Hot Percussion How-Tos

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: 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: 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: 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: 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 sixteenth note accent beats

This lesson covers six unique sixteenth note accent beats. These are ideal for intermediate to advanced drummers that are looking for new ways to spice up their grooves. The patterns are somewhat similar to the two-handed sixteenth note beats, but they incorporate accents on certain hi-hat strokes.

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: 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: 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 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 Songo 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 show you demonstrate how to play the Songo bass drum rhythm.

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 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: 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 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: Master Latin songo beats

This video lesson will teach you how to play the Songo beat, which is one of the more difficult forms of Latin music. The Songo beats may be a little tricky to play at first, but these grooves are an extremely fun and energetic way to play the drums. The Songo is usually driven by a cowbell, but a ride cymbal bell is just as effective.

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: 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: 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.

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