Thursday, January 17, 2008
Monday, December 31, 2007
Friday, December 14, 2007
As part of redesigning my drum teaching site RudiMental, I've come across some truly wonderful resources. There is a real wealth of knowledge available for drummers out there on the web, and my advice is to make good use of it.
Firstly I would suggest anyone out there go and take a look at RudiMental. Lots going on there. Aside from this shameless self plug, here are my other suggestions:
- Tiger Bills site. A great resource I have used for many years
- Percussive Arts Society Rudiment List.
- Worlds Fastest Drummer Competition.
- Vic Firth Loads of educational stuff on here
- And last but not least You Tube. I use this daily to watch serious groove from amazing drummers
I hope this short list is of use to anyone out there!
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
The ensemble sound you can produce from such a setup is huge. People often think I'm hiding someone else offstage.
What ever your style of music, triggering external sounds can hugely benefit you. Here are some examples of places I have used electronics.
- Special effects for panto
- Triggering backing tracks for covers gigs
- Triggering strange intro tracks for rock bands
- Triggering a string line that can't be played live
etc etc. You get the idea. I use:
- a laptop £400
- a crappy edrum pad - £10
- midi keyboard £90
- midi cable £10
- soundcard £10
- open source software FREEEEEE
So for under £600 you can use electronics in your drumming...
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
But what do we mean by fast?
I would break down 'playing fast' into a number of categories to help destroy the mystery behind some of the top players technique
Our raw single stroke roll speed (see pas.org for rudiment list) is one way of assessing our speed. How fast can you play 16th notes? The world record (see previous post) is currently set at over 300BPM! My suggestion for increasing your raw pace is to practice little (5 min) every day. Set your click going, and note the fastest speed you achieve. If you can increase this by 1BPM per day, you are doing very well indeed...
I use double stroke rolls as a phrasing tool to move quickly between drums. Whilst one hand is doubling, the other is free to move quickly to the next drum. You should be able to play doubles as bounces, and as individual hits. Practice as per singles with a click and note speed daily.
3. Using feet
Putting kick drum strokes into a phrase frees up your hands to move. A great Vinnie trick is to play doubles with one hand, then doubles with your kick foot. Be able to play this with both hands and feet. Of course using a double kick pedal can also be used to great effect within a phrase.
How fast you can pay a groove often comes down more to coordination that raw singles speed. If you need to play a groove faster - work it out really slow - and go round and round til you really understand it! Then slowly increase pace, noting top speed as you go. Within a week or two you'll be up to speed.
Often the faster we play, the less power we are able to achieve. So as not to lose the urgency and feel of a fill or groove, we need to keep the power consistant. Working with bigger sticks can be a good way to build the muscles in your arms and hands (much like runners putting sandbags around their ankles.)
Use these tricks and soon you'll probably be faster than me....
Monday, December 10, 2007
Some great examples of music in 12/8
Justboy - Biffy Clyro
Miss You Love - Silverchair
Miss You - Incubus
Easy Life - Oliver Gearing
You'll get a strong idea of how to feel this music if you take a listen to the above. There are far too many examples in my record collection to mention here! Try to find songs in your collection that are in 12/8, and you'll start to get a better understanding...
(not that I don't enjoy 4/4 - I just like to hear a change every now and then...)
Sunday, December 9, 2007
I've always been interested in WFD. Basicially a 'balls-on-a-plate' test of hand and foot speed. Takes place every year in the USA. I think the current world record holder is Mike Mangini from Extreme (1247 single strokes in a minute). That's the same as playing 16th notes at over 300 BPM for a whole minute!
Obviously raw speed is nothing without a healthy dose of musicality and taste; both Rees last night and Mike Mangini impress me because they hold back their speed when playing as part of a group. A good example of how to gig effectively - hold back in the set until it is your moment (solo/big fill/etc...). Nobody likes to hear drums overburdening the groove...
Check out the following links