Hot Percussion How-Tos

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: 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 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 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: 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: 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 John Bonham's "Fool In The Rain" on drums

Watch this music tutorial video that shows you how to play "Fool in the Rain" by John Bonham of Led Zeppelin on the drums. Led Astray drummer Fronzo breaks down the half time shuffle to help other drummers trying to play this amazing groove! It may not be exactly what Bonham played but this is a pretty close rendition! Play "Fool in the Rain" by watching this instructional drum playing lesson and improve your drum skills!

How To: Perform a peshkar 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 peshkar. While these tutorials are geared towards absolute beginners, even seasoned percussionists are likely to pick something up. To get started writing your own peshkars on the tabla, take a look.

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 a cha-cha (cha) bell pattern on the timbales

Take heart, timbaleros y timbaleras. Eguie Castrillo is one of the world's most prolific timbale artists. He 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 will walk you through how to play a cha-cha pattern on your drums.

How To: Master jazz drum fills

This lesson teaches four basic jazz drum fills that you can use with the jazz drum beats we teach here at FreeDrumLessons.com. These patterns are fairly basic, but will enable you to eventually start creating your own unique patterns. Start by mastering these fills, and then modify them with your own ideas.

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 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: 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: 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: 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 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: Play half-note rolls on the snare drum

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 demonstrate how to play half-note rolls on the snare drum.

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