A collection of articles, short think-pieces, long-form essays and in-depth notated lessons. We go all in - exploring the craft of drumming and the mindset of being a drummer.
Learning to practice well is the drummers most important skill. We explore techniques for guiding ourselves through productive, challenging, mildly uncomfortable but rewarding practice sessions, that leave us better than before we started, and inspire us to return.
Gaining control over your hands and feet is all about doing the simple things well. 16th-note subdivisions provide great structure for delving into the basic drills we need to train in order to develop strength, speed, endurance and finesse.
The coordination between our hands and feet is learned by methodically challenging their relationships to each other. Continuing with 16th-notes, these exercises begin to develop four-limb independence and give us a small taste of freedom.
Buried within some special rhythms is a tome of valuable ideas and skills, there to be cracked open and absorbed. Starting with swinging triplets, we deconstruct one such pattern and absorb the deep sense of feel hidden in it's many variations.
Often the hi-hat pedal is under-used because adding a fourth rhythm is hard and the pedal is often controlled by our weakest foot. With work, we can forge the left foot to be both an anchor and to add new depths of flair. Ostinatos help us develop that control.
Every drum on the kit pivots around the kick drum, and our beats usually do the same. The right foot holds the key to unlock so much freedom in our playing. This series of drills hones in on any weaknesses, developing that crucial limb to be agile and responsive.
Usually our poor left foot gets stuck keeping time by pulsing on the hi-hat pedal, while the snare and kick get to play. Let's give that foot more options and develop the interplay between our left foot and left hand, while holding time with our right side.
Consistency is a drummer's most valuable skill, and perhaps the hardest to capture. Without it, your playing will be a house of cards. But despite how much life tries to get in the way, a habit for practice is something that can be learned and developed. Here's some thoughts on how.
We're all chasing independence between our limbs. Coordinating your hands and feet to play against the grain of each other opens the window to that kind of freedom. These exercises pit our left side against our right. One plays groups of three while the other plays it straight. Independence ensues.
Regardless of how advanced you get, it still takes work to maintain the sharpness of your basic strokes. This series methodically works through patterns that help keep our timing sharp and develop our counting skills.
Continuing the series of basic linear patterns, designed to develop stroke quality, timing, counting and syncopation skills - this library of beats explores 8th-note triplets. These triplet patterns are played against a quarter note pulse, challenging our sense of time.
This lesson steps up our triplet game, developing combos of doubles and single strokes, played around the kit. We work from basics to more advance, while exploring the placement of our accents and shifting our left-foot pulse.
There's no template for a drummer's body, but having one that is limber and flexible, with loose wrists, elbows, shoulders, hips and knees, and muscles that are stretched and strong, will allow you to do more with less effort, sharper control, and less pain and fatigue.
The Rhythm Pyramid describes the basic subdivisions available to us as drummers. This lesson explores some basic combos to develop our counting and coordination skills using the pyramid as our framework, where we introduce various subdivisions to different limbs.