I'm always looking for new ideas to work on. The web is loaded with good stuff to practice (look on the Links page to get started) but I wanted to add some of my own concepts for others to check out.
I use these with my students but I'd love to get some feedback from other players as well. Try these exercises then e-mail me here and let me know what you think. Praise is good, but constructive criticism is just as welcome. I'll post up a new page every month and if I get some good responses I'll include them as well.
You will need Acrobat Reader to download these files.
Ever wonder why the hot-shots can play so fast? Here's how!
Paul Ross and the Pan Go Steel Band held a Caribbean Drumming Seminar during our Spring Percussion Recital on June 22nd. He has graciously allowed me to post up some of his Calypso and Soca drumset patterns. Thanks Paul!
My colleague, Brian Riordan, has been working on a book of Arabic tabl rhythms. We've decided to post some of them up here to see if we can get some feedback from other players and Arabic scholars. His examples are thoughtfully transcribed in both western and Arabic notation, and each rhythm includes many variations. Please feel free to download, practice, and comment on these examples.
Kevin Winard recently guest taught and gave a master class on Brazilian drumming at CMP. He has graciously allowed me to post up his revised teaching examples so the students (and anyone else) can take advantage of his expertise.
high hat generally plays the pulse, the backbeat, or the off-beat
in most patterns, but by syncopating it (shifting it to a weaker
can alter the feel and flow of the time. This can have a powerful effect
on the groove.
So since it complicates the feel, use it sparingly in most situations.
The patterns included here are written in exercise form and are
not meant to represent a style (although you can play them straight
so use your ears when playing these with a group. Don't try to
force complications into the time-feel unless the music calls
in six-eight time is very common in Latin music but there are very
for developing a repertoire of patterns to fit different playing
situations. Here are some models for creating new patterns in Cuban-style
music and Latin Jazz. These don't work in every situation so listen
to recordings and watch live performances to develop a better understanding
of the music and the people who play it. Remember that music is played
differently in different countries and each style has evolved over
time so, for NonLatinos, the study of Latin music is a trip through
both geography and history. Understanding where and when a style
of music is played is the difference between a happy career and a
future in the food-service industry.
#4 Cuban Guaguancó Conga Patterns
rumba stands on its own as a musical style, it can also be
viewed as transitional between the folkloric and popular traditions.
As such, it is essential to understand rumba if you wish to
understand Cuban music. There is no one right way to play rumba.
I transcribed these patterns from lessons at La Escuela Nacionál in Havana, but I know that there are other good playing models which
should be studied as well. The more ways you know to play the
more resources you'll have to draw from when you're on the gig.
This batá drum example is for all the kids who attended our Batá/Arabic Drumming Seminar on February 5th at Vandercook College. I've posted a short article on batá drumming on the upper right side of this page, and Brian's Arabic drumming examples are front and center. If you have more questions, feel free to E-mail me here.
Here are some basic exercises for the Irish framedrum, the bodhrán. I've been working on and teaching this drum a lot lately and intend to expand these materials, so I'm posting them up to get some feedback. Bodhr án players! Let me know if you find these helpful. Any suggestions?
Including the high hat in 4-way patterns adds another dimension to your playing. It also complicates the rhythm, so be sure to use these sparingly and only when they are appropriate for the music.