Beginner's Course


Hi guys and welcome to our beginner's course. It's perfect for anyone eager to get involved in playing drums and have loads of fun in the process.

The exercises here have been developed over the last ten years or so. During this time I’ve taught over six hundred drum students so one thing’s for sure, they’ve been strenuously ‘road tested’ and I’m confident that it is one of the most effective approaches to learning drums you’ll find anywhere. As well as this, I know you’ll find working through the various lessons fun and rewarding.

So what makes this course different? Well firstly, you don’t need any prior knowledge to get started. Because everything is based on a few simple counting-systems, if you can count to ‘four’ then you’re in business. Secondly, the course is made up of lots of short, manageable lessons that focus on clearly defined and attainable goals. Plus, all of the information is presented in a variety of different ways, each one reinforcing the others, to appeal to a range of learning styles. These are:

Standard Musical Notation

Don’t panic! Many students often regard the issue of reading music as being somewhat intimidating or insurmountable. With this course that won’t be a problem because, as everything relates to a few very simple counting systems, with just a little effort you’ll confidently understand the basics of reading in no time. And if you decide that reading’s not for you, no problem - the other ways in which the information is presented work perfectly well on their own.

Here’s an example of how an exercise looks when written using standard musical notation:

The key to understanding all of the patterns in this course is the count, which is written above each example, making it easy to see how all of the individual parts align. For a more complete explanation of this be sure to check out the reading lessons.


I’ve also presented each pattern on a grid using special symbols to represent the different parts of the kit, which makes it clear how each part lines up with the count. Here are the symbols:


Here’s how the above exercise looks when written using a coordination grid:

To tie everything together, the colour coding of each instrument is the same throughout the course. So, any important information about the hi-hat and ride always appear in yellow, the snare drum in blue, the bass drum in green and the toms in purple. And the great thing is, because the count is shown on both the grid and the notation, by paying attention to how they relate to each other you will automatically be developing your reading skills.

Video Examples

In addition to the notes, each lesson is supported by a video clip, in which I demonstrate the relevant example. So you guys not only get to hear, but also see, how each example should be played. To make each video example relate to the lesson notes more easily, you can always hear the count too.  Of course, you can pause and replay it as many times as you want to ensure that you completely understand how each exercise should be played.