So You Want To Play The Drums: The “Entrance Exam” Coordination Test

So you want to play the drums, eh? Well, good for you. It’s the most physically demanding of the rock instruments for sure, but it’s also a lot of fun. As a bonus, somebody you know is probably looking for a drummer, so you could be in a band within weeks (Note: This sentence may sound sarcastic, but it really isn’t. In fact, it also applies to bass players)! How awesome is that?!

Before we get started on the drums, I must administer a sort of “entrance exam”. Playing the drums takes quite a bit of coordination, so we need to check that first. If you pass this test, though, then you have the basic foundation from which every 4/4-time rock beat is derived. This test is so simple that you don’t even need sticks, let alone a drum set. All you need is the chair you’re currently sitting in and your lap.

Here it is! The bottom space is the bass drum and the other space with notes in it is the snare drum.

Entry Exam

When you see the bass drum notes, tap your right foot. When you see the snare drum notes, tap your left hand. Counting-wise, you should be tapping your foot on “1” and “3” and tapping your hand on “2” and “4”. Repeat this measure as many times as you like. I recommend starting slowly then picking up speed as you go.

If you can play the two limbs separately (your foot and hand don’t play at the same time), then congratulations! You have passed the test. It’s that easy. Now go have some fun.

Coming soon: More tests, beats, fills, and some extra weird stuff. Stay tuned!

Note: The limbs given are for a right-handed drummer. If you want to set up your drums left-handed, use the opposite limbs (left foot, right hand). And, even if that doesn’t feel right, it’s okay – many drummers don’t use the traditional setup. That doesn’t explain this guy, though…


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