Hot Percussion How-Tos

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: Drum an easy swing beat for a beginner

For anyone who is new to the drums or is an aspiring professional drummer, this video will show you a simple beat that could help you build rhythm--the swing beat. Jonathan, the drum tutor in this video, demonstrates how to perform the easy swing beat using the cymbal, bass drum and snare. First, Jonathan shows you the how to hit the cymbal three times--only not in a consecutive manner. You have to hit the cymbal once and then two more times closer together. Then Jonathan demonstrates how to ...

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 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 a half stroke on the drums

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 the half 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: 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: 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 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 double stroke, or long, roll drum rudiment

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 the Vic Fith video tutorial series dedicated to snare rudiments, Dr. John Wooton demonstrates how to play the double stroke roll (or long roll) on the snare drum. Play the double stroke, or long, roll drum rudiment.

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: 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: Play eighth note fills

This lesson includes six eighth note drum fills that are played between the snare drum and tom-toms. They are great for beginners that have mastered eighth note drum beats, and are now looking for corresponding drum fill patterns.

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 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 drum and bass beats like Questlove from The Roots

In this how to video, you will learn how to play drum and bass beats like Questlove. You must work to become consistent at 8th notes. A good way to do this is alternating hands. Do this by alternating between the hi-hat an snare drum. Practice until you can play this really fast. These drum and bass beats are just funk beats sped up. Start out with a simple beat and add grace notes in between the 8th notes of the hi-hat. Slowly speed this up. You can try taking the snare hit at beat 4 and the...

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 a Turkish double dumbek with Raquy Danziger

Drum artist Raquy Danziger teaches the basics of playing a Turkish double dumbek. Raquy demonstrates how the index and ring fingers of the drumming hand should move in counter-harmony to each other, as the first step. Next she shows how to accent every third beat while drumming. Then, the other hand is used to add a third sound to the two being produced by the first hand in the up-down movement. The next step involves producing two different sounds with the second hand, by alternately hitting...

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 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: Play bass drum triplets on the drumset

Vic Firth presents the 4th installment of the Drumset Lesson Series with Jeremy Hummel to learn how to play bass drum triplets. Try to give a right foot a workout. Once you get it going at a good speed, it can be really good. Watch this drum playing tutorial video and improve some of your basic skills. Play bass drum triplets on the drumset.

How To: Play the train beat on the drums

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 demonstrates how to play the train beat, a favorite of country music.

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.

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.

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