REPETITION

REPETITION

If I was to tell you that many problems with drumming stem from one little “Secret”, would
you beg to know what it is?

The secret is REPETITION
Most young drummers (and even some old ones 😉 underestimate the importance of this word. But many simple problems are solved relatively easily by incorporating just this one little secret.


PROBLEM #1: My arms tire while playing for long periods of time.
FIX: REPETITION.! Practice single strokes for LONG periods of time. Get them EXTREMELY fast to where they become “very” comfortable. If the rest of your technique is relatively good, your arms will not tire after that.


PROBLEM #2: My feet are slow and can’t do half the things my hands do.
FIX: REPETITION.! Isolate your feet and practice nothing but them for extended periods of time. Play the samba bass drum rhythm “allot”. That’s always been a good one for getting your right foot in shape.


PROBLEM #3: I can’t play in odd time signatures.
FIX: REPETITION.! Vinnie Colauita once said, “Just play in 7 for like an hour”. This is especially insightful as we can often get caught up in studying things too closely and miss the point. Sheer repetition will help lead to more comfort in odd times.


PROBLEM #4: I can’t do a proper double stroke roll to save my life.
FIX: REPETITION.! Play that thing slowly, properly, and for “long” periods of time, while gradually increasing your speed. DO NOT CHEAT. Make yourself do intentional,
defined doubles. Chart your progress by playing to 16th’s on a metronome. In no time at all, you’ll be GETTING IT.

LEARN OTHER STYLES OF MUSIC

Learn other styles of music

If you are a rock drummer, study jazz and latin patterns. Likewise, if you are a jazz drummer, it will be helpful if you study current rock styles.

Not only will your versatility make you more in demand with a greater number of musicians, but the coordination skills you develop in one style will carry over into another.

Many of the top rock drummers around today also have a strong jazz background, and it shows in their playing.

Learn another instrument

PianoLearning another instrument, piano for example, has immediate benefits for you as a drummer.

I suggest piano, as the scales, melodies, and chords are tangible and graphic.

In other words, everything is laid out for you to see, touch, and hear at the same time, thereby allowing you to understand musical ideas with your eyes, hands, and ears.

Most successful musicians have a working knowledge of the keyboard, and the benefits to you as a drummer are both direct and indirect:

    1. As your ear becomes more perceptive, you become more aware of what other musicians are doing, so you can react in a musical way.

 

    1. You can follow charts more easily (lead sheets as well as drum charts).

 

    1. You understand form in music more easily.

 

    1. You can communicate with musicians in a succinct way.

 

  1. You can even write your own songs. Many great drummers are also known as composers: Louis Bellson, Jack DeJohnette, Billy Cobham

Read more: http://www.classic-rock-drum-charts.com/articles-4suggestions.html#ixzz3PlKbEkUS

HOW TO PLAY A DRUM SOLO

Playing a drum solo is the most impressive way for drummers to express themselves.Every drummer wants to impress the audience with a unique drum solo. But do you really know how to build a proper drum solo? Will you bore the audience with a lame drum solo or lengthy repetitive roll? This article will get you started on the proper ways to create a unique drum solo that will build on itself, and impress the crowd. Remember, a good drum solo isn’t always fast and technical – so don’t get down if you are still to be considered a beginner drummer. A drum solo is something that a drummer of any background or level of experience can put together to showcase their talent. These solos are best played with rock songs; however, playing them in Jazz musicLatin music, and Punk music is also very common.  Before you decide to take on drum soloing, you may want to make sure you know the basic skills of a drummer!

The best way to look at a drum solo is by thinking of it as its own song. With a song, it starts out with a bit of an intro, and slowly starts to build. Towards the end, the song will build and build, giving off more energy to keep you the audience intrigued. You would not want a song to start with a heavy bridge and end with a slow, softer feel would you? The same is with a drum solo. A lot of drummers will throw their best chops, rolls, and drum rudiments in right at the beginning, realizing they have nothing left for a solid outro. This being said don’t think this is the only way to do a drum solo. A drum solo should be an expression of the drummer, if you want to do a solo with slow rolls for five minutes that is totally fine. Drum solos should always be unique and personal, but try your best to make them as innovative as possible!

Building A Drum Solo

It is very important to keep a solo in time. That being said, most times you can change the tempo to achieve a certain feel during your drum solo. A good way to keep time is by using ametronome, and playing a solid quarter note beat on your bass drum. An example of this is:

Drum Notation

Keep this beat on your bass drum rolling throughout the solo; it will keep you in time, and keep your solo flowing. To get proper sound dynamics, start the solo out soft, and slowly bring up the volume and intensity.

Now its time to fill in the rest. There are many ways in going about doing this, so do not feel limited, this is only a very basic solo idea. Try adding some toms over top of your bass drum pattern. One example would be to add a 16th note roll on your toms. That would look something like this:

Drum Notation

All that is left is to add some cymbals in, and expand on the beat a bit. There’s no limit to how long you can’t go for, as long as you keep people interested. You don’t want to keep repeating the same roll over and over. The audience will get bored very fast. You have to keep changing different techniques and feels, while keeping them all related. Just like a song, you wouldnt totally change the feel everytime you go from verse to chorus, you always need something relative to tie everything together. Make sure that all elements of your drum solo all have the same type of feel. You can get alot of ideas from going on websites like YouTube or Google-Video, these websites have home made video’s from many talented drummers that you can learn drum solo techniques from.

Finishing A Drum Solo

There are many ways to finish off a drum solo. One way is to bring it down to a soft stop. This can be done by bringing the dynamics down, and slowing the beat down a bit. You may like this technique if you are doing a long solo, where all attention is on you. It will bring closure to your beat. The other way is to go out with a bang. This is a great method if you are ending a show, or song. Crash away at your cymbals, while playing on the set as fast as you can. Fast drum rudiments going around the toms are sure to impress your crowd. End with a final blow to your crash.

Like I said before, a drum solo does not have to be too technical. They just have to be able to keep the listener intrigued. I cannot express enough how important it is that you continue to be creative with your solos.To add some spice to any solo, try playing it with brushes. Make sure that every solo you create is unique to your style, the audience can easily sense if the drummer is bored, or dissatisfied with a performance. Soloing is very fun and rewarding, so always try new tricks, and never stop learning! Try to add some spice to your soloing by playing some patterns in a linear style

LEARN TO TUNE YOUR DRUMS

Learn How To Tune Drums

Tuning your drums is vital in getting the maximum sound and life out of your drum heads. Without tuned drums, your drum kit will sound muddy and out of pitch. Also if you don’t regularly tune your drum heads, you will find that they will be more susceptible to damage and you are going to have to buy new drum heads alot faster than necessary. This article will give you the ABCs of tuning your drums to find the right sound for you, as well as give you tips on improving the strength of your skins. That being said, you need to know that there is no one way to tune your drums. Tuning your drums is extremely personal (like selecting skins) and you must experiment to get the pitch right for you!

Lets start with an empty shell. (For those unsure on how to remove your existing skin, refer to Jared Falk’s Rock Drumming DVDs for the complete Drum head replacement and tuning section). Be sure to have a cloth handy so you can give your drum rim and new drum head a wipe down. Any dirt or wood chips that remain on the drum shell can cause the skin to go on warped, causing an uneven sound, or it can also damage the drum shell. Plus no wants a dirty drum. After you clean the drum shell, and the new drum head, you are ready to install the new drum head onto your drum.

Installing The Drum Head

Place the drum head on your shell, of course making sure the size of the drum head is the correct size for the shell. it should fit easily overtop, but not be “baggy” around the drum shell. Give the rim of your drum a quick wipe down, and place it on the skin along with the lugs in the appropriate holes. Tighten all the lugs hand tight at first; leave the drum key Drum Keyalone for a bit. Once the rim is on hand tight, you must stretch the head. This is a very important tip that most drummers do not know about. To do this, simply make a fist, and press down on the middle of your skin. This will help stretch and set your skin so it will not go out of tune as easily. You may hear the skin cracking a bit, but do not worry, that is normal. Generally speaking you shouldn’t be able to press down too hard and break the skin. I have never broken a skin by doing this, but if you do, return it to your local music store for an exchange. Once you have stretched your drum head, go over all of the lugs again, and make sure they are all finger tight.

Tuning Your Drums

Now its time to tune your drums using the drum key. Tuning the lugs on a drum is like tightening the bolts on a tire, you want don’t want to go around the drum in a circle, you want to move back and forth across the drum. Pick a lug to start at, any one will do. Say you turn it one and a half times, be sure to turn every lug (using the tuning pattern below) the same amount to keep the skin uniform. Keep tuning opposite lugs until they are all snug. Take this example below. You would want to tune each lug in alphabetical order. Start by tuning A, then B, and so on…

Tuning Diagram

 

Once you get the drum head snug, its time to actually “tune” the drum. Grab a drumstick, and tap 1-2 inches from any lug on the drum skin. How does it sound? If its the sound you want, use that lug as your “guide lug”. Again you want to tune your drums by tapping opposites, making sure you are tapping the same distance from the lug as the first tap. Make sure you tune every lug has the same sound in front of it or the whole drum will sound out of pitch. All that is left now is to find the right sound for you and the music you are playing.!

Tuning The Batter Head

Tuning your batter skin (the skin you hit) is the same as tuning your resonant skin (the bottom skin). To get a better sound from your drum, try tuning your resonant skin a few tones lower than your batter skin. Weather its a bass drum, snare, or tom, you can use this method on all. Just make sure you have the snare turned off when tuning.

Finding The Right Sound For You

There are many different types of drum heads that you can use depending on your style of drumming. There are different heads for jazz drumming, rock drumming, and country drumming. Next time you are in your local music store take the time to experiment with different types of drum heads. It is also important for you to understand how drums work. If you want to learn more about drum tuning check out the drum set lessons on DrumLessons.com

Check out this drum lesson website if you are interested in learning more about playing the drums

MOTIVATION

MOTIVATION
Ever get in a slump and can’t get excited about drumming? This is often due to lack of motivation or stimulation. Just as you would read positive books of wisdom and understanding to improve yourself as a person, the same holds true with drumming. You must find ways to be excited about playing. The following offer a few suggestions:

1. Surround yourself with great musicians. When you’re around great
players, you will strive to be the best yourself. It rubs off, I promise!

2. Buy a new cymbal, piece of hardware, or drumset. Sure, it’s a bit expensive, but it never fails to help get the juices flowing.

3. Listen to great drummers on CD and Video. The more you hear, the
more you will have the desire to play like them.

4. Go to drum clinics! What can I say, if you don’t walk away inspired by a great clinic, then you probably shouldn’t be playing.

5. Set goals for yourself. No matter how small the goal, it
gives you something to strive for and gives you a sense of purpose in life. Life is more fulfilling when you’re moving forward.

6. Take some lessons. Despite your level of experience, lessons always seem to inspire us. You will find new approaches, viewpoints, and techniques that you may have never encountered otherwise. Even the greats will often go back and study with a teacher after a long successful career. They are maintaining goals in their life and assuring continual motivation, excitement, and competitiveness.

RESOLUTIONS

RESOLUTIONS

How many of you make New Years Resolutions? Or are you the type to say, “Well, what’s the use, I never keep ’em anyway.”?

Think about it for a minute, if we had that attitude about everything in life, then why would we even get up in the morning? I mean, why drive to work or go to school when you might have an accident and get killed? You see how silly this is?

The word resolution is just a fancy word for “goal setting”. Webster lists several definitions but reoccurring words are “resolve”, “declare”, and “decide”.

Why not use the beginning of the year as a fresh start to achieve the goals that you set for yourself on DRUMS? Write them down in big bold letters and tape them to the wall if you have to. This is a common habit of successful people and it WILL work if “you” work hard for it and “MAKE IT HAPPEN”. Even if you don’t meet all of your goals, just “TRYING” gets you a lot closer than you would have gotten otherwise.

You don’t need to have a list of 10 or 12 things if you don’t want. Sometimes just 1 or 2 goals are sufficient. Maybe you can resolve to get that double stroke roll perfected once and for all. Or maybe you can commit to taking a few private lessons to help
get you out of that slump.

GET POSITIVE, GET MOTIVATED! Make a few resolutions and get out there and KICK SOME BUTT!

Benefits Of The Moeller Method

Benefits Of The Moeller Method

Moeller Method AdvantagesIf you are a drummer looking to increase your speed, power, and control of your drumsticks, then you may want to look into the Moeller method. The Moeller method is a technique used on your sticks to maximize the control and speed of your drumsticks; ultimately improving your overall drumming. The Moeller method is a technique used by every professional drummer, so why not learn it yourself? Learning how to play the Moeller method is not actually that difficulty at all. Before you even start to learn the proper Moeller strokes, let me explain some of the benefits of the Moeller method.

Develop total control of your drumsticks

Whether you use the Moeller method for its full potential or not, learning how incorporate it into your everyday playing will help to develop a complete new feel and control for your drumsticks. With the Moeller method, you learn how to grip your drum sticks in ways never thought of before. These unique Moeller stick grips will enable you to get maximum bounce and control from your strokes. You will learn how to find the fulcrum point, or balancing point of the drum stick quick and easily. For a video lesson on finding the fulcrum point and proper stick grip, watch Mike Michalkow’s lesson on how to hold your drumsticks. You can also read up about the different type of stick grips with this powerful article on drumstick grips. These reasons alone are enough to at least study the Moeller method at least a short while.

Increase your power on your drumsticks

Once you have discovered the proper way to hold your drumsticks, you will be able to get the next benefit from the Moeller method – drumstick power! The Moeller method teaches a number of strokes that use your wrists as a whipping motion to get a very powerful strike on the drums. This motion is fairly easy to maneuver; however you must get the proper style down first. With this technique, you will be able to get the most power out of your drumsticks with very little work at all. Learning the Moeller method will increase your overall dynamics on the drum set.

Double, or even triple your drumstick speed

Probably one of the biggest benefits you will see from the Moeller method is the increased speed on your drumsticks. The Moeller method teaches you how to use the rebound of your stick to control the amount of strokes you get from each hit. When you have the Moeller method mastered, you will be able to get anywhere from 2 to 6 (or more) strokes for each hit of the drum. You can only imagine how much faster you could drum with the ability to get 4 times the amount of strokes from your basic drum roll. In the end, you will be able to master each of the 40 essential drum rudiments with speed, power and control.

When you break it down, there are too many reasons to learn the Moeller method to just ignore it. It may be a change from your regular style of drumming, but once learned, you will notice an improvement immediately. Sometimes learning a new technique may seem to set you backwards in your drumming skills; however once you are comfortable with it your skill level will increase that much faster. So take the time to look into this technique that is growing rapidly in popularity in the drumming community!

DRUM RUDIMENTS

Drum Rudiments

Drum Rudiments are one of the most important aspects of drumming. They are the building blocks to every drum beat, pattern, fill, and solo. Whatever your skill level is on the drums, practicing your rudiments is a must. Even if you are an advanced drummer, it’s always good to go over some of the more technical rudiments. There are 40 drum rudiments; some more complicated then the other. Out of those 40, there are about 5 essential rudiments that are a must for practicing. Read this article to learn the importance of drum rudiments, and gain a little bit of insight as to what a drum rudiment really is. If you would like to start learning some of these patterns, you can check out the drum rudiments video lesson section of FreeDrumLessons.com.

What are Drum Rudiments?

Many of you may be unfamiliar with the term Rudiments; however, do not worry. Drum rudiments aren’t a concept you aren’t aware of, maybe just a term you haven’t heard before. A drum rudiment is basically a sticking pattern. Every sticking pattern you play on the drum set is derived from different drum rudiments. Most are very common patterns that you are well aware of like the single stroke roll, double stroke roll, and flam stroke. Some are more complex and difficult to play. The next time you play the drums, you should look and see what rudiments you are actually playing. Drum rudiments are the essentials of drumming; they should be practiced by drummers to increase their stick control, speed and independence.

40 Essential Rudiments

You may have heard of the 40 Essential Drum Rudiments before; this is the list of rudiments that are played. They say if you master the 40 essential rudiments you are on your way to becoming a professional drummer. This is very true; if you can identify and play each one of these rudiments you will have built up enough knowledge and stick control to be a very skilled drummer. However, this takes a lot of work. Here is the list of rudiments:

Drum Rudiment Practice

Like I have said before, practicing these drum rudiments are very important. The best way to practice these is to take a pair of drum sticks, a metronome, and a practice pad and start playing. Make sure you are playing with a metronome to keep yourself on time. If you do not know where to start, here is a list of the top 5 rudiments you should start with: the single stroke roll, the double stroke roll, the flam stroke, the paradiddle, and the double paradiddle. These are the top 5 rudiments you should start with, as each one will teach you speed, control, independence and endurance on your sticks. Make sure you read up on these essential practice tips before you begin playing these rudiments; it will help you out a lot!

Most of the drum rudiments are variations of each other, meaning it is not too hard to learn all 40 rudiments. For example, if you can play a flam stroke, and a paradiddle pattern, you should have no trouble playing the flam paradiddle. In any case take the time to go over each one if you can.

Drum rudiments are more than just sticking patterns you practice on a practice pad. They are designed to be played in common drumming applications. What this means is they are designed to be played in drum beats, fills, and solos. Check out the drum rudiments section in the drum lessons tab to see a variety of applications for each rudiment. Here you will learn how to play each rudiment in its most simplistic form, as well as complex drum beats and drum solos! For an added challenge, try to incorporate these rudiments into your double bass drumming!

SPEED RATING CHART

The Speed Rating Chart allows drummers to track his or her hand to hand stick speed while at the same time developing a more proficient and overall faster single stroke roll (the most fundamental and important of them all). The rhythms are graduated and increase in speed with each consecutive rhythmic line.

The speed is rated as to how many beats you can play in 60 seconds. Therefore, the first line logically begins with quarter notes. Each (one) quarter note corresponds with one click of a metronome set at 60bpm* (beats per minute). At this slow speed, your speed rating would therefore be measured as a 60 (60 notes in 60 seconds). After that the following speed of each new rhythmic line increases dramatically. **

You will find that the continuous playing of a single stroke roll for 60 seconds, focusing on a specific rhythmic system near the top of your own personal best, can be very chalenging (in other words 60 seconds may seem like a long time).

Use the Speed Rating Chart as a learning tool to improve your single stroke roll speed while at the same time increasing your own ‘personal best’ speed rating to new levels.

*The Guinness Book of Records now recognizes the fastest drummer in the world. This is competition also based on how many single strokes a drummer can play in 60 seconds

**Not all rhythms are even rhythms, some are odd rhythms (ie: 3’s 5’s & 7’s…)


The Speed Rating Chart:

What Is Your Speed Rating?

How to check your speed rating:

Set your metronome to 60 bpm (beats per minute)

Then find the fastest hand to hand, single stroke rhythmic subdivision that you can maintain for one entire minute (ie: 60 ticks of a metronome set at 60).

This then becomes your speed rating.


 

= 60 bpm (beats per minute)
= 120 bpm
= 180 bpm
= 240 bpm
= 300 bpm
= 360 bpm
= 420 bpm
= 480 bpm
= 600 bpm
= 720 bpm
= 840 bpm
= 960 bpm
= 1200 bpm
 

* May also be used to gauge bass drum speed and double bass drum speed.

THE PRACTICE OF PRACTICE

We have all been told that practice makes perfect and to achieve perfection one must practice for hours everyday.  I am not about to say that I have a quick fix that will lessen your practice time but I do have a method that will improve your chances of achieving your goals.  I’ve seen too many players spend hours and hours on practice with little results.  Primarily their fault lay in the fact that they did not have a work schedule that they followed, rated and revised when needed. Here are some ideas that have helped me organize my practice routine and achieve much better results.

  • PLAN DAILY: – Organize your routine every day.  Decide how much time you have to practice that day and divide it up between:
a) Warm Ups
b) Rudiments – learning and application of
c) Groove & Fills
d) Learning a song

 

  • CLICK/SEQUENCER: – You can accomplish two things at once by using a click or a sequencer with headphones, improve your timing and protect your ears.
  • WARM UPS: – I find this is essential to help getting the body aligned correctly for maximum effectiveness.  Work slowly, there’s no need for speed at this point.  Work for speed by playing slowly and accurately.  Accuracy is the objective.
a) LISTEN: This is also a good time to listen to the way the drums sound.  Be aware of the sounds produced by stokes on different places on the drumhead.
b) EMPLOY DYNAMICS:  Is each hand producing the same volume with each attack?  The way a drummer produces a dynamic is by how far the stick is above the drumhead.  Then just drop the stick – if you pull back before the drop you have lost the height and are now in a different dynamic.  Lastly watch your hands. Check to see if your wrists are moving, they should be, not your forearms.
c) RUDIMENTS/APPLICATION OF: – Learn your rudiments.  They are the foundation of your vocabulary. Study snare drum solos, either rudimental, orchestral repertoire or a modern solo, by doing so you are applying the rudiments.  Then practice applying the rudiments to the drum set.  Tony Williams, Steve Gadd, and Steve Jordan are three greats that are known for their use of rudiments in their playing.  Paradiddles as fills, diddle grooves, flams in fills.

 

  • GROOVE AND FILLS: – This is the one section of my practice routine that I always find time for because this is what drummers do and we must have complete mastery of it!  As always, work with a metronome or a sequence.  Choose a groove: swing, funk, rock, etc. and play it.  I don’t mean for two minutes, play it for twenty minutes without stopping. Vary the bass drum pattern, employ ghost notes, accent some of the ghost notes, switch from hi hat to ride cymbal, use an open handed pattern, use different sound sources for the pattern, but most of all GROOVE. So, how do we know if we’re grooving if there isn’t a crowd dancing in front of us – LISTEN – we have to be able to judge that for ourselves. Even better is to record 48 bars and listen back.  Now it’s time to add a few fills to the groove. Use two groups of 16ths on beats 3 & 4.  Play the fill first on the snare and then orchestrate it.  You can orchestrate with right hand movement, left hand movement, right and left hand movement and bass drum substitutions.  When you hear one that you like, take the time to stop and write it down, then memorize it.  A good procedure for this is to count with a metronome, 1 + 2 + and then play the fill.  Do this as many times as it takes you to memorize it.  Then back to the groove and employ the fill.  I like to use play a-long tracks to accomplish this. It keeps your practice musical and challenging.
  • LEARN A SONG A DAY: – Sharpen your ability to think in song form. 4 or 8 bar phrases into a fill then into a bridge or chorus employing a different groove for 16 bars with another fill at the end of 16th bar then back into the original groove.  Use a sequence for this process.  Sing a song in your head while you play the groove.  Use play a-long tracks or play to a CD.  Once you have 8 or 10 songs put them into a play list and play straight through as if you’re performing a set.

 

  • CHALLENGE YOUR COORDINATION: – Do this everyday! 
a) Play a busy bass drum pattern.
b) Play one pattern w/feet and another w/hands
c) Work on grooves that you can’t play
d) Add hi hat patterns to grooves and rudiments
e) Pat your head and rub your belly… only kidding

 

  • USE TWO CLOCKS: – Your metronome is one and a clock with a second hand is the other.  As mentioned before – always use a metronome.  Use the clock to time how long you work on a section of your practice routine.  If you have only an hour to practice spend 5 min on warm ups, 15 min on rudiments, 20 min on Groove and Fills and 20 min learning a new song.  Save another 5 min to:

 

  • KEPP A RECORD OF YOUR PROGRESS: – Always keep a small notebook to write down what you did that day, date it, notate metronome markings, styles and fills you played, songs you learned and how you felt you did on each.  Then plan what you want to accomplish tomorrow.

Learning to discipline myself to stick to a practice schedule has helped keep my practicing fresh and exciting.  Consistently rating my practice and scheduling the next day’s work has kept my progress moving steadily forward.  If drumming is your job or your passion, you owe it to yourself to develop your own practice program.

Good luck and as always, enjoy the process.