Hot Percussion How-Tos

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: Tune an 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 how to video teaches you to tune a tabla. Watch this tutorial and you will be playing and tuning an Indian tabla drum in no time.

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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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 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.

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: 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: 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: 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: Do two handed 16th note drum beats

The two-handed sixteenth note drum beats featured in this lesson are a little different than anything covered in previous lessons. Unlike the regular sixteenth note beats, these patterns have the hands alternating between the hi-hats and snare for the entire measure.

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: Use a Moeller stroke technique on the drums

Check out this simple instructional drum video on how to use the Moeller stroke on the drums. This video tutorial explains the Moeller stroke as well as provides a few exercises to practice this technique. Improve your drum playing skills by learning a few tips from this drum playing video by watching this instructor guide you along the way.

How To: Play dotted quarter notes

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 teach you a new note value, the dotted quarter note.

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 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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