Hot Percussion How-Tos

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: 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: 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.

How To: Play the drums like a rock star

Have you always wanted to be the drummer in a famous rock and roll band, but you're still just a beginner? This tutorial starts from the very beginning and shows you how to play the drums, starting with a basic, versatile beat. The tutorials gradually increase, until, at the end, you'll be a rock star on the drums.

How To: Set up a snare drum when drumming

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 set up a snare. This free video drumming lesson will teach you how to do just that. For more information, and to get started setting up snare drums yourself, take a look.

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 quarter notes on the drums

In this drum lesson for beginners, you'll learn how to play quarter notes on the drums. 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: 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: Hold a pair of drumsticks correctly

In this drum lesson for beginners, you'll learn how to hold a pair of drumsticks (or drum sticks) properly. 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: Play drum and bass beats like Questlove from The Roots

In this how to video, you will learn how to play drum and bass beats like Questlove. You must work to become consistent at 8th notes. A good way to do this is alternating hands. Do this by alternating between the hi-hat an snare drum. Practice until you can play this really fast. These drum and bass beats are just funk beats sped up. Start out with a simple beat and add grace notes in between the 8th notes of the hi-hat. Slowly speed this up. You can try taking the snare hit at beat 4 and the...

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: 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: 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: Differentiate tunable and non-tunable bodhrán drums

In this how to video, you will learn how to tell the difference between a tunable and non-tunable bodhran. A tunable bodhran has a tuning mechanism to allow you to adjust the skin tension. A non-tunable bodhran is actually tunable, but it just needs more time to do so. A tunable drum has the tuning mechanism in the inside. They are lugs pressing on an inner hoop. When the key is turned clockwise, this will make it tighter. Make sure to go crisscross rather than around the circle when tuning. ...

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 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 conga: modern tumbao variation

Musician David Ortiz shows how to play a Modern Tumbao beat on the conga in this instructional video. Learn at what tempo and beat this variation should be played at. In this lesson Ortiz shows what pattern the beat uses first showing how to play it at the regular tempo and then slowing down so that you can figure out how to do it yourself. To learn how to play a Modern Tumbao variation on the conga, follow the steps in Ortiz's tutorial.

How to Play conga: old school tumbao

LaMoleOrtiz teaches you how to play conga. Following the hand movements you will learn the old school tumbao technique, as well as the new one. In the process, you will identify the differences between the two. The video is slowed down a number of times so you can get the exact beat for each movement. Learning the rhythm takes time and practice. You really need to learn the movements and use your whole body to play. Also remember to have fun with it.

How To: Tune a Djembe African hand drum properly

Understand the concept of tuning a rope djembe. The proper sound is achieved with minimum effort for maximum effect. The key is to either focus or disperse the hand's energy, and position the hand in the correct place. The bass and tone notes require focused energy (a beginner will have the most success by holding their fingers firmly together), while the slap requires dispersed energy (fingers are relaxed).

How To: Play relas 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 rela and demonstrates how to play one. While these tutorials are geared towards absolute beginners, even seasoned percussionists are likely to pick something up. To get started playing relas on your own tabla, take a look.

How To: Play kaidas 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 kaida and demonstrates how to play it. While these tutorials are geared towards absolute beginners, even seasoned percussionists are likely to pick something up. To get started playing kaidas on your own tabla, take a look.

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 the teen tall, or 16-beat, theka on the tabla

Interested in learning how to play the tabla? In this installment from his video series of free tabla lessons, Debu Nayak demonstrates how to play the teen tall, or 16-beat, theka on the tabla. While these tutorials are geared towards absolute beginners, even seasoned percussionists are likely to pick something up. To get started playing the teen tall theka on your own tabla, take a look.

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: 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...