I've been learning drums for about 10 months now without a drum instructor other than websites, a few videos, and a few books. I practice usually 3-4 hours daily, sometimes more, sometimes less.
Some tips for the do-it-yourself drummers...
Here's a few practice techniques I taught myself for fills...
If you want to become more familiar with rhythm, learn some afro-cuban and latin, and get yourself a book and cheap cowbell to start. (I have a $10 Pearl Primero 6" cowbell with a $8 Gibraltar bass drum mount for the cowbell; less than $20 setup from www.musiciansfriend.com)
Learning these styles will increase your independance and widen your ideas.
For independance building I just started The New Breed by Gary Chester ($10). The book is great on looking at what your muscle memory is familiar with and what you need to work on. Also will increase your music reading ability (beginners), and increase your creativity.
One last practice tip is for double stroke rolls and using it in fills... Start with a double stroke roll on the snare, whatever speed is comfortable to you, then move the roll to hi hat (closed) and back to snare, then to high tom and back. Try keeping the double strokes constant between drums and cymbals. Get creative and switch up from singles to doubles, flams, whatever.
THEN start the excercise with the opposite hand, (RRLLRRLL, then to LLRRLLRR). Always keep in count.
I've seen this type of work done in drum solos (*the insane ones!). This has greatly strengthened my hands, increased my double stroke accuracy, and increased my creativity.
The material I've learned from mainly are:
If you have any questions or opinions please feel free to email me.
First, get to know your bass foot, use it alot at first and get a beat that uses it alot and fast and play it alot. Then learn off beats - that's where when you hit the high hat you have a snare or bass hit in between the high hat beats either once or more -and also learn your fills really good; they're important for speed. Always hit the bass or snare when you hit a symbol. E-mail me if you need any more help ive been playing for five years.
I have been playing for about 12 years. I am a self taught drummer, which is cool because it's allowed me to develop my own style. Unfortunately, not having a teacher to guide and correct me, has hindered my progress somewhat. Only a few months ago did it actually occur to me that I needed to learn rudiments. So I started learning them, playing to my metronome (another VITAL tool I should have invested in years ago), starting off slowly, and gradually turning it up a notch or two. The only problem is that I found it quite irritating to get to a certain tempo, stopping, turning the tempo up, starting again etc...
So I programmed a click for myself using Cubase. I'm sure any other studio program would work just as well. I programmed a whole line of quarter notes ad infinitum. Then I started working on the tempo's. It starts at a comfortable 60 bpm, and then I progammed it so that every 30 seconds it goes up 2 bpm, so I don't need to stop. I can just carry on playing along. This goes on for a half hour. I usually do this exercise twice, mixing up 8ths, and 16ths, mixing up different rudiments. Right now I'm working on paradiddles and it's really helping a lot. It's a killer exercise and after doing it even once, my hands are SO supple. Nice for warming up and anything else. I've burned in onto a cd so I can use it anywhere; in the bandroom with headphones on behind the drums, or at home through the stereo, in the car during my lunch break (the steering wheel or dash board also make GREAT surfaces for practice). Try it!
This practice helps woth rolls a lot. it goes like this: Now all the letters are r = non-accented right hand l = non-accented left hand caped letters are accented notes. Start this exercice slow, at around 80 BPM then start incrising untill u get to al lest 144 BPM or if u can go faster, i say to gfi.
1 2 3 4 / 1 & 2 & 3 & 4 & / 1 2 3 4 / 1 & 2 & 3 & 4 & / r l r l r r l l r r l l r l r l r r l l r r l l
1 2 3 4 / 1 & 2 & 3 & 4 & / 1 2 3 4 / 1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &/ R l r L r r l l r r l l R l r L r r l l r r l l
1 2 3 4 / 1 2 3 4 / 1 & 2 & 3 & 4 & / 1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &/ r l r l r l r l r r l l r r l l r r l l r r l l
1 2 3 4 / 1 2 3 4 / 1 & 2 & 3 & 4 & / 1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &/ R l r l R l r L r r l l r r l l r r l l r r l l
Well hope this exercice helps, it helped me a lot. Well late!
Here's a great paradiddles exercise :
R l r r L r l l R l r r L r l l | r L r l l R l r r L r l l R l r |
l l R l r r L r l l R l r r L r | l r r L r l l R l r r L r l l R |
L r l l R l r r L r l l R l r r | l R l r r L r l l R l r r L r l |
r r L r l l R l r r L r l l R l | r l l R l r r L r l l R l r r L |
(Caps are accented strokes)
rrr lll rrr lll rr ll rrr lll rrr lll rrllrrll 1pl 2pl 3pl 4pl 1e +a 1pl 2pl 3pl 4pl 1 e + a ^ triplets |
this will improve your hands and if you are a double kick player this is a great tranning excersise. U can add all the ways of praticing this Tomas, u do explain it the best.
Of course, rudiments are important in order to keep your technique up to par, but i found that just jamming by yourself is the perfect way to come up with some wicked grooves. I play funk drumming, so i just love messing around setting up grooves, wacking in loads of ghost notes on the snare, playing really cool stuff on the bass and going nuts on the hi hat and ride! This really does help build up your confidence cause it makes you feel that you can do some really cool stuff live, and not mess it up! Also, when practising, try and really push yourself over your limit, thats the only way to get better, its just the little things like for example, i try and do alot of fast funky stuff on the bass drum, but still only using a single pedal.
If your in a band, jam your songs just by yourself, don't ever feel restrained because your bassist isn't there etc. By doing so, you won't feel the need to hold back, meaning you'll have the freedom to drift out of time and try more stuff to spice up the groove or come up with more fills! When you are with your band, try and listen to what the song needs, most drummers have always been told that all the drummer does is keep time. When in fact the drummer is there to keep the time, keep everybody together and to KEEP THE GROOVE! Our job as drummers is to make sure everybody in the audience is tapping their foot, clapping, jumping or dancing to the beat and we must do whatever it takes in order to do so!
Hope this helps!
Feel free to visit my bands website, we are hopfully recording a new album soon which will have alot of my funk drumming in it. :-)
__ ! ( ) !
I spend a lot of time on the computer, doing homework, looking up articles and other such things. Since my drumset is downstairs and my computer is upstairs, I can't practice and play drums at the same time. What I've done is bought a small pad (the smallest + cheapest you can find) and a cheap pair of sticks and I've left them up in my room. While I'm reading somethign or working on homework, I'll pull up the rudiments from this site and just start practicing them. You can basically do this when you doing anything. Bring this pad and sticks everywhere. You can always practice rudiments. Come up with your own practice routines. There are books that are filled with just rudiments, you can pick one up and start playing those as well. No matter where you go, you can always be thinking about the drums.
Another thing I try to do is when I'm listening to music, I try to find out what it's time signature is by listening to it. I find I can do this with a band that tends to use odd time signitures (Tool comes to mind.) Try and find the time, and then maybe think about how you would handle that time signature with that song. Write it down, and then practice it at home. You shouldn't always play in 4/4. It gets quite repetitive.
Two very usefull thing i discovered recently:
1. If it is not possible for you to practice on a real drum set very often, here is a usefull tip: turn your mouse pad upside down, hence getting something very similair to an electric drum pad with very realistic bounce and no loud tones at all.
2. A usefull combination for learning doubles:
R R L L (RLL) (RLL) L L R R (LRR) (LRR)
Bracketed notes represent triplets.
Have fun and practice your rudiments!
I FIND WHEN PLAYING A TECHNICAL BEAT IT SOUNDS SO MUCH BETTER IF YOU VIBRATE YOUR STICKS ON THE HEAD SO IT MAKES THAT FAST REPETITIVE MILLATRY STYLE SOUND,IT SOUNDS AWESOME ON ALL THE DRUMS. AND CHANGE THE TEMPO IN FILLS, EG. START A MODERATELY FAST FILL AND NEAR TO THE END LET IT DRAG(SLOW DOWN)
OH AND BY THE WAY YOU CAN'T TEACH DRUMMING YOU EITHER HAVE IT OR YOU DON'T
My bass player and I are currently in between guitar players, and with our fusion/prog rock band currently on hold we've been hitting the woodshed together to stay in top form between auditions.I might play a series of paradiddles, ratamacues, whatever- all around the kit and he'll "mirror" me with a riff of his own, and vice versa. The object is to challenge each other as much as possible. We've worked out some pretty great rhythmic patterns this way. Sometimes it gets downright wild! We've even recorded some to use for future original material. We're getting pretty tight as a result and it's a great way to stay in shape too! We all know how important it is to keep the rhythm section solid in any band, so I would recommend this to anyone out there. And so we've turned a temporary disadvantage into a good thing! Happy Drummin'
If you are already a professional (in that you get paid to play frequently) but want to tighten up, seriously consider playing with a band that uses sequenced material. Go to your local music store and ask the employees about some of the bands around town. A lot of smaller stores will consist of salesmen who are also professional musicians. See if any of them play or know people who play with bands who use sequenced material. Usually, these bands will be duos or trios that also use larger bands for bigger shows. They usually play the sequences off of floppy disks or Mini Discs. You may think playing along with sequenced material is cheesy, but from my experience, the folks I play with usually sequence the cover songs on their own and are incredible musicians that just happen to be forced by the market to have a bigger sound than two or three folks can offer, or play in venues that require a perfect performance every time (like 5 star hotels). I have been playing sequenced material for about 10 years, and even though I never practice chops and stuff, I haven't been able to practice due to the fact that I am always playing gigs- the drumset never leaves the car. I am so tight as a result that I would feel confident playing with anyone. It also teaches you to concentrate on the groove. The main complement I get and the reason I get hired is because the singer/guitarist/whatever never has to "look back" at me for cues, or worse, mistakes. I tell people that if they forget I'm there, I must be doing something right. And only overplay if you can afford to make your own educational DVDs, or Dream Theater needs a temp.
i have been playing the drum kit for about 4 months, before i got my kit i played on a practice pad for 4 years. Im not going to tell you what to do, personally what i think works best is go to alot of concerts and make friends with other drummers and musicians. Along the way you will pick up different kinds of rythm from all different people.. variety is way better then playing one type of genre of music..
I love playing with click tracks and/or my favorite cd's. I try to spend at least an hour a day with the'ol practice pad grooving to funk,latin jazz, soul, metal, whatever...I practice my rudiments using the cd's as a "metronome". It's a challenge to "fit" any given rudiment(s) into the rhythmic structure while maintaining the groove.It's really helped me play better in the pocket as well as improving my solo skills. I'm ready to try the same method with my double bass. I gig quite a bit, but I will never forego the rudiments. Sounds simple, but it really works for me!
There is such a high I get when I play drums!!! I Love It!! First thing... Enjoy what you are doing. Music is a feeling; it should be a good feeling. Second thing... get with people who inspire you to push yourself. Also, when you practice.. a metronome is very essential for developing accuracy. But don't stop there!! Try covering up the click to where you can't hear it, then try laying back to where you feel like you are sitting in a big chair that you sink down in. This is where you hear more of the click, only you're more on the underside of it. Then try getting on the top side of the click. With this, it tends to give a more exciting feel to it, but you will not be rushing. I've worked with musicians who firmly feel that a click track will limit the feel. I feel this is wrong. Because, with practice, one can create his/her own feel by focusing on the click in the fashion described above. Also, if you have an electronic metronome with a light, (a pendulume works great in this application as well), set it to where you can only see the light, not hear the 'click'. Think of a song you want to play. Get the song going in your head. Set the appropriate tempo. Start into the song just like you are playing the tune in a band. Occasionaly look over to see if you are still with the click (or light in this respect). This will help develope sensitivity and feel, as well as consistency of tempo.
And lastly, and I feel perhaps the most important.. I believe the biggest misconception regarding the drums is that it is often regarded as soley a rythme instrument. Drums are musical instruments!!! These instruments are tuned and should be like a chord. This applies with cymbals as well. When playing in a band.. try approaching the song like you are having a conversation with your fellow bandmates. In working together, the topic of discussion should be delivered to the audience with clarity. Songs don't always have to have words to have a profound message. The pocket is often what we as drummers concentrate on. And this is the essence of our exsistence. But remember, it's playing off of the musicians you're playing with that matters, too. Compliment the music...Someone once said that it's not important how many notes one plays, it's the notes one doesn't play that are the most profound!!
Thanks for your time..
Make sure you have a comfortable pair of drumsticks. Find a good, balanced pair of sticks. ie. I use Zildjian hickory. Well made drumsticks can make a difference in the sound your projecting from your set and even improve your playing as well. I tend to use lighter sticks when playing jazz. Not only does it help me with quick rolls and consistency but also helps contain the tonality.
For the drummers out there! ok you dont have to listen to me all you super amazing people because im only 17 and half taught myself half actual teaching but what i find helps is if you can find a peice of rubber say for instance a tire or some sort and just flex out on the rubber with your sticks, practice paradiddles etc... believe it does work, also dont over work yourself if you do then you just get stressed tired and pissed off that you cant progress you need time to reflect and think of how you can make that fill even better than it already is. You can do it!!
For practicng stick heights for marching show-band/drum-line I have found many useful tips. First using a ruler and a permanent marker mark the proper height from the butt of the stick up at the basis benchmark heights of 3,6,9, and 12-(or whatever heights you need to practice. Then, whenever you are practicing and would like to check your stick heights just pull out your stick,set it down with the butt end on the drum,and check your stick on heights. Next, another way you can practice stick heights that I have found to work very successfully is you can tape tape onto a mirror at the different stick heights and loo in the mirror to see if your stick heights are okay. I hope these tips can help you too. Thanks for taking the time to read my tips.
Here is a good warm up, its basically adding a storke every group 2 groups of each.( small letters indicate flam to the next consecutive letter)Do this with no breaks, from beginning to end then switch hands.
RLRL RLRL RRLL RRLL RrLL RrLL(swiss
DO all the strokes at a constant tempo in 4/4 that way when you do hit the triplets and double paradiddles it helps you with doing the 3 over 2 polyrythm, then add your feet on top of this exercise doing the 3 over 2 polyrythm. It helps in chops quite a bit when you get it quick
hi, ive only been drumming for a couple of years now and i practice all the time, everywhere i go im tapping. But i feel i just need help working with different patterns on the snare, eg. getting the rolling sound while snapping in snare shots. i find it difficult trying to learn from the book the different techniques in snare practicing so i have turned my attention to anyones willing help. i am on msn with the same addy firstname.lastname@example.org your welcome to add me e.mails would be greatly appreciated and would serve as a great help for me... thanx alot
well, im peruvian and here drumming its like something that doesn`t matter. Drums, sticks, and cymbals are hard to get... believe me they are so expensive.
So, when i was 12 years old i get a chair with two pillows ans started practicing there... i hear about rudiments since a year ago and i'm 21...believe drumming here its so hard.
I practice paradiddles double paradiddles triple, etc... rolls flams and other combination while holding the clave pattern on left foot and make some rock grooves with the right foot... that develops your independence and sense of humor... try making groups of three, five or 7 16 notes on left foot while making rock bass drum with the other... that`s pretty hard but fantastic
... think about polyrythms they are quite interesting... develop them!!!!
Need a quick sizzle? On a piece of duct tape about 3/4 of an inch long, tape 5 or so pennys to it and attatch the tape to the bell of the ride cymbal. I Works and sounds just like a cymbal with rivets in it.
Bad Ass Drummer
Just thank God for giving you the gift of music and the power of rhythm.
Here's what I do to exercise my reading and transcription skills along with improving my time: First I pick a song and memorize it, then I'll try to write out the drum chart or a scratch road map for it. After that I'll find the tempo for that song and set it on my drum machine. Then I'll play-along with the song in my head locking in with the click. Of course there are many ways you can do this exercise. I got this tip from Lorne Entress' book, "Time and Drumming".
The optimal way of practicing, and this is the only way, is to practice everyday! And don''t practice at things you already know how to do. Then practice loses its meaning. Practice on what you feel that YOU need to get better at, or explore new worlds of drumming. In example, if you are a rock drummer, explore the world of jazz or latin or some other genre. And the most importend thing in practicing: NEVER GIVE UP!! Great site mr. Tomás Howie, keep up the good work!
In order to be a good drummer you must have the Drummer's ear, or the musicians ear. This is important because there is a pattern in drumming that you must pay close attention to to discover the endless rhythmic possibilities there really are. When you find this out you realize how many different styles of drumming and different techniques you can incorporate into your music while jamming with your guitarist or bassist. I have jammed with a few guitarist with no sense of rhythm or timing and it's very frustrating for the most part. If you havn't got a chance to listen to Danny Carey the drummer of TOOL, then you are missing out, the man is a genius. He understands the rythmic patters of drumming so perfect that i can listen to their CD's endless amounts of times. He has inspired me so much as a drummer, i just can't wait to get to his point in time with drumming. He defines drumming as an instrument. I progress as a drummer by practicing and listening to other drumers play in bands, but no other drummer inspires me more than Danney Carey. Drumming has to be a passion for you when you play or think about playing....you should just have that natural urge to play.
My Practice tip is; find your weaknesses and spend as much time as you can to strengthen them.Spend about 10 minutes jamming out because you should have fun with it...then after you find your weakness repeat the steps over and over and over again 'till you get it down. Then when you're sleeping your brain will go over the rudiments over and over agen in your head without you having to put in much effort, and when you wake up the beats will be cake. To be a good progressive drummer you should study the elements of jazz drumming. Once you understand that, the puzzle pieces will slowly fit together. Another thing you should work on is accenting and speed because when you put those to together and add some jazz it's just amazing what you can do. Even though i have much more of the puzzle and art of drumming to put together i don't let it get me down because it takes time and copious amounts of practice to be a precise drummer. So keep practicing and listening to drummers of other bands and try to play along with thier beats. Because i find as a drummer of my mind set, you can unlock many drumming technicalities just by practicing on your own for vast amounts of time daily. So remember to have fun with it, because if you don't you weren't meant to play drums...
hey, all beginners, are you stuck with a drum set and have no lessons. that brings back my memorys. if you want to do somthing to get you prepared for lesson or at least up to speed with you foot hit you bass drum by eighth notes, keep doing them until your shin hurts. then go on for another minute or so. then go to 16th notes and 32 and if your good and bored 64th .and wahla you got yourself a freggin fast foot. email me back at Drumlyne@yahoo.com i wanna know if i made someones day happy.
okay heres another one. working on fills. start 2 hits on each drum going from snare down. keep going around and around until it gets SO freggin boring you feel like burning your hands and jumping into a pool a gasoline. keep doing it. then shut your eyes and do it. see if it sounds the same way. get faster and faster every time you practice. until you can move around in your set jiff. remeber start very slow and work your way up somtimes it can take many moons to get yourself a good fill.
tip 1. Diversify...the more styles the better.
tip 2. I am in a band, this is my 3rd. the last two i played pretty good rhythms, they held the song together and sounded good. But! in my current band i decided to just direct as much creativity and emotion into my drumming, you have to be confident in your abilities but playing obscure rhythms and trying to get away from the hi hat and ride cymbals a little bit, let the actual drums do some of the talking. I love the way the songs sound and i find i get a lot more compliments about my drumming - that makes me feel good. Take drumming from The Mars Volta, Jon Theodore does some amazing stuff that before i expanded my playing would never have thought of getting into the songs. He's an amazing drummer in my opinion, everyone should hear him play.
play rock music, i can get away with experimenting obviously if you're in a band where the drums take more of a back seat, rhythm holding place dont veer too far away from the standard stuff you're required to play.
Someone experienced please email me with any contradicitons for i am young and relatively inexperienced (18).
Practice and b adventurous.
Remove the toms and cymbals from your kit when you practice and listen to your basic beats. As a drummer in a loud rock band i found that i relied on cymbals and toms to drown out my mistakes. by practicing without toms and cymbals my grooves got stronger and more reliable. Now i am putting the toms back to work on the fills and spills.
well ive been playing for only about a year and a half now. i started with lessons for about three months then went on my own. the main reason i started drummin was after i hear slipknot i had to play like joey. so i started double bassin after only three months of playing. now most people say start with the basics first then build up indeed a good idea but for me i always would do somthing complex while im at the beginer level. so i would recomend go ahead and just start out trying to do hard things just keep a level head on ya and dont get ahead of your self. and if double bassing soon off never neglect or single footing dont use the double bass as an replacement for single bassing. im 18 not i started playing drums when i was almost 17 im in a metal thrash band now and am considered the best drummer in my school, because i went out there every day for hours and pacticed the most impossible stuff till i through my sticks across the garage. so most importantly be patient it takes a lot of time ive gorwn to realize that it will be many many years till i get to were i want to be with drums. sorry for the lengthy msg but also for some real incredible drummers the double bass till the tendons in their legs damn near burst check out- thomas"thomen" stauch- blind gaurdian-gene hoglan- straping young lad- and richard christy iced earh also to see a drum solo video of richard in action (pretty amazing stuff) go to www.richardchristy.com its awsome HAPPY DRUMMING TO ALL MY DRUMMIN BROTHA'S -paul-drummer for-Megiddo-remeber that name
Try practicing with different size sticks than you would normally use while preforming. e.g. if you use 5b's while playing live try 2b's while practicing you'll notice the difference
You'll see yourself playing faster and your stick control will improve.
Practice everything starting with your weak hand. Set up your kit the opposite way you normally do to increase ambidexterity. Practice the flam rudiments, because I find that if you screw up while playing you can more easily make that mistake sound good by knowing them. You will be amazed at how this happens. Also, most importantly, practice good posture, relaxing and not thinking too much as you play. Everything must just flow. Your mind can get in the way of your music. Have a good time and make everything fun.
When practicing boring exercises, I like to listen to some of my favourite CD's to inspire and motivate me. Not only will the time fly, but you can also use it as a metronome to play with.
I started drumming in 1993 and I have been through two kits; first: a Pearl Kit with Sabian cymbles and Pearl batterheads, and second: in 1999 a Maple Ludwig Pro Power. Now on my kit I have two different toned crash cymbals, a splash, a ride, and a chinese (all Ziljdian), double pedal, 5 toned (in row) cowbells, and tiny chimes.
I did have a teacher for 8 years and did grades, but i decided to teach myself and went more into detail with faster riffs and faster songs. I now write my own Lyrics and drum tabs together on professional paper. And Ihope to join in with professional groups and help them out. (At the time now though I'm busy studying for college and don't have enough time). But Iam interested in joining a group. The main course of becoming professional is learning the basics from a professional (e.g. Colin Woolway,Dave Hassel).
My tip for people with double pedels: To gain power, strength and not being able to miss would be playing single stroke rolls on the snare and bass: do R,L,R,L,R,L,R,L with feet and hands. Then go in to R,L,R,R,L,R,L,L with feet and hands. Gradually you'll be there in no time, keep practicing this for half-hour a night until you'll realise you've got it and I mean "REALISE". PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT (AND THE HANDS GAIN STRENGTH).