Hot Percussion Posts

How To: Play an advanced "down, down, up" jig on a bodhrán

In this how to video, you will learn how to perform an advanced jig rhythm Bodhran. The way it is performed is going down down up. The down and up accent create an alternating back and forth feeling. If the accent is the same sound every beat, such as on the down, it has only a forward drive to it. First, do a down stroke but do not follow through. Drop the stick to hit a few inches below. From here, go up and hit the drum. The instant way to get this is to do the opposite. Basically, go up, ...

How To: Master the hi-hats

In this two-pat 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 discusses the hi-hats and takes a comparative look at the most common techniques for playing them.

How To: Strike a concert bass drum properly

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 demonstrate the basic drum stroke.

How To: Break down a drum beat and master tempo dynamics

In this brief video tutorial, the host 'Uncle Todd' demonstrates how to 'attack a beat'. This video is intended for beginners. Watch as he shows you how to keep your tempo up as you time your drum strokes in a beat. You should practice my trying just your right foot and your right hand, and then alternating to to your left foot and your left hand. The host in this video uses an electric metronome to keep his tempo steady and accurate, something that he recommends you try at home. Don't forget...

How To: Use fingers in the French 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 demonstrates how to develop your finger technique while playing with the French grip.

How To: Set up a drum kit

In this video series, our expert Patrick Sapia will show you how to set up a drum set or drum kit. Mr. Sapia will show you how so set up a bass drum, a bass drum pedal, the tom tom stands, the cymbal stands, and the hi hat stand. He will then teach you how to mount the cymbals, snare, hi hats, and toms on their respective stands.

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: Hold the bodhrán drum tipper

There are two recommended ways to hold the Bodhran Drum tipper for beginners. The first way is called the "curved wrist" technique. You put the stick in between the area of your index and thumb finger. Then you put the end of the stick in between your index and middle finger. You must make sure not to keep your fingers tight, they must be elongated and resting gently on the stick. When you drum, you keep your wrist curved and swing your hand up and down. The next method is the "straight wrist...

How To: Play an afro beat on bongos

In this tutorial, we learn how to play an Afro beat on bongos. Start off by sitting down on a chair with the drums in between your thighs and knees. After this, start to use both of your hands to beat onto both of the drums. As you continue to play, create an Afro beat. The Afro beat is a critical pattern that is not founded in salsa. It's essential to the Afro Cuban tradition to play with the Afro beat. Once you have the beat down, repeat playing so you can better understand how this is play...

How To: Play steel drums

In this video series, learn how to play the steel drums. Our expert, Alan Mark Lightner, shows you tips for beginning your steel pan music career. Learn the proper posture for the instrument. Alan shows you how to hit and strike the steel drum. Learn how to play notes and chords on this percussion instrument.

How To: Play the mambo bell pattern on the timbales (tymbales)

Take heart, aspiring timbaleros y 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 two-part installment of his video tutorial series on the fundamentals of timbale playing, Eguie will show you not only how but when to play the mambo bell pattern. Take a look!

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: Play the "Four Sticks" groove on drums

Check out this music tutorial video that demonstrates how to play the "Four Sticks" groove on drums. Led Astray drummer "Fronzo" explains his approach to the Four Sticks drum groove. John Bonham of Led Zeppelin played this song with two sets of drum sticks, which is where the title of the song comes from. Learn how to play with Four Sticks by watching this instructional drum playing video.

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: Tune 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 how to tune your bass drum.

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: Differentiate tunable and non-tunable bodhrán drums

In this how to video, you will learn how to tell the difference between a tunable and non-tunable bodhran. A tunable bodhran has a tuning mechanism to allow you to adjust the skin tension. A non-tunable bodhran is actually tunable, but it just needs more time to do so. A tunable drum has the tuning mechanism in the inside. They are lugs pressing on an inner hoop. When the key is turned clockwise, this will make it tighter. Make sure to go crisscross rather than around the circle when tuning. ...

How To: Play rolls on 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 how to play a roll on your bass drum. Play "Thus Spake Zarathustra" with this how-to!

How To: Play the Indian tabla drum

The tabla is a popular Indian drum used in the classical, popular and religious music of the Indian subcontinent and in Hindustani classical music. This 11 part how to video teaches you the basics of playing the tabla. Watch these tutorials and you will be playing this Indian drum in no time.

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 a triplet diddle on the snare drum

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 will teach you how to play triplet diddles on the snare drum.

How To: Play Latin Bossa Nova beats

The Bossa Nova is one of Brazil's most popular forms of Latin music. It is one of the more simple grooves to play, however it is extremely effective. The Bossa Nova is usually played at slower tempos, and is eighth-note based. You will notice there is a standard "Bossa Nova" clave pattern played within this groove.

How To: Use a metronome as a practice tool for the bodhrán

In this how to video, you will learn how to use a metronome as a practice tool for your Bodhran. This will be helpful as it helps track your progress. You can very tempos with this device. Press the red button of your metronome to turn it on. It should be at 60 BPM. If you want to change the speed, press the buttons with the arrows. Press the top gray button and press the arrow until a musical sign appears. Next, go to the second grouping of notes and press the top gray button. This will sub-...

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.