Once you’ve got the hang of a reasonable amount of standard 8th note rock vocabulary, it can be fun and useful to learn a whole load of variations for the hahat/ride pattern to allow you to spice up your grooves. One very common and popular option is to play offbeat (or upbeat) 8ths on the hihat or ride which means we’re playing just the &’s. It takes a bit of thought to get the hang of the coordination but if… Read More »Offbeat 8th Note Grooves
I recently contacted master British cymbal maker, Dave Collingwood, if he could do something to improve my 20″ Zildjian Ride cymbal. I’ve been feeling a bit at a loss as to what to do with the thing since it seems to sound increasingly clunky and clangy as time goes by and the more I tend towards light playing. I put it on eBay but it didn’t find a buyer and each time I put it on a stand and tried… Read More »Can My 20″ Zildjian Ride Cymbal Be Improved?
Here’s a couple of videos introducing some technical exercises that will help you develop the coordination required to play Afrobeat in a Tony Allen influenced style. These exercises are written for the ride cymbal in order to allow the focus to rest on the coordination of the hand patterns with the bass and hi hat without being too concerned with the sound of the stick on the hi hat which demands a more fine level of control on the hi… Read More »Afrobeat Technical Primer Parts 1+2 – Bass & Snare
My latest video is a demonstration of the Tunnel Test which is a way of using a metronome with some bars of click and some bars of silence. This is a great way to improve your internal clock and gain confidence in your amazing timing skills which will have improved as a result of doing the Tunnel Test. Enjoy.
Here’s a quick video explaining how to develop your fill playing for Train beats. The key thing is to drill a bunch of accent patterns (and ideally memorise them) at a slow tempo and in relaxed style. Once you can play them, add each one to a bar and a half of Train beat and play until you can seamlessly go from the backbeat snare accent on the &’s to the fill pattern. Work on each pattern individually and get… Read More »Train Beat Basic Fills Vocabulary
Andy Edwards is a drummer, teacher, producer and YouTuber who I’ve somewhat innacurately described the Midlands’ Rick Beato. I had the opportunity to have a long conversation with Andy recently and bung it up on YouTube. We talked about the disproportionate deification of John Bonham and other untouchables and how our tendencies to worship some characters above all others can stifle our education, imagination and creativity. It was a fun chat and I am hoping to have more conversations with… Read More »Why I Don’t Talk About Bonham – With Andy Edwards
I can’t for the life of me decide if I should write hihat as one word or hi hat as two words. What do you think? Here’s the lowdown on how to play the left-handed hihat bark as you might hear on Aretha’s Rock Steady where the master Bernard Purdie gave us the most famous example of the thing and on Bullet In The Head where Brad Wilk gives us the same but somehow dirtier and more lethal. Take your… Read More »How To Play Left Handed Hi Hat Barks
Or whichever is your dominant hand. This is one of the funkiest things you can do to spice up your grooves, a quick and cutting hi hat bark will serve you well as part of a funky groove whether its light or heavy, tight or sloppy. Check out the video.
Not a Train Beat but a Boat Train beat which is like a train beat sort of but in triplets. This video was made on request by one of my YouTube viewers. I wasn’t familiar with the song but it’s a fab workout for getting the hang of accented single strokes and it’s a lot of fun too. If you’d like to follow the chart you can download the PDF here.
I finally got around to completing (more or less) the series of YouTube videos I started a while back in which I provide a ten step introduction to playing the drums aimed at absolute beginners. I’m going to add a couple more parts to include a song with stops and maybe a “what to do next” bit where I suggest how to proceed. Part 1. Learn to play a basic 8th note beat with bass on 1 + 3. Part… Read More »How To Play Drums For Beginners