If you are serious about drumming I have good advice:
I've been playing 13 years.I play in my college's jazz ensemble and play in a rock band outside of that. I take lessons with the percussion instructor at my university. I usually practice 3 hours a day. I get paid for some of my gigs, but not enough for me to call myself a professional.
If you can afford lessons do it. You will progress most quickly this way. Devote at least 30 minutes a day to practice. It is better to practice 30 minutes every day than 3 hours and 30 minutes one day a week. Make sure you don't jam random beats and call it practice. It won't make you much better to do this because you'll end up playing the same beats you can already do.
Play with other musicians
It may be hard as a beginner to find other musicians but you will benefit greatly from it. Make sure you keep it simple; the downfall of most drummers is trying to prove themselves with some complicated fill that adds nothing to the music. Understand your part as a drummer is to improve the whole of the music instead of stick out as an individual talent.
Use a metronome when practicing
It is infuriating to play with a drummer that is not metronomically sound. You drive the ensemble/band. The timing needs to be in the pocket. The metronome is on the whole time I practice. To make it even more challenging, give yourself only beat 1 of 4 - really tests your ability to keep time.
Speed comes from practicing a pattern annoyingly slow. It is easy to play fast when you have practiced slow.
It is difficult to break away from comfortable beats without having a book to push you to try something you aren't comfortable with. Currently I'm working on comping in jazz with the bass and snare. It gives me more flexibility when my instructor throws a new big band chart and I have to read it on the spot.
Look at the rudiments of drumming. They are the foundation of drumming (like scales are for the piano). Here is a good resource.
Why Practice Boring Difficult Patterns From A Book?
When I get thrown into a rock situation, I use all kinds of stuff I learned in books: linear fills, comping patterns from jazz as fills, rudiments. It all helps you improvise and you will notice much improvement by structuring your practice.
I'm not going into great detail here, but you want to know:
- Moeller technique
- French grip (give you light fast singles)
- German grip (power + speed)
Here's a really good video that you should watch: Real Rudiments
This all can be done with 30 minutes a day. Be warned that you may get addicted to drumming.
Here's sort of a starting point for you.
1) Pick one rudiment to work on. Start with single stroke roll, double stroke roll, paradiddle. (10 minutes w/ metronome)
Buy Alfred's Drum Method and work on that (10 minutes w/ metronome)
3) Find a song you want to play and try to play along with it. I put ear buds in and throw gun shooting muffs over the top so the IPod doesn't get flooded out by the drums. This will keep drumming fun if you spend time trying to play with music you like. If you can find a chart for the song then use it.
Every other day
4) Hand Technique: This dvd is pretty expensive but to me it was worth every penny - Jojo Mayer Secret Weapons For The Modern Drummer. Some of the lessons in this video can be found on YouTube. (Work on one of these techniques in the video). Look at Moeller Technique in particular. This guy can achieve ridiculous power and speed the Moeller technique.
Go to the Vic Firth Website and look at the technique videos. John Wooten does a good job of explaining. I attached a link in the Rudiments section above.
2) Watch this video about different bass drum technique's. This will give you some ideas of how you can do quick doubles (very applicable to rock and hip hop).
- Even if you cannot make it to the drum set, pull out a practice pad and work on rudiments or the Alfred Book.
There is a pure drummer forum called Drummer World that I would take a look at; there's professional players that answer questions all the time there.
All of these suggestions should be enough to get you started and going for awhile.