you give me some tips on how to make music when working with a band.
here we go! Making music. This is what it's all about isn't it? Not just
"playing" drums, but making music with them.
the big secret - I'm going to give this one to you for free! It's the #1
thing all successful professional drummers do when playing music with others.
to the people you're playing with!
simple, but it's not! You have to be comfortable enough with your playing
to "lose" yourself and concentrate on the other members in the
band. But, you must do this if you are to enjoy a measure of success as
a musician, because making music is not a solitary affair, especially when
you're in a band! You must compliment and reinforce what's being played,
sometimes laying way back and letting others step forward.
best compliment a drummer can receive is "he has ears out to here",
usually delivered with the hands about a foot from either side of the head.
Meaning? You know how listen. If you can master this one, you'll see people
lining up to play with you, because you respect them, and this helps them
perform and grow as musicians.
a drummer hit the hi-hat with only the tip of the stick or can I strike
it like 1 to 2 inches from the tip down where the drumstick gets all chewed
up. Both ways seem to produce different sounds depending if the hi-hat
is open or really close.
is no rule here. Your question hints at the answer: hitting the hi-hats
with a different part of the stick will give you a different sound. Each
sound has a purpose: use it to its advantage! One will sound better with
a specific song or style. This introduces more sonic colors into your playing
and will make you a more versatile drummer: learn to harness the sounds
you get and put them to work for you.
Porcaro made a career out of the technique of varying his hi-hat "attack"
during the course of a song: he called it the "slippery" hi-hat.
It can be very effective, particularly in recording situations.
the bass drum be played with the heel up or the heel down?
another one of those "no rules" questions. Drummers will be arguing
about this one as long as there are drum pedals.
tend to go back and forth between heel-up and heel-down, depending on what
I want from the bass drum; I can play just as fast both ways, so speed
isn't an issue with me - sound is. If I want a boomy sound, I play heel-down,
because the pedal will bounce off the head and not dampen the sound. If
I want a "choked" sound, I play heel-up: the pedal beater stays
on the head and helps to muffle it.
both ways so you will have more options in the sounds you produce.
played today and I noticed that I am always hunched over when I play. How
long did it take you to get in the habit of sitting up straight? And what
is a good height for my toms and snare? I notice that I setup my kit by
the I slouch.
of all, my posture isn't that great either! It's something I'm continually
working on. It's best to sit with your back straight because it doesn't
tire you as easily. But, I have bad posture to begin with, so it's a constant
struggle. I'm thinking of getting a throne with a back, which would help
me be aware of how I'm sitting.
terms of snare and tom height, this depends on throne height. You want
to position your throne so your knees are at a 90-degree angle. Then adjust
snare and tom height and angle so that you can reach them without much
effort. It's best to play down at them a bit - reaching up for the drums
tends to be harder (use gravity to your advantage).
in on some other drummers' kits and see how they feel. If you find one
you like, then make some notes and change your set-up to mimic it.
During practice I
usually position myself with my back close to a wall this prevents that
lazy lay back when playing. I also tend to sit up, and leaning forward
is hard when your toms are close to your chest.
may appeal to some players when setting up there kit and why if they decide
to set up this way as explained by Dave Weckyl.
as already said set seat so legs are about parallel to the floor, sit near
the edge of the seat so you that you can lean into the drum kit, basically
the toms can be angled so that they are all angled towards waiste level
the same goes for the cymbals with the ride being an exception as you are
not as likely to crash them. It is a good idea to angle the bass drum slightly
buy raising the legs so that the beater comes into full contact with the
skin. This should mean that you dont have to reach for any drum or cymbal.
Try it and see it may work for you.
wanna know if I can emulate a double bass with any technique of double
kick. Can I do a continuous playing of the bass with one foot?
should be simple to do, but will require a good amount of conditioning
in your bass drum foot. Be prepared to woodshed this one a bit, spending
time practicing various patterns only with the bass drum foot; expect some
involved in a fitness regimen will also help: running, jumping, hiking,
bicycling (great for the upper thighs!), and weight lifting should also
- George Robertson
couple of points struck me reading through the discussions of bass drum
first is this - you may want to try to angle the bass drum out a little.
This means that the front skin is pointing a few degrees to your right
(for a right-handed player). If you think about it, your legs come out
of your body at an angle. This will help posture and help keep you looking
straight ahead, rather than twisting. [editor's note: I do this, and
it's a huge help. You will probably get flack from your bandmates at first
- my stage manager always wanted the front of the bass drum parallel with
the stage, but I insisted on this setup; I wanted to be facing the
people have wondered about playing double bass drum patterns on one drum.
This might lead to your leg falling out of the joint! I have a very active
right leg and I'm 6'4" - I've now got a slight problem in the hip
joint that I'm working on. I think, if you want a lot of bass notes, use
two drums. You'll be more balanced and a lot healthier.
for heel-up or heel-down; I find that I can play damped and undamped with
heel-up. I teach heel-up only as heel-down smacks of the amateur (to me
anyway). I place the ball of my foot towards the back of the foot plate.
That way there is less travel, and I find less of a shock up the leg.
can I strengthen my weak hand?
- Tom Kenworthy
not reverse the kit, so if you're right-handed try to play on a left-handed
kit. Not only do you strengthen your opposite hand, you will learn totally
a little technique that made my left hand much much stronger. Using the
hi hat & snare play normally this beat:
faster, and progress you can also add a bass drum beat on the single hand.
think Rudiments are a great way of strengthening your weak hand. They also
help you develop a great vocabulary of drum patterns.
is another form of strengthing that weak hand, this excercise consists
of a triplet excersise and also goes into a 3/4 timing. I have grouped
the sticking in 3's to make it easier to read, it is still one continuous
pattern and sound like triplets. the first pattern starts with 3 beats
with the right hand then 3 beats with the left - looks like this:
that for sometime; then without stopping, double the amount of strokes
for each hand (still playing single strokes). Looks like this:
this, add another 3 notes to each hand which will put you in 3/4 timing
and looks like this:
finally add another 3 notes to each hand, this will put you back in 4/4.
Looks like this:
a good idea to start with the last so you can determine what speed you
can play at. Keep all patterns at the same tempo, metranome is good idea
and try different volumes. Hope this is of some help.
think a great way of strengthening you're weak hand is by practicing rudiments
and more rudiments. These cause you to work both hands equally. I especially