5 Tips For Playing Drums In Church – Drum Lesson (Drumeo)


(drumming) – This is Stephen Taylor, and I wanna talk to you
about drumming in church. Now this is something that
thousands of drummers do around the world every week. For some of you, like me,
this is your first gig. This is your first opportunity
to play in front of people. I’ve been playing in churches since I first picked
up the sticks. I grew up a pastor’s son, and the first weekend
I got my drum set, I played four times in churches. I played a youth retreat, I played two services, I
played all, a men’s event, like I was playing in church
from the time I started, so this is something that I
have a lot of experience in, and a lot of you have to
do this on a weekly basis. Now, some churches choose
to hire their musicians, so some of you who may say
I’ll never play in a church, may one day get a call, and you may have to
go play in a church that you’re not familiar with. Maybe you don’t
share the same faith. So we need to know
some guidelines for playing in that environment. Now the first one, and to
me this is the golden rule of playing in a church
or a house or worship if we wanna make this a
more global type of a term, you have to realize
that it’s not about you. It is not about the drummers. It’s not about you
coming and imposing what you think should
happen in the music, okay? You need to understand that, and if we understand
that from the front, then it makes everything
else afterwards a lot easier. Have a good attitude. It’s not about you. Be conducive to the environment. It’s not about you. It’s about serving what’s
going on in the music. Really it’s always
about that with music. Now the second thing that
you have to understand whenever you play in an
environment like this is it’s a group event, okay? So this is not like
your band just doing some solo stuff. This is a group event. Many churches, people come,
and it’s a place of worship. They want to interact with
the songs that are happening, whether they be
traditional hymns, whether it be a full orchestra, whatever the setting may be, you will oftentimes have
people interacting with you. And knowing that
it’s a group event, you have to play a
little bit different. So you’ve got Joe the mechanic
that he works a nine to five, and he works on cars, and when
it comes to working on cars, man, he is killer. But when it comes to
something as simple as finding the beat to a
song, eh, not so good. So we have to realize that, and we have to understand
that that is going to kind of direct how we actually
play in that environment. Now the third thing I would
say is watch your fills. Now I’m not telling
you you can’t do fills. It’s music, we need to
add what needs to be added in the times that it
needs to be added, but what I’m talking about
is we need to make sure that we’re playing
the proper fills in the proper places. So in other words, I don’t
need to play a leading fill in the middle of a verse because again, this
goes back to the first, or the second, rule that we had, and that is, it’s a group event. If I play a leading fill, then those people sitting
there are gonna think, oh, that means we’re
going to the chorus, and so maybe they’ll start, I’ve actually
watched this happen, and I play a fill
in the wrong place, and people start
singing the next section when we haven’t
really moved, okay? So you have to understand,
what is a leading fill? Well, something like this. So if I’m playing a
groove, (drumming) that is what is
called a leading fill. It leads the listener’s
ear to the next section. It also ques the band that
we’re making a big movement. So I’m not gonna do that in
the middle of a verse, okay? It doesn’t really sound good
to go, (drumming) generally, that means that
we’re going somewhere else. It’s a bigger fill
for a bigger movement. Now what would be
an acceptable fill for maybe in the
middle of a verse? Something like this, it’s
what I call like a hiccup, or an interruption.
(drumming) It’s not a big enough fill that it’s gonna interrupt
the flow of the music, but it also gives
a little variation to what’s been going on. Again, it’s not that
we can’t play fills, it’s that we just need to
understand where they’re going and put them in
their proper places. So the fourth thing is, we
are responsible for the time. You are responsible
for the time, and I know a lotta people go, oh, everybody’s
responsible for the time. Yeah, but again, this goes
back to that rule number one, it’s not about you,
and rule number two, this is a group event. When it’s a group event, and every group needs
a leader, don’t they? And you’re like, well, that’s
what the song leader’s for, yeah, true, he’s supposed to
lead the people with the words, but who’s gonna lead the rhythm? That’s your job. So we have to make sure that
everybody stays together, and that can sometimes
be a challenging job because sometimes you
have people across stage who are getting some
slapback from other people that are singing in
the congregation. So I’m going to make sure
that everybody is together and that the congregation
is following us. And if I notice that a singer, you’ve had this happen to you, all of a sudden Suzy,
she’s such a sweet lady, and all of a sudden, she
just starts draggin’, she’s really a weight, and
she’s holding us down. You don’t need to
sit there and go, aw, man, kinda wish she’d sing, sometimes she’s getting
slapback from those walls, and she can’t hear
that she’s dragging. So it’s your job,
because remember, it’s not about you, and you’re
responsible for the time, and this is a group event, it is your job to help
her out a little bit. So especially on softer songs that maybe doesn’t have
a lot of percussion, I’m gonna sneak in there, and I’m gonna maybe play
a hi-hat real softly, maybe I’ll come in
with the brushes and give her some
type of rhythm. Maybe I’ll come
in with a shaker, but I’m gonna make sure
that we all stay together because if I don’t,
then guess what, it’s a plane crash, and
we’re all dead, not just her. And you can’t go,
well, it was her fault because remember,
it’s not about you. See all these go together. We have to understand that
playing in these places is just a little bit different
than playing in other places. So the fifth one that I
would like to bring up is dynamics, dynamics, dynamics. All too often, I’ve
been in a service, or I’ve gone to visit a church, and many times they will
put you in the aquarium, they’ll put you in the box, they could put plexiglass
all around you. They do that so they
can isolate the sound, and they do that because
sometimes they have a drummer that can’t control their volume. So you have to realize
the environment you’re in. If I have a singer
standing right in front me, and I don’t have any
drum cage, guess what? Their mic’s gonna pick
up some of my drums. I have to understand
the acoustics of the environment I’m in. So if we’re in a smaller room, I’m not gonna sit there
and play, (heavy drumming) I’m gonna realize that oh
yeah, we’re in a smaller room, I should maybe, (light drumming) and sometimes we actually have
to make further adjustments. Sometimes we have to
play with special sticks. Sometimes they’ll actually
ask you to play percussion instead of playing a drum set. Maybe sometimes with brushes. Again, it’s not about
you, it’s a group event. It’s making sure that the group
is having a community event. They’re having a
community time together, and you’re helping
facilitate that, okay? So if you can remember
it’s not about you, this is a group event, you need to be careful where
you’re putting your fills and what fills you’re playing, you need to remember that
you’re responsible for the time, and you also need to
remember your dynamics. If you can do those five things, man, you’re gonna go
a long way in playing in that environment
and really fitting in and being a benefit to the gig. Again, I’m Stephen Taylor, I’m a satellite
teacher here at Drumeo. I also run my own
YouTube channel and my own website
where I do lessons. You can check out all
those links below. Hopefully these tips
have helped you. (upbeat music)

100 thoughts on “5 Tips For Playing Drums In Church – Drum Lesson (Drumeo)”

  1. Currently I'm in 7th grade and in 8th I'll do church drumming so I have to prep or else I'll embarrass myself which sucks

  2. SSSLLLALAAAAYYYYYEEEERRRRGGGGHHHH!!!!! — The SlayeriZer

    Which beat works best for the indoctrination and child abuse??

  3. Yeah, okay only nonskilled musicians play like that! Real worship drummers and musicians play for their king! Not their pastors and not for the people. Read your Bible! David found the best musicians for God's temple and tabernacle. No such thing as that today.

  4. I have a novel idea, for many of you, how about authority. Like the authority for instrumental music in worship. Not in the Bible.

  5. Amen brother. I am "Joe the mechanic" I am in the box too. I so agree with you so much on the time thing. It can be such a struggle with the other musicians, but it is the key to it sounding good. I try so hard to keep solid time but the others are not so good at listening as they to are not full time musicians either. Your fill comments are spot on, yes there are times when a big fill is needed but usually a little diddy is all that is needed. Thanks for your comments…it is not about me as it is about Jesus and helping the congregation sing and enjoy the moment.

  6. Playing the drum or other instruments in Church is about worship. When playing as a group no one instrument should be too loud and drown out the others. The worst scenario is members start to crank up the volume when he or she can't hear the playing. The drum and some bass can be very loud . Therefore tone down…loud music does not make the worship sound better . On the contrary ,it can put worshipper off.

  7. While all of these points are critically important to help you become a good drummer for a church group, applying them to every drumming gig you play will make you much more successful no matter where you play or what you play or with whom you play. This is a great video that should be required viewing for anyone who is just getting started on their percussion career.

  8. Man please you not even on the level . Any questions ask Joel Smith or Gerald Heyward cant forget Calvin Rodgers not you.

  9. As a drummer for my church, this rly helped a lot! I’m 15 and I learned how to play drums in church and got to play for the worship team! This helped me a lot thanks

  10. Spot on! I’m a Pastor (17 years) and drummer (55 years). Love gigging with my 3 bands but there is a special joy playing in church.

  11. been playing for three weeks this coming Sunday, and they've got me scheduled on drums this coming Sunday. either our band leader (who is at this point basically our only drummer) is very confident in my ability to pick it up quick or he is just tired of being the only drummer…. lol

  12. Played drums in church since i was little and that fill has always been my go too😂 one thing I learned too is just because people play instruments or sing doesn’t mean they can keep time lol they usually always depend on the drums for when they start to sing or when they play a certain part in the song.

  13. Just worship God and glorify him when playing music. It's not a show or concert & I myself learned that throughout the years playing at my church since I was eleven.

  14. Having played drums in church for 33 years, i appreciate the TITLE of the video: tips. So many YT'ers love to say 5 things to NOT do (fear based), the 5 absolute BEST things to do (superlative salesman language), and "tips" is more of a musical term. Neil Peart once replied to the "less is more" thing that worship leaders love to say to drummers. "M.U.S.I.C. – Make Up Something Interesting and Complimentary". Peace all……………..

  15. It ruined my church. My church considered good music a priority. Some musicians considered perfect music a priority. After more than 15 jears i just couldn't play any more. Should we make a show? We are serving the Lord! IT IS NOT ABOUT ME, NOT ABOUT US. How can you churches hire musicians ? What a shame.

  16. It is good to hear this. I have always said this. I believe our drummers are not aware of the environment in which they play. More importanly we are keeping the flow of the music to make sure there is harmony in the worship and draw ppl in the act of worship or praise

  17. Guys if you have that feeling i am not good enough to play drums at church you are wrong if you have some experience on drums you can. I play drums in church here is my story how i got into it. So i was at the church me and some friends, web played some worship songs, i played drums so after we played some songs someone asked me to play drums in church on Sunday, and i was feeling very happy, so on Sunday i went there and everyone was amazed of how good i am, i have been practicing now 8 years and i am 15, and i make mistake too when playing, so don't mind that one mistake, don't think dahm now they wont me anymore, yes they do guys it can happens so fast that you get asked be patient it will come for me it took 8 years nearly 9 so never give up i reached up to my dream cause i was fighting for it, i hope you do too.
    Keep drumming and good luck.

  18. so yep, im a church drummer. and the other week my girlfriend (our backup vocals) said that the bass keeps the time in worship… she's a band geek but she doesn't really understand our church…

  19. I play for my youth group and I can play just fine when I play with the song but when I’m in a band setting I loose confidence and struggle through the song, do you have anything that can help with that

  20. Don’t you just hate it when you go to mass on Sunday and you casually bring your drums and they are to loud, gosh darn drums😂👌
    Jk man great vid

  21. And honestly… Tip number one applies to pretty much any musical situation where your name is not up on the marquee. And probably even then…

  22. Excellent advice – I used to tell young church drummers they should think like Don Henley or Hal Blaine not Peart or Portnoy . Now, so many don't even know who any of those guys are, so I hand them a pair of brushes and a pair of Promark Rods (which is what I use if the church doesn't have an aquarium or an electronic set.)

    BTW – check this out: https://babylonbee.com/news/church-commits-to-using-only-cage-free-drummers-by-2025

  23. Back in the day drums in any church were few. Many frowns. Maybe a special event for a Holiday ,but not in the Sunday service.

  24. At my church everyone in the worship group uses inear monitors so there is no "slapback" at all…pluss we use click tracks…it really helps staying in tempo…

  25. I would say the number 1 rule would be to live a life of prayer, spending time in the word, living holy, separated for God. Then every other rule on top. I hate playing with people that are in the flesh!

  26. In Bible class we're writing songs, the only band set kit is in school or at our church. And I gotta play with my team a new song!!!

  27. I get to play in the kids ministry and I’m so excited! The only thing is I don’t have symbols. That could be a problem😬

  28. I’m 13 years old. I play the drums for my church and I have to play in another church that I don’t really know in front of a lot of people. I’m so nervous and this kind of helped me.

  29. nice words I will take your advice I play drums St Marks COE London opp Oval Stn still learning all the time god bless

  30. You didn't mention when you are part of a worship band it's about not how well you play it's about Serving for God 🙏🤔

  31. The fills got me. That's exactly what I was doing, playing over the top, rock style fills when either a simple hiccup variation or even no fill at all, would've worked better. Also explains why sometimes the singers would get confused and launch into the chorus, when there was another verse to play. It was my fault! Thanks, great video. God bless.

  32. I got banned in church music team because my spiritual life to God is on/off like monday to friday i am in the world and when Sat and Sun im like Angel pretending im a good example to others and i play drums but im not focusing to the worship i focus to my play like i want them to praise me after this… no longer they send me into counselling for about 6months and i have so many realization like God dont deserve this worship. They bring me back to Music Team and i learn to do my devotion everyday..i hope you guys dont imitate me let my experience be a lesson 🙂 Godbless all …Thankyou for your Video Bro! i like it so much <3

  33. Im back to church and i want to learn drums for the service.
    And i got here searching thank you for the tips brother

  34. Thanks brother.. I play at the church at least Sundays morning.. And worship team we have rehearsal at least two days before..im happy that our director is a experience guitar player and he gives me a lot of advices..

  35. As a worship leader in a small church, I just want to say thank you and I wish more drummers would realize that they are musicians and not a one person show with people playing around them. Some play so loud that I have to take them totally out the monitor mix and that sometimes makes it hard to hear anything. Also I often hear from the audience that the drummer is too dang loud. Drummers please listen to this video, PLEASE!

  36. Another very important thing, is showing up prepared and well practiced on the songs you are going to play.

  37. I’m a guitar player for 53 years. However, back in the day, in various bands, I sat down on the drums every chance I got. Fast forward, our drummer at church left us. I offered to play with the caveat that I keep a solid 4, but I don’t do anything fancy – straight 4, few runs. They love it. Still struggle the the waltzes and won’t touch standard hymns ( cuz I just don’t know what to do there), but I focus on being a quiet clock and that seems to please everybody 😀.

  38. What I gather from this: drummers in general are controlling, self centered, and don't work well in a group setting. Lmbo

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