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: 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 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 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: 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: Vary pitch and sound 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 demonstrate where to strike the drum to get a desired pitch or sound.

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: Tune 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 tune your bass drum.

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 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 Ocean" by Led Zeppelin on the drums

In this two-part video tutorial series, DRUM! Magazine music editor Wally Schnalle demonstrates how to play "The Ocean" by the Led Zeppelin on the drums. While this tutorial is geared towards intermediate drum players, drummers of all skill levels can play along. Take a look and learn how to play "The Ocean" (and remember to stay tuned for the second part)!

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: Push a samba rhythm by altering the hi-hat pattern

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 of his video tutorial series on the rudiments of world fusion drumming, Berklee College of Music professor Skip Hadden demonstrates how to modify the feel of a samba groove by changing up the hi-hat pattern.

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: 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 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: 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 tom-tom beats

This video lesson covers five fun drum beats that are played on the toms. Unlike most drum beats that are centered around the hi-hats or ride-cymbal, these grooves are built around tom-tom patterns. They aren't too difficult to play, and work well in a wide range of playing styles.

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: 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: 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: 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...

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