Hot Percussion How-Tos

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: 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: 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 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: 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: 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 drums and play a simple rock beat

Make sure your neighbors don't mind before you learn to play the drums with Mr.G. In this new four part series, he is going to teach you how to play the drums. You'll start with extreme basics, including your grip, to learning a simple 16th note full measure. Watch this, if your sick of just "banging", whether it be pots and pans or a proper drum set.

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: 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: Perform a peshkar on the tabla

Interested in learning how to play the tabla? In this installment from his video series of free tabla lessons, Debu Nayak introduces the peshkar. While these tutorials are geared towards absolute beginners, even seasoned percussionists are likely to pick something up. To get started writing your own peshkars on the tabla, take a look.

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 Play conga: old school tumbao

LaMoleOrtiz teaches you how to play conga. Following the hand movements you will learn the old school tumbao technique, as well as the new one. In the process, you will identify the differences between the two. The video is slowed down a number of times so you can get the exact beat for each movement. Learning the rhythm takes time and practice. You really need to learn the movements and use your whole body to play. Also remember to have fun with it.

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: 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 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: Practice without a bodhrán and make your own tipper

In this how to video, you will learn how to practice without a Bodhran and make your own tipper. This is useful if you do not have enough money to buy a Bodhran or you want to practice silently. To make a tipper, buy skewers from any place. Take about 14 and put the together. Tie them together with 2 rubber bands. You can get different sounds depending on the distant of the rubber band from the end of the sticks. Next, you must get a practice board. A clip board can be used for one. You can m...

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: 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 Play conga: modern tumbao

Tumbao is a basic beat. It is 4 4 timing. The fingers on both hands are bandaged on ring and middle fingers. The left hand looks flat, but is played in a heel, tip, heel, tip rhythm. Fingers on right hand are curved to meet the drum head. The left hand keeps the constant rhythm. Right hand does solo portion and moves from one Conga drum to another. Video is slowed down to see the exact rhythmic patterns. It also makes it easier to practice.

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: 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: Play relas on the tabla

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

How To: Use advanced ride cymbal techniques

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 ride cymbal techniques.

How To: Practice the double stop mallet technique

Over the past 5-10 years, there has been an enormous growth in 4-mallet percussion. With the rapid increase in popularity, there comes the possibility of students moving too quickly through the learning process, or not having adequate instruction. In this installment from his video tutorial series on four-mallet percussion, Gifford Howarth illustrates exercises to isolate the interval changing motion of inside and outside mallets on a mallet instrument such as a vibraphone.

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 the doumbek African drum

In this video series, watch as percussion master Alex Spurkel teaches how to play the doumbek African drum. Learn different hits and forms for this African percussion instrument in these quick and easy step by step music lesson and get useful drumming tips to improve rhythm and form.

Prev Page