If you are a beginner please first read through tutorial one and the rudimentaries, along with the notation tutorial. This will give you a basic understanding of what I am talking about. Otherwise, Read on!
Developing your skills
It is important, when learning anything, to practice everyday. If you just practised the rudiments from the rudimentary section or out of a book purchased from your local music store for 15 minutes a day with no stopping, you will definitely notice an improvement. This might get a bit boring, so practicing the rudiments a couple of times through then just playing what you want for 20 minutes is better than nothing at all.
If you really want to get somewhere fast you should practice for at least an hour a day and learn how to read drum notation fluently.
Figure A shows the final beat learnt in the previous lesson. If you can play this the same as shown in the video from tutorial one and faster then carry on, if you still haven’t got it, spend 10 minutes playing it over and over again until you can play it fluently. Maybe get someone to listen in or better still, record your playing, then you can adjust it to what you think sounds the best for an audience.
Once you have mastered the above you are ready move on to more complex beats. Figure B shows a “fill” that you can use to mix things up a bit. It is very basic but once you can play this smoothly mixed in with the simple beat you are another step closer to creating improvised solos.
Try and work out how to play it using the following rules:
- Refer to the notation section to find out which drum is to played when.
- Remember, notes that have a tail with two lines at the end are called semi-quavers.
To understand what this notation is asking you to do, you have to have read the notation section! As you can probably work out it is vital that you learn how to read drum sheet music before you can really start progressing.
Putting the two together
Now you have practised both beats and can play them smoothly, it is time to play them together. Try playing the beat for 3 bars, then playing the fill in the last bar.
Figure C shows me playing the 3 bars then the 1 bar fill. It helps your playing if you sit up straight, this allows you to breath properly. It also makes you look more confident, this can make you feel confident too. Try sitting with good posture as much as you can…It’s good for you anyway!