Hot Percussion How-Tos

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 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 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: 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 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: 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: 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 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 a cáscara pattern on 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 show you how to play a traditional cáscara pattern on your drum set.

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 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: 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 16th notes on the drums

In this drum lesson for beginners, you'll learn how to fret and play 16th notes. 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, and to get started playing sixteenth notes yourself, watch this free video drummers' guide.

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: Read music for drums

In this tutorial, we learn how to read music for drums. A hi hat and kick is equal to quarter notes and a hi hat is just eighth notes. When you see a snare and a kick this is equal to quarter notes. As you continue to read the music for the drums, you will see the music notes lie differently for different notes that you are supposed to play. A hi hat can also mean sixteenth notes and a kick can equal quarter notes depending on where they are placed on the music sheet. Once you get a hang of r...

How To: Tune a Djembe African hand drum properly

Understand the concept of tuning a rope djembe. The proper sound is achieved with minimum effort for maximum effect. The key is to either focus or disperse the hand's energy, and position the hand in the correct place. The bass and tone notes require focused energy (a beginner will have the most success by holding their fingers firmly together), while the slap requires dispersed energy (fingers are relaxed).

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: 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: 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: 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: 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 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: Use Brazilian-style drum fills

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 walk you through several Brazilian-style drum fills that will help you in approximating the sound of Brazilian percussion session.

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