Drums For Dummies - Jeff Strong - E-Book

Drums For Dummies E-Book

Jeff Strong

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Beschreibung

Become a different drummer Drumming is natural to all of us after all, it mimics the regular beat of our hearts. But some of us want to go further and really lay down a big beat. And no wonder whether you want to become the powerful backbone of a band or just learn how to play a hand drum for pleasure, drumming is a lot of fun. Oh, and it s scientifically proven to make you smarter. Bonus: healthier! Drums For Dummies gets you going on the road to becoming the drummer you want to be. Get started with the basics what drums to buy, exercises that build your skills, and playing simple rhythms. Then move into more complex topics, explore drumming styles from around the world, and add other percussion instruments to your repertoire. Written in an easy-to-follow step-by-step style by respected instructor Jeff Strong, you ll go from banging out basic rhythms with or without sticks to acquiring versatility with different styles and types of drum. The book also provides online audio files to drum along with, as well as suggestions for solo approaches to wow your bandmates. * Understand fundamental techniques * Hone your technique with exercises * Explore other percussion instruments * Care for your drums The all-time drumming great Neal Peart of the band Rush once said that when he saw a good drummer, all he wanted to do was practice. Drums For Dummies is your best way to do just that and start hitting your perfect groove. P.S. If you think this book seems familiar, you re probably right. The Dummies team updated the cover and design to give the book a fresh feel, but the content is the same as the previous release of Drums For Dummies (9780471794110). The book you see here shouldn t be considered a new or updated product. But if you re in the mood to learn something new, check out some of our other books. We re always writing about new topics!

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Drums For Dummies®, 2nd Edition

Published by: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 111 River Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030-5774, www.wiley.com

Copyright © 2020 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, New Jersey

Published simultaneously in Canada

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Library of Congress Control Number: 2020939548

ISBN 978-1-119-69551-6 (pbk); ISBN 978-1-119-69553-0 (ebk); ISBN 978-1-119-69556-1 (ebk)

Drums For Dummies®

To view this book's Cheat Sheet, simply go to www.dummies.com and search for “Drums For Dummies Cheat Sheet” in the Search box.

Table of Contents

Cover

Introduction

About This Book

Conventions Used in This Book

What You’re Not to Read

Foolish Assumptions

How This Book Is Organized

Icons Used in This Book

Beyond the Book

Where to Go from Here

Part 1: Setting a Solid Foundation

Chapter 1: Drum Basics

Picking a Drum Apart from Head to Shell

Exploring How Drums Create Sound

Deconstructing the Drumset

Appreciating the Old-timers: Traditional Drums

Swingin’ Sticks and Slapping the Skins

Chapter 2: I’ve Got Rhythm …

Developing a Sound Vocabulary

Adding Some Drumming Definitions

Becoming One with the Pulse (and I’m Not Talking Heartbeat)

Feeling the Meter

Embracing Odd Meter

Chapter 3: Tapping into Drumming Techniques

Talkin’ Technique: What You Need to Know

Speaking Softly and Carrying Big Sticks

Painting a Variety of Textures with Brushes

Forging a Foundation with Rudiments

Getting the Most Out of Your Practice Sessions

Chapter 4: Getting a Handle on Hand Drumming Techniques

Taking Matters (and Tones) into Your Own Hands

Opting for Open Tones

Mastering Muted Tones

Venturing into Some Alternative Strokes

Keeping Your Options Open

Part 2: Digging into the Drumset

Chapter 5: Settling In Behind the Drumset

Setting Up Your Drumset

Putting Your Foot Down

Working Out: Exercises to Improve Your Hand- and Footwork

Chapter 6: Rolling into Rock Drumming

Harnessing the Backbeat

Mastering the Basic Beats

Dressing Up the Basic Beats

Chapter 7: Beating the Blues

Finding the Pocket and Staying in It

Playing Blues

Understanding Blues Song Structure

Chapter 8: Rallying Around R&B and Funk

Playing R&B Grooves

Getting Funky: Exploring Funk Drumming

Chapter 9: Swinging into Jazz

Getting Into the Swing of It

Expanding Your Horizons

Telling Your Story: Soloing

Blending Styles: Jazz-Fusion

Playing Fusion Rhythms

Chapter 10: Looking at Latin and Caribbean Styles

Building On Traditions

Playing Afro-Cuban Rhythms

Playing Brazilian Rhythms

Playing Caribbean Rhythms

Filling It Out

Chapter 11: Ratcheting up Your Rock Drumming

Building on a Solid Foundation

Exploring Some Great Drummers and Their Grooves

Finding Your Own Inspiration

Part 3: Dressing up Your Drumset Skills

Chapter 12: Getting Into the Groove

Getting the Feel of the Music

Playing Musically

Choosing the Perfect Rhythm

Adding Your Personality

Chapter 13: Expressing Yourself with Fills and Licks

Enhancing Your Drumming with Licks

Increasing Your Impact with Fills

Playing Some Fills — From One Beat to Four

Creating Your Own Fills

Chapter 14: Flying Solo

Soloing Basics

Part 4: Pounding Out the Beat: Traditional Drums and Percussion

Chapter 15: Handling Hand Drums

Embracing the Variety in Drums

Beating the Bongos

Carrying On with the Congas

Discovering the Djembe

Uncovering the Udu

Deciphering the Doumbek

Touting the Tar

Tapping the Power of the Tambourine/Riq

Partying with the Pandeiro

Chapter 16: Singling Out Stick-Played Drums

Bopping to the Bodhran

Detailing the Djun Djuns

Rubbing the Cuica

Striking the Surdo

Rapping the Repanique

Tapping the Tamborim

Tinkering with the Timbales

Chapter 17: Shake, Rattle, and Roll: Exploring Other Percussion Instruments

Ringing the Agogo Bells

Twisting and Shaking the Afuche/Cabasa

Keying in to the Clavé

Clanging the Cowbell

Scraping the Guiro

Movin’ to the Maracas

Experimenting with Shakers

Tapping the Triangle

Chapter 18: Jamming with World Rhythms

Demystifying Polyrhythms

It Takes a Village: Using More Rhythms for Better Sound

The Rhythm Nations: Playing Well with Others

Part 5: Choosing, Tuning, and Caring for Your Drums

Chapter 19: Decision Time: Selecting a Drum of Your Own

Choosing a Drumset

Choosing a Traditional Drum

Branching Out: The Extras

Knowing Where to Find Drums

Chapter 20: Tuning and Maintaining Your Drums

Checking Out Tuning Basics

Choosing and Replacing Heads

Caring for Your Drums

Part 6: The Part of Tens

Chapter 21: Ten Ways to Expand Your Drumming Horizons

Checking out Classes

Visiting Clinics

Attending Workshops

Exploring Drum Circles and Jams

Perusing Books and Videos

Getting Online

Reading Magazines

Joining a Band

Forming Your Own Band

Playing Open Stage

Chapter 22: Ten Tips for Finding a Drum Instructor

Test Driving a Teacher

Knowing Where to Look

Understanding the Costs Involved

Exploring a Teacher’s Playing Style

Gauging a Teacher’s Willingness to Teach to Your Interests

Starting Where You Are

Getting a Sense of History

Honoring Yourself

Understanding Expectations

Knowing When to Move On

Appendix: How to Use the Website

Relating the Text to the Website

System Requirements

Tracks on the Website

Troubleshooting

Index

About the Author

Advertisement Page

Connect with Dummies

End User License Agreement

List of Illustrations

Chapter 1

FIGURE 1-1: Drums come in all shapes and sizes.

FIGURE 1-2: A variety of hardware styles.

FIGURE 1-3: The modern drumset.

FIGURE 1-4: Traditional drums that you’re likely to see today.

FIGURE 1-5: The most common drumstick used today.

FIGURE 1-6: A variety of drumsticks.

Chapter 2

FIGURE 2-1: Your basic drum music vocabulary.

FIGURE 2-2: Dynamic markings found in music.

FIGURE 2-3: Common notes found in music.

FIGURE 2-4: Rests found in music.

FIGURE 2-5: Music notation just for drums.

FIGURE 2-6: Duple and triple meter (feel).

FIGURE 2-7: How to interpret eighth notes in a shuffle.

FIGURE 2-8: Rhythm groupings in odd meters.

Chapter 3

FIGURE 3-1: Stretching the thumbs.

FIGURE 3-2: Finger stretch.

FIGURE 3-3: Forearm stretch.

FIGURE 3-4: Stretching your shoulders.

FIGURE 3-5: Back stretch.

FIGURE 3-6: Holding the drumsticks with the traditional grip.

FIGURE 3-7: Holding the sticks with the matched grip.

FIGURE 3-8: A common, but less-effective way to hold the sticks.

FIGURE 3-9: The basic stick stroke.

FIGURE 3-10: Getting the rim-shot right.

FIGURE 3-11: The rim-tap or cross-stick.

FIGURE 3-12: Dead-sticking technique.

FIGURE 3-13: Brushes create a more mellow sound on a drum than a stick does.

FIGURE 3-14: A basic slow-tempo brush pattern uses overlapping circles to creat...

FIGURE 3-15: Medium- and fast-tempo brush patterns use both sliding and hitting...

FIGURE 3-16: Rudimentary rudiments.

FIGURE 3-17: The flam.

Chapter 4

FIGURE 4-1: Basic open tone hand position.

FIGURE 4-2: The thumb stroke.

FIGURE 4-3: The open slap.

FIGURE 4-4: Proper hand position for creating the bass tone.

FIGURE 4-5: The rim stroke.

FIGURE 4-6: The basic muted tone.

FIGURE 4-7: The closed slap variation.

FIGURE 4-8: The palm stroke.

FIGURE 4-9: The heel-tip stroke uses the heel (a) and the tip (b).

FIGURE 4-10: The brushing stroke.

FIGURE 4-11: The drone tone.

FIGURE 4-12: The snap stroke.

FIGURE 4-13: The trill.

FIGURE 4-14: The one-handed roll.

Chapter 5

FIGURE 5-1: A throne fit for a king or queen: Your thighs are close to parallel...

FIGURE 5-2: Proper pedal position: Place your knee directly above your ankle.

FIGURE 5-3: The snare drum stand position.

FIGURE 5-4: A good position for the tom-toms.

FIGURE 5-5: A common ride cymbal position.

FIGURE 5-6: A good angle for your crash cymbals.

FIGURE 5-7: Don’t hit the crash cymbals this way. They’ll crack!

FIGURE 5-8: Hi-hat cymbal position.

FIGURE 5-9: The typical heel-up position for the bass drum.

FIGURE 5-10: The double bass drum stroke.

FIGURE 5-11: The heel-down hi-hat position.

FIGURE 5-12: Single stroke four-way independence exercise.

FIGURE 5-13: Double stroke four-way independence exercise.

FIGURE 5-14: Combination exercises.

FIGURE 5-15: Double stroke combinations.

FIGURE 5-16: Much harder combinations.

FIGURE 5-17: Another set of difficult combos.

Chapter 6

FIGURE 6-1: Basic eighth-note feel rock beats.

FIGURE 6-2: Alternate hi-hat accent patterns for eighth-note feel rhythms.

FIGURE 6-3: Sixteenth-note feel rock beats with a slow tempo sticking pattern.

FIGURE 6-4: Sticking pattern for fast tempo sixteenth-note feel rhythms.

FIGURE 6-5: Alternate hi-hat accent patterns for sixteenth-note feel rhythms.

FIGURE 6-6: Half-time feel rhythms using an eighth-note hi-hat pattern.

FIGURE 6-7: Half-time feel rhythms using a sixteenth-note hi-hat pattern.

FIGURE 6-8: Right-hand shuffle pattern exercise (your left hand plays silently)...

FIGURE 6-9: The rock shuffle.

FIGURE 6-10: Alternate hi-hat patterns for the rock shuffle.

FIGURE 6-11: The half-time shuffle.

FIGURE 6-12: Alternate hi-hat patterns for the half-time shuffle.

FIGURE 6-13: Rock beats with open and closed hi-hat patterns.

FIGURE 6-14: Eighth-note feel rock beats with an offset backbeat.

FIGURE 6-15: Sixteenth-note feel rock beats with an offset backbeat.

FIGURE 6-16: Another approach to the rhythms in Figure 6-14.

FIGURE 6-17: Syncopated bass drum patterns.

FIGURE 6-18: Syncopated snare drum patterns.

FIGURE 6-19: Some basic fills in duple feel.

FIGURE 6-20: Some basic fills in triplet feel (shuffles).

FIGURE 6-21: Creating a four-bar phrase with the fills.

Chapter 7

FIGURE 7-1: Comparing 4/4 and 12/8 time.

FIGURE 7-2: Basic slow blues rhythm.

FIGURE 7-3: The most common slow blues rhythm.

FIGURE 7-4: Variations on the slow blues rhythm.

FIGURE 7-5: Basic medium-tempo blues rhythm.

FIGURE 7-6: Variations on the medium-tempo blues rhythm.

FIGURE 7-7: Straight eighth-note feel blues rhythms.

FIGURE 7-8: Hi-hat variations for faster tempos.

FIGURE 7-9: Basic two-step rhythm.

FIGURE 7-10: Basic blues fills.

FIGURE 7-11: Four-bar blues phrase.

FIGURE 7-12: Twelve-bar blues song structure.

Chapter 8

FIGURE 8-1: Basic eighth-note feel R&B rhythms that are similar to rock rhythms...

FIGURE 8-2: A few more R&B rhythms.

FIGURE 8-3: Sixteenth-note feel rhythms.

FIGURE 8-4: Alternating stroke pattern for sixteenth-note feel rhythms.

FIGURE 8-5: Some R&B shuffles.

FIGURE 8-6: Ghost note patterns for eighth-note grooves.

FIGURE 8-7: Ghost notes for shuffle feels.

FIGURE 8-8: Opening and closing the hi-hats.

FIGURE 8-9: Some basic funk rhythms using syncopated bass drum beats.

FIGURE 8-10: Some funk rhythms with syncopated snare drum beats.

FIGURE 8-11: Adding ghost notes to the rhythms from Figure 8-10.

FIGURE 8-12: Hi-hat embellishments for funk rhythms.

Chapter 9

FIGURE 9-1: Basic jazz swing beat.

FIGURE 9-2: The jazz feel, as written and played.

FIGURE 9-3: You can really make this rhythm swing.

FIGURE 9-4: Interpretations of the swing beat at different tempos.

FIGURE 9-5: A slow-tempo groove can be played using brushes.

FIGURE 9-6: Use the brushes for medium- and fast-tempo songs when you want to b...

FIGURE 9-7: Basic additions to the jazz groove.

FIGURE 9-8: The hi-hat rhythm swing beat.

FIGURE 9-9: Ride cymbal variations for the swing beat.

FIGURE 9-10: Four-bar ride cymbal phrase.

FIGURE 9-11: Basic ride cymbal accent patterns for the swing rhythm.

FIGURE 9-12: Accents played on the upbeat (pick-up beat).

FIGURE 9-13: Single snare drum embellishments.

FIGURE 9-14: Adding cymbal accents to the snare notes.

FIGURE 9-15: Multiple snare drum accents.

FIGURE 9-16: Single bass drum accents.

FIGURE 9-17: Accents using two bass drum beats in one measure.

FIGURE 9-18: Snare and bass drum accents.

FIGURE 9-19: More snare and bass drum accent patterns.

FIGURE 9-20: The two ways jazz music notates accent figures.

FIGURE 9-21: Playing accents marked above the staff (section figures).

FIGURE 9-22: Ensemble accent figures.

FIGURE 9-23: Some two-bar solo phrases.

FIGURE 9-24: Four-bar solo phrases.

FIGURE 9-25: A ghost note pattern.

FIGURE 9-26: Latin samba and nanigo fusion grooves.

FIGURE 9-27: Using paradiddles to create a fusion groove.

FIGURE 9-28: A few odd meter grooves.

Chapter 10

FIGURE 10-1: Basic bolero rhythms.

FIGURE 10-2: Cha-cha drumset patterns.

FIGURE 10-3: The mambo.

FIGURE 10-4: The 6/8 Afro-Cuban patterns (nanigo).

FIGURE 10-5: The samba.

FIGURE 10-6: The rock samba.

FIGURE 10-7: The bossa nova.

FIGURE 10-8: A couple bossa nova variations.

FIGURE 10-9: The sixteenth-note one-drop feel.

FIGURE 10-10: The half-time shuffle one-drop feel.

FIGURE 10-11: Alternate hi-hat patterns for the one drop.

FIGURE 10-12: Accent figures for the one drop.

FIGURE 10-13: Some ska rhythms.

FIGURE 10-14: Rockers-style rhythms using a sixteenth-note feel.

FIGURE 10-15: Rockers-style rhythms with a shuffle feel.

FIGURE 10-16: The basic calypso rhythm.

FIGURE 10-17: Calypso variations.

FIGURE 10-18: The quintessential calypso hi-hat pattern.

FIGURE 10-19: Some fill patterns for Latin styles.

Chapter 11

FIGURE 11-1: Keeping things simple in the verse and chorus.

FIGURE 11-2: The bridge section increases in both intensity and complexity.

FIGURE 11-3: Kenny Aronoff plays a nice fill at the end of the bridge section i...

FIGURE 11-4: Verse and chorus rhythms on Blink 182’s “Down.”

FIGURE 11-5: Shaking it up during the pre-chorus section.

FIGURE 11-6: A fill going from pre-chorus to chorus uses the same accent figure...

FIGURE 11-7: Carter Beauford plays a sixteenth-note based rhythm in the verses ...

FIGURE 11-8: Variations to the basic rhythm.

FIGURE 11-9: This fill by Carter Beauford is played a few times in the song “An...

FIGURE 11-10: John Bonham’s beats on “When the Levee Breaks” grooves big time.

FIGURE 11-11: John Bonham’s half-time shuffle also rocks.

FIGURE 11-12: John Bonham’s rhythms have a Latin feel.

FIGURE 11-13: Rhythm during the verses of Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit.”

FIGURE 11-14: The groove during the chorus steps it up a notch or two.

FIGURE 11-15: This classic rock fill sets the tone of the song right from the s...

FIGURE 11-16: One of Jeff Porcaro’s trademarks is using ghost notes to fill in ...

FIGURE 11-17: Sometimes Jeff Porcaro adds another ghost note right after the ba...

FIGURE 11-18: Jeff Porcaro’s groove on Toto’s “Rosanna” is arguably the best ha...

FIGURE 11-19: Jeff Porcaro’s groove during the chorus is four measures long.

FIGURE 11-20: Hard rock often uses double bass-drum patterns to carry the groov...

FIGURE 11-21: This fill matches the tension created by the song.

Chapter 12

FIGURE 12-1: A great rhythm to use if you’re not sure what to play.

FIGURE 12-2: The way a drum rhythm fits with the other instruments in a band.

FIGURE 12-3: Possibilities for orchestrating rhythms on the drumset.

Chapter 13

FIGURE 13-1: An example of a jazz lick.

FIGURE 13-2: A lick that uses ghost notes and syncopation.

FIGURE 13-3: A few accent figures played as a lick.

FIGURE 13-4: Increasing intensity with a fill.

FIGURE 13-5: Decreasing intensity with a fill.

FIGURE 13-6: One-beat straight-feel fills.

FIGURE 13-7: One-beat triplet-feel fills.

FIGURE 13-8: Two-beat straight-feel fills.

FIGURE 13-9: Two-beat triplet-feel fills.

FIGURE 13-10: Three-beat straight-feel fills.

FIGURE 13-11: Three-beat triplet-feel fills.

FIGURE 13-12: Four-beat straight-feel fills.

FIGURE 13-13: Four-beat triplet-feel fills.

FIGURE 13-14: Fills characteristic of particular musical styles.

FIGURE 13-15: A sampling of syncopated fills.

FIGURE 13-16: A fill incorporating a drumroll.

FIGURE 13-17: Another fill using a roll.

Chapter 14

FIGURE 14-1: Playing a solo while keeping a groove happening.

FIGURE 14-2: Another way to keep time during a solo.

FIGURE 14-3: Following the song’s phrasing structure while soloing.

FIGURE 14-4: Incorporating accent figures into your solo.

FIGURE 14-5: Infusing a sense of melody into your solo.

FIGURE 14-6: Another approach to adding melodic feeling to a solo.

FIGURE 14-7: A solo that turns the beat around.

Chapter 15

FIGURE 15-1: The bongo drums come from Cuba.

FIGURE 15-2: Traditional playing technique for the bongos.

FIGURE 15-3: A few bongo rhythms: The

Martillo

and some variations.

FIGURE 15-4: The conga drums: tumba, quinto, conga.

FIGURE 15-5: Common playing position for the conga drum.

FIGURE 15-6: A few conga rhythms.

FIGURE 15-7: The African rope-tuned djembe (a) and its modern counterpart (b).

FIGURE 15-8: Djembe playing position.

FIGURE 15-9: Basic djembe rhythms.

FIGURE 15-10: A djembe call for African drum ensembles.

FIGURE 15-11: A broken clay pot … er, I mean, an udu drum.

FIGURE 15-12: Udu playing positions: Lap position (a) or duct-taped to a stand ...

FIGURE 15-13: Some rhythms for the udu.

FIGURE 15-14: The Middle Eastern doumbek can be made out of metal (a) or cerami...

FIGURE 15-15: Playing position for the doumbek.

FIGURE 15-16: A few common doumbek rhythms.

FIGURE 15-17: The North African tar.

FIGURE 15-18: The playing position for the tar.

FIGURE 15-19: Rhythms for the tar.

FIGURE 15-20: The tambourine and its Egyptian counterpart, the riq.

FIGURE 15-21: How to hold the tambourine and the riq.

FIGURE 15-22: Traditional tambourine/riq rhythms.

FIGURE 15-23: A basic tambourine rhythm for the rock tambourinist.

FIGURE 15-24: The Brazilian tambourine: the pandeiro.

FIGURE 15-25: Pandeiro hand positions.

FIGURE 15-26: Pandeiro samba rhythms.

Chapter 16

FIGURE 16-1: Traditional playing technique for the bodhran.

FIGURE 16-2: The proper bodhran stroke.

FIGURE 16-3: Basic rhythms for the bodhran.

FIGURE 16-4: The African bass drums, the djun djuns.

FIGURE 16-5: Rhythms for the djun djuns.

FIGURE 16-6: The cuica.

FIGURE 16-7: The right way to hold the cuica.

FIGURE 16-8: A starting point for the cuica.

FIGURE 16-9: The Brazilian bass drum, the surdo.

FIGURE 16-10: Playing position of the Brazilian surdo.

FIGURE 16-11: Rhythms for the surdo.

FIGURE 16-12: The repanique (Brazilian tom-tom).

FIGURE 16-13: Proper playing technique for the repanique.

FIGURE 16-14: Rhythms for the repanique.

FIGURE 16-15: The Brazilian tamborim.

FIGURE 16-16: How to hold the tamborim.

FIGURE 16-17: Rhythms for the tamborim.

FIGURE 16-18: The timbales.

FIGURE 16-19: Basic time-keeping technique for the timbales.

FIGURE 16-20: A few groove rhythms of the timbales.

FIGURE 16-21: Solo and fill rhythms for the timbales.

Chapter 17

FIGURE 17-1: The Brazilian agogo bells, a staple in many types of popular music...

FIGURE 17-2: A look at how to hold the agogo bells.

FIGURE 17-3: Agogo bell rhythms.

FIGURE 17-4: The afuche/cabasa.

FIGURE 17-5: Proper holding technique for the afuche/cabasa.

FIGURE 17-6: Rhythms for the afuche/cabasa.

FIGURE 17-7: The clavé instrument.

FIGURE 17-8: How to hold the clavé.

FIGURE 17-9: Rhythms for the clavé.

FIGURE 17-10: One (of many) ways to play the cowbell.

FIGURE 17-11: Rhythms you can play if you need more cowbell.

FIGURE 17-12: Playing position for the guiro.

FIGURE 17-13: Rhythms for the guiro.

FIGURE 17-14: The maracas — same shape, different pitch.

FIGURE 17-15: Here’s a look at how you hold the maracas.

FIGURE 17-16: Traditional maraca rhythms.

FIGURE 17-17: A variety of shakers, and you can make most of them yourself.

FIGURE 17-18: The most common way to hold a shaker.

FIGURE 17-19: Rhythms for shakers.

FIGURE 17-20: The proper way to hold the triangle.

FIGURE 17-21: Rhythms for the triangle.

Chapter 18

FIGURE 18-1: The West African Fanga ensemble parts.

FIGURE 18-2: The kakilambe ensemble parts.

FIGURE 18-3: The Cuban bolero parts.

FIGURE 18-4: The mambo — king of the song.

FIGURE 18-5: The Brazilian bossa nova.

FIGURE 18-6: The samba: It’ll make you feel like dancing!

Guide

Cover

Table of Contents

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Introduction

All the drummers I’ve ever met (and I’ve met quite a few) started out by tapping or pounding on just about anything they could get their hands on. Chances are that if you picked up this book, you fit into this category as well. So, even if you’ve never played an actual drum or studied drumming in any formal sense, you’re a drummer.

With drumming, you’ve chosen the world’s oldest and most popular musical instrument. There isn’t a place on this planet that doesn’t have some sort of drumming tradition. In fact, as you’ll discover in the following pages, playing drums is a universal pastime that anyone can enjoy, regardless of his or her taste in music.

My purpose with this book is to introduce you to as many types of drums and drumming styles as I can in 384 pages. If you’re like me, you can find joy in each of them. And by knowing a variety of playing techniques, you can end up being a much better and more versatile drummer.

About This Book

This book allows the drumset player to develop all the skills needed to play a variety of drumming styles from rock to Latin and jazz to R&B. I also expose you to traditional techniques that you can easily incorporate into your drumset playing.

Unlike most drum books, Drums For Dummies, 2nd Edition goes beyond the modern drumset and also includes a variety of traditional drums and percussion instruments. For the traditionalist or drum circle enthusiast, Drums For Dummies, 2nd Edition includes descriptions of how to play a variety of traditional hand and stick-played drums as well as some common percussion instruments. So, whether you’re interested in playing a drumset in popular music or being involved in drumming ensembles using traditional drums and percussion instruments, this book is for you.

Drums For Dummies, 2nd Edition is able to contain all this information because you won’t find any exercises that you can’t use in real-world situations. The result: You can learn how to actually play the drums much sooner and without learning unnecessary stuff.

This book is also a handy reference for drumming. You can find a variety of drums from around the world that you may not have ever seen or heard of before now. I explain each of these drums, and I describe their technique so that you can play them in the traditional way using traditional rhythms. I also discuss how you can use each of these drums in a musical situation today.

By no means does this book cover all the different drums and percussion instruments played today, but it does cover more than a dozen of the drums that I see most often. And, with the techniques that I describe, you can easily play any drum that I don’t present in this book. Just find a drum that looks similar to yours and start there.

Conventions Used in This Book

I use a few conventions in this book to make it easier for you to understand and navigate. Here’s a list of those conventions:

You’ll see many of the rhythms in this book marked with a

track bar

that tells you where to find that rhythm on the book’s companion website when you play it as standard music. The website and book together allow you to hear as well as see how to play each rhythm, making the learning process that much quicker.

All

the rhythms are now available as audio files.

All the drumset grooves are written for the right-handed player. Well, not exactly right-handed people, but rather people who set up and play their drums in a right-handed way. I do this because it’s the most common way to play a drum. Lefties take heart — playing right-handed can actually be better for you. You end up having an advantage because your left hand is as strong as your right (trust me on this one — I’m a lefty who plays right-handed, and so are a lot of other great drummers).

The musical notation in this book is written so that you can read drumming music. I don’t cover those areas (key signatures, melodies, and so on) that are present in music notation unless they specifically apply to the drum rhythm presented.

What You’re Not to Read

If you’re pressed for time (for example, you have an audition tomorrow), you don’t have to read this entire book word-for-word. I can’t promise that you’ll nail that audition, but I do make it easy for you to know which parts of this book you can skip. Don’t read the following unless you have ample time and a real thirst for drumming knowledge:

Sidebars:

These gray-shaded boxes are filled with fun, interesting information, but it’s all nonessential.

Technical stuff:

You can skip any paragraph marked with a Technical Stuff icon (see “

Icons Used in This Book

” later in this introduction). This information may be too technical the first time you read through this book, but come back to it as you get more comfortable with your drumming — it will only enhance your knowledge of the subject.

Drum history:

Don’t worry; I don’t give you any quizzes on the history of drumming. If you’re one of those rare souls who finds history fascinating, dive right in. If you’re like the rest of us, this icon lets you know that you don’t have to read these sections.

Foolish Assumptions

I really don’t make any assumptions about you, the reader. I don’t assume that you’re interested in a certain type of drum. I don’t assume that you want to play a specific style of music. I don’t even assume that you already have a drum or that you know what kind of drumming you want to do. In fact, if you don’t know these things, this book can help you decide.

The only assumption I make is that you’re reading this book because you want to learn how to turn your aimless tapping into music.

How This Book Is Organized

This book is organized so that you can get the information you want quickly and not be burdened with stuff you don’t need or want to know. Each section contains chapters that cover a specific area of drumming.

Part 1: Setting a Solid Foundation

Part 1 contains four chapters that cover the basics of drumming. Chapter 1 introduces you to the world of drums and shows you some of the most common drums used today. Chapter 2 provides you with a vocabulary that allows you to read drumming music quickly (you don’t need to read music in order to play the rhythms in this book if you don’t want to — you can go to the website and listen to some of the rhythms, or download the audio files and listen to all the rhythms). Chapter 3 introduces you to the proper way to hit the drums with a stick, and Chapter 4 explores many ways that you can play a drum with your hands.

Part 2: Digging into the Drumset

Part 2 explores the modern drumset. In Chapter 5, you discover how to set up your drumset as well as some basic drumset skills that will help you move your limbs independently of one another. Chapter 6 shows you how to play the drumset in the rock style, and Chapter 7 introduces you to blues drumming. Chapter 8 presents the way to drum in the R&B and funk drumming techniques, and Chapter 9 explores jazz and fusion styles. In Chapter 10, you uncover the secrets to playing Latin and Caribbean rhythms. And, in Chapter 11, you can expand on your rock skills by looking at the rhythms of some great drummers.

Part 3: Dressing up Your Drumset Skills

Part 3 helps you express your own personality on the drumset. Chapter 12 examines what makes a rhythm groove and how to put together a beat that fits your musical situation. In Chapter 13, you can explore how to use licks and fills to complement the music and make a personal statement. Chapter 14 gives you some ideas and guidelines to help you solo effectively.

Part 4: Pounding Out the Beat: Traditional Drums and Percussion

Part 4 presents a variety of drums and percussion instruments from around the world. In Chapter 15, you get a chance to discover a bunch of drums that you play with your hands. Chapter 16 explores some drums that you play with either a stick or a combination of a stick and your hand. Chapter 17 presents other percussion instruments, such as the cowbell and the triangle. Chapter 18 builds on Chapters 15, 16, and 17 and shows you how you can combine these instruments to create polyrhythms.

Part 5: Choosing, Tuning, and Caring for Your Drums

Part 5 provides information to help you choose, tune, and care for your drums. Chapter 19 shows you what to look for when buying a drum or drumset. Chapter 20 explains how to tune and take care of your drums so that they sound their best and last a long time.

Part 6: The Part of Tens

Part 6 is a staple of For Dummies books. Chapter 21 shows you ten ways that you can continue on in the world of drumming, and Chapter 22 offers some tips on choosing a private drum instructor.

Appendix

The appendix explains the organization of the website that accompanies this book.

Icons Used in This Book

As with all For Dummies books, I use a few icons to help you along your way.

This icon highlights expert advice that can help you become a better drummer.

This icon lets you know ahead of time about those instances when the way you hit a drum can cause damage to the instrument or your ears. You also see this icon when I present you with a technique or rhythm that is challenging to play.

Certain techniques are very important and stand repeating. This icon gives you those gentle nudges to keep your playing on track.

Throughout the text, I include some technical background on a specific technique. This icon shows up in those instances so that you know to brace yourself for some less inspiring information.

This icon directs you to fun facts about drumming that you can use to impress your friends.

Beyond the Book

In addition to what you’re reading right now, this book comes with a free access-anywhere Cheat Sheet. To get this Cheat Sheet, go to www.dummies.com and search for “Bass Guitar For Dummies, 3rd Edition Cheat Sheet” by using the Search box.

Where to Go from Here

Drums For Dummies, 2nd Edition is set up so that you can either read it from cover to cover and progressively build your drumming knowledge, or you can jump around and read only the parts that interest you. I recommend that either way, you check out Chapters 2 and 3 first. These chapters lay the foundation from which all drumming is built. Knowing this stuff allows you to understand the information in all the other chapters faster and easier.

After you look over Chapters 2 and 3, you can either go to Part 2 if you’re interested in the drumset or you can jump to Part 4 to learn about traditional drums.

If you don’t have a drum but know what you want, you can find out how to buy one in Part 5. If you don’t know what kind of drum you want to buy (well, besides a drumset), start with Part 4 for some ideas.

Part 1

Setting a Solid Foundation

IN THIS PART …

At last, you’ve discovered that you’re a drummer at heart. Now you want to move beyond those kitchen utensils to an actual drum. Well, this part introduces you to the world of drums and drumming. In Chapter 1, you find out what makes a drum a drum and you get a glimpse of the most common styles available. Chapter 2 gives you a foundation from which to develop your drumming skills by showing you how easy it is to read music. Chapter 3 introduces you to the myriad of ways to hit a drum with a stick and shows you the fundamentals of all drumming: the rudiments (well, a few anyway — the complete list is on the Cheat Sheet). Chapter 4 helps you get a handle on hitting the drums with your hands in case you want to move beyond the drumset to more traditional drums.

Chapter 1

Drum Basics

IN THIS CHAPTER

Understanding what a drum is

Discovering how a drum makes its sound

Identifying the parts of a drum

Recognizing the modern drumset and traditional drums

Drums are members of the membraphone family of musical instruments and are considered one of the world’s oldest, dating back thousands of years … yawn. Bottom line, a drum is a musical instrument that creates a sound when you hit it. What distinguishes a drum from, say, a soup pot, is a membrane (I call it a head from now on) strung across a hollow chamber (called the shell).

Don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against soup pots. Or garbage cans or matchboxes or any other improvised drum for that matter. They can be just as fun to play and listen to as a regular drum — just look at the rhythm group Stomp; now they have fun. Face it though, a soup pot may be satisfying to hit for a little while, but sooner or later you’re gonna want a more refined sound. Enter the drum. A well-made and well-tuned drum can produce all the subtle dynamic textures of a finely crafted violin and create a variety of pleasing sounds, whereas a soup pot only clanks when you hit it.

In this chapter I introduce you to some drums, both the modern drumset and traditional styles. I also show you the difference between a drum and those kitchen appliances that you’ve probably been banging on for a while now. (It’s okay to admit it. Most drummers spend their careers exploring the rhythmic possibilities of household objects — I’m tapping on my computer mouse right now.) I also explain why a drum sounds better than a cardboard box, and I let you know when you should use your hands, or when arming yourself with sticks works better.

Picking a Drum Apart from Head to Shell

Like pots, pans, and garbage cans, drums come in all shapes and sizes. Most are round, but some are octagonal. Some are shallow and others are deep. Some are shaped like bowls or cylinders, others like goblets or an hourglass. Some you beat with sticks, while others you strike with hands or fingers. (See Figure 1-1 for a few drum shapes and sizes.) But, regardless of their shape or size, all drums consist of three basic components:

The head (the membrane strung across the shell)

The shell (the body of the drum)

The hardware (the stuff that holds the other two parts together)

The look of drum hardware can vary in a lot of ways. The hardware can be as simple as tacks nailed through the head into the shell, or it can be as elaborate as gold-plated cast metal rims with bolts that are tightened to precise torque tolerances (try saying that ten times fast). Either way, they all do the same thing: They create tension on the head so that it can vibrate freely against the edge of the shell. Check out Figure 1-2 for a few hardware styles.

FIGURE 1-1: Drums come in all shapes and sizes.

THE POWER OF ONE

Here’s a story of a Vietnamese village that was about to be attacked by an enemy: The village had no soldiers available, so one man, a drummer, gathered the entire village’s drums and began pounding them all as loud and fast as he could, making a huge ruckus. The attackers retreated and fled figuring that the village’s army had to be very large and powerful to have command of such a group of drummers.

Exploring How Drums Create Sound

When you hit a drum, the head vibrates much the same way as a guitar string vibrates when you pluck it. And like the electric guitar when it’s not plugged into an amp, not a lot of sound comes out of the head itself, which is where the shell comes in handy. The shell acts like the amplifier that your friend uses with his or her guitar — only you don’t need to plug it in. So, you hit the drum, the head vibrates, and the sound bounces around inside the shell. This motion makes the shell vibrate too. All the sound is then projected out of the opening in the drum and, voilà! The result is the sound of sweet music. Amazingly enough, this action all happens in a fraction of a second.

How the drum sounds depends on the circumference of the head, how tightly it’s tuned, and the size, shape, and hardness of the shell. All these factors determine why drums can sound so many different ways and still be just a head, a shell, and some hardware. Without getting too technical, the size and tension of the head dictates the drum’s pitch (how high or low the drum’s tone is) while the size, shape, and hardness of the shell control the volume and timbre of the drum. Timbre is a fancy word for the quality of sound produced by an instrument. This timbre is why not all acoustic guitars or violins cost the same amount. For these instruments, the better the timbre, the higher the price. Luckily, this idea isn’t necessarily true for drums. (To find out more about the relationship between a drum’s timbre and its cost, go to Chapter 19.)

I can go on and on about how the relationship between the head and the size and shape of the shell creates particular sounds, but doing so won’t help you play the darn thing. So, the important thing to remember here is that the larger the diameter of drum, the deeper the sound, and the longer the shell, the louder the sound. As always, some exceptions exist, but for the most part you can count on this idea being true.

FIGURE 1-2: A variety of hardware styles.

Deconstructing the Drumset

Once upon a time, you played drums one at a time. Each drummer played only one drum, and in order to make bigger and better noise — er, music — more drummers were needed. Then somewhere along the way, innovative drummers started putting groups of drums together and beating them all at once. Today’s drumsets consist of the following (see Figure 1-3):

Bass drum.

The bass drum usually sits on its side on the floor and is played by stepping on a pedal with the right foot. This drum is generally between 18 and 24 inches in diameter and between 14 and 18 inches deep. Its sound is the foundation of the rhythm of a band, often pounding out the basic pulse of the music or playing along with the bass player’s rhythm.

Snare drum.

The snare drum is a shallow drum (typically between 5 and 7 inches deep) that’s 14 inches in diameter and has a series of metal wires (called

snares,

hence the name

snare drum

) stretched against the bottom head. When you strike the drum, the bottom head vibrates against the snares. What you hear is a hissing sound. The snare drum creates the

backbeat

(the driving rhythm that you hear in most popular music; you can find out more about backbeats in

Chapter 6

) of the music and is what makes you want to dance.

Tom-tom.

The tom-toms are pitched drums that are usually between 9 and 18 inches in diameter. A drumset commonly has at least two, if not three, of them (some drummers, such as Neil Peart from the 1970s rock band Rush, have dozens of tom-toms, so go wild if you want to). Generally, the largest tom-tom (called a

floor tom

) is set up on the floor with legs that are attached to the shell of the drum. The smaller tom-toms (often called

ride toms

) are attached to a stand, which extends up from the bass drum or from the floor next to the bass drum. These drums are used for

fills

(a fill is a break in the main drumbeat, as I cover in

Chapter 13

) or as a substitute for the snare drum in some parts of songs.

Hi-hat cymbals.

The hi-hats are cymbals that are mounted on a stand, one facing up and one facing down, and are 13, 14, or 15 inches in diameter. The stand has a pedal that pushes the cymbals together (closed) or pulls them apart (opened). Your left foot controls the opening and closing of the hi-hats with the pedal while you hit the cymbals with a stick. The hi-hats can make either a “chick” sound when closed or a “swish” sound when open. You use them with the bass drum and snare drum to create the basic drum beat.

FIGURE 1-3: The modern drumset .

Ride cymbal.

The ride cymbal is an alternative to the hi-hats. Ride cymbals range in size from about 16 inches all the way up to 24 inches across (20- and 22-inch ride cymbals are the most common). The ride cymbal is traditionally used to create a louder, fuller sound than the hi-hats and is often played during the chorus of a song or during a solo.

Crash cymbals.

The typical drumset usually has one or more crash cymbals used for accentuating certain parts of the music, usually the beginning of a phrase or section of a song. These cymbals create a sound that resembles — you guessed it — a crash, not unlike the sound of a frying pan lid hitting a hard floor, only more musical. Crash cymbals generally range in size from 14 inches to around 20 inches in diameter.

The following aren’t included in Figure 1-3, but many sets include them.

Splash cymbals.

Crash cymbals aren’t the only accent cymbals that drummers use with today’s drumsets. Other cymbals include the splash cymbal, a small cymbal usually between 8 and 14 inches in diameter, which makes a little splash-type sound. The splash cymbal is kind of a softer, watery-sounding version of the popular crash cymbal.

Chinese cymbals.

These accent cymbals have become common over the last couple of decades or so. Chinese cymbals have a slightly rougher, clangier sound than a crash cymbal (more like a garbage can lid). They range in size from around 12 inches to 20 inches and usually have an up-turned outer edge. They’re often mounted on a stand upside down.

Gongs.

These cymbals were really popular additions to drumsets during the stadium rock era in the 1970s when drumsets were huge and drum solos were a staple. Gongs actually come in many shapes and sizes, but the most popular are large (up to three feet across) and very loud.

You can find many other additions to drumsets, which are limited only by the drummer’s imagination and budget. In fact, many of the traditional drums and rhythm-makers that I describe throughout this book are showing up in many drummer’s kits (kit is another word for a drumset).

Although it’s the new kid on the block, the drumset has found a home within all the popular music genres that have emerged over the 20th and 21st centuries. You can put a drumset to work playing rock (see Chapters 6 and 11), the blues (see Chapter 7), R&B (see Chapter 8), jazz (see Chapter 9), and Latin and Caribbean music (see Chapter 10).

Appreciating the Old-timers: Traditional Drums

People have been playing drums since they discovered that banging a stick against a log made a pleasing sound (or at least a loud one). Unlike most musical instruments, you can find drums in all parts of the world. Different cultures created different drums based upon the materials they had on hand, their rhythmic sensibilities, and whether they were nomadic or agrarian people (people who moved around a lot developed smaller, lighter drums). As a result, you see an awful lot of different types of drums in the world.

The most common traditional drums include the conga, which is a barrel-shaped drum from Cuba; the West African, goblet-shaped djembe; the Surdo bass drum from Brazil; and the frame drum, which has a very narrow shell and comes from a variety of places all around the world (see Figure 1-4). (In Chapters 15–17, I introduce you to a wide variety of drums and other traditional percussion instruments.)

Just as you have a wide variety of drum styles in the world, you also have a bunch of ways to play them. Some drums require hands or fingers while others require the use of sticks to produce their characteristic sounds. Still others utilize both hands and sticks.

THE DAWN OF THE DRUMSET

Early forms of drumsets consisted of two or three hand drums lashed together and played by one person. Today’s drumset, on the other hand, is a highly evolved grouping of specialized instruments, designed to allow one drummer to make as much noise as humanly possible. (I’m just kidding about that last part, but the current design of the modern drumset does have a specific purpose.)