We're going to start from the very beginning - although it may be worth your time to read the drum lessons on understanding time and reading sheet music. That said, this lesson should still cover all the basics you need to play your first few drum beats!
Your First Drum Beat
Let's get starting by learning the most basic beat. As simple as this groove is - it is still popular in todays rock music. More importantly, it is the foundation of many rock beats you will be learning over the coming weeks and months.
This beat really only uses three moving limbs. Your left foot rests on the hi-hat pedal keeping it closed, but doesn't have to play anything else. The structure is built around the four hi-hat strokes with your lead hand (right hand if right handed, left hand if left handed).
Start by just playing the hi-hat part of the beat with your lead hand. Count out loud as you play - one, two, three, four. Start out slow, and add the kick drum on the one and three counts. Play this for a while until it feels comfortable.
Then, remove the kick drum and just play the hi-hats again. Add in the snare drum on beats two and four, and keep this steady for a while. Really focus on keeping the four hi-hat strokes steady and even.
When you feel you are ready - add in all elements. Remember to KEEP COUNTING out loud. This is very important, as it will help you keep track of where you are in the beat, and will assist in keeping time.