The sound of a stick striking a hollow log, maybe a hollow gourd, is so basic, so primal, that it almost had to be the first. A drum gets the feet moving, the heart pounding, the blood racing. It sets the feel of a chant or a song.
One, two, three, four … get started on drums!
You don’t need much to start playing – just a basic snare and a pair of sticks, and you’re good to go!
“Drums Keep Pounding a Rhythm to the Brain …”
Who doesn’t remember the classic Sonny & Cher tune, “The Beat Goes On”? Everyone knows the lyrics – not just those who were around when it came out in 1967 – but what made the song grab us was, of course, the beat. On the other hand, no one listens for long to a band that can’t keep the beat. It’s just that important.
The basics of drums and percussion
Almost anything hollow can be a drum. Stretch a piece of animal skin across the end of a wooden tube and you have a basic drum. For percussion, start with just two blocks of wood, or a jar half-full of seeds. That’s all it takes to start creating music. And from there, the sky’s the limit. In a rock band or jazz ensemble, a basic drum kit includes a snare drum; a bass or kick drum; a tom-tom; and a cymbal. Many players add more drums and cymbals. The Guinness Book of World Records includes a drum set with 340 pieces – its creator says it takes four people 15 hours to put it together!