Are Drums Hard to Learn?

Like most instruments, the drums are easy to learn but difficult to master. You can learn the basics in the space of a few weeks.

Is it difficult to start playing drums? How long will it take you to become proficient at playing the instrument? This article takes you through everything you need to know before you get started.

how long does it take to learn drums?

You can learn the basics of drums in the space of a few days or weeks if you try hard enough. Though, just because you know the basics does not mean that you have mastered them.

The drums may seem to some like a very easy instrument to play, but the coordination and skill that is required to play more complex beats can take a lot of practice.

Therefore, the drums are similar to almost any other instrument in how long it takes to learn. You could become quite proficient at playing drums within around eight months to a year of reasonably consistent practice.

Just 20 minutes of practice per day makes a big difference.

If focus your learning and follow a good lesson plan (either through a local drum instructor or online drum lessons) then it is very possible to teach yourself drums to a good standard in as little as a year.

As an example, many teenagers have started playing drums and within one or two years, they get very good at playing. Following that logic, you can start playing drums much later in life if you want to.

In fact, it probably will be easier for you to learn drums at a later age because you’ve likely become better at being able to motivate yourself and have figured out your own learning style a bit better.

Practice is everything

It was buddy rich who said, “You only get better by playing”.

Practice is everything when it comes to ANY instrument. The same applies to the drums.

If you spend at least an hour a day practicing drums, you will be surprised by the progress you’re going to make. However, going overboard can often lead to injury, so make sure you play smart, not hard.

When it comes to the question at hand, the most simple answer is – if you practice enough and consistently, drums will not be hard to learn or master. Anything is possible when you dedicate yourself.

Drums can take a toll on the body, that’s why it’s important to manage a good posture while playing, loosen your grip, play for a reasonable amount of time as to not go overboard and risk injury.

The drums compared to other instruments.

The drums are not pitched instruments. So you do not need to worry about melody and harmony when it comes to drumming. However, the lack of musical notes in drums is made up for in complexity of the rhythm and the important job of timekeeping.

So don’t be fooled. Don’t think that drumming is going to be far easier than other instruments. It is just a different type of instrument.

It can be difficult to learn drums if you do not have the practice space. Drums are loud instruments. If you live in an apartment block or a small house, then an acoustic drum kit can be quite difficult.

You can use muffling techniques or, use an alternative kit such as an electronic drum set or even just a practice pad for starters.

You can even practice drumming without drums using some simple methods. You can also even try out using some virtual drum tools such as Freedrum where you attach devices to your drumsticks and start air drumming! You then use an app on your phone to listen to the virtual drums being played.

Physically demanding

Drumming is physically demanding to a point (depending on the style that you play). If you play with very good technique, then you will probably not get very tired by playing drums.

However, some forms of drums such as metal drumming can be quite demanding because it requires a lot of speed.

You can use more advanced techniques such as the moeller technique and become a lot more efficient at playing. Also, loosen up your grip when playing, as this makes it quite a bit easier to play.


The drums are as difficult or as easy as almost any other instrument to play. You need to invest time and energy into mastering the instrument if you want to get proficient and if you want to start playing with other musicians.

The drums are an incredibly rewarding instrument to play. If you don’t have a drum set yet then check out our list of the best electronic drum sets to buy and our list of the best acoustic drum sets for beginners.

We also have a great list of drum lessons online, which includes both free and paid options.

If you have any questions about learning to play drums, then be sure to ask in the comment section below.

Mike O'Connor
Mike O'Connor

I've been playing drums for over 18 years. I work as both a session drummer and a drum teacher, and I love to share my knowledge and tips on this site. You can also find me on the Electronic Drum Advisor YouTube channel.

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