Hot Percussion How-Tos

How To: Master snare and bass drum comping

This lesson includes six challenging beats that include both snare and bass drum comping. These grooves are sure to challenge your limb-independence, and take your jazz drumming to a new level. Work through them slowly at first, and then increase the speed as you become more confident.

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: 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: 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: 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: 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 "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: 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: 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 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: 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...

How To: Play triplets & rolls using the bodhrán tipper's top

In this video you will learn some wrist techniques for striking your Bodhran as well as how to play and count triplets. As a percussion you know how important it is to know your rhythmical figures and how to count. Just be sure, if triplets are hard for you, be sure to tap your foot and clap out quarter, eighth and sixteenth notes and count them out loud. Once you've got that down, start doing the same thing, but counting out quarter, eighth and sixteenth note triplets, and count them out LOU...

How To: Tune a drum head on a drum set

Tune a drum? It's possible! Every drummer has a specific way they want their drum set to sound. And the way a drum sounds depends on how the drum head has been adjusted. This video demonstrates how to tune your drum and make it sound exactly the way you want it.

How To: Play the drums like a rock star

Have you always wanted to be the drummer in a famous rock and roll band, but you're still just a beginner? This tutorial starts from the very beginning and shows you how to play the drums, starting with a basic, versatile beat. The tutorials gradually increase, until, at the end, you'll be a rock star on the drums.

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: Set up a snare drum when drumming

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 set up a snare. This free video drumming lesson will teach you how to do just that. For more information, and to get started setting up snare drums yourself, take a look.

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 quarter notes on the drums

In this drum lesson for beginners, you'll learn how to play quarter notes on the drums. 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: Hold a pair of drumsticks correctly

In this drum lesson for beginners, you'll learn how to hold a pair of drumsticks (or drum sticks) properly. 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 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 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: Play an advanced "down, down, up" jig on a bodhrán

In this how to video, you will learn how to perform an advanced jig rhythm Bodhran. The way it is performed is going down down up. The down and up accent create an alternating back and forth feeling. If the accent is the same sound every beat, such as on the down, it has only a forward drive to it. First, do a down stroke but do not follow through. Drop the stick to hit a few inches below. From here, go up and hit the drum. The instant way to get this is to do the opposite. Basically, go up, ...

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: Break down a drum beat and master tempo dynamics

In this brief video tutorial, the host 'Uncle Todd' demonstrates how to 'attack a beat'. This video is intended for beginners. Watch as he shows you how to keep your tempo up as you time your drum strokes in a beat. You should practice my trying just your right foot and your right hand, and then alternating to to your left foot and your left hand. The host in this video uses an electric metronome to keep his tempo steady and accurate, something that he recommends you try at home. Don't forget...

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