful reading exercise. It's also great to try this drum lesson with both right and left hands, so why not challenge yourself to play it with all rights, all lefts and then a combination of the two.

If you need any help with this, or have any general drumming questions, feel free to leave a comment or get in touch by email, I'm always happy to help. If you're not quite sure on the notation, you can view my post about that here. To view the second drum lesson in this series, you can find that here.

Finally, if you're looking for a Drum Teacher in London for one to one lessons, check out my full website for all the information on the Drum Lessons I provide.

Happy Drumming.

Jack x


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