Playing Tips for Drummers
Once you've sorted-out your kit set-up and posture, you may
like to consider the following tips.
Choose from the following links to go straight to the heading of interest on this page. Alternatively, start at the top of the page and work down.
Bass Drum & Hi-Hats
your drum kit, DON'T fight against
Allow your sticks to BOUNCE by playing 'off' the drum head. Think of it like picking the beats off the drum using your wrists rather than playing into the skin with tight wrists and no bounce.
Your drums will sound much better and your skins will last longer.
Play 'off' the cymbal or with a slightly glancing
blow using a relaxed wrist. NEVER play into a cymbal with a
rigid stick; it will not sound good and the results could be
terminal for the cymbal.
If YOU DO CRACK A CYMBAL, CAREFULLY drill a small hole at the end of the crack nearest the bell if the crack radiates from edge towards the middle. If the crack is PARALLEL TO THE EDGE, drill a hole at BOTH ends. Although this will extend the life of the cymbal, its days are numbered!
Repairing a Cracked Cymbal
The best advice is DON'T CRACK YOUR CYMBALS IN THE FIRST PLACE.
BASS DRUM & HI-HATS
Foot techniques are a matter of personal
preference. 'Heel down' or 'heel up' have their own fans. USE
THE TECHNIQUE THAT SUITS YOU BEST but it is always a good idea to
try to learn both for increased flexibility in your playing.
Power, speed and agility can be achieved using both techniques.
For example, did you know that Billy Cobham and J R Robinson both
play with 'heel down'?
Whichever you choose, ensure that the bass drum beater rebounds off the head immediately after you have played the beat. Phil Solomon, a respected drum teacher notes that if you 'play into' the head and leave the beater there, you will end up playing the next stroke 'behind the beat', that is, slightly late.
For the hi-hats, don't set the hi-hats too close or too far apart. Around one inch (2.5 cm) is a good start. Remember to set them close enough and high enough relative to the snare drum to hit easily, but not so close/low that you are always 'catching' (hitting) them with your sticks.
Whether you are playing the bass drum or hi-hat pedal, remember to keep your feet and legs as relaxed as possible.
REMEMBER that to improve your playing takes a lot of TIME and EFFORT. But take heart, the top professionals have often taken many years to perfect their best breaks.
The difference between an amateur and a
professional is this:
Amateurs practice until they get it right; professionals practice until they can't get it wrong.
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