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The Biggest Mistake Beginner Drummers Make

Tony Royster Jr.  /  UPDATED Apr 10, 2023

What do you think is the biggest mistake that beginner drummers make? We took the opportunity to ask Tony Royster Jr. this question as we knew he was more than qualified to provide valuable insight.

His answer? Playing too much. The drummer’s biggest priority is keeping good, solid time. When you’re a beginner drummer, your number one goal should be to develop your time keeping and groove – not to learn that 32nd note linear drum fill in 7/8 that you found on YouTube. Worry more about how you’re playing things, not what you’re playing.

When you see your favorite drummers ripping around the drum set and playing complex patterns, you’re only seeing the end result of all the hard work they put in and the baby steps they took to get to that level. They’ve spent countless hours in the practice room to get to that level, and you need to do the same.

If you don’t first develop a solid foundation, you’ll end up creating bad habits for yourself. There’s nothing worse than drumming for several years and realizing you need to revisit the basics since you have holes in your drumming. Take things slow and enjoy the process!

If you’re new to drumming, check out this mega guide on how to play drums that includes even more mistakes beginner drummers make, plus a ton of useful content to get you started!

Tony Royster Jr. started playing drums at the age of 3 and won the 1995 Guitar Center National Drum-Off competition at only 11 years of age. He performed at the 42nd Annual Grammy Awards at the age of 15, and has since played with high-profile artists including Jay-Z, Joe Jonas, Norah Jones, Joss Stone, En Vogue, and many more. Tony has been voted best hip-hop drummer by the readers of DRUM! magazine, as well as best R&B drummer by the readers of Modern Drummer magazine.

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