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 4: Bass Drum Speed

When it comes to improving your drum speed, especially bass drum speed, you’re going to have good days and bad days. Be patient as your leg muscles grow and stretch. Keep it mind that the legs and feet have more muscles and larger muscles than the hands and arms.

One thing that I always have to remind my own students is that your feet will never go as fast as your hands. It’s just how we’re built. Before you can develop bass drum speed, it’s good to work on bass drum exercises that help you develop control. A great resource for bass drum exercises is Colin Bailey’s book,
Bass Drum Control (affiliate link).

The Drumming System (affiliate link) says that one of the secrets to bass drum speed is to wear ankle weights while you practice. This well help you develop the muscles in your legs. After a practicing with them, go back and practice without the weights. You will notice results immediately. Another tip for developing bass drum speed is to try playing as loud as you can for a long period of time while wearing ankle weights.

A great exercise is to practice playing singles on your feet heel down and heel up. Playing heel down, you will feel the burn. If you find this boring, put a practice pad on the snare and play along. Years ago, my teacher Chet Doboe, the founder and musical director of the Hip Pickles Drum Band, taught me to practice the samba to develop my foot technique. The samba is great exercise because it allows you to work on controlling two notes in a row.

The Drumming System (affiliate link) recommends Hansenfutz (affiliate link) pedals for training. These are great because you practice in any chair that you are sitting in. You can even them under the desk in your office.

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…]

The Half Time Shuffle

The half time shuffle is a legendary drum groove. Both the Drumming System (affiliate link) and Learn & Master Drums (affiliate link) have entire sections devoted to this groove. After a thorough analysis, the Drumming System (affiliate link) gives you more examples of how to execute this amazing pattern.

This is a really fun beat to learn and to teach. The term “half time” refers to the fact that you’re accenting the snare drum on beat 3. In most shuffles, the snare is accented on beats 2 and 4. By shifting the accent to beat 3, it changes the feel entirely. It sounds more relaxed and laid back. It’s groovy and fun to play. Remember that while playing in half time, its only the feel of notes that are cut in half. The actual time value remains the same.

What makes this fun is when you begin to combine ghost notes on the snare drum with accented snare backbeats. It’s important to remember to be  sharply aware of the volume of the snare notes.

You can create some real funky patterns!

The half time is used a lot in hip hop and some blues music. Learn & Master Drums (affiliate link) actually categorizes the groove as R&B. In my opinion, regardless of the style of music, if you play a half time shuffle, it feels like there is a hint of reggae.

Examples of this groove include John Bonham (Led Zeppelin) on Fool in the Rain and Jeff Porcaro (Toto) on Rosanna. Learn & Master Drums (affiliate link) shows you how to do the actual beat to Rosanna.

This groove can be extremely difficult to learn…it might even by a life long challenge for many drummers. In my opinion, if you are looking to master this pattern, I would check out the Drumming System (affiliate link).

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 4

The Drumming System (affiliate link) has an entire section dedicated to reading drum charts. Your ability to read drum charts is so important. You will become a better musician, get better work, and play better performances if you can read drum charts, you will lay an excellent foundation for becoming a great live musician and great studio musician.

Here are some tips:

  1. Before you can read a drum chart, you have to understand basic drumming notation. The Reading Drummer (affiliate link) by Dave Vose is a great book to help you master drumming notation.
  2. Reading drum music can be challenging and frustrating. The more you do read drum charts, the better you get. (The unwritten rule for anything in life).
  3. Transcribing drum parts will help you read better. Write out drum parts from music that you like, note for note. Not only will this help your reading, but you will get into the mind of great drummers.
  4. Understand that some auditions REQUIRE that you know how to read.
  5. A chart doesn’t always tell you everything that you have to play. It might just indicate a tempo, style, and some dynamic markings.
  6. When you read a drum chart, the first thing you have to do is figure out the roadmap. Where do you start? Where do you end? Is there a coda? Having the ability to understand all of this will improve your reading.
  7. Shows on Broadway and in Las Vegas require reading. If you look in a Broadway pit, you will see music stands in front of every musicians.
  8. Practice with materials such as the Drumming System (affiliate link).  The Drumming System (affiliate link) has over 100 songs in a variety of styles. Each one can be played with or without drums on the track. This allows you to be the drummer in the band and practice reading drum charts.

How to Practice Drumming for Fast Results!

Great athletes put in many hours of practice and it’s no different for drummers. It’s important not to think of drumming practice as a chore, but a way of life. For me, it’s a part of my job. The Drumming System (affiliate link) has an entire DVD dedicated to this subject. Learn & Master Drums (affiliate link) teaches you new habits to develop as you progress. I highly recommend both of these courses to you regardless of your skill level.

Here are two questions to ask yourself:

  1. What do you want to improve in your drumming?
  2. How much time do you have to work on your drumming?

It’s important to prioritize what you want to get better at.


  1. Don’t play when your practice and don’t practice when you play. Avoid just playing around when you sit down alone at your drums. Have an organized schedule. If you’re on stage or in a recording studio, don’t start working on stuff you should have been doing at home. Practicing is a solo art.
  2. Stretch before anything else. Remember that drumming is also a form of exercise. A great book to check out is Stretching (affiliate link) by Bob Anderson.
  3. Drum in front of mirror. This way you can see your posture, form, technique and how relaxed you are. Sometimes I even put one to the side of me.
  4. Record yourself on video and watch it back. Write down what you observe and what needs to be improved.
  5. Stay focused on what you are working on. It’s really easy to let your mind wander. If something isn’t coming to you, put it away and come back to it a few days later.
    There is no need to get frustrated if something isn’t coming together or sounding right.
  6. Work through new material slowly. Be sure to always use a metronome. Most drummers agree that 50 to 60 beats per minute is a good tempo to work on new material at.
  7. Write down the tempo you perform an exercise or piece of music at. This way, you know exactly where you should be when you come back to it.
  8. Review old material regularly.
  9. Start and end your practice sessions on a positive note.
  10. Use checklists. I have heard it said many times that excellence is in the details. To keep track of details, use checklists to make sure you are focusing on everything.
    Practicing for Young Musicians: You Are Your Own Teacher (affiliate link) has some great checklists at the end of the book. (Don’t be fooled by the title. It’s for musicians of all ages)
  11. If you feel pain, STOP!
  12. If you really aren’t in the mood to practice, don’t.

The Casual Schedule

The Drum Practice Routine Generator (see below) recommends doing 20 minutes a day. Pick 1 topic from each category per day. You can go down the list or randomly choose one. Over time, you’ll cover every aspect of drumming and it won’t take up a lot of your free time.

The Motivated Schedule

The Drum Practice Routine Generator (see below) recommends doing 40 minutes per day. This for someone who has a little more time to spend on the drums. Pick 2 topics in one category and spend twenty minutes on each one. Do the same thing with the next category on the following day. You can also mix it up. You’ll be surprised how quickly 40 minutes goes by.

The Dedicated Schedule

The Drum Practice Routine Generator (see below) recommends 60 minutes per day. This is great for someone who really wants to get good at that drums. Maybe its not for you. It’s good to practice 1 topic from each category for 20 minutes each. This will create an incredibly balanced practice routine. Obviously, you can spend as more time on this if you want to.

Drum Practice Routine Generator

Just enter your name and email below. 

First Name:
Your Email:
Your Skill Level:

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Professional Country Drumming

The Drumming System (affiliate link) has a great section on country drumming. Country music began in in the 1920’s and continuously evolves through today. In the 1950’s, Johny Cash, Hank Williams, and Patsy Cline became incredibly popular. Today’s popular artists include Garth Brooks and Shania Twain. The success of this music is demonstrated in it’s worldwide appeal. In fact, some of today’s country music is also considered to be pop music because of its universal appeal.

While the majority of today’s country music feels strikingly similar to popular rock, their are small nuances within the feel that make it “country”. One particular technique that I learned from a friend was how to hit the snare drum. In this style, many drummers throw the weight of their arm into the snare and let the stick just sit. There is no rebound and it actually makes your shoulder kind of sore. With the potential for injury aside, you get a serious country backbeat.

This is responsible for the feel of many country songs.

The Drumming System (affiliate link) starts out with beginner country beats. These are simple quarter and eighth note beats with occasional sixteenth notes. The role of the country drummer is to play simple time and keep a great groove for the band.

Intermediate and advanced beats include train beats. W.S. “Fluke” Holland, the only drummer Johnny Cash ever had, made train beats popular. You will know this type of beat when you hear it. When done correctly, it sounds like a train going down the tracks. You can play this with sticks, brushes, hot rods, etc.

On a side note, I was fortunate enough to receive a consultation from Tiffany Gifford, a celebrity stylist and image consultant. Miranda Lambert, a popular country artist, is one of Tiffany’s clients.

Also, here’s a clip of a drum solo I did at a country music concert:

Professional Progressive Rock Drumming

The Drumming System (affiliate link) has a great section on progressive rock. It’s kinda funny, but the instructor, Mike Michalkow, refers to it as wild and bizzare playing. He’s not saying this to insult the style, just stating an opinion (which I share). In fact, he’s a specialist in this style of drumming.

It’s easy to label it as wild and bizzare because it includes odd time playing, crazy fills, intricate snare and hi hat parts. Since most music is written in 4/4, any thing that is performed in an odd time signature might feel weird. Although not a progressive rock song, Dave Brubeck’s Take 5 is one of the few songs with an odd time signature that became wildly popular.

This style of rock began in late 1960’s with bands such as King Crimson, Genesis, and Yes. In the 1970’s bands like Pink Floyd and Rush became popular. In the 1980’s and 1990’s, Dream Theater kept progressive rock alive. King Crimson, Rush, and Dream Theater are still actively performing today.

Neil Peart, Mike Portnoy, Chester Thompson, Phil Collins, and Bill Bruford are drummers who considered to be pioneers of progressive rock. Be sure to check out some of the incredible footage of each of them on YouTube.

The Drumming System (affiliate link) has progressive rock training for drummers at every level.

  1. For beginners, their are beats with snare drum notes in random spots and thirty second notes on the bass drum. It might seem difficult, but it starts off very simple.
  2. For intermediate drummers, the beats add more random snare drum notes, along with sixteenth notes on the snare and bass drum.
  3. For advanced drummers, the beats are straight up WACKY! You get stuff like broken ride cymbal patterns and two and handed sixteenth note triplet ride patterns. Really weird…but also really fun.