Drumming Blog

4 Limb Independence

The ability to play rhythms against each other is important no matter what style of music you play. These exercises vary the three limbs against the standard jazz ride pattern.

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More Beats Study

These are a continuation of the basic beats. Here are some more advanced beats and fills incorporating different styles.

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Jazz Modulation

In this lesson, we will modulate the jazz cymbal pattern by subdividing quarter notes into quarter note triplets, and then subdividing each of those triplets into eighth note triplets as a polyrhythm. It’s easier than it sounds.

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Playing Dynamically

Sometimes the difference between a good performance and a great performance is expression; playing and moving the music dynamically. One of the best ways to improve your playing is to work on your dynamics. This article discusses some things that will help you play more dynamically.

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Hi Hat Control

You can get some really cool sounds playing 16th note hi-hat beats with alternating hand and foot patterns. The challenge is to alternate the hi-hat with the hand and foot without getting any open hi-hat sounds. This exercise explores some things you can do with this concept.

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Basic Beats Study

The beats and fills in these four measure phrases are a good introduction to what’s most commonly played on the drums.

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Linear Drum Beats

Linear drumming (playing only one drum or cymbal at a time) has a funky, syncopated feel to it. This lesson will get you started.

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Basic Modulation

We are going to take a basic beat and modulate it using different subdivisions. This gives the impression that you are speeding up or slowing down but the actual tempo does not change.

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The Single Stroke 4

The single stroke 4 is frequently used as a popular fill around the drum set. This rudiment seems plain enough but if we apply it to different drums, experiment with the phrasing, and work it up to speed, it can sound really impressive. Here are a couple of variations.

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The Anatomy of a Drumstick

The characteristics of a drumstick affect the sound and feel of your playing. Let’s take a look at the things that make the difference in a drumstick.

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Open Mic Nights

If you play the drums with the goal of being in a band, the sooner you can start playing with other musicians, the better. If you are having trouble finding other musicians to play with, an option could be to attend an open mic night jam at a nearby bar or club.

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Switching Gears, Part 2

Once you feel comfortable with the subdivisions from the previous exercise, go through these pages to switch between all of them.

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The Rudiments’ Greatest Hits

One of the many benefits of practicing the rudiments is the control and coordination that you get by applying accents, flams, and drags to various stickings. These exercises extend that concept by using triplet marching grids.

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Intro to Jazz Drumming

This is an introduction to playing jazz swing time on the drums. These exercises will give you the basic independence needed to play jazz.

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Mastering The Metronome

Working with a metronome will help to improve your sense of time. Include it in your practice routine. Here are some tips to help.

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Your Drum Diary

Keeping track of what you practice can show you what needs attention and give you the motivation to keep going. You can use this log below to keep track of your progress. Write down when and what you practice, metronome settings, and other info.

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Switching Gears

You can subdivide notes into any denomination. Practice the following exercise to get used to the feel of each subdivision.

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3 Reasons To Practice With a Metronome

Love it or hate it, most drummers would agree that they should practice with a metronome on a regular basis. Here are three reasons to make metronome work a part of your practice activity.

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Dealing with Stagefright

For some, performing in front of others can produce feelings of terror and anxiety. Here are some strategies and thoughts on what you can do to deal with stagefright.

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Developing Your Weaker Side 2

This second exercise is commonly known as a paradiddle pyramid. It uses the strategically placed singles and doubles to balance the limbs. The concept is to play two single (paradiddles) followed by two doubles and two triples; then back to two doubles and...

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The Rudiments

The rudiments are the ABCs of drumming. Practicing them consistently can do wonders for your control and co-ordination.

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Developing Your Weaker Side

Drummers naturally have a stronger and weaker hand (or foot). This is a deceptively simple exercise that is designed to even out both sides.

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Music Staff Paper

If you need staff paper to transcribe your music, feel free to use these. Click the links below to download and print them.

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The Responsible Timekeeper 2

In the previous lesson, we worked on our timekeeping skills by articulating the sixteenth note subdivisions. It’s a good idea to do the same with other subdivisions. Today we will look at eighth note triplets.

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The Responsible Timekeeper 1

Generally when we play with a click track, it gives us the first part of the beat and we are responsible for the rest of the subdivisions. These exercises will help you to sharpen your timekeeping skills by focusing on those subdivisions.

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The Helicopter

This exercise is a sweep around the drum set designed so that the right-hand moves counter clockwise while the left-hand moves clockwise. This is good for developing mobility around the drum set but you can also use it creatively for solo and fill ideas.

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Buying Your First Drum Set

If you are planning to buy your first drum set either for yourself or for your child, here are the basics of what you need to know to make an informed buying decision.

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