Hot Percussion How-Tos

How To: Play the dhol drum

The dhol is a drum or percussive instrument, widely used in Bangladesh , India and Pakistan, usually the Punjab region, the Indian/Pakistani province of Punjab, Maharastra and Gujarat. This 4 part video is an introduction to the dhol and how to begin to play this ancient double sided drum. Watch these tutorial and you will be able to play the dhol in no time.

How To: Practice the timbales quietly

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 installment of his video tutorial series on the fundamentals of timbale playing, Eguie will walk you through some basic techniques for practicing the timbales.

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 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: 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: 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: 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: 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 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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 triplets & rolls using the bodhrán tipper's top

In this video you will learn some wrist techniques for striking your Bodhran as well as how to play and count triplets. As a percussion you know how important it is to know your rhythmical figures and how to count. Just be sure, if triplets are hard for you, be sure to tap your foot and clap out quarter, eighth and sixteenth notes and count them out loud. Once you've got that down, start doing the same thing, but counting out quarter, eighth and sixteenth note triplets, and count them out LOU...

How To: Play the teen tall, or 16-beat, theka on the tabla

Interested in learning how to play the tabla? In this installment from his video series of free tabla lessons, Debu Nayak demonstrates how to play the teen tall, or 16-beat, theka on the tabla. While these tutorials are geared towards absolute beginners, even seasoned percussionists are likely to pick something up. To get started playing the teen tall theka on your own tabla, take a look.

How To: Play a drum fill on your snare drum

What is a drum fill? Simply put, it is a short rhythmic idea played by the drummer to fill a space at the end of a vocal or instrumental phrase. All you need is a drum kit with a snare drum, and you're set. Just don't steal it, please.

How To: Play the Djembe

A step by step lesson on how to play call and response exercises with the West African Djembe drum. These exercises are meant to deepen listening skills and will also assist you in learning the building blocks of how to create great solos with your Djembe.

How To: Play the conga drums

In this video series, learn how to play the conga. Our expert, Ryan Larson, teaches you everything you need to know to begin your conga playing. Learn how to tune and set up congas. Also, learn how to strike, slap, and mute a conga drum.

How To: Play a "2-beat" drum pattern

A band leader, classical percussionist, clinician and author, Steve Houghton is also the associate professor of percussion and jazz at Indiana University-Bloomington, and is on faculty at the Henry Mancini Institute. In this installment from his video tutorial series on the fundamentals of using a drumset, Steve demonstrates how to play the endlessly fun two-beat drum pattern.

How To: Use damper and sustain pedals on the vibraphone

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 how to use the damper and sustain pedals to make your playing more dynamic and expressive.

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: Make a rumble pipe sound effect machine

You can learn how to make a rumble pipe sound effect machine and you need to cut a pvc pipe to seven inches. Glue a piece of drum skin to the end of the pvc pipe and then check it out. Video is brought to you by KipKay. Make a rumble pipe sound effect machine.

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 the Ndugu cross stick beat on the drums

Ndugu Chancler is known not only as a world-class drummer and percussionist, but also a producer, composer, clinician and teacher. In this installment from his video lesson series covering many of the most frequently asked questions from his clinic tours across the world, Ndugu will demonstrate how to play the Ndugu cross stick, a rimshot played on drum with a unique, versatile sound.

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