Hot Percussion How-Tos

How To: Hit a snare when playing the drums

In this drum lesson for beginners, you'll learn how to play a snare drum. 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 various rhythms on bongos

Itching to start slapping some bongo skins? In this three-part bongo tutorial, learn how to play various bongo rhythms. Hosted by Manny Cepeda (a composer, songwriter, & performer), you will learn the Son Rhythm (4/4) Martillo, the Borello Rhythm, and Guaguanco Rhythm.

How To: Play quarter notes on the drums

In this drum lesson for beginners, you'll learn how to play quarter notes on the drums. 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: 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: Solo on the timbales (tymbales)

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 some basic techniques for soloing on the timbales.

How To: Perform a roundhouse spin with a mace

Learn how to do the round house spin hand movement with this tutorial. Free hand movements are usually meant for high school competition drum majors. Military and Scottish drum majors typically will not use free hand movements. Watch this how to video and you will be able to do a round house spin with a mace.

How To: Play the upstroke 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 demonstrates how to play the upstroke drum rudiment. 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: Master the basics of 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 two-part installment of his video tutorial series on the fundamentals of timbale playing, Eguie will demonstrate the parts of the timbale drums, grip types and playing positions. Take a look!

How To: Treat the skin on your bodhrán drum

Michelle Stewart of BodhranExpert.com demonstrates to viewers how to treat the skin on a Bodhran drum. The skin on this particular drum is made of goat skin and, much like your own skin, must be treated with a skin-conditioning treatment in order to maintain proper moisture.

How To: Play shaker percussion

In this music lesson, learn how to play percussion shakers from musician Ryan Larson. Ryan will show you basic shaker percussion techniques and patterns such as loose rolling effects and muting effects. He will teach you how to play percussion shakers with "soul", and how to play shakers with a band.

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: Setup your drums for the best sound

New to jazz drumming or simply looking for a few pointers? 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 offers tips and techniques for setting up your drums so as to acheive the best possible sound.

How To: Tune a drum head on a drum set

Tune a drum? It's possible! Every drummer has a specific way they want their drum set to sound. And the way a drum sounds depends on how the drum head has been adjusted. This video demonstrates how to tune your drum and make it sound exactly the way you want it.

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 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 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!

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: Master Latin songo beats

This video lesson will teach you how to play the Songo beat, which is one of the more difficult forms of Latin music. The Songo beats may be a little tricky to play at first, but these grooves are an extremely fun and energetic way to play the drums. The Songo is usually driven by a cowbell, but a ride cymbal bell is just as effective.

How To: Build a propane tank Hank drum

You want to get your hands on the notorious Hang drum, but you can't because it's too expensive. Well, try your hands at the Hank drum, a Hang drum alternative that's cheap and easy to make. It was first invented by Dennis Havlena to imitate the Hang drum, and was made from old propane tanks. This video will show you the process of constructing your own Hank drum instrument from an empty propane tank, drill, electric saw, hacksaw blade, wrench, file and tuner. This project could cost you unde...

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