Hot Percussion How-Tos

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 the baião 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 demonstrate how to play the the Baião bass drum rhythm, which comes from Northern Brazil. Take a look!

How To: Play an off-beat snare drum

In this instructional video series you will learn how to play an off-beat snare drum to a swing beat. Our expert Peter Van Dyck shares techniques for creating a basic drum beat, adding fills, and offers tips and advice on how to begin the process and walks you through some great informational steps to becoming a more advanced drummer.

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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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 a Bo Diddley beat on the drums

Hey, Bo Diddley! 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 famous Bo Diddley beat on your drumset.

How To: Play fills on the timbales (tymbales)

Are you an aspiring timbalero or timbalera? Eguie Castrillo is one of the world's most prolific timbale artists and has played with everyone from Tito Puente to Steve Winwood. In this installment from his video tutorial series on the fundamentals of timbale playing, Eguie demonstrates a number of common but very useful drum fills. Take a look!

How To: Play 5/4 odd time beats

This lesson covers six odd-time beats that are played in the 5/4 time signature. Unlike most rock drum beats, that are played in 4/4 with four quarter notes per measure, these beats are played with five quarter notes per measure. Watch the included video for step-by-step training on how to count and play these unique beats.

How To: Play a drum fill on your snare drum

What is a drum fill? Simply put, it is a short rhythmic idea played by the drummer to fill a space at the end of a vocal or instrumental phrase. All you need is a drum kit with a snare drum, and you're set. Just don't steal it, please.

How To: Play snare drums for beginners

In this series of video music lessons, expert drummer Alex Kasmirov demonstrates several tips for playing the snare drum. You’ll learn tips on choosing drum sticks, cross stick techniques, how to hit rim shots and how to build dynamics in drumming. You'll also learn tips on how to care for your snare drum and drum sticks, and how using a mirror can help improve your drumming.

How To: Make a rumble pipe sound effect machine

You can learn how to make a rumble pipe sound effect machine and you need to cut a pvc pipe to seven inches. Glue a piece of drum skin to the end of the pvc pipe and then check it out. Video is brought to you by KipKay. Make a rumble pipe sound effect machine.

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: 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: 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 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 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: 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: 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: Play Latin Bossa Nova beats

The Bossa Nova is one of Brazil's most popular forms of Latin music. It is one of the more simple grooves to play, however it is extremely effective. The Bossa Nova is usually played at slower tempos, and is eighth-note based. You will notice there is a standard "Bossa Nova" clave pattern played within this groove.

How To: Play steel drums

In this video series, learn how to play the steel drums. Our expert, Alan Mark Lightner, shows you tips for beginning your steel pan music career. Learn the proper posture for the instrument. Alan shows you how to hit and strike the steel drum. Learn how to play notes and chords on this percussion instrument.

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 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: 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. ...

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