By Robert Van Sice
The title of this pamphlet is a bit of a misnomer. Percussionists tend to focus on technical development as an important goal in itself. There are great resources available concerning almost every skill related to the act of playing a percussion instrument, and today’s percussionist is technically far superior to his predecessors.
by Steve Houghton
The following is a collection of basic drumset beats that cover the three main areas of popular music, jazz, rock, and Latin. There are several things to remember when practicing these or any grooves for that matter.
by Tom Freer
Please follow these simple and basic instructions for tuning and adjusting your Pearl snare drum. In order for you to get and maintain the best possible sound out of your instrument, it will be important to save this sheet so that you can "tune up" the drum as the heads become broken in, and replace heads when necessary.
by Lalo Davila
With Latin Percussion becoming increasingly popular in various idioms, so has the interest in learning how to perform these instruments. Although these instruments are classified as "Latin Percussion" their applications are endless. Their uses are applied to such styles as Rock, Jazz, Pop, Salsa, etc.
By Thom Hannum
There are a number of effective methods for learning basic snare drum technique. So be open to suggestions and seek a teacher to help guide you through the fundamentals. Below are some guidelines to get you started. Have fun!
by Julie Davila
An extreme makeover for your percussion section.
by John Mark Piper
The following lesson introduces improvisation to students in a blues style.
by Thom Hannum
Music is our universal language, and building a vocabulary to communicate our ideas is an essential step for all musicians. Included in this article are some fundamental elements of percussion we all use as players and writers.
By Tom Freer
Concert percussion instruments should be approached with a much different point of view than those of the Drum Corp. It is important to adjust and tune your concert equipment with this in mind due to the completely different acoustic and dynamic demands made on them. In general, your “concert” percussion instruments will have a much wider dynamic range demanded of them, and must be tuned accordingly so that the listener and player can accurately produce the full sonic spectrum that these instruments are capable of. Symphonic band music and orchestral music requires percussion instruments that can provide the extremes of subtlety, finesse and power, and it is with these goals in mind that we would like to offer these tips on tuning these instruments so that you can utilize their full potential.
By Andy Harnsberger
Avoiding Injury by Warming Up - If you are anything like the average person, you are constantly faced with time constraints. Because of this, our practice sessions often turn into “note cramming sessions”, where we try to learn as many notes as possible in a short amount of time, or play through our recital pieces up to tempo several times within that short period. Not only is this detrimental to the hands, but it can also be harmful to the overall performance in recital situations.
by Gene Okamoto, Pearl Corporation
Tuning: No Right or Wrong When it comes to tuning drums, there's no right or wrong. If you take 10 drummers and ask them how they tune their drums, you'll get 10 different answers. For someone starting out, this can be confusing and contradictory. So to make things easier (ha, after you see all the verbiage below you'll say, "If he thinks this is easy, he's nuts!"), I will attempt to describe how I tune drums. Don't laugh.
To insure the longevity and performance of your Pearl purchase, we recommend that all products be cleaned, lubricated, and inspected periodically for signs of wear. If needed, perform all necessary repairs and replace any missing parts to prevent damages from occurring.
by Gene Okamoto
1) Thread the cord through the holes of the snares and wrap them around the bolts of the butt as shown in the photo below.
By Steve Houghton
Often times, young drummers think that learning a jazz beat will enable them to play jazz. To develop a concept for any style of music, one must go far beyond learning a few beats or patterns. I feel that drumming, in any style, is 50% concept and 50% technique. Many drummers seem to have very good technical skills, while acquiring very little conceptual knowledge of the style of music they are attempting to play.
by Julie Davila
The art of tenor playing has changed drastically over the last ten years. Although there are many great tenor players, there are not a lot of publications available to learn and practice the skills needed to acquire knowledge of tenor technique. The following exercises are intended to familiarize players with some basic concepts and techniques used when playing tenors. Part One utilizes some fundamental exercises aimed at developing dexterity, motion and flow. Part Two contains exercises that incorporate beginning scrapes and crossovers.
by Dr. John Wooton
I have always had a special in my hearts for ratamacues. They are fun to play and fun to manipulate. When all my friends were trying to see how many flams they could play within an eight bar phrase I always preferred the smoothness and speed of drag rudiments, especially "ratamacues." There are single ratamacues, double ratamacues, and triple ratamacues. I love them all. Ratamacues got their name by way of onomatopoeia. By the way the rudiment sounds.
by Tom Freer
Following are some techniques and calisthenics for refining one's timpani roll. This is one of a timpanist's most frequently used techniques, yet it seems to get minimal attention in practice and development.
By Andy Harnsberger
Let’s face it: By now, music has seeped its way into your everyday existence. The choices you make in almost everything are based upon it: When you practice, what you listen to, even what you read in your spare time. You obviously wouldn’t have your nose buried in this magazine if you hadn’t decided that you want to improve some aspect of your playing. Bottom line: It is an obsession. Yet somehow, even at this point, many serious musicians still manage to lose momentum.
by J.B. Smith
Several issues must be addressed in order for a young percussionist to develop the skills needed to play the timpani: technical facility, tone production, instrument care and tuning. Of these, tuning is often the most difficult to learn. Ear-training should be regular part of a percussionist's study.
By Dr. John W. Parks IV
Many recent articles and web postings have been devoted to the concepts of well-roundedness in today’s percussion world. I’d like to focus on two things that are sometimes overlooked, especially by younger students, in those discussions relative to being well-rounded musicians who happen to be percussionists—one, being (or becoming) open-minded, and two, developing a thirst for overall musical knowledge. The funny thing is that neither of them is specific to percussion…
by Mark Wessels
-excerpted from “A Fresh Approach to the Snare Drum” Learning how to hold the sticks properly is essential to becoming a successful snare drummer!