Hot Percussion How-Tos

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 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: 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 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: 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 advanced ride cymbal patterns

Ndugu Chancler is known not only as a world-class drummer and percussionist, but also a producer, composer, clinician and teacher. In this installment from his video lesson series covering many of the most frequently asked questions from his clinic tours across the world, Ndugu will demonstrate advanced ride cymbal patterns.

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: Read sixteenth notes for drumming

In this lesson you will learn how to read and play sixteenth noteson the drums. In order to do this lesson you need to be comfortable with quarter notes & rests, eighth notes and 4/4 time. You will need the beat sheet for this lesson. You can find it here:

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: 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: 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 the flam tap drum rudiment on the snare

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 flam tap drum rudiment on the snare drum. Play the flam tap drum rudiment on the snare.

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 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 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 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: 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: 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 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 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 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: Use Brazilian-style drum fills

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 walk you through several Brazilian-style drum fills that will help you in approximating the sound of Brazilian percussion session.

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 the clave

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 some basic tricks and techniques for playing the clave.

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