Hot Percussion How-Tos

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 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 Play conga: modern tumbao

Tumbao is a basic beat. It is 4 4 timing. The fingers on both hands are bandaged on ring and middle fingers. The left hand looks flat, but is played in a heel, tip, heel, tip rhythm. Fingers on right hand are curved to meet the drum head. The left hand keeps the constant rhythm. Right hand does solo portion and moves from one Conga drum to another. Video is slowed down to see the exact rhythmic patterns. It also makes it easier to practice.

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: Dampen, or muffle, 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 three basic dampening techniques.

How To: Use a vibraslap

Learn how to play a vibraslap in this free video series that will show you how to play this mandible and provide you with other percussion instrument techniques with these video music lessons.

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: 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: 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 16th notes on the drums

In this drum lesson for beginners, you'll learn how to fret and play 16th notes. 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, and to get started playing sixteenth notes yourself, watch this free video drummers' guide.

How To: Practice without a bodhrán and make your own tipper

In this how to video, you will learn how to practice without a Bodhran and make your own tipper. This is useful if you do not have enough money to buy a Bodhran or you want to practice silently. To make a tipper, buy skewers from any place. Take about 14 and put the together. Tie them together with 2 rubber bands. You can get different sounds depending on the distant of the rubber band from the end of the sticks. Next, you must get a practice board. A clip board can be used for one. You can m...

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: 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 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 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: 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: 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 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 tom-tom beats

This video lesson covers five fun drum beats that are played on the toms. Unlike most drum beats that are centered around the hi-hats or ride-cymbal, these grooves are built around tom-tom patterns. They aren't too difficult to play, and work well in a wide range of playing styles.

How To: Learn basic drum theory

Are you a beginner or intermediate drummer that would like to learn how to count various time signatures, note values, and sub-divisions? If the answer to either of those questions is yes, you've come to the right place. The video lessons in this section will teach you all the essentials in step-by-step detail!

How To: Play shaker percussion

In this music lesson, learn how to play percussion shakers from musician Ryan Larson. Ryan will show you basic shaker percussion techniques and patterns such as loose rolling effects and muting effects. He will teach you how to play percussion shakers with "soul", and how to play shakers with a band.

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 drums and play a simple rock beat

Make sure your neighbors don't mind before you learn to play the drums with Mr.G. In this new four part series, he is going to teach you how to play the drums. You'll start with extreme basics, including your grip, to learning a simple 16th note full measure. Watch this, if your sick of just "banging", whether it be pots and pans or a proper drum set.

How To: Play the train beat on the drums

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 train beat, a favorite of country music.

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: Use a 4-mallet Burton or Musser grip on the vibes

Gary Burton is one of the most commercially successful mallet players in history. In this installment from his Vibraphone Masterclass video tutorial series, which covers the full gamut of common questions on the instrument from its history to his famous 4-mallet grip, Gary demonstrates said famous grip, which allows for great versatility while playing.

How To: Use damper and sustain pedals on the vibraphone

Gary Burton is one of the most commercially successful mallet players in history. In this installment from his Vibraphone Masterclass video tutorial series, which covers the full gamut of common questions on the instrument from its history to his famous 4-mallet grip, Gary demonstrates how to use the damper and sustain pedals to make your playing more dynamic and expressive.

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.