To PF drummers.

  • Thread starter Dembadon
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  • #1
Dembadon
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I've been a hand percussionist for quite a few years now. My favorite instruments are the djembe, darbuka/doumbek, and udu. I own two authentic hand-made djembes, one darbuka, and one udu. Both of my djembes are made of hare' wood and have goatskin heads.

I've learned many West African and Turkish rhythms and I love both cultures and their unique approach to percussion. I've taken lessons on traditional African rhythms from a few of West Africa's finest master drummers: Bolokada Conde, Abraham Kwabena Mensah, Mamady Keita, and Thione Diop. All of them offer classes here in the states to anyone who has an interest in learning about West African rhythms and culture.

I have recently acquired an interest in learning how to play a set. I believe turbo is a drummer, but if anyone else in the community also plays a set, I'm looking for some good resources to help me get started. I have an old hand-me-down set I'll be setting up in our garage.

Also, this thread does not have to be about me; if you have an affection for drumming, or even a slight interest, please share! :smile:
 

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  • #2
turbo
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Since I had to give up performing in public (problems with fragrances) I sold off most of my instruments, including a full Fibes kit with Fibes snare and Zildjian cymbals. No need to have that kit kicking around the house, unused. Like guitar, I was self-taught, but I still had to rely on standard drills to get any good at it. If you can get a DVD or a decent book (harder to learn from, but that's all I had years back) on fundamentals, and practice, practice, practice, you'll be able to progress very quickly. The toughest part for me was establishing hand independence, and the big key to progress on that front was practicing paradiddles. First, practice them on one drum and work on getting consistent tone and volume - if the rhythm has a "loping" quality to it, you'll have to work on timing and force of impact to smooth that out. Whenever I did a practice session, I worked on that a bit, before moving on to tougher stuff. Once you have a pretty good handle on paradiddles, play them on different drums or on a drum and a high-hat or other cymbal. It can result in some pretty interesting patterns and sounds, coming from a fundamental drill. Rolls are very handy, too, and if your kit is set up right for you, you should be able to transfer a roll from small tom to large tom to floor tom with a bit of practice. If you can get some guidance on drum tuning from an experienced drummer, that will help you get pleasing intervals from drum to drum. Though I like Don Henley's singing and song-writing, I'm not a big fan of his drumming because he generally had his drums tuned so slack that he might just as well have left them in their cases and played the cases, instead. One real marriage-saver was an old Ludwig practice pad. In cold weather, I couldn't really practice in the garage, and my wife would have gone nuts if I had insisted on practicing on drums in the house. Good luck.
 
  • #3
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Feynman and Travis Barker fan.
 
  • #4
Dembadon
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... If you can get a DVD or a decent book (harder to learn from, but that's all I had years back) on fundamentals, and practice, practice, practice, you'll be able to progress very quickly.

That's good news! I figured technique would be my biggest hurdle. I have the ability to recognize time signatures and patterns almost instantaneously, probably from playing complex African and Turkish rhythms so much (those cultures have some really crazy timing to many of their rhythms). Do you know of any DVDs with quality instruction off the top of your head?

... The toughest part for me was establishing hand independence, and the big key to progress on that front was practicing paradiddles. First, practice them on one drum and work on getting consistent tone and volume - if the rhythm has a "loping" quality to it, you'll have to work on timing and force of impact to smooth that out. ...

With the short time I've spent playing around, this has been very difficult. I cannot seem to get my foot to ignore what my hands are doing, and vise versa. Do the para-diddle exercises help with this as well, or is there something else I should be doing to get my hands and feet to play independently?

... One real marriage-saver was an old Ludwig practice pad. In cold weather, I couldn't really practice in the garage, and my wife would have gone nuts if I had insisted on practicing on drums in the house. Good luck. ...

:rofl: My wife is very supportive at this point; who knows how she'll feel next week! I'll take a look at the practice pad you mentioned.

Thanks for the tips, turbo!! :smile:
 
  • #5
turbo
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With the short time I've spent playing around, this has been very difficult. I cannot seem to get my foot to ignore what my hands are doing, and vise versa. Do the para-diddle exercises help with this as well, or is there something else I should be doing to get my hands and feet to play independently?
Paradiddles help with hand independence, but you should already have established some independence with your feet before trying to incorporate them. You might want to get used to alternating your kick-drum foot and your high-hat foot first. Once you get that down pretty well, you can start lagging the high-hat foot in timing so you get a nice sizzle on the stick's down beat.

I'm not sure what's out there for instructional DVDs these days, but I'm certain that there will be something for you.
 
  • #6
Gokul43201
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I was trained to play a percussion instrument integral to classical music practiced in South India. And later picked up bits of technique for another percussion instrument played in North India (the key with these was independent control over finger movements, and a very strict adherence to meter). Over time, and the odd opportunity to bang on something different, I got to fool around a little bit with bongos and drum kits, but never learned anything seriously. I owned an octopad during my days in college, and played on it less than semi-seriously, and it was really handy to have around, but I never really liked the sound of it as much as a real drum kit. Would love to get a few lessons on Jazz drumming someday.
 
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  • #7
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I'm a drummer too, also self-taught. I think right now you should focus on doing simple patterns where you use both your arms and your feet to develop some independence. Experiment and get comfortable with different combinations of moves you can do; playing with your hands and feet simultaneously and alternating, adding cymbals and toms to the mix, changing up the tempo and so on. One hand and/or foot should be keeping time. Start chaining the combinations together into simple patterns and then work your way up to using them in rudiments and beats. Doing that really helped me with my independence problems. It's also useful for improvisation, as you quickly learn your way around the kit -- which drums and cymbals sound good together and so on.

Needless to say, the most important aspect is keeping a steady beat, but I'm sure you'll have no trouble with rhythms and keeping time considering your background.
 
  • #8
Dembadon
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Feynman ...

He's no amature on the bongos!

I was trained to play a percussion instrument integral to classical music practiced in South India. And later picked up bits of technique for another percussion instrument played in North India (the key with these was independent control over finger movements, and a very strict adherence to meter). ...

What is the name of the instrument?

... Would love to get a few lessons on Jazz drumming someday.

This is my ultimate goal. Probably more contemporary, though. Not as wild as Coltrane and company.

I'm a drummer too, also self-taught. I think right now you should focus on doing simple patterns where you use both your arms and your feet to develop some independence. Experiment and get comfortable with different combinations of moves you can do; playing with your hands and feet simultaneously and alternating, adding cymbals and toms to the mix, changing up the tempo and so on. One hand and/or foot should be keeping time. Start chaining the combinations together into simple patterns and then work your way up to using them in rudiments and beats. Doing that really helped me with my independence problems. It's also useful for improvisation, as you quickly learn your way around the kit -- which drums and cymbals sound good together and so on.

Needless to say, the most important aspect is keeping a steady beat, but I'm sure you'll have no trouble with rhythms and keeping time considering your background.

Will do! Thanks for the input. :smile:
 
  • #9
dlgoff
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I played drums for many years. After learning to play the snare drum by taking lessons from an instructor, it took practice, practice, practice to learn to get my feet (bass drum and hi-hat) and hands working together.
 
  • #10
turbo
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If you like jazz drumming, look back a bit. Rich and Roach put out an album that was a classic. They were very flashy, fast, and precise, so that's too much to learn from in the beginning, but it will give you something to aspire to. BTW, don't be like Buddy if you get good. "Buddy thanks the band" is a tape that clearly shows what a prima-donna jerk he was. Still, he was a great drummer.

As I mentioned in another thread, even when Buddy was sponsored by Ludwig (years and years) the snare drum in his kit was always a Fibes. Keep your eyes out for a Fibes snare at pawn shops, flea markets, lawn sales, etc. When I sold my kit, it was to a father who was divorced and had little money, and his boy wanted to learn drums. I sold him the whole kit, including cymbals, for $500. I could have gotten that for the Fibes snare alone. I hope the kid stuck with it.
 
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  • #11
dlgoff
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Turbo, you make me think of my trap set. I used a set of Slingerlands with Zildjian cymbals.
71-berk4.jpg
 
  • #12
turbo
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Turbo, you make me think of my trap set. I used a set of Slingerlands with Zildjian cymbals.
71-berk4.jpg
Slingerlands were hot. I didn't think I could ever get into a decent kit until I fell into a Fibes kit. Soon after, I ran into a deal on Z splash, ride, and high-hats, and then years later, I fell into a god-given Fibes snare. What a kit!! Some of the hardware was mongrel, like an old high-hat Ludwig stand and frame, but the noise-makers were all top-notch.
 
  • #13
Gokul43201
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Tabla is the most exciting percussion instrument I've ever heard.
 
  • #15
Dembadon
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Those are beautiful instruments, Gokul! What a sound!

I've just learned that a friend of mine has a digital drum set that is collecting dust in storage. I realize it will probably not have the same feel as an acoustic set, but may make up for its inadequacies by saving my wife and neighbors from the "noise" I'll be making while I learn. I've also picked up a practice pad and a set of 5A sticks. I was told 5As are a "middle-of-the-road" choice as far as thickness and length, and would be a good starting point from which I'll then be able to decide if I want something heavier or lighter.
 
  • #16
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Played drums (Pearl) in a 'oldies rock type band ' years ago.

I still have bongos and a bodhran that I enjoy when I get bored.

We have a local Samba band that I have on occasion thought of joining and some day just might have the intestinal fortitude to do it.
 
  • #17
turbo
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I've just learned that a friend of mine has a digital drum set that is collecting dust in storage. I realize it will probably not have the same feel as an acoustic set, but may make up for its inadequacies by saving my wife and neighbors from the "noise" I'll be making while I learn. I've also picked up a practice pad and a set of 5A sticks. I was told 5As are a "middle-of-the-road" choice as far as thickness and length, and would be a good starting point from which I'll then be able to decide if I want something heavier or lighter.
I hope that digital kit works out well. A fellow drummer had a set about 10 years ago, and they didn't feel too bad. Kind of like a series of practice pads with (I believe) accelerometers/trigger to produce the sounds and provide dynamics (harder hits=louder sound). His set had a headphone jack in the controller, so he could practice in his finished basement without disturbing anyone else in the house. I don't remember the manufacturer, but it was probably Roland, as they had penetrated the digital/synth music market pretty well by that time.
 
  • #18
Dembadon
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turbo's suggestion for looking up Buddy Rich and Max Roach led me to the following video on YouTube.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=<object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/YoRtkzRLgbk&hl=en_US&fs=1&rel=0"></param><param [Broken] name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/YoRtkzRLgbk&hl=en_US&fs=1&rel=0" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>

It didn't really seem that difficult to do until I tried it! My feet aren't nearly as obedient as my hands. This is one of those exercises that looks much easier than it actually is. I was blown away at how difficult it actually is to perform this particular exercise.
 
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  • #19
turbo
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turbo's suggestion for looking up Buddy Rich and Max Roach led me to the following video on YouTube.

It didn't really seem that difficult to do until I tried it! My feet aren't nearly as obedient as my hands. This is one of those exercises that looks much easier than it actually is. I was blown away at how difficult it actually is to perform this particular exercise.
You'll find tougher ones, I guarantee. Everybody has their own quirks/peculiarities/ingrained habits that will make particular exercises really hard to master. I was particularly lucky in regard to hand-independence because I'm a guitarist, and play in flat-picking, finger-picking, and more traditional rhythm styles with my right hand while fingering, chording, bending with the left. Foot-independence was a bit more of a hurdle, especially in retarding high-hat closures while keeping the hands and kick drum strictly in time.
 
  • #20
dlgoff
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I would play old 45s over and over again until I got the riffs.
 
  • #21
lisab
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I would play old 45s over and over again until I got the riffs.

You hardly ever hear of kids getting riffs anymore...they must be immunizing against it.
 

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