[Increase your creative drumming by Waywood Music]

Something a Bit Different for Drummers


[Pearl Marvin 'Smitty' Smith snare drum]Sometimes, just 'playing the beat' is not enough.

Try to think of a song as a 'musical picture'. An artist paints a picture with many colours, and with many shades of the same colour. So it is with music. Your 'musical palette of colours' is the different sounds that you create. However, just as an artist knows when to stop, and what to leave out to make the picture complete, so we must do the same in our playing.

Try experimenting with the following ideas, which will enable you to increase the 'colours' in your 'musical palette'.



Try hitting the edge of the drum skin, near to the rim, for a more 'open' ('ringy') and higher-pitched sound, rich in harmonics (overtones).

Hit the skin with a stick whilst pressing the skin with your other hand to vary the tension (and hence the pitch) of the drum. You can use this to produce a 'pitch-change' or 'pitch-bending' effect.

Vary your sticks. Use brushes, multi-rods or beaters. Mix the combination of these in your different hands, such as, stick - left hand, brush - right hand.

Try playing your snare drum with snares off for a different sound.

Play your bass drum with your bass drum pedal and with a stick for interesting tonal combinations and rhythms.

Move beats from the drums to the rims, to the head just inside the rim, or rim shots to produce a range of tonal colours. Try using these strokes in place of accents.


[Wuhan Gong]Try varying your sticks. Use brushes, multi-rods or beaters. Mix the combination of these in your different hands, such as, stick - left hand, brush - right hand or vice versa.

Use different types of stroke. Drag the stick tip, whilst holding the stick vertically, across the bow of the cymbal from the bell outwards to produce an eerie 'wailing' sound. HINT: Wooden tip sticks work best. Try licking the tip before playing to increase the friction, and hence the sound.

Drag a brush across the bow of the cymbal for a 'swish' or 'sssinggg' sound.

Play the edge of the cymbal using a vertical drum stick, striking the actual edge (i.e., straight against the edge) rather than hitting the cymbal from above/below near the edge). This will produce a sustained bell like sound.

Try the 'old favourite' of beaters on the cymbals to produce a mellow crescendo sound. Experiment with changing volumes and 'choking' the cymbal to produce an instant silence.


REMEMBER: If you are in doubt of what to do or play, be risky and leave space; play nothing. It will probably be the best thing to do and sound the best for that part of the music.


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