Drum lesson tips, Ideas, Stories and Free lessons
On the pads start at 40 BPM, softly, then 150, then 50 then 140, then 60 then 130 you get the idea. If you are a beginner start at 70 BPM for a few weeks, then start trying out other tempi. Slower is harder to control.
On the kit: My 12-year-old copy says 40 BPM. R=alternating feet, L=hands.
Other ideas play Samba feet under the sticking patterns. Or a Nola pattern, or even a Cuban tumbao rhythm pattern.
Make every note sound intentional.
it goes on and on.
There are numerous ways to play this famous page. Head over to Nick Ruffini’s page and ask for copy of his book. Mailing List - Drummer's Resource: Conversations with the world's greatest drummers and music industry pros. (nxcli.net) And enjoy his podcasts. I’ve listened to over 500 of them!
The key word is intentional practice.
One of the the joys of drumming is getting the hands together while playing with others.
On the other side of the pandemic I look forward to some Saturday afternoons teaching this to my drumming students.
We'll be making a glorious music.
Got this yesterday. What a heap of fun, and a great way to explore, review, and make some music with rudiments on my pad.
Drummers need a few things.
A close study of rudiments helps us to improve all three.
"It's all about time" Terry Clarke
Job number 1. Keeping time. Full stop. So, are people born with good time or is it trainable?
Of course a student can learn to play with good time. Ask any teacher or older musician and they will tell you, kids today are more skilled and more numerous and back in the day. Why is that? Many reasons, but one is the abundance and access to expert instruction. Live and on YouTube. So, take heart.
Musical time is about muscle memory, ear training, and hand skills. Try this real simple exercise with the various metronome techniques. Over time it will help your time, feel, and hand technique while warming up your hands to practice.
(It looks simple until the metronome moves. )
Now the techniques:
1. Even strokes between the hands, no loud or faint notes. Every note the same volume.
2. No rushing when the time value doubles in tempo between the quarter and eighth notes.
3. Relaxed grip.
4. Good rebound.
Challenge levels, metronome games.
Call me, I can help.
How I will be spending some practice time over the holidays, preparing this piece. A fun solo piece for the snare drum.
Good hand skills are the core competency of drumming. Learning some solo repertoire is a fun way of going about it.
If you swing them a bit, they morph into a New Orleans Roll offs or drum solos pretty fast.
This is simple: Hand to hand or right-left. Starting slow then accelerate. Start slow.
We will start with match grip. For real keeners, you might work with traditional grip and French grip as well.
1. Start slow, over time you will be able to speed up with minimal tension.
2. Let the sticks rebound, or bounce freely off the head. If the stick is buried in the head, the drum will not speak.
3. Keep the hands and arms relaxed, it comes primarily from the wrists. No "Death Grips".
How do you get great hands?
See my last blog post for more information, then call me.
There are drum books for technique, styles, and advanced concepts. I own more than a 100. But let's start simple, the basics.
So, why a book?
Books lay out a roadmap, give a sense of accomplishment, develop reading skills, and impart important drum culture attitudes in students among other things.
Below are a few favs of mine.
Playing rudiments and sticking patterns/exercises from “Syncopation”, “Stick Control” and other sources with our metronome, on a practice pad, with a joyful heart, with the intention to hear evenness, and steadiness of our stickings, cognizant of the feeling of how our developing technique feels in our body will put you in the zone in no time.
Over a lifetime of drumming this will centre you; preparing your mind and body to drum, practice, or just get on with your day.
Bonus in hidden in the title of the book: stick control. The holy grail of drumming. From beginners to Masters this is our quest.
A story from the past.
Drummers in Berklee College of music had a space in a hallway where they used to congregate and collectively practice their rudiments. Truly a place of happiness, the camaraderie between the drummers was the envy of the non-drummers trudging off to hours of solitary practice.
David Story, drum teacher
David Story, drummer, pianist, online music teacher