Hot Percussion Posts

How To: Identify and name the parts of the drum kit

If you want to learn how to play the drums, it follows that you start with the basics. And it doesn't get a lot more basic than being able to name the constituent elements of a drum kit. This free video drumming lesson will teach you how to do just that. For more information, and to learn how to identify various drum types yourself, take a look.

How To: Play a basic conga drum sequence

In this video are the Afro-Cuban Percussion Class at Grossmont College, with instructor Manny Cepeda to show us how to play a Meringue rhythm on the Conga Drums. He starts off with a slow beat by beat demonstration and then moves on to a faster beat. The camera changes the view so that you can see both a front and back view of him drumming. Once he has shown the basics he shows the different variations you can use and the various counts that you can start on.

How To: Play the double stroke roll drum rudiment

Whether you're a first day beginner or have been playing the drums for several years, learning the fundamentals of technique, rudiments and music reading is very important. In this installment from his video tutorial series on the fundamentals of snare drumming, Mark Wessels will teach you how to play the double stroke roll drum rudiment.

How To: Do drum music for the Chinese Lion Dance

In these lion dance video instruction clips, learn about the music of the Southern style Chinese New Year Lion Dance and how it influences and directs the ceremony. Listen to the cymbals and drums as the Buddha puts the lion through its paces, taunting him with his fan. Learn how the different instruments create emotional soundscapes related to the narrative of the lion dance. Get an in-depth look at Chinese lion dance drum music in this video series, a thousand years in the making.

How To: Play an uthan, or opening flourish, on the tabla

Interested in learning how to play the tabla? In this installment from his video series of free tabla lessons, Debu Nayak instroduces the tabla and demonstrates how to play an uthan, an opening flourish. While these tutorials are geared towards absolute beginners, even seasoned percussionists are likely to pick something up. To get started playing uthans on your own tabla, take a look.

How To: Use a 4-mallet Burton or Musser grip on the vibes

Gary Burton is one of the most commercially successful mallet players in history. In this installment from his Vibraphone Masterclass video tutorial series, which covers the full gamut of common questions on the instrument from its history to his famous 4-mallet grip, Gary demonstrates said famous grip, which allows for great versatility while playing.

How To: Properly hold drumsticks

Holding your drumsticks correctly will reduce tension and give you greater speed and control in playing while reducing fatigue. In this video tutorial, DRUM! Magazine music editor Wally Schnalle demonstrates how to properly hold drumsticks and provides tips for best performance. Get a handle on drumstick grips with this how-to.

How To: Play tabla drum basic techniques

The tabla is a popular Indian drum used in the classical, popular and religious music of the Indian subcontinent and in Hindustani classical music. In this how to video you will learn basic techniques of playing the tabla. Watch this tutorial and you will be playing the tabla in no time.

How To: Play drums using the push pull technique

This how to video will teach you how to perform the push pull technique on drums. If you want to throw a double, you can start with a single and get an accent on the double for an inverted double. Just push and grab really quick. For a double, use a controlled rebound. For the inverted double, start with a single and dig out the second stroke of the double. A french grip is useful for performing this technique. This is good for ghostings and shuffles. For shuffles, you can use a controlled re...

How To: Understand time signatures & BPM (beats per minute)

Walt Ribeiro shows you how beats per minute work along with time signatures. This video takes you through the steps with a detailed explanation of how they work together and is executed using a drum along with a handy saying to help you keep your time signatures going steady to the beats per minute. Walt explains this using an electronic tempo clock while changing up the time signature. If you have ever had a music question with how these two things relate to each other then video is for you.

How To: Play the double stroke, or long, roll drum rudiment

To play music, your hands should be able to do anything your mind asks of them – and rudimental technique is one great way of making sure that can happen. In this installment from the Vic Fith video tutorial series dedicated to snare rudiments, Dr. John Wooton demonstrates how to play the double stroke roll (or long roll) on the snare drum. Play the double stroke, or long, roll drum rudiment.

How To: Tune the timbales

Take heart, aspiring timbaleros and timbaleras. Eguie Castrillo, having played with everyone from Tito Puente to Steve Winwood, is one of the world's most prolific timbale artists. In this installment of his video tutorial series on the fundamentals of timbale playing, Eguie will walk you through the process of tuning your drums.

How To: Use a vibraslap

Learn how to play a vibraslap in this free video series that will show you how to play this mandible and provide you with other percussion instrument techniques with these video music lessons.

How To: Do the behind the back pass with a mace

Learn how to do the behind the back pass using a mace with this tutorial. This is an easy way to transfer the mace from one hand to the other. This is an advanced move for drum majors and baton twirlers. Watch this how to video and you will be able to do the behind the back pass with a mace.

How To: Build your own Xylophone

The xylophone is one of the most universal musical instruments, with variations existing in cultures throughout the globe. Build your own xylophone by following the instructions shown in this helpful video. You can make a xylophone out of found or recycled materials like wood or glass.

How To: Hold a pair of drumsticks correctly

In this drum lesson for beginners, you'll learn how to hold a pair of drumsticks (or drum sticks) properly. Regardless of your preferred style of music, if you want to be great, you'll need your head and hands on the same page. And there's no better way to get your head and hands on the same page than to practice. Happily, the Internet is awash in video tutorials like this one. For more information, watch this free video drummers' guide.

How To: Play drum and bass beats like Questlove from The Roots

In this how to video, you will learn how to play drum and bass beats like Questlove. You must work to become consistent at 8th notes. A good way to do this is alternating hands. Do this by alternating between the hi-hat an snare drum. Practice until you can play this really fast. These drum and bass beats are just funk beats sped up. Start out with a simple beat and add grace notes in between the 8th notes of the hi-hat. Slowly speed this up. You can try taking the snare hit at beat 4 and the...

How to Play conga: modern tumbao variation

Musician David Ortiz shows how to play a Modern Tumbao beat on the conga in this instructional video. Learn at what tempo and beat this variation should be played at. In this lesson Ortiz shows what pattern the beat uses first showing how to play it at the regular tempo and then slowing down so that you can figure out how to do it yourself. To learn how to play a Modern Tumbao variation on the conga, follow the steps in Ortiz's tutorial.

How To: Drum an easy swing beat for a beginner

For anyone who is new to the drums or is an aspiring professional drummer, this video will show you a simple beat that could help you build rhythm--the swing beat. Jonathan, the drum tutor in this video, demonstrates how to perform the easy swing beat using the cymbal, bass drum and snare. First, Jonathan shows you the how to hit the cymbal three times--only not in a consecutive manner. You have to hit the cymbal once and then two more times closer together. Then Jonathan demonstrates how to ...

How To: Play "The Ocean" by Led Zeppelin on the drums

In this two-part video tutorial series, DRUM! Magazine music editor Wally Schnalle demonstrates how to play "The Ocean" by the Led Zeppelin on the drums. While this tutorial is geared towards intermediate drum players, drummers of all skill levels can play along. Take a look and learn how to play "The Ocean" (and remember to stay tuned for the second part)!

How To: Play half-note rolls on the snare drum

Whether you're a first day beginner or have been playing the drums for several years, learning the fundamentals of technique, rudiments and music reading is very important. In this installment from his video tutorial series on the fundamentals of snare drumming, Mark Wessels will demonstrate how to play half-note rolls on the snare drum.

How To: Master the rebound stroke

To play music, your hands should be able to do anything your mind asks of them – and rudimental technique is one great way of making sure that can happen. In this installment from his video tutorial series dedicated to rudimental techniques, Mark Wessels demonstrates the rebound stroke style and gives tips for working on using your fingers to increase your speed.

How To: Play a Bo Diddley beat on the drums

Hey, Bo Diddley! In this installment from his video tutorial series (in which he covers everything from improving timekeeping to creativity and orchestrations in patterns and drum fills), Brian Ferguson demonstrates how to play the famous Bo Diddley beat on your drumset.

How To: Understand the an American grip

Dom Famularo's infectious smile and drumming talents make him one of the most sought-after drummers and clincians in the world. In this installment from his video series dedicated to a wide variety of topics–from drum strokes to styles–, Dom explains the American matched grip, which, technically, resides somewhere between the French and German grips. Take a look!

How To: Play the Songo bass drum rhythm

World Fusion Drumming combines the energy and feel of rock, Latin, and world music with the technique and improvisational skills of jazz. In this installment from his video tutorial series on the rudiments of world fusion drumming, Berklee College of Music professor Skip Hadden will show you demonstrate how to play the Songo bass drum rhythm.

How To: Dampen, or muffle, a concert bass drum

Tom Gauger has played percussion with the Boston Symphony and Boston Pops Orchestras for over 35 years and has also served on the faculty at Boston University and the Boston University Tanglewood Institute. In this installment from his series of video lessons dedicated to breaking down the basic skills necessary for playing the concert bass drum, Tom will teach you three basic dampening techniques.

How To: Play basic clave patterns

The clave is the heartbeat of salsa music. Eguie Castrillo, having played with everyone from Tito Puente to Steve Winwood, is one of the world's most prolific timbale artists. In this installment of his video tutorial series on the fundamentals of timbale playing, Eguie will teach you basic clave tricks and techniques.

How To: Play fills on the timbales (tymbales)

Are you an aspiring timbalero or timbalera? Eguie Castrillo is one of the world's most prolific timbale artists and has played with everyone from Tito Puente to Steve Winwood. In this installment from his video tutorial series on the fundamentals of timbale playing, Eguie demonstrates a number of common but very useful drum fills. Take a look!