Finding Your Musical Path: How To Know If The Drums Are Right For You

Have you ever found yourself air-drumming to music or tapping your feet while listening to a song? Most of us have and this is an indication that drums could be your musical calling.

The drums are probably one of the most intimidating instruments, mainly because of all of the parts and complexities that are found within a drum kit. It can be difficult to put one together compared to picking up a singular instrument, like the guitar. For this reason, most people may shy away from choosing them.

But drums play a vital role in music as they are the backbone of a song. Some people have a real knack for rhythm and beats and drums are the best instrument for them.

How do you know if the drums are right for you? There are some telltale signs that you might be a drummer at heart.

Beats are Always On Your Mind

If you find yourself always tapping your feet because you have a song in your head, but it’s not just the song that you find to be catchy, it’s that BEAT, then you might consider drumming.

If you have any friends that drum, take some time to watch them closely – you’ll probably find that they are always tapping on things constantly, and you can see them mapping out rhythms and beats.

While their foot is tapping one beat they tap their fingers another way. If you’re drawn to that and find yourself doing similar things when you hear music, this is a huge sign that drums are your instrument.

Have you ever been listening to music while walking or running and found yourself matching your steps to the beat? If when listening to the music, you’re not hearing the notes and are focusing more on those beats, you should probably take up the drums.

People with good rhythm and an inclination for music tend to do this, which shows you have strong talent and passion for the art of drumming.

When most of us air-drum while listening to our favorite music, this is an indication that you may not have recognized but your body is trying to tell you something. Maybe you should listen to it.

You Can Decipher Drum Notation

This is most likely the most difficult topic in music, but it doesn’t have to be; maybe you have a natural aptitude for it and it comes naturally to you.

Most drummers nowadays play more by feel than by actually reading music, so if you can look at a drum notation and understand what it is, this shows your natural ability to play.

Can you make sense of this? Each of the “notes” is referencing a different part of the drum, so having some knowledge of the drum is key.

To most people, this can look very difficult to take on, but if you have an interest in percussion this probably breaks down relatively easily for you. Timing is everything in the drum world, so if you pay close attention to detail and know how to time things right, this is the instrument for you.

Drum legend example

You Can Sing / Play an Instrument

If you can sing, you already have a working knowledge of music and rhythm, so it is very possible that drums could be a great instrument for you to learn. Singers have to know things like pitch, which isn’t necessary for drummers, but knowing how to read and count music is an extremely helpful tool.

Musicians, in general, can make for good drummers, so if learning other instruments have been comfortable and easy, you may want to take up the drums and give yourself a good challenge.

Other instruments still require rhythm but the drums essentially control all of the rhythms. There are various drumming techniques available, and you can market yourself more throughout the music industry when you add drumming to your skillset.

Most bands have a need for drummers, whereas singers and guitar players are more easily acquired, so if you want to play in a band, try the drums and see if they are right for you.

You Can Dance

First and foremost, drumming is all about rhythm. If you have a good natural rhythm then you will most likely be a good candidate for drumming.

Though dancing styles can vary, when you are musically inclined with good rhythm and timing, you also tend to be a good dancer, and this is yet another indication that drums would be a great instrument for you to learn.

Particularly, if you can dance Hip Hop – or “pop and lock” as it used to be called – because you move right on or off-beat in a very specific way, this shows your execution of hitting the beats like you would on a drum.

If you walk or jog to the beat of a song and you can move your body even more purposefully to the beat, you are a great candidate for drumming.

This surely doesn’t mean that if you can’t sing, play or dance that you shouldn’t learn to play drums, you should always explore what you like and if the drums hold an interest for you, then absolutely – go and take some lessons. Don’t let things like cost deter you, or the idea of buying an entire drum kit; there are many affordable drum sets for beginners that you can start with.

You Enjoy Loud Music

If you enjoy loud music, noise, and chaos, this is another good indicator that you should take up the drums.

They are probably the loudest instrument there is, so your capacity to take on the decibels that can be achieved while playing is definitely a factor in whether you can handle them.

This would be more ideal if you live alone and have no surrounding family, but If you choose to learn drums, be prepared to be sure to have others who live with you invest in some earplugs, especially if they dislike loud noises! Or better yet, invest in a location within your home that is soundproof, or practice in a studio.

Pick Up The Sticks and Play

If you have any desire within you to learn drums, go ahead and pick up some drumsticks and start playing. Consider learning drums with an online teacher.

Electronic drums may be an easy way to start because you only need one drum pad to work with (at least in the beginning), and it is portable so you can bring it with you wherever you go. You can expand upon your abilities this way and see if you have what it takes to be a real drummer.

There are numerous benefits when you learn any instrument, like improved coordination and motor skills, stress relief, and even give you a good workout. Drums do require more body movement than most instruments, so you’ll burn some calories in the process.

Drumming does not only require abilities like good rhythm, timing, and musicianship but there needs to be a certain amount of dedication when learning. As is with any instrument, you can only get better at playing if you practice, so it is important that your interest in drums carry you through helping to develop your skills.


Knowing if the drums are for you or not is very important before you invest time, energy, and money into pursuing them.

Taking some lessons can help you decide if they are for you or not. If practice sessions seem easy to do and don’t annoy you at all, they are most likely a good fit for your personality.

If the drums feel way out of reach for you, or seem very complex and frustrating, they probably aren’t for you and it would be best to go on and pursue another instrument.

The drums are a very dynamic instrument, and if they feel like your cup of tea, they can be incredibly rewarding to play; they never get dull!

If you feel that the drums may not be right for you, then there are plenty of other instruments to choose from, so don’t give up hope.

Post by: Donna Maurer

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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