August 07, 2009

Drumming Technique – 2 Golden Rules to Improve Any Drummers Performance When Playing Drums

Are you a student taking drum lessons or are you a drum teacher of music lessons? Playing drums can be fun and you can learn (or teach) drums in a short while, or be a much better drummer, by following two (2) golden rules of drumming. If you want to learn drums more effectively and efficiently, then this article is for you.So, what are the two (2) golden rules? They are:

1. Technique

2. Stick Heights

The first golden rule is Technique. In drumming, this is how you hold your drumsticks or keyboard mallets while playing a pattern of sticking that is suitable for a particular drumming exercise or drum music. The way that you hold the stick is called grip. There are two types of grip in drumming. They are:

· Match Grip

· Traditional Grip

Each grip is really a matter of preference. Sometimes, the type of percussion instrument you play will determine the type of grip you should use. In many cases it is good to know how to play drums with both types of grips. This will allow for you to always be prepared no matter the situation.

If you are beginning drummer, recommendations are to begin with the match grip. Match grip is exactly what the word match describes; the hands are holding the drumsticks exactly the same. It is kind of like holding bicycle handle bars with a few adjustments to angle and thumbs. This grip is generally held by many concert percussionists, jazz drum kit players, rock band drummers and by marching percussions tenor drummers and bass drummers.

The next grip, traditional grip, is a technical drumming hold that if done properly, can approve your drumming abilities in terms of speed, endurance, accuracy, finger and hand agility and overall aesthetics. When teaching drum lessons, drum teachers should instruct their students to include door knob turning as part of their daily exercise. The reason for this is because the motion that the forearm performs is the same turn that that is used when playing drums with a traditional grip. Furthermore, the fingers are place properly on to the stick. Two fundamental notes to having better control of the stick when playing with the traditional grip:

· Never release the thumb from the index finger

· Keep the pinky and the ring finger together working as one (this can be accomplished by taping the two fingers together)

Traditional grip is often used in marching percussion by snare players. Many jazz drummers, like Buddy Rich performs with the traditional grip as well as Drum Corps drummers like the Concord Blue Devils. There are also many drum videos and drum DVD’s that portray the traditional grip. A great example can be seen at, where the drum video shows a snare drummer auditioning for the UCLA Drumline.

The second golden of drumming is stick heights. In marching drumlins and percussion ensembles, the focus is on uniformity. Meaning everyone needs to look the same including their hand positions (grip) and levels of heights. There are two types of stick heights that should be required for anyone playing drums, especially when playing snare drum rudiments. They are:

· Accents

· Taps

There is a distinct difference between the two. Bottom line is accents are played higher than taps. Drum teachers usually explain this by saying taps are all the inside notes, the low notes. Accents are taught to be played vertically. The common misconception is that accents and taps is just for marching drumlines, but it can also be played by drum kit drummers too. The benefit to playing drum music with proper stick heights is that it sounds and it looks good. One of the best books that could teach you how to play proper stick heights is Accents and Rebounds by George Lawrence Stone. Stone is well-known for his first book, Stick Control.

The two golden rules, technique and stick heights will improve your drumming abilities. Pay close attention to each of the two in detail when playing drums. You get the most benefit of your drum lessons by practicing and researching. Review drum videos and watch a lot of Buddy Rich and Mike Portnoy to better your drumming. Good luck and don’t use drum tabs, read drum music.

Welcome! You have stumbled upon one of the few percussion sites that encourage you to GET THE FACTS about drumming. The owner, Darren Tunstall, Drummer, has been drumming and providing drum instruction for years. Since the start, he has gained a lot of knowledge, and he wants to share that drumming and other percussion information with you.

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