Do You Need To Read Drum Music?


Do You Need To Read Drum Music?

As a drum teacher I often get students asking if they have to learn to read music. I say they don’t, but they all end up learning some reading by the end of the first lesson. Most people, when talking about this topic talk about music being a language. With all languages being able to read and write is part of mastering it and being able to communicate to a high level. While I agree 100% with this there are a few more tangible things that I’ll explain below.

There are so many benefits to learning to read drum music. If you are having drum lessons and you want to keep track of what you did in the lesson then being able to take the sheet music home with you really helps. I guess you could just take notes but will they really trigger the full groove when you look them over at home?

Also if you want to revisit a topic sometime later it’s handy being able to pull out the sheet music and pick up from where you left off.

 If you want to learn a new topic with out the help of someone else then being able to read drum music makes this a simple task. Being able to walk into your favourite drum shop or order a book online and teach yourself is a very freeing feeling. Knowing that everything the author is saying you can translate into the correct grooves and apply them to song is wonderful and has helped my drumming progress loads over the years.

Being able to read and write drum music can also be really handy when writing tunes with a band. If you have come up with a really cool groove that is integral to the song then being able to quickly jot it down so you don’t forget it is very convenient.

If you are new to reading and writing and want some help feel free to drop me an email at and I’ll give you all the tips I can.


If you are interested in booking online drum lessons then drop me an email at and I’ll sort out a free introductory lesson to make sure you have the Skype connection sorted out and have a chat about your drumming goals. That way I’ll be able to put together a course that will help you hit all your drumming and musical goals.


If you want to check out my teaching style then sign up using the form on the right and I’ll email you some free video drum lessons.


If you are interested in my drum books then check the links below – Paradiddle Creativity – UK Link – Paradiddle Creativity – US Link – How To Practise Drums – US Kindle Link – How To Practise Drums – US Paperback Link – How To Practise Drums – UK Kindle Link – How To Practise Drums – UK Paperback Link

4 thoughts on “Do You Need To Read Drum Music?

    1. Thanks I try 🙂 I’m currently reworking ‘How To Practise Drums’ It’s going to be all the old great content and some extras.

  1. Completely agree with you. Being able to read and write music opens up a drummer to a far deeper understanding of rhythm. You don’t technically need to learn how to read rhythms, but when you do things will make a lot more sense and you’ll be able to learn at a more rapid pace down the road. Well said!

    1. Indeed. I’m so glad I can open up a book and learn a new groove (well understand) in a couple of minutes. With out reading I’d be listening to recordings/Youtube videos over and over till I memorised how it sounds. Obviously the other side of the coin is that you have to make sure you spend time training you ear so you don’t have to read everything to get to the end of a song.

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