Welcome to the Drum Set

Welcome to the Drum Set (Lesson 1) - The Drum "Set"

In this introductory lesson, we take a look at the different elements found in a what we call the drum "set". Discover what the different elements are called and why.

Welcome to the Drum Set (Lesson 2) - The Cymbals

Now let's take a look at the cymbals. Each type of cymbal has a different function. Let's learn what each of them sound like and how they will be used in our playing. 

Welcome to the Drum Set (Lesson 3) - Building a Groove

Now we know what all the elements in the drum set are used for, we can sit down and start using them. In this lesson we'll start to set up the building blocks for our first drum groove.

Welcome to the Drum Set (Lesson 4) - The Groove Completed

In this lesson we'll be finishing of our groove that we started to build in lesson 3. This is our first groove.... But it can be heard on literally thousands of pop and rock songs throughout the history of music!

Welcome to the Drum Set (Lesson 5) - Moving the Bass Drum Around

Now we have our simple groove down, we'll start getting used to placing the bass drum in different places so we can build some different feels and variations.

Welcome to the Drum Set (Lesson 6) - Adding More Bass Drum

Often a good rock groove will feature several different bass drum strokes throughout. In this lesson we'll start to add more bass drum in our groove.

Welcome to the Drum Set (Lesson 7) - The Drum Fill

Here it is, the moment all budding drummers really want to get to... The drum fill! But let's take it steady and get it right. In this lesson we'll see how to set up a solid 1 bar drum fill.

Welcome to the Drum Set (Lesson 8) - Orchestrating the Fill

OK, you've got a simple 1 bar drum fill down. But we want to play it around the different elements right? This lesson will show you how to play our fill around the kit.

Welcome to the Drum Set (Lesson 9) - Adding the Crash

Let's face it, drumming is all about making lots of noise on the cymbals! So let's get right down to it in this lesson. We play our groove, we wail away around the kit with our drum fill... Then here it comes : The Crash cymbal!

Welcome to the Drum Set (Lesson 10) - The Metronome

All this grooving and fill stuff is great, but it doesn't mean anything if we don't learn how to play in time. For this, we will use a metronome. All it does is go "beep" all the time! But it's an essential tool to get us playing good solid time and it will keep us staying friends with our fellow musicians.

Welcome to the Drum Set (Lesson 11) - Revision

In this lesson we're going to put it all together and do some old fashioned revision. Let's get our cycle going nice and steady along with our metronome so that in the next lesson we can play along to some music.

Welcome to the Drum Set (Lesson 12) - Play Along

The moment you've all been waiting for... Let's put what we have to good use and play along with some music. I'll explain the structure of the song and how we move from one part of the song to another part. You're ready to go!

Basic Rock Grooves

Basic Rock Grooves (Lesson 1) - The Basic 1 Bar Rock Groove

In this lesson we'll get you going with the all time typical 1 bar rock groove. With this groove in your pocket, you'll already be able to play thousands of classic pop and rock songs.

Basic Rock Grooves (Lesson 2) - Eighth Notes on the Bass Drum

Now you've got your standard rock groove going, let's look at playing some eighth note variations on the bass drum to add a little extra movement.

Basic Rock Grooves (Lesson 3) - Eighth Notes on the Snare Drum

In lesson 2 we looked at playing some eighth notes on the bass drum. Now let's apply the same principle to the snare drum.

Basic Rock Grooves (Lesson 4) - Other Eighth Note Variations

Up until now we've been playing two eighth notes on the same element. In our case, only the bass drum or only the snare drum. But we can create some other variations by playing the two eighth notes on the snare drum and bass drum in turn.

Basic Rock Grooves (Lesson 5) - The Eighth Note Rest

What is a rest? It's when we DON'T play something! Well how can that be any fun? But leaving a space just at the right moment can create some great music and this is especially true in this lesson where we apply an eighth note rest to our bass drum.

Basic Rock Grooves (Lesson 6) - The 2 Bar Groove

Well not all grooves are only 1 bar in length. In this lesson we're going to take all we have looked at and put it to good use to create a 2 bar drum groove. Let's get right to it.

Simple Drum Fills

Simple Drum Fills (Lesson 1) - Groups of 4

In this lesson we'll look at how to divide a 1 bar fill into groups of 4 16th notes that we will play around the kit.

Simple Drum Fills (Lesson 2) - Groups of 3

Still using 16th notes, we'll now divide our 1 bar fill into groups of 3 notes that we'll in turn play around the drum set. This will give us some challenging variations.

Simple Drum Fills (Lesson 3) - Adding some Bass Drum

What happens when most budding drummers get to a fill? Well, more often than not, everything is played using only the hands. Using the bass drum will add a more mature and developed edge to our fills. So let's get started right now!

Simple Drum Fills (Lesson 4) - Orchestrating Note Groups

In lesson 4 we created some nice fills using hand and feet coordination techniques. Now let's move the hands around the different elements of the drum set to create even more variations and enrich our fills.


Simple Drum Fills (Lesson 5) - Putting it all together

In this lesson we'll combine our hand and foot coordination with our work on groups of 3 16th notes and then orchestrate it around the different elements to create some great fills.

Introduction to Rudiments

Introduction to Rudiments (Lesson 1) - Single Stroke Roll

Here we take a look at the most basic rudiment, the Single Stroke Roll. But before we take it to simply, we must learn how to apply it correctly.

Introduction to Rudiments (Lesson 2) - Double Stroke Roll

The Double Stroke Roll is simply a roll consisting of two strokes with each hand. But once again, we need to know how we can play this simple rudiment correctly and then usefully apply it to a musical situation.

Introduction to Rudiments (Lesson 3) - Paradiddle

The Paradiddle is a highly used rudiment that we really need to understand and master. It is one of the essential building blocks of drumming vocabulary. In this lesson we will discover how to play it and then use it in a fill.

Introduction to Rudiments (Lesson 4) - Double and Triple Paradiddle

Here are two variations of the Paradiddle. In the Double Paradiddle and the Triple Paradiddle there are more notes to play. Let's take a look at these rudiments and some applications on the drum set.

Introduction to Rudiments (Lesson 5) - Flams

Flams! A fantastic rudiment that we can hear in all styles of classical, marching and solo snare drumming. Not only that however, this rudiment is also extensively used in modern pop and rock drumming.

Introduction to Rudiments (Lesson 6) - Flam Development

Here are some slightly more challenging rudiments that contains flams. You'll need to concentrate on the sticking, but this will help you to master flams and apply them to your drumming in different ways.

Exploring the Hi Hat

Exploring the Hi Hat (Lesson 1) - Same Groove, Different Feel

In this first lesson, we take a look at the three basic positions of the Hi Hat. Closed, half open, and fully open. These three different positions, once mastered, will create three different feels that can be applied to the same groove.

Exploring the Hi Hat (Lesson 2) - Opening on the Upbeat

In this second lesson we discover how to open the hi hat on certain beats and off beats in the bar. This technique creates a very characteristic and recognisable sound. But it will require hard work on your foot coordination. Good luck.

Exploring the Hi Hat (Lesson 3) - Letting go of the 8th Note

When we are starting out, the 8th note hi hat pulse becomes the backbone of our bass drum and snare drum variations. But let's not find ourselves unable to exploit this instrument in other note values. You'll need courage to let go of this comfortable 8th note pulse. But the results are worth it!

Exploring the Hi Hat (Lesson 4) - The Pumping Motion Explained

One of the characteristics that can give our grooves forward motion is applying the pumping motion to the 8th note hi hat pulse. This advanced technique is explained further in our Moeller technique course. However, we tend to develop this technique on the hi hat early on in our playing. Let's take a look.

Exploring the Hi Hat (Lesson 5) - The Pumping Motion in Motion

Now we have look at how the pumping motion works, let's take a look at how it can create more groove in our grooves.

Introduction to Latin

Introduction to Latin (Lesson 1) - The Cha Cha

In this first lesson, we take a look at the Cha Cha. By starting out with a simple rock beat, we gradually change certain elements until we finish with the 2 bar Cha Cha groove.


Introduction to Latin (Lesson 2) - The Bossanova

In this second lesson we discover how to piece together a Bossa Nova. The Bossa Nova is a relatively calm latin groove featured in classics such as "The Girl from Ipanema"

Introduction to Latin (Lesson 3) - The Bolero

The hipnotic Bolero groove is played mainly on the snare. Paul shows us how to build up this groove by starting out with simple hand to hand eighth notes and little by little, adding subtle variations until we finish with the full Bolero groove.

Exploring the Snare

Exploring the Snare (Lesson 1) - Volume and Dynamics

In this first lesson, we take a look at a vital criteria of playing any instrument, not just the snare drum - Volume and Dynamics. The snare drum is a very very sensitive instrument and knowing how to apply different levels of volume is the first step into fully exploring the potential of this element of the drum set.

Exploring the Snare (Lesson 2) - Take Aim

We can go to the recording studio, set up, and play the best performance of our life. Every note was bang on time and the whole thing was stunning. BUT... listening back to the take, we discover that the snare sounds terrible. That solid backbeat that you thought was kickin it just doesn't come through. Why? Because you were not hitting the snare head in the right place. Never underestimate how important it is to hit the snare correctly.

Exploring the Snare (Lesson 3) - The Buzz Roll

In our search for different sounds, this lesson looks at something completely different. The Buzz Roll. This is a technique that fascinates but eludes many, and indeed, it will take much patience to master. The result however is a smooth and continuous sound that we can vary in texture and dynamics. Jeez... No wonder it fascinates everyone!

Exploring the Snare (Lesson 4) - Rimshot Versus Cross Stick

Rimshot or Cross Stick? Which is which? Two very different sounds using different techniques. However, both make use of the snare rim. Just make sure you don't confuse the two.