Hot Percussion How-Tos

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: 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: 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 an American grip on the drums

Dom Famularo's infectious smile and drumming talents make him one of the most sought-after drummers and clincians in the world. In this installment from his video series dedicated to a wide variety of topics–from drum strokes to styles–, Dom demonstrates the American grip, a hybrid of the finger-dominant French and wrist-dominant German drum grip styles.

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: 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: Practice the timbales quietly

Take heart, aspiring timbaleros y 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 techniques for practicing the timbales.

How To: Build a propane tank Hank drum

You want to get your hands on the notorious Hang drum, but you can't because it's too expensive. Well, try your hands at the Hank drum, a Hang drum alternative that's cheap and easy to make. It was first invented by Dennis Havlena to imitate the Hang drum, and was made from old propane tanks. This video will show you the process of constructing your own Hank drum instrument from an empty propane tank, drill, electric saw, hacksaw blade, wrench, file and tuner. This project could cost you unde...

How To: Play funk drum beats

This video covers six popular funk drum beats that you can use when playing at a funk gig! Funk is a popular style of music that has a lot of similarities to rock, especially as far as drums are concerned. Play funk drum beats.

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: 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: Use a metronome as a practice tool for the bodhrán

In this how to video, you will learn how to use a metronome as a practice tool for your Bodhran. This will be helpful as it helps track your progress. You can very tempos with this device. Press the red button of your metronome to turn it on. It should be at 60 BPM. If you want to change the speed, press the buttons with the arrows. Press the top gray button and press the arrow until a musical sign appears. Next, go to the second grouping of notes and press the top gray button. This will sub-...

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: Make a Guinean bolong bata drum

This instructional drum video shows you how to make a Guinean bolong bata drum. The Bolong Bata comes originally from Guinea. The base is made of two half calabashes. One half is covered with goat hide, tied with rope to the bottom of the other calabash. The hole in the upper half is made for acoustic purposes. And if you like the music, you may put some money in it. The Bolong has three or four strings, made of rope, tied to a wooden stick on one side and a wooden keg on the other. The strin...

How To: Properly hold drumsticks

Holding your drumsticks correctly will reduce tension and give you greater speed and control in playing while reducing fatigue. In this video tutorial, DRUM! Magazine music editor Wally Schnalle demonstrates how to properly hold drumsticks and provides tips for best performance. Get a handle on drumstick grips with this 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.

How To: Understand the an American grip

Dom Famularo's infectious smile and drumming talents make him one of the most sought-after drummers and clincians in the world. In this installment from his video series dedicated to a wide variety of topics–from drum strokes to styles–, Dom explains the American matched grip, which, technically, resides somewhere between the French and German grips. Take a look!

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: Solo on the timbales (tymbales)

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 techniques for soloing on the timbales.

How To: Play a drum rock shuffle

The rock shuffle is a fun and intricate rhythm that's worth exploring when learning techniques on the drums. Learn several variations for playing the rock shuffle drum pattern from a professional drummer in this free video series.