Drum Rudiment System 2.0. with Lionel Duperron Review

As a drummer with a rudimental background, rudiments come out in everything that I play. Despite years of marching band, drum corps, private lessons, and practice, applying the rudiments to the drum set is a constant creative challenge for me.

I’ll never forget that rainy day. I decided to stay home all day and watch the entire Drum Rudiment System (affiliate link). One of the great aspects of the this course is that the instructor, Lionel Duperron, constantly reminds you to think critically and do what’s comfortable for you.

The Drum Rudiment System (affiliate link) is a great professional drum course. It covers all 40 international drum rudiments. Everything is slowed down for you in the beginning of the video. The rudiments and exercises are demonstrated at a variety of camera angles. Lionel emphasizes the sequence of each rudiment and how to master it.

I had only two complaints: In my opinion, the course doesn’t go into stick grip and motions to a deep enough level. I also didn’t like is that he didn’t give the name variations of each rudiment.

For a course on how to play drums, I would not recommend this. Parts of it are good if you are learning drums for the first time. A more thorough drum course, such as, Learn and Master Drums with Dan Sherrill (affiliate link) or Mike Michalkow’s Complete Drumming System (affiliate link) would be better for a you, if you are a beginner. The Drum Rudiment System (affiliate link) is a great supplement to either of these drum courses.

As a professional studio drummer, it was a great refresher for me and it showed me some great ideas in regards to how to apply the rudiments to the drum set. I will definitely revisit this course in the future.

It’s more than worth the price for once reason: the sheer quantity of information!

Learn more about the Drum Rudiment System (affiliate link).

 

How to Build Drum Speed, Part 3: Hand Speed

According to the Drumming System (affiliate link), a drum pad is only one surface with one feel. It’s a bouncy type feel that’s great for practicing. On the other hand, a drum set has many surfaces with many types of feels. Speed will allow to move your ideas around the drums with much more ease.

  1. Your drums and cymbals should be within easy reach so that you can get to where you need to get really fast. This will constantly change with time, but you want to make as easy as possible.
  2. Practice moving around the kit as fast as you can with a single stroke roll. Do this until your arms are tired. Try to go for five minutes and you will be sweating. Try to keep an eye on where you’re going so you’re not hitting rims. Ask yourself questions, such as  “where am i hitting?” and  “where i am i going?”
  3. At midnight, when everyone is sleeping, air drum AS LOUD AS YOU CAN. This strengthens you wrists. Remember that if you hit your drums you will wake people up. This is a good warm up, too.
  4. Try to play a single stroke roll on you floor tom only holding the middle of the drum stick. Not only does it feel awkward but you have no convincing balance point. Also, practice using the lock grip in the middle of the floor tom. If you have a high pitched floor tom, detune it low (before it loses its tone) so its soggy.
  5. Finally, practice playing double stroke rolls on your floor tom.

The Drumming System (affiliate link) goes into much more depth about how to improve your speed. This is one subject that most drummers from around the world are very interested in. As with everything in drumming and in life, patience and perseverance go a long way.

The Top 2 Professional Drum Set Courses on DVD

If you type the words “drum course” or into your favorite search engine, numerous results will come up.

Learn and Master Drums with Dan Sherrill (affiliate link) and
Mike Michalkow’s Complete Drumming System (affiliate link)
are the Top 2 Drum Courses Available.

So which one is the best?

Watch My Video Comparison

Course Comparison Chart

Drum Course Learn and Master Drums
(affiliate link)
The Complete Drumming System
(affiliate link)
Instructor Dan Sherrill Mike Michalkow
Review Read My Complete Review Read My Complete Review
Price $149 $197
Purchase Buy Now (affiliate link) Buy Now (affiliate link)
DVD’s 12 Full Length DVD’s 20 Full Length DVD’s
Play Along CD’s 5 CD’s 15 CD’s
Workbooks 112 Page Workbook 5 Workbooks
Bonuses Online Support Forum Start-Up Resources & Guide
One Handed Drum Roll DVD
Drum Gear Buyers Guide DVD
Members Support Forum
Unlimited Coaching
Level Beginner, Intermediate Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
Guarantee 60 Days – Full Refund 90 Days – Full Refund

[Read more…]

Become a Studio Drummer and Make Money

Many drummers set the goal of becoming full-time studio drummers. It’s very rare that someone has a full-time job as a professional studio drummer these days. Back in the 1970’s drummers, such as John “JR” Robinson, Steve Gadd, and Jim Keltner were busy drumming for television commercials, television soundtracks, movie soundtracks, and top artists. Studio drumming work is still available, but not nearly as much as it was 20 or 30 years ago.

Nowadays, many professional studio drummers, such as myself, do recording sessions with local artists. Making a good sounding recording is very affordable for a singer/songwriter.

Here are some tips that I picked up from the Drumming System (affiliate link) and mistakes I have made:

  1. Live drumming and studio drumming are two completely different animals. With recording, you can listen back to what you did. There is a final product forever.
  2. Unlike live playing, you’re alone in a silent room.The microphones are highly sensitive (even to an air conditioner in the room or garbage truck outside). If other people are with you, it’s important for them to stay quiet when the microphones are on.
  3. Recording sessions can be full of stress and pressure. There is no time to waste in a studio. Most studios charge by the hour.
  4. It’s important for you to relax. You don’t want to sound rigid and tight. Also, you have to be able to comfortably play along with a click track at a variety of tempos.
  5. Be prepared with your music.
  6. Whether or not you have a top of the line drum set, get brand new heads (top and bottom). If not, it will be a waste of time. Tune your heads perfectly to the style you are playing.
  7. Set up your equipment so microphones can be placed on your drums.
  8. Bring extra muffling, tape, extra drum heads, towels, and drum keys.
  9. Bring an extra snare drum or two. You have no clue what your snare drum will sound like in the studio. Many of the top studios have a whole library of snare drums for you to choose from that include wood, steel, brass, copper, and snare drums of different depths.
  10. Strive for perfection, but be patient with yourself.
  11. Cooperate with the engineer. The engineer is trying to get the best possible drum sound.
  12. Have great attitude and give it your best. A job well done in the studio may lead to you getting more live work from the person that hired you.
  13. Know that as time goes on, you will get better and better at studio drumming.

Be sure to read these additional studio drumming tips.

How to Become a Professional Drummer and Find Jobs, Part 3

As a professional drummer, it’s important to completely prepared for performances and rehearsals. In addition to having your music down, you want to have the right tools for the job.

First and foremost, you want to have a good drum set and cymbals. Be sure to invest in cases for your drums. Make sure that you have every single part of your drum kit before you leave. A checklist will help you make sure everything is accounted for.

According to the Drumming System (affiliate link), Here’s a list of some things that you will want to have on you at all times:

Stick Bag

It’s important to have a good stick bag with extra drum sticks. Not only do you have extra sticks, but you can put small tools. Here’s a list of tools you want to keep in your stick bag:

  1. Duct Tape – sometimes things break, such as cymbal stands.
  2. Muffling – Moongel (affiliate link) is great.
  3. Cymbal felts – these get lost in transit sometimes. You might take a cymbal off and the felt goes flying.
  4. Small towel – you sweat.
  5. Pens and pencils – you might need to make notes in your music or take down someone’s phone number.
  6. Business cards – always be ready to promote yourself.
  7. Drum keys – you can never have enough drum keys. Have at least 1,500… just kidding. You get the idea.
  8. Headphones or in-ear monitors – I bring my Vic Firth Isolation Headphones (affiliate link) with me and 1/4 to 1/8 inch adapters.
  9. Rubber bass drum hoop protectors – these can easily dissappear.
  10. Extra wing nuts in a few different tread sizes – make sure you buy the right wing nuts for the brand of hardware you use.
  11. Adjustable wrench – this can be used in place of a drum key and can fix anything!
  12. Extra bass drum pedal springs – if your spring breaks, your bass drum pedal will stop working completely.
  13. Sticks, brushes, and mallets – I personally prefer to keep sticks, hot rods, wire brushes, and cymbal mallets in my bag.

[Read more…]

Professional Grunge Drumming

The Drumming System (affiliate link) has some great grunge drumming lessons. In fact, I’ve never actually knew of lessons being taught on this style of music until I saw this.

Grunge rock began in late 1980’s and was very popular through the early to mid 1990’s. Bands such as Nirvana, Alice in Chains, and Pearl Jam popularized this music.

It became known as the “Seattle sound”: Sloshy, heavy, grungy 1 bar and 2 bar patterns.

Pearl Jam

One memory of grunge music that I will never forget is the first time I saw the video for the song, “Alive”, by Pearl Jam. I was in awe of the drummer, David Abbruzzese. His sound was very powerful and incredibly clear. He also played with great fluidity. I still work to emulate his fluidity around the drum kit today.

Check out the video:

Nirvana

I was in middle school during the birth of grunge music and was heavily influenced by it. Nirvana’s MTV Unplugged in New York album was a CD that I regularly played. (Remember CD’s?) Nirvana’s bestselling hit, “Smells Like Teen Spirit” had a huge impact on my generation. I truly believe that this video captures the essence of grunge.

Check out the video:

Improving Your Skills

The Drumming System (affiliate link) has grunge drumming beats for beginner, intermediate, and advanced players.

  1. The beginner beats sometimes have no cymbals in them. This was very popular in the music.
  2. Intermediate beats are a bit more challenging with addition sixteenth notes on the snare and bass drum, plus fills at the end of the beat. Again this was very popular with grunge drumming. Most importantly, they need to be played with a “sloshy” sound.
  3. Advanced beats are so recognizable. They add broken up hi hat patterns, open hi hat patterns,  and sixteenth note triplets on the hi hat.

The actual beats in the style aren’t that technically difficult. The important thing is to develop that feel of this music.

Learn and Master Heavy Metal Drumming

Heavy metal is a style of music that began in the late 1960’s. The style originated from blues-rock and psychedelic rock. Heavy metal is known for its thick, massive sound, that includes extremely amplified distortion, long guitar solos, emphatic beats, and sheer volume. Bands such as Black Sabbath, Ozzy Osbourne, Pantera, Megadeth, Iron Maiden, and Metallica are some of the more popular heavy metal bands.

The Drumming System (affiliate link) contains a variety of heavy metal exercises for all levels of playing:

Beginner Exercises

These are usually eighth note based grooves with the hi hat cymbals slightly open. Maybe you might began to add sixteenth note variations on the bass drum and the snare drum. Play them at a moderate tempo and play them HEAVY.

Intermediate Exercises

Add a partial sixteenth note triplet added to the snare or bass drum. Make sure you play with a powerful bass bass drum sound, a convincing pulse on the hi hat, and a slamming 2 and 4 on the snare drum.

Advanced Exercises

These include broken ride patterns, incorporate the toms, and add quarter note triplets.

For myself, I play along to AC/DC.  I have found Phil Rudd’s grooves to be rock solid! There is an art to keeping the groove simple and solid. In terms of drum sound, Lars Ulrich (Metallica), has an incredibly clear sound that inspired many of the drummers of my generation.

Shortly after getting my first drum set, I remember seeing the “Lars Ulrich” drum set in the music store and wanting it so badly. Seeing all of those toms and cymbals looked so cool. Nowadays, I am only concerned about having the smallest drum set possible. It’s interesting how things change.

Sorry to go off on a rant, but I encourage you to check out the Drumming System (affiliate link) and work on the heavy metal exercises. If you’re new to this style, you will find these exercises challenging. If you’re a veteran of this style, you will find these exercises refreshing.

The Best Quiet Practice Drum Set

Drummers don’t have it easy. Practicing and keeping the volume low is a unique challenge every drummer will face at one point or another. Although many options are available for keeping the volume level low, I am still on the quest for the perfect “quiet drum set“.

Initially, I tried using drum mutes and cymbal mutes on a standard drum set. They felt unnatural and had no rebound.  I felt that it made me work harder and I would end up playing very tensely. Drum mutes and cymbal mutes have improved in recent years. If you want to make your acoustic drums quiet, these are be your best choice. I highly recommend Vic Firth Drum & Cymbal Mutes (affiliate link).

Just a side note: One of my drum teachers (who shall remain nameless) actually put briefs (underwear) over the cymbals to mute them. As entertaining as it was, it kinda worked.

A few years ago, I discovered mesh drumheads, which are extremely quiet drum heads. They were similar to the heads used on electronic drums. I liked them because you could actually hear the tones of the different drums. Although they were great for keeping the volume low, I easily broke though the heads on a regular basis.

I currently practice at home on a Gibraltar GPo8 Powerrack Pad Outfit (affiliate link). It takes up a small amount of space. I had to purchase a separate bass drum pedal and drum throne. I also added a hi-hat cymbal stand, hi-hat cymbals, and a hi-hat mute to use with the Gibraltar GPo8 Powerrack Pad Outfit (affiliate link). This has given me quiet practice setup that emulates an actual acoustic drum set.

Practicing on the Gibraltar GPo8 Powerrack Pad Outfit (affiliate link) combined with using my acoustic drums has actually helped me to make some significant improvements in my drumming. The drum pad set forces me to focus on precision and to really visualize the sounds that I want to come out of the instrument. When I practice on my acoustic drum set, I get to refine the sounds and feels that I have worked on at home.

Another choice is an electronic drum set. Electronic drum sets allow you practice quietly, but get real drum sounds. In fact, electronic drums made by Roland and Yamaha sound like acoustic drums. I am partial to Roland, because they feel more like acoustic drums in comparison to Yamaha.

Keep in mind that most electronic drum sets don’t come with a drum throne or bass drum pedal. The best part of having a drum set like this is that you can plug in your headphones and play all night long without disturbing any of your neighbors. There’s even a place to plug an iPod in so you can jam with your favorite music.

If you want the best electronic drum set available,invest in the
Roland TD20SX V-Pro Electronic Drum Set
(affiliate link).

The Best Age to Start Drum Lessons

Best Age to Start Drum Lessons

From time to time, I get calls and emails from people around the country asking about the best age to start drum lessons. There is no right answer to this, but here are some general guidelines that might help you make the right decision for you and your child:

  1. For most children, the best age to start drum lessons is 8 years old. By this age, they are used to the routine of school and doing homework (hopefully). They are also developing a better sense of mind-body awareness by this age.
  2. For children younger than 8 years old, I highly recommend group music classes, such as Kindermusik, where they can interact with other kids. Even if you put your child in an excellent music class, they still might be eager to take private drum lessons.
  3. There are some children, younger than 8 years old, that can handle the focus of private lessons. If you think your child is capable, I would suggest finding a drum teacher in your area and trying it out. Click here to find a drum teacher near you (affiliate link).
  4. To test the waters before investing in private drum lessons, try a professional drum course that shows you
    how to play drums. The The Drumming System (affiliate link) and Learn & Master Drums (affiliate link) are two incredible video drum courses.
  5. Another option is to buy a small, cheap drum set, and let your child just bang away. This can include having them play along to their favorite songs. Although they won’t be learning any formal skills, they will be exploring their own creativity and learn how to be proactive. Many great drummers have started this way.

Ultimately, the choice is yours.

A word of caution: If your child starts taking private drum lessons and is truly unable to stay focused and keep up with practicing, it might turn them off from music completely. Therefore it’s important to be very sensitive to how they respond to lessons, if you decide to go that route.