When first learning to play drums, the main thing you need to know how to do is count to 4. Since there are 4 beats in every bar, and we are going to play 1 stroke per beat; it makes sense to use this simple method when first learning drums. As you progress further along in learning the drums you will want to start to study different counting and learning methods, but for now let's just use this one.
The first exercise is all played on the hi-hat. These are the 2 cymbals to the left of you when you are sitting at your kit (left handed drummers do the opposite). Don't worry about using the foot pedal on the hi-hats, that will come later. Just make sure they are securely closed and make a "chick" sound when you hit them. For the first exercise we are going to play the hi-hats on all four counts in the measure. Make sure to play them exactly in time. Repeat this pattern several times until you feel comfortable.
Next, we are going to add in the bass drum on counts 1 and 3. This is played using the pedal with your right foot. Count out loud as you play these and it will make things much easier in the long run. When hitting the bass drum make sure it sounds like a convincing strong stroke. You are teaching your muscles new things that the have never done before, make sure you help them understand what you want them to do.
Now we are going to give you bass drum foot a break and bring in the snare hand. This is the drum right front and center. We are going to hit the snare drum on counts 2 and 4 with your left hand. Make sure you continue to count out loud as you do this.
And finally, we are going to put it all together. This is definetely the most challenging of all the exercises so make sure you start slow and be patient. Drumming is all about having fun so there is no point in taking it too seriously. We are playing the hi-hat on all 4 counts, the snare drum on count 2 and 4, and the bass drum on counts 1 and 3. The pattern should be repeated several times until it sounds continuous and smooth.
Well, if you have completed the four exercises above you are well on your way to learning drums. If you are interested in more information on learning drums feel free to check out the following websites:
Also, here is video that demonstrates these 4 exercises: