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9781119695516

Drums for Dummies

by
  • ISBN13:

    9781119695516

  • ISBN10:

    1119695511

  • Edition: 2nd
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2020-07-21
  • Publisher: For Dummies

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Supplemental Materials

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Summary

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. 

 

Author Biography

Jeff Strong has been a drummer for more than 40 years. His professional experience includes a variety of styles including jazz, rock, Latin, country, blues, and R&B. Jeff has taught drumming for more than three decades and is also the author of Home Recording For Musicians For Dummies, 6th Edition.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

About This Book 1

Conventions Used in This Book 2

What You’re Not to Read 3

Foolish Assumptions 3

How This Book is Organized 3

Part 1: Setting a Solid Foundation 4

Part 2: Digging into the Drumset 4

Part 3: Dressing up Your Drumset Skills 4

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

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

Part 6: The Part of Tens 5

Appendix 5

Icons Used in This Book 5

Beyond the Book 6

Where to Go from Here 6

Part 1: Setting a Solid Foundation 7

Chapter 1: Drum Basics 9

Picking a Drum Apart from Head to Shell 10

Exploring How Drums Create Sound 11

Deconstructing the Drumset 12

Appreciating the Old-timers: Traditional Drums 15

Swingin’ Sticks and Slapping the Skins 16

Chapter 2: I’ve Got Rhythm 19

Developing a Sound Vocabulary 20

Adding Some Drumming Definitions 25

Becoming One with the Pulse (and I’m Not Talking Heartbeat) 27

Feeling the Meter 28

Embracing Odd Meter 29

Chapter 3: Tapping into Drumming Techniques 31

Talkin’ Technique: What You Need to Know 31

Perfecting your posture 32

Preventing injuries 32

Hitting the drum: It’s (not) all in the wrist 36

Speaking Softly and Carrying Big Sticks 37

Holding the sticks 37

Understanding drumstick strokes 40

Painting a Variety of Textures with Brushes 43

Getting to know brush styles 44

Getting a grip on brushing techniques 44

Forging a Foundation with Rudiments 47

The single-stroke roll 47

The double-stroke roll 48

The paradiddle 49

The flam 49

The ruff 50

Getting the Most Out of Your Practice Sessions 50

Starting slowly 50

Counting out the rhythm 50

Thinking it through first 50

Toughing out practice 51

Knowing when to stop 51

Chapter 4: Getting a Handle on Hand Drumming Techniques 53

Taking Matters (and Tones) into Your Own Hands 53

Opting for Open Tones 54

Basic open tone stroke 54

Thumb stroke 55

The open slap tone 55

Bass tone 56

The rim stroke 57

Mastering Muted Tones 58

Basic muted tone 58

The closed slap stroke 58

The palm stroke 59

The heel-tip stroke  59

Venturing into Some Alternative Strokes 60

Brushing stroke 60

Drone tone 61

The snap 61

Trills 61

One-handed rolls 62

Keeping Your Options Open 63

Part 2: Digging Into the Drumset 65

Chapter 5: Settling In Behind the Drumset 67

Setting Up Your Drumset 67

Sitting on the throne 68

Positioning the pedals 69

Securing the snare drum 69

Placing the tom-toms 70

Adjusting the ride cymbal 71

Angling the crash cymbals 71

Raising the hi-hats 72

Putting Your Foot Down 73

Beating the bass drum 73

Playing the hi-hats 75

Working Out: Exercises to Improve Your Hand- and Footwork 75

Chapter 6: Rolling into Rock Drumming 81

Harnessing the Backbeat 82

Mastering the Basic Beats 83

Eighth-note feel 84

Sixteenth-note feel 84

Half-time feel 86

The rock shuffle 90

The half-time shuffle feel 92

Dressing Up the Basic Beats 94

Mixing up the hi-hat 94

Moving the backbeat 96

Adding syncopations 99

Incorporating fills 100

Chapter 7: Beating the Blues 105

Finding the Pocket and Staying in It 105

Playing Blues 106

Slow tempo 106

Medium tempo 108

Fast tempo 110

Filling in  or not 111

Understanding Blues Song Structure 113

Chapter 8: Rallying Around R&B and Funk 115

Playing R&B Grooves 115

Keeping time 116

Adding ghost notes 118

Opening and closing the hi-hat 122

Getting Funky: Exploring Funk Drumming 123

Incorporating syncopation 123

Syncopating the snare drum beats 125

Including ghost notes 126

Opening and closing the hi-hat 127

Chapter 9: Swinging into Jazz 129

Getting Into the Swing of It 129

Varying the tempo 132

Tackling different textures 133

Adding to the beat 134

Expanding Your Horizons 136

Riding the cymbal 137

Adding accents 138

Incorporating the snare drum 140

Including the bass drum 142

Mixing up your accents 144

Telling Your Story: Soloing 149

Making two-bar phrases 149

Creating four-bar phrases 150

Blending Styles: Jazz-Fusion 151

Playing Fusion Rhythms 152

Knowing that more (not less) is more 153

Forgetting swing (at least for now) 153

Dealing with odd meter 154

Chapter 10: Looking at Latin and Caribbean Styles 157

Building On Traditions 158

Playing Afro-Cuban Rhythms 159

Bolero 159

Cha-cha 160

Mambo 160

Nanigo 161

Playing Brazilian Rhythms 162

Samba 162

Bossa nova 163

Playing Caribbean Rhythms 164

Reggae 164

Calypso 168

Filling It Out 170

Chapter 11: Ratcheting up Your Rock Drumming 171

Building on a Solid Foundation 172

Exploring Some Great Drummers and Their Grooves 173

Peeking into the pop drumming of Kenny Aronoff 173

Checking out punk’s Travis Barker 176

Catching up with the jazz influence of Carter Beauford 178

Discovering rock legend John Bonham 180

Looking at Dave Grohl’s alternative drumming 183

Jamming with a drummer’s drummer: Jeff Porcaro 184

Examining Spüg’s heavy rock style 187

Finding Your Own Inspiration 189

Part 3: Dressing Up Your Drumset Skills 191

Chapter 12: Getting Into the Groove 193

Getting the Feel of the Music 193

Playing Musically 194

Understanding song structure 196

Fitting your playing style to the song 196

Choosing the Perfect Rhythm 197

Getting hints from other musicians 197

Using the music as a guide 198

Adding Your Personality 200

Choosing the bass drum part 200

Selecting the snare drum part 200

Picking the cymbals 201

Electing embellishments 201

Chapter 13: Expressing Yourself with Fills and Licks 203

Enhancing Your Drumming with Licks 204

Increasing Your Impact with Fills 206

Marking the phrase 206

Supporting dynamic variation 206

Playing Some Fills — From One Beat to Four 207

Creating Your Own Fills 212

Fitting the musical situation 213

Syncopating 214

Rolling 215

Chapter 14: Flying Solo 217

Soloing Basics 218

Keeping time 218

Playing musically 218

Thinking melodically 222

Pushing the limits 223

Part 4: Pounding Out the Beat: Traditional Drums and Percussion 225

Chapter 15: Handling Hand Drums 227

Embracing the Variety in Drums 228

Beating the Bongos 228

Playing position 229

Understanding the rhythms 230

Carrying On with the Congas 231

Playing position 232

Understanding the rhythms 234

Discovering the Djembe 235

Playing position 236

Understanding the rhythms 237

Uncovering the Udu 238

Playing position 239

Understanding the rhythms 240

Deciphering the Doumbek 241

Playing position 242

Understanding the rhythms 242

Touting the Tar 243

Playing position 244

Understanding the rhythms 245

Tapping the Power of the Tambourine/Riq 246

Playing position 247

Understanding the rhythms 248

Partying with the Pandeiro    249

Playing position 249

Understanding the rhythms 251

Chapter 16: Singling Out Stick-Played Drums 253

Bopping to the Bodhran 254

Playing position 254

Understanding the rhythms 254

Detailing the Djun Djuns 256

Playing position 257

Understanding the rhythms 257

Rubbing the Cuica 258

Playing position 259

Understanding the rhythms 259

Striking the Surdo 261

Playing position 262

Understanding the rhythms 262

Rapping the Repanique 264

Playing position 265

Understanding the rhythms 265

Tapping the Tamborim 266

Playing position 267

Understanding the rhythms 267

Tinkering with the Timbales 269

Playing position 269

Understanding the rhythms 270

Chapter 17: Shake, Rattle, and Roll: Exploring Other Percussion Instruments 273

Ringing the Agogo Bells 274

Playing position 274

Understanding the rhythms 275

Twisting and Shaking the Afuche/Cabasa 276

Playing position 276

Understanding the rhythms 277

Keying in to the Clavé 278

Playing position 279

Understanding the rhythms 279

Clanging the Cowbell 281

Playing position 281

Understanding the rhythms 282

Scraping the Guiro 282

Playing position 283

Understanding the rhythms 283

Movin’ to the Maracas 284

Playing position 285

Understanding the rhythms 285

Experimenting with Shakers 286

Playing position 287

Understanding the rhythms 287

Tapping the Triangle 288

Playing position 288

Understanding the rhythms 289

Chapter 18: Jamming with World Rhythms 291

Demystifying Polyrhythms 292

It Takes a Village: Using More Rhythms for Better Sound 292

The Rhythm Nations: Playing Well with Others 293

Exploring African polyrhythms 293

Checking out Cuban polyrhythms 296

Banging out Brazilian polyrhythms 297

Part 5: Choosing, Tuning, and Caring For Your Drums 303

Chapter 19: Decision Time: Selecting a Drum of Your Own 305

Choosing a Drumset 306

The drums 306

Other hardware you have to buy separately 308

The cymbals 309

The sticks 310

Choosing a Traditional Drum 310

Natural or synthetic drumheads 311

Shell type 312

Hardware style 314

Branching Out: The Extras 314

Keeping time with the metronome 314

Carrying it all in cases 315

Knowing Where to Find Drums 316

Chapter 20: Tuning and Maintaining Your Drums 317

Checking Out Tuning Basics 318

Tuning a drum with lugs 318

Tuning a drum with a rope system 319

Tuning the untunable 320

Choosing and Replacing Heads 320

Knowing when heads need replacing 320

Choosing replacement heads 321

Replacing your heads 323

Caring for Your Drums 323

Handling hardware 323

Cleaning cymbals 324

Storing and transporting safely 325

Part 6: The Part of Tens 327

Chapter 21: Ten Ways to Expand Your Drumming Horizons 329

Checking out Classes 329

Visiting Clinics 330

Attending Workshops 330

Exploring Drum Circles and Jams 330

Perusing Books and Videos 331

Getting Online 331

Reading Magazines 332

Joining a Band 332

Forming Your Own Band 333

Playing Open Stage 333

Chapter 22: Ten Tips for Finding a Drum Instructor 335

Test Driving a Teacher 335

Knowing Where to Look 336

Understanding the Costs Involved 336

Exploring a Teacher’s Playing Style 337

Gauging a Teacher’s Willingness to Teach to Your Interests 337

Starting Where You are 338

Getting a Sense of History 338

Honoring Yourself 339

Understanding Expectations 340

Knowing When to Move On 341

Appendix: How to Use the Website 343

Index 359

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