When learning how to play a new instrument there is always going to be a learning curve, however some instruments are no doubt going to be harder to learn than others. So where does learning to play drums rank on the scale of difficulty? You probably won’t be surprised to hear that the answer to that can vary from one musician to the next.

How long will it take to learn how to play the drums?

At Capstone Music Burlington, we’re all about teaching drum lessons at the pace of the learner.  Kids love our drum lessons and may even consider or Rock Shop program and look to play as part of a band. No limits!

For most budding musicians they can be playing simple beats in just a few lessons, however if you’d like to play anything a bit more involved, you’ll want to plan on practicing for longer than that before considering yourself a skilled drummer.

Drumming is mostly a skill of rhythm and coordination. If you’re fairly coordinated already or quick to pick it up and are dedicated to practicing every day, you’ll be able to build some drumming skills fairly quickly.

Drums vs Guitar vs Piano

Once you’ve decided it’s time to learn how to play an instrument, there’s no doubt that you’ve questioned which one would be the easiest to learn. There are many variables to that, but here are a few things to consider:

Limbs involved

While each instrument mostly uses the upper body, they will incorporate your lower body to a different extent. Guitar and piano both only involve the feet if you get into using the pedals, while drums can quickly become a full body workout. It’s common for a drummer to use their feet to control pieces of their drumkit like the bass drum and high-hat cymbals.

Noticeable mistakes

When playing any instrument, no matter how much experience you have, you are sure to make mistakes. One of the big differences between instruments is whether those mistakes are noticeable, or if they can be easily covered up or ignored. With the piano and guitar, it’s possible that mistake won’t be noticed by anyone listening or playing with you, as you can just keep playing and adjust the following notes to compensate. However, with the drums your mistakes could be more apparent. When you play the drums, you are hitting each note individually so there’s no way to blend the wrong notes together. A mistake on the drums can also throw off the timing of the performance pretty easily.


Drums are much easier to learn than guitar and piano if you’re someone who struggles with dexterity. Holding drumsticks and hitting each surface is much easier on your fingers and hands than playing piano keys or strumming a guitar and holding your notes.

Coordination and Rhythm

Drums require a higher level of coordination than the piano or guitar. Often when playing the drums, you’ll have to focus on keeping the rhythm for the entire band, while playing several different pieces of your kit. However, with the piano or guitar you often only have to worry about what each hand is doing. The drums are the backbone of a band, so every player will be looking to you to keep them on time and on rhythm.

Learning the drums is as hard as you want it to be

When you set out to learn the drums it can be as hard or as easy as you want it to be. If the goal is to carry a beat and have fun, a minimal amount of practicing can have you feeling comfortable with drumsticks in your hand.

Although the guitar or piano may seem like less pressure, they can both be difficult to master as well. When it comes down to choosing the best instrument to learn, you should choose the one that will be the most fun and interesting to you. Having fun is the best way to stick with any new hobby.