Showing posts with label Drums. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Drums. Show all posts

Saturday, November 3, 2018

The Value of a DRUMMER

English: Nels Dielman, Drummer, Urban Family Dog
Nels Dielman, Drummer, Urban Family Dog  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Drums are the backbone of most bands. Because of this fact, the other musicians rely very heavily on the drummer to provide a strong beat that will keep a song together. A drummer who is offbeat, or off tempo, will lead the entire band astray. Therefore, if the drummer is weak, the whole band will be weak. Since the drummer provides the foundation for the other musicians to follow, the drummer is the anchor of the band.

Being the anchor of the band, the drummer must have confidence. Confidence is what makes a good drummer a great drummer. When you have confidence in your ability to play and confidence in your instrument, success is inevitable.

Many wanna-be musicians are drawn to the drums for the opportunity to learn an easy instrument. Even though the drums are one of the few instruments that can be self-taught, the drums are not easy instruments to play. The techniques and concepts relating to drums are fairly easy to understand, but learning to play the drums takes great coordination, a sense of timing, and patience. All of which can be developed with time.

If you are a drummer in a band, then you are the anchor of the band. The other musicians are relying heavily on you to provide a strong beat that will keep everything together. Other musicians may be able to cover their flaws when playing their instruments as a group, but not you. Everything you do behind your set will not only be heard but felt. There will be nowhere to hide if you are a poor drummer!

The drummer is vital to a band, and a great drummer can make up somewhat for other musicians who may not be at the same level of expertise. So, continue to practice daily, and never be satisfied with your level of progress.

    About The Author
    Copyright 2006 Daniel N Brown
    Source: ArticleCity

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Why Practice Drums With a METRONOME?

A Metronome, made in West Germany.A Metronome, made in West Germany. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Practicing with a metronome will improve your time keeping dramatically! What... you say you can already keep time? Try to keep time with a metronome for about twenty seconds. It will show you how good you really can keep time. If you have never tried it...try it! You will see there is room for improvement.

In order to be an outstanding drummer you'll need to keep good time, and practicing with a metronome can help you do that. A metronome can improve your time keeping almost by magic. And, we know how important timekeeping is, particularly for a drummer.

You may wonder what the big deal is and think, "No one is gonna be able to distinguish any small changes in tempo in the middle of a song." Well, that may be true, but the major importance of keeping good time is at three different places in a song...

1) The times when you break away for a fill and come back to the original rhythm.
2) If the song contains pauses and later returns to the original rhythm.
3) If the song contains different tempos and returns to the original rhythm.

A metronome is such a vital tool in music education that most teachers of guitar, piano, and violin all utilize the power of metronomes within their lessons. How then, even more, important for the timekeeper of a band to practice with a metronome.

I can't stress enough the importance of practicing with a metronome. Once you go out and invest in one, start out by setting it at 80 beats per minute and play along with a standard 4/4 disco beat. This is a good place to begin. It will give you enough time between beats to concentrate and land your beat in sync with the beat of the metronome.

You will see that when you first start practicing with a metronome it can become very discouraging, but then you will eventually get the hang of it and keep pretty good time. Then it may become a little boring. It's at that point where you must challenging yourself a little bit more.

Adjust your metronome to a few more beats and increase your speed. Not so much where you will sacrifice your form, though. You don't want to become sloppy. Once you feel like you are really getting good at staying in sync with the metronome using a 4/4 beat and at various speeds you should begin to practice a variety of different rhythms, also at various speeds.

Practicing with a metronome will improve your drumming dramatically, so if you don't have one, get one. You will be amazed at how much it will increase your level of playing.
Copyright 2006 Daniel N Brown

The Author Dan Brown - ArticleSource: ArticleCity

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Famous DRUMMERS - Carter Beauford

Português do Brasil: Carter Beauford Dave Matt...
Carter BeaufordRio de Janeiro (30/09/2008). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Carter Beauford is widely known for being the drummer, percussionist, and one of the founding members of the legendary Dave Matthews Band.

Carter Anthony Beauford was born on November 2, 1957, in Charlottesville, Virginia, and was raised in a household where everything from jazz, rock, gospel, to pop, was played.

At an early age of three, he was already exposed to the world of drums and percussion, when his father had no choice but to bring him to a Buddy Rich concert because there was nobody around to take care of his son. From then on, Carter became enthralled and awestruck with Buddy Rich.

Because he showed so much interest in learning the drums, his father bought him a Roy Rogers tin drum set with paper heads, his first ever drum set. During this period, Carter's musical influences included Tony Williams, Papa Jo Jones, and, certainly, Buddy Rich. He started doing professional gigs at nine years old with a jazz-fusion band led by local celebrity Big Nick Nicholas. He graduated with a degree in music at the Shenandoah Conservatory of Music.

Carter has played with many bands with different styles, as he thought it important to stay open to improving oneself through exposure to the music of its various forms. He joined a Richmond-based jazz fusion band, Secrets, which featured saxophonist LeRoi Moore, trumpeter John Dearth, vocalist Dawn Thompson, keyboardist Butch Taylor, and guitarist Tim Reynolds. The band performed frequently at a bar in Charlottesville called Miller's, where he met Dave Matthews, who used to be the bartender.

When the band fell apart, Carter went to California to try out for the Arsenio Hall show but was not accepted, so he moved back to Virginia. Aside from Secrets, Carter also became a part of the jazz/R&B band Blue Indigo, along with LeRoi Moore, Sal Soghoian, and George Melvin, and they played both at Millers and Tokyo Rose. The band was fortunate enough to have been featured at the Delaware Water Gap Jazz Festival. After some time, Carter and Moore were approached by Dave Matthews regarding some material he had been working on that he wanted to record, and Carter agreed after listening to it. It was then that he became a Dave Matthews Band drummer.

Recognized for his assortment of percussion styles and ambidexterity when playing, Carter has done a lot of collaborations in the past, some of which were with artists Vertical Horizon, Carlos Santana, John Popper (Blues Traveler), Victor Wooten (Bela Fleck and the Flecktones), and Robin Andre (AKA Boy Wonder).

Carter got married twice. He has two daughters, Breana and Nadja Angelique, and one son, Marcus Carrington.

Carter currently uses Yamaha Drums, Dunnett Classic Titanium and Stainless Steel snare drums, Zildjian cymbals, Evans drumheads, Yamaha and Drum Workshop hardware, Promark sticks and mallets, and various other percussion equipment.

    Drew Mers is a consultant to Empire Rehearsal Studios. The company rents bands, musicians and drummers music rehearsal studios in Long Island City, Queens, New York.

    Article Directory: EzineArticles 

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Types Of DRUMS Based On Your Musical Genre

A standard drum set: Ride cymbal Floor tom Tom...
A standard drum set: Ride cymbal Floor tom Toms Bass drum Snare drum Hi-hat (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The components of your drum kit may vary greatly from that of any other drummer based upon the genre in which you play as well as your personal preferences and financial resources. Transportation issues may also play a part since you need to have a vehicle large enough to transport the drum set, and the more equipment that you have, the more room it will need for transportation. The venues where you perform may also have a bearing on the components of your set. If you are continually playing small clubs, the stage may not be large enough to accommodate a large number of drum components, so in spite of your genre and personal preferences, you may need to reduce your drum kit out of necessity.

Throughout history, using two bass drums has been a normal part of the drums for jazz bands, but recently many drummers, especially those in the hard rock and heavy metal genres have used dual bass drums. Since the 1980s it has been commonplace for drummers to use electronic drums either individually or as part of a standard drum set. Sometimes cowbells, gongs, tambourines, and other percussion instruments are also utilized in drum kits. A drummer may also have his own personal preferences in spite of those dictated by his genre, and therefore, creating a sound that is slightly different from every other performer in that genre. Some drummers also choose both snares and toms, and though they may not use them on every song, they become part of the drum kit to be utilized whenever needed or desired.

Though genre sometimes indicates the type of drums that are included within a kit, there is no hard and fast rule on it, In fact, even hard and heavy metal bands sometimes tone down a few songs on a CD, and thus the need does not exist for the harder sounds. Even some rock and roll bands from the past who had hard-hitting drum sound occasionally slowed it down through the use of just a bass or snare, allowing the guitars to carry most of the musical sound. After all, when you're talking about a ballad, you may not want the hard-hitting drum sound, but just a slow beat and occasional cymbal sound is all that is necessary.

The key to knowing what you need in your drum kit is in the type of music you will play, the venues where you will be performing, your budget, and your transportation resources. Personalize your kit based upon what you can transport and the size of the stages where you will perform rather than what you feel you should have or what you want. Even if you can afford it, it's senseless to buy something you can't use except for practice.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Proper Way To Care For Your DRUMS

Dave Weckl's drum kit @ Jazz Alley, Seattle, W...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Your drums are not just instruments that you set on a stage and play and then take home again for practice without ever touching them for maintenance or cleaning. The truth is, if you don't want to take the time to clean them and keep them properly tuned, you are not true to your trade. Depending on the type of drums that you have, their way is variations on the maintenance that the manufacturer recommends. How you care for your set depends also on the material from which it is made.

So, if there isn't a rule regarding drum care, what do you do? As with your clothing, you follow the recommendations of the manufacturer. When you buy a new outfit, you check the label for laundering instructions – or you should – and the same is true of your drum set. Cymbals, for the most part, can be cleaned with a window cleaner, but how you clean your drums needs to depend upon a variety of factors including material of the skins and of the outside. Steel is not recommended, though sometimes used, and there will be a different method than other material, which is usually simply soap and water or even glass cleaner for a shine.

As a drummer, you should be proud of your skins and want to keep them clean in between performances. It doesn't take more than perhaps a half hour a day to keep your set looking in top condition, but you want to make sure that you know exactly what you need to do before you even take the set home. If you order your drum set online, be sure you read all of the instructions regarding care and maintenance before you ever set up the kit, because some kits require oiling before you ever use the drums for the first time. Failing to do that when required can result in your drums sounding out of tune or not blending in with the rest of the musical instruments in the band.

Bear in mind that your drums are a major investment, and if you want them to last you for years to come, you have to take the time to take care of them from the day you first own them. You do not simply leave them to collect dust when you are not using them nor do you only take them in for maintenance when they don't sound as good as they did when they were new. Regular cleaning and routine maintenance will be your drum kit looking and sounding new for many years to come. It is unnecessary to buy a new set every few years if you take care of what you have from the start.

Thursday, July 19, 2018


English: North Indian hand drum
North Indian hand drum (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
When one visits an Indian reservation pueblo or village, you can very likely hear the beautiful melodic tones of an Indian drum. Tradition plays a strong part in Native Songs and culture. The instrument that produces the most powerful sound is the Indian drum.

The type of Indian drums varies. Each Indian tribe constructs drums to their particular desire. Drums may be created with carved images of people. Or, other Indian tribes may choose animal designs to adorn their Indian drums. Some use jewels and color in northwest Indian drums. Drums are designed by hand and are particular to each drum maker.

Indian drums are very popular today. Many people of a variety of ethnic backgrounds use Indian drums in drumming groups and as rustic home décor. It is no longer difficult to find authentic Indian drum because of the use of the internet. And, in many locations and regions of the country, Indians drummers have businesses, offering their Native hand drums and handcrafts. In the western United States, and southwest, Indian drum is common in stores as well.  A large number of Indian tribes inhabit New Mexico and Arizona.

If you do not live close to Indian reservations, locating an authentic drum is not as easy, but can be accomplished easily online. Indian drums are come in many sizes and styles from small hand drums to large ceremonial drums.

When ordering an Indian drum, you can choose between shaman drums which are one-sided hand drums like the Plains Indians use or Tarahumara Indian hoop drums which are double-sided. Most drums may be played with the hand or by using a drum beater or tom-tom like. For ceremonies and drum circles pow wow drums are most desired for their deep low tones. Good powwow drums also have a base to hold the drum during use. Unlike frame drums or handdrums, ceremonial pow wow drums are always played with a beater. Some of the nicest Northwest Indian drums and most unique drums are created with cedar for a rich red and blond color.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

What You Need To Know About Drums

Bass Drum Wing Nut Grand Rapids Montessori Open House September 16, 201012
Bass Drum - Photo by stevendepolo 
What would music be without drums? Drums are responsible for providing the backbone of the song. The drummer holds the rest of the song together by providing the other musicians with a beat to follow. Even if a song doesn’t specifically include drums, more than likely they do include other percussion instruments.

History of Drums

Percussion instruments have been used since ancient times. Drums especially were popular because they could be made using easily obtainable materials. Generally speaking, drums include a hollowed out body which could be made of wood, clay, gourds, and other materials with some kind of animal skin or membrane stretched over the top. Ancient drums have been found in archaeological dig sites and can be viewed in museums.

Drums Throughout the Cultures

Different cultures have different kinds of percussion instruments. In the west, the drum set is popular. In Latin music, the drum kit includes other items such as shakers and cowbells. In Africa, the djembe and congo are popular drums. Other cultures use steel drums and other drums that are made from different materials such as gourds and animal skins.

Using Drums from other Countries

In today’s society, the media and internet have opened us up to different types of music. As a result of this, more western artists are starting to embrace other percussion instruments. For example, it isn’t uncommon for a song to include different hand drums borrowed from the African or Middle Eastern cultures.

If you are interested in using drums from other countries, your best bet is to expose yourself to the traditional music to get a feel for how the drums are traditionally played. It is fine to borrow an instrument from another tradition, but to get the most out of the experience it is worth it to learn the traditional playing styles.

Sunday, June 10, 2018


"A few years ago, at the Love Parade in Berlin, it took a very special form-a drum & DJ project called UNITED NUBIANS that spread the message of the "Black Pharaohs" to the club circuit. The project survived the occasion and today, on the dark stage, I sometimes travel home on a tribal house beat to the rhythms of my childhood. "

Mahmoud Fadl, the celebrated Nubian Master Drummer was born in 1955. He was raised in the cities of Assuan and Cairo in Egypt, and his Nubian background is rooted in the Griot culture of the "Battikol" people. Mahmoud started out as a musician at Nubian and Arabic wedding events as well as a limbo dancer. He soon became a much sought after commodity, playing with the likes of Ahmed Adawia and Nubian legend Ali Hassan Kuban. After a number of international tours, Mahmoud Fadl secured a place for his music in Europe and started to develop an international portfolio.

A cropped photo of the Egyptian Singer Umm Kal...
A cropped photo of the Egyptian Singer Umm Kalthoum who died in 1975 at 71 years old. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The Nubian people's legacy extends far into antiquity, predating Egyptian civilization. Some recent finds by French archaeologists have suggested that Nubia pre-dated Egypt by as much as 3,000 years and is, in all likelihood, the source of Egyptian civilization. The flooding of the Aswan dam, forced Mahmoud Fadl and thousands of Nubians to leave their homeland in Nubia, which is located today in Northern Sudan and Southern Egypt and drowned old Nubia and countless Nubian monuments and historical sites.

As a musical director, Mahmoud Fadl contributed to a four album project called "Salamat", released on Piranha records, which focussed on the music of the legendary and suppressed Nubian culture. He has four albums released under his own name and on one of them pays a Nubian homage to deceased pan-Arabian diva Umm Kalthoum, showcasing the voice of Salwa Abou Greisha from the famous Greisha family of Nubian musicians, with accompaniment from the Cairo Opera. Mahmoud's album "Drummers of the Nile", features ancient music from along the nile, and he collaborates with fellow drummers Gaafar Hargal and Hamdi Matoul, Nubian wedding diva Salma and many more musicians. He has also collaborated with The Klezmatics (New York), Orientalist piano player Maurice El Medioni (Marseille/Oran) and the famous gypsy saxophone player Ferus Mustafov (Skopje). Mahmoud also introduced western audiences to the distinguished grandmaster of oriental trumpet, Samy El Bably, on an alluring album called "Love Letters from King Tut-Ank Amen."

Today, Mahmoud travels between Cairo and Berlin working on various projects. His current tribal house project entitled "United Nubians" has earned him much international acclaim in the vibrant Berlin club scene. In addition to his work as a musician, film actor and fashion designer, Mahmoud Fadl frequently performs with the West-African Griot Ensemble, "Saf-Sap" on oriental wedding and musical workshops.

You can listen to Mahmoud Fadl and many more African musicians at Kemet Music Radio.

Selected Discography:

Album: Drummers of The Nile In Town
Label: Piranha
Year: 2003

Album: Drummers of The Nile Go South
Label: Piranha
Year: 2001

Album: Umm Kalthoum 7000
Label: Piranha
Year: 2000

Album: Love Letters From King Tut-Ank Amen
Label: Piranha
Year: 1998

Album: Ezzayakoum
Label: Piranha
Year: 1998

Album: Drummers of the Nile
Label: Piranha
Year: 1997

Album: Nubiana
Label: Piranha
Year: 1996

Album: Salam Delta
Label: Piranha
Year: 1995

Album: Mambo El Soudani
Label: Piranha
Year: 1994

Saturday, May 19, 2018

How To Hold Your DRUMSTICK To Produce The Best Sound

Traditional Grip Detail
Traditional Grip Detail (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The way you hold your drumsticks plays a vital role in the quality of sound that you produce and the length of time that you will be able to play your drums. Unfortunately, the proper holding of the drumsticks is one of the most ignored and neglected protocols when it comes to playing the drums. If you are one of those drummers who has not really been holding your drums, you will most like hurt yourself in the long run so start paying close attention to how you hold your drumsticks. Always remember that your drumsticks are extensions of your hands and not just an accessory that you use to hit the drums with.

Gripping Your Sticks

If you are still a beginner and you still have not established a way of holding your drumsticks, it would be best for you to ask your music teacher to show you how to hold your drumsticks properly and practice that kind of grip. Learn the right way to hold your drumsticks right from the start. Always remember that unlearning something is a lot more difficult than learning something for the first time to make sure that you start your drumming lessons in the right direction.

Different people have different ways of gripping their drumsticks. The most common way of holding the drumsticks is the matched grip. The matched grip is very easy and is very popular especially among those drummers who are into pop music. When using the matched grip method of holding your drumsticks, you just simply hold both sticks in the same way with your palms facing downward. All your fingertips should rest lightly on the drumstick. The good thing about using the matched grip method of holding your drumsticks is that you can use the same gripping style when playing other instruments such as the timpani, chimes and other types of percussion instruments. 

Another popular way of holding the drumsticks is the traditional grip which allows you to hold your drumstick with your palms facing up with your fingers gripping the sticks from underneath. The traditional grip is very popular among jazz drummers because this allows better dynamic control. If you are aspiring to become a jazz drummer, it would be a good idea for you to practice holding your drumsticks in this manner from the very start so that you will be able to get the hang of it.

However, if you have no plans on concentrating on jazz music, it would be best for you to use the matched grip. Note that if are using a bigger drum kit, the traditional grip may make it difficult for you to move around especially if you are using a bigger drum kit. You may find it quite awkward to hit your cymbals in this position.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

DRUMS - Perhaps the Oldest of Musical Instruments

Some ethnic percussion instruments Français : ...
Some ethnic percussion instruments (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The drum is perhaps the oldest of musical instruments, dating back thousands of years. Most civilizations, ancient and otherwise, have developed their own unique variations on the basic drum design. Over the centuries, these instruments have been used to create distinct, indigenous musical styles for nearly every region of the planet.

As drums and other percussion instruments developed, many of them became specific to certain functions. The snare drum, for instance, became popular through its military functions. These drums were often used for communicating on the battlefield, as well as for more formal military ceremonies.
Gradually, as this drum type became more popular, it was incorporated into the symphonic works of many of the 18th and 19th century's most important composers.

Other percussion instruments, such as the bass drum, various hand drums, and cymbals continued to develop along their own unique lines. Cymbals, originally an Eastern invention, began being manufactured for a number of sonic effects. African and Indonesian hand drums of all shapes and sizes began making appearances in European music during the "exoticism" movement of the late 19th century.

With the dawning of the 20th century, a new musical movement was beginning in the port city of New Orleans, Louisiana. A combination of African and European musical traditions, with a heavy emphasis on improvisation, jazz had become the first authentically American art form. Because rhythm and syncopation were integral to the music, the drummer was the heart of a jazz ensemble.

Most venues for jazz music, in the beginning, were small clubs that had limited stage space. A drummer was therefore forced into a small dilemma; what to bring and where to put it. This was the beginning of what we consider modern drum sets.

Drum sets were essentially an assortment of commonly used drums and other percussion instruments that could be set up in a way that took up a minimal amount of space. A standard trap kit usually consisted of a kick drum (originally a marching bass drum was used), snare drum, high-hats (two small cymbals that are hit against one another using a foot pedal), and a ride/crash cymbal. Despite improvements in drum technology, modern drum kits are still based on this standard design.

Since the introduction of jazz, popular music has continually required the use of a drum set. Within American and European pop music the instrument has become ubiquitous. Over the last century, the drum kit has also become a popular instrument in many other parts of the world as well. Because of the nature of the instrument, drum sets are one of the most versatile instruments in the world; an attribute that will help ensure that it has a long musical life ahead of it.

Anne Clarke writes numerous articles for Web sites on gardening, parenting, and home decor. Her background also includes teaching, recreation, and fashion. 

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Types of DRUMS

The talking drum is an instrument unique to th...
The talking drum is an instrument unique to the West African region. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Drums are percussive instruments built by stretching a membrane across an opening in a vessel. The most common property of various types of drums is their pitch. Drums are one of the oldest and the most omnipresent instruments. Even with the various types of drums present, the most common aspect is the origin of a sound. The sound in a drum originates from the vibration caused when you strike the membrane, called the head, with another object. Drumheads can be made from the skin of a goat, cow, antelope, or sheep, or even a synthetic material. The types of drums that exist vary as markedly as the people who use them for communication, ritual, or entertainment all over the world.

The common way of classifying drums into different types of drums is by their shape. Most drums fall into the following categories:
  • cylindrical, barrel, conga, waisted, goblet, or bowl.
A frame drum, with its squat hoop, and a long drum, which is thin and tall, are both the cylindrical variety. A barrel such as a Tabla, goblet such as a Djembe, and bowl such as a Nakari, are named for their shapes so they are easily recognized. The conga tapers at its bottom, and the waisted drum tapers in the middle, as with a Changko's cinched waist.

A further classification of the types of a drum is made on the basis of which side the drum might have a head. A drum may have a head at either end of the body or only on one. Drums like congas and bowls have one head, but frame drums have two. Some drums can be carried while walking or dancing while some drums are stationary, such as the Djembe from Mali.

Besides the categorization of various drums into types of drums, one should be aware that not all drums are specifically tuned. The drums develop their tone due to body shape or head size. Pulling a cord or shifting a peg to stretch the head can adjust the pitch of a drum.

The bendir, a frame drum from North Africa
The bendir, a frame drum from North Africa (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The western world of rock music listeners is more familiar with non-pitched drums, such as a bass or snare drum in a drum set. These can be used in combination with any harmony or key.

We can also differentiate drums in a drum kit as types of drum. A drum kit consists of a collection of various types of drums and cymbals. It can also be accompanied by various percussion instruments such as cowbell, wood block, chimes or tambourines arranged in a suitable manner for the convenience of the drummer.

Differing music styles implement the components of a drum kit in different manners. Ride cymbals and hi-hats are usually preferred more in a jazz set-up, whereas a bass drum and snare drum is preferred more for rock music.

With the onset of technology another type of drum that gained popularity is the electronic drum kit. It was in 1980 that electronic drums were introduced. Today they can be easily used as an easy replacement for other various types of drums in acoustic settings.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

ELECTRONIC DRUM KITS Signify Modernization Of Music-Making

Electronic Drum Set
Electronic Drum Set (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Drum kits have evolved significantly in recent decades from the classic bass-snare-cymbal combination into electronic devices that have essentially changed the way music is made. Electronic drum kits were first introduced in the early 1970’s as an innovative piece of equipment used to produce drum sounds electronically rather than acoustically. This occurs by hitting a trigger pad on the drum kit. The sounds are translated into digital waveforms from the electronic drum module and this, in turn, produces the desired percussion sound.

Beginning in the 1980’s, electronic drum kits began to see a wider fan base and it was becoming common to see bands incorporate them with acoustic drum sets. At the point of their first introduction in the 1970’s, and even into the early 1980’s, it was uncommon to see electronic drum kits used by themselves because they had not been perfected yet.

Bill Bruford of the band King Crimson was one of the first to introduce the electronic drum kit into his set. In fact, his usage of the drum kit almost completely abolished his need for acoustic drums because of the quality of his sound.

In the late 1980’s, electronic drum kits finally arrived at a near perfect image with a near perfect sound. Popular electronic drummer Akiro Kimbo uses the electronic drum kit in interesting and innovative ways, delighting and entertaining music fans all across the world. Music equipment companies such as Yamaha began manufacturing electronic drum pads that were mounted on acoustic drum kits to produce a synthesized sound. This new sound was able to maintain the original acoustic sound with an electronic twist that many considered to be an innovative addition to the world of music.

Rick Allen, Def Leppard’s premier drummer, is proof of the quality and success of electronic drum kits. After Allen lost his arm in a car accident, he had a special electronic drum kit made so that he was still able to play. Later on, he had a second kit made that would play back pre-recorded components of his acoustic drum kit whenever he struck a pad. Thus, while being new and original, the sound produced by Allen’s kit still maintained its classic acoustic sound.

Electronic drum kits have not witnessed universal success and usage. However, they were created to produce a ground-breaking sound above and beyond the capabilities of the classic drum kit. Although the preference of the majority of rock bands today is still the classic kit, the electronic drum kit has broken down the old-school barriers and have appealed to those wanting to add some creativity and vision to the world of music.

Saturday, January 13, 2018


Percussion instruments3
Percussion instruments3 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Anthropologists and historians repeatedly speculate that percussion instruments were the first musical apparatus ever came into being. But with the utmost certainty, the human voice was the first musical instrument, and surely, percussion tools such as feet, hands, rocks, sticks, and logs came in second to the on-going evolution of music. When humans developed tools for hunting and agriculture, their knowledge alongside with skill, enabled them to produce more complex tools. They use slit drum, made from a hollowed-out tree trunk. For instance, a simple log may have been shaped to generate louder tones (log drum) and may have been pooled to create numerous tones (set of log drums).

As time moved on, so is the evolution of percussion instruments. In the early 10th century, it was known that most tribes in Africa use sorts of percussions such as djembe, macaras used in Latin America, karimbas in Asia and seed rattles in Australia for their recreational and worship rituals and sometimes used in sending signals.

Percussion instruments that are displayed in orchestra first came from Asia Minor. In the 15th century, people began migrating east and brought with them numerous instruments. Our percussion instruments got their initial stages there when the Crusades took back the drums that they found in the Middle East. From then on, an evolution of percussion and drums kicked up a notch and assortments of percussion instruments came into being.

Percussion is categorized by a variety of criteria at times depending on their cultural origin, construction and function within the musical orchestration. It is generally referred as ?the heartbeat? of a musical ensemble, often functioning close collaboration with bass instruments if present.

Drums and percussions, as well as bass, are known as the rhythm section of the most popular music genres. Most classical pieces written for an orchestra since the time of Mozart and Haydn are schemed to put emphasis on strings, brass, and woodwinds. However, time and again they include a pair of timpani (kettle drums) although not played continuously. But moderately, they serve to offer additional accents when needed.

In the 18th and 19th centuries, more percussion instruments (like the cymbals or triangles) came to being and frequently, again moderately and cautiously played in general. The massive uses of percussion instruments become more recurrent in the 20th century, on classical music.

In almost all types of music, percussion plays a fundamental role. In a military parade, it is the strike of the bass drum that holds the soldiers' instep and at a normal speed, and it is the snare that endows that crisp, vital air to the tune of a troop. In traditional jazz, one almost instantly thinks of the distinguishing rhythm of the hi-hats or the ride cymbal when the word "swing" is uttered. In more current popular music genres, it is almost impossible to name at least three or four rock, hip-hop, rap, funk, punk, techno, grunge, alternative and blues songs that don?t have some kind of percussive beat maintaining the tune in time.

Because of the mixture and wide assortments of percussive instruments, it is not unusual to find large musical gathering composed wholly of percussion. Rhythm, harmony, and melody are all evident and alive in these musical factions, and in live performances, they are quite a spectacle to see.

Friday, January 5, 2018

DRUM Tips - Why didn't you get the Gig?

bubenník (ilustrácia)
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Have you been auditioning for different bands and not getting the gig?  Musicians are very critical of the other musicians they play with, although they will probably not be brutally honest about what they see and hear.  We don’t want to hurt your feelings so we say something nice and then never call you again.  I have auditioned many, many musicians who never got a call back.  Here are some the most important aspects of an audition - mistakes musicians have made when auditioning for one of my bands: 

1)  Skill - can you keep up?

I have auditioned many guys thought they could play but couldn’t keep proper time or didn’t know what chord changes were going on, got lost in every song – just couldn’t keep up musically.

2)  Listening – are you paying attention?

I have played with a few really skilled musicians who paid absolutely no attention to what was going on around them. It was like they had spent years practicing by themselves in their bedroom. They could play amazing things but what they played made no sense in the context of the band.  The notes you play should complement what everybody else is doing and the song should work as a whole.

3)  Personality – are you a nice person?

This is a big deal – I have played some shows with great players who live their life a sentence or two from a punch in the face.  Remember when you were a kid and folks told you “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”  I have met many great musicians who desperately need to revisit that concept.  They were so full of negativity that it was really hard to be in the same room with them for very long.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

DRUM Tips - Dealing with BASS DRUM "Creep"

A Yamaha bass drum pedal on a Tama drum set.
A Yamaha bass drum pedal on a Tama drum set. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Bass drum creep does NOT refer to the scary guy with the bass drum, it's the term used to describe the frustrating situation when your kick drum starts sliding further and further away from you with each stroke of your bass drum pedal.

Setting up your kit on a good thick rug or a carpet that the spikes at the end of your bass drum legs can sink their teeth into will generally help keep bass drum creep at bay. (If your bass drum legs don't have spikes, replace them with ones that do. Any decent drum shop will carry replacement bass drum legs at a reasonable price.)

Make sure your carpet is large enough to fit your whole kit, including your throne. The weight of your body on the throne will help keep the bass drum from sliding away with the whole carpet.
Adjust the bass drum legs so that the front of the drum is an inch or two off the ground and the drum is resting at a slight angle. This shifts more of the weight of the drums onto the legs themselves and helps the spikes dig in more effectively, which should put an end to most bass drum creep problems.

Sometimes, especially for those of us kicking the drum pretty hard in loud situations, setting up on a carpet is just not enough!

Here is an additional little trick that will END bass drum creep problems.

Take a three foot long 2"x4" piece of wood. I have some nice fabric glued around it to make it look pretty, provide some protection to the drums, and prevent splinters. Now mark your carpet where you want the front of your bass drum to sit. Drill three quarter inch diameter holes through the wood - one hole in the middle and one near each end.

Using some nice, big, 2 inch washers and 1/4 inch thick bolts - actually bolt the wood to your carpet at the front edge of your bass drum. Make sure to put the flattest part of the bolt on the underside of the carpet so that your carpet still lays pretty flat.  I also like to put a layer or two of gaffer's tape over the end of the bolt so that it does not scratch up any nice wooden floors that happen to be underneath the carpet.

Now when you set up just slide the front of the bass drum right up against the piece of wood you have bolted to the carpet, and it will not slide any further!

It works best if you get the wood wide enough that the legs themselves actually bump up against the wood block although it will work fine with the rim of the drum against the wood block - just be sure to cover the wood with foam or thick fabric to prevent the wood from damaging the rim and lugs of your drum!

Let me know how well it works for you.

Friday, November 17, 2017


Northern Constabulary Pipe Band at Remembrance Parade 2011 Dingwall Ross-shire Scotland
Photo  by conner395 
Bag pipes date back from the period of the Celts who marched into conflict to the sound of horns being blown. At the battle of Flodden it is said, is one of the earliest mentions of the bagpipes, that the town piper played his pipes. From the 1700's onwards bagpipes were mentioned more frequently.

In the early 17th century pipers were not given an official role in the regiment - even when the role of piper and drummer and bugle player were recognized - indeed sometimes the piper was sometimes listed as a 'drummer' on any military records. The first official recognition of the piper was in 1679, and they played an integral part of the regiment greatly boosting the morale of the troops.

Following the battle of Culloden, the victorious Hanoverians banned bagpipes, this was at the same time that the wearing of tartan was always banned.

Playing military pipes was seen as on a par with any the role of any other member of the regiment - highlighted by the sentencing to death of a piper in the regiment captured during the 1745 uprising.
'A Highland regiment never marched without a piper... therefore his bagpipe, in the eye of the law, was an instrument of war'

So what music did military pipers play - there were three types of 'pibrochs' (tunes) - as well as tunes for marching to and well as laments for playing at funerals. Many of the pibrochs were inspired by famous battles, in particular, the Jacobite Rebellion. As such some tunes are linked to certain regiments.

In 1840, the popularity of military pipe bands was given a boost - Queen Victoria's enthusiasm for all things Highland was behind the War Office's decision to provide each of the Highland Regiments five pipers and a Pipe Major. Pipe bands grew in reputation both at home and abroad a positive image of Scotland. While pipers were forbidden from playing in trenches many pipers disobeyed this order and many were killed alongside their comrades, with some pipers receiving the Victorian Cross for their bravery. Military pipers were also present in more recent conflict including the Gulf War. Today pipers in the army are also required to take on a secondary role in the army, such as a medic.

Today military pipe bands, also referred to as 'pipe and drums' have expanded and are common outside of the military and thousands of civilian pipe bands have sprung up all over the world
Pipe band proficiency is typically measured in grades from 1-4. With grade 1 the highest level and grade 4 the most basic or training level. Traditional Pipe bands are made up of a section of pipers, a section of snare drummers, several tenor drummers and a single bass drummer.

Countries that have strong cultural links to Scotland such as America, Canada, and Australia also have a 1000s of pipe bands which celebrate their shared Celtic heritage.

At the annual World Pipe Band Championships pipe bands from around the world come together to perform. The Edinburgh Tattoo is also a key fixture for pipe bands - military bands from around the world play together to create a magnificent sound and spectacle.

An important part of playing in a pipe band is the specific dress that is worm, this allows members to feel part of Scottish Heritage and the impressive look of the uniform adds to the spectacle.