Learn How to Play Drums Stage 1: The 77 Drumming Method
- 2 hours on-demand video
- 1 article
- 17 downloadable resources
- Full lifetime access
- Access on mobile and TV
- Certificate of Completion
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- Navigate around the drum kit and understand the role of each drum and cymbal
- Play rudiments to progress speed and timing abilities
- Develop and expand a customized practice routine
- Read basic notation
- Understand various tempos
- Play drum beats, drum fills and syncopate
- Set of drumsticks and acoustic or electronic drum kit is great but not essential.
Effective learning requires effective breakdowns of information that is supported with adequate theory and then reinforced in order to make things stick. This foundation drum course utilizes the proprietary 77 method to lay the groundwork for you to become a solid drummer in any style of music. Whether or not you have experience in drums at all, this course will get you on the road to drumming success. It will take you through drum setup, technique and show you how to develop your drumming skills. You will learn key techniques including effective kit setup and layout, posture and style. You will learn rudiments and beats along with how to understand drumming notation and tempo, keeping a focus on practical application, without going too heavy on theory like many other courses do. By the end of this course you will know how to further your skills by practicing drum rudiments and you will have the foundations you need to expand your playing ability with more and more challenging material. I am really looking forward to getting you up and running and moving toward your goals as a drummer.
- New drummers looking to develop their skills
- More experienced drummers looking for a solid theoretical foundation in drumming
- Anyone looking to improve their timing skills including other musicians such as guitarists, keyboard players and singers
Welcome to the 77 Drumming Method Introductory Course! We are set to have some fun while learning the key techniques that will build you into the drummer that you want to be!! Like laying foundations for a house, this course will provide you with the key support structures that you need in order to develop awesome drum technique. Please remember to read the lecture descriptions for each lesson, they contain important content that you need to know! Many of the lessons will also have extra exercise videos attached to further your learning. The more you practice the exercises in these videos, the better you will get, and the sooner you will get there! Whilst it's fine to move at your own pace, I also want to encourage you to push on regularly with the exercises, because they will build the foundations of your drumming skills.
In this lecture you are introduced to the development and the key components of the modern drum kit. This video looks at the development of the modern acoustic drum kit. It does not explore the development of the modern electric drum kit. However, it is worth noting that electric drum kits do have the same key components, but also variability in terms of sounds they can play. Electric kits have come a long way in recent years, not only in terms of the actual drums, but also the enhancement in computing power and development of better software. Modern PC based drum software is now recorded in world class studios and has similar nuances that you get from an electric kit, meaning that it is dynamic, or in other words - has a great feel where you can get a great variety of sounds by playing harder or softer on the kit. So don't feel like you have to have an acoustic drum kit, electric kits are now capable of doing amazing things. This lecture also includes an optional research exercise that you may complete if the topic is of interest.
In this lesson some key elements that go into the making of a great drummer are outlined and a challenge is made to encourage you to consider what you might do to become the drummer that you want to be. This lesson challenges you to set goals of what you want to achieve from your drumming, then gives some practical strategies to ensure you establish an effective practice routine. The key to developing on the drums is the time spent on effective practice. Remember, don't try and rush it or expect it to all happen overnight! The more work you put in, the more you will get out. Watch the video for more details!
SETTING UP YOUR DRUMS: HOW TO ACCOMPLISH AN EFFECTIVE DRUM SETUP AND THUS MAXIMISE YOUR SPEED AND ACCURACY
This lecture takes you through key points in how to set up your drums, with practical demonstration focusing on ideal distances, angles and heights for components of your drums. At the end of this lecture, you will have a good idea on how to set up drums in order to have optimal playability. Take note as you play your drums and ask yourself the following questions:
Are my cymbals preventing me from hitting the middle of my toms? If yes, they need to be further away.
Are my mounted toms a similar height and close together? They should be a similar height and as close together as possible without touching.
Are my cymbals tilted slightly towards me? Cymbals should be slightly tilted towards you. If they are not tilted towards you enough, you will damage sticks and it can be hard to reach the bell in the middle of the cymbal. If they are tilted too far down, you will not be able to strike the cymbal at the correct angle to get it to ring out properly.
Are my legs even with the floor? Your upper legs should be horizontal with the floor, meaning you should be able to rest a drink on your thigh and not spill it! (I don't recommend to try this, but you get the picture!)
Take a good look at the video to get the picture of these issues in visual form. Hope you enjoy the demonstration.
GRIP TECHNIQUE - HOW TO HOLD DRUM STICKS TO MAXIMISE SPEED AND ACCURACY
This video describes and demonstrates how to grip your drum sticks for speed and control. Good technique is the foundation of becoming a good player in any musical instrument. Drums are no exception to this rule. When practicing your rudiments and beats, try and be aware of how you are holding the sticks. Everybody has bad technique by nature. But through awareness and practice, you will notice how good technique improves your speed and timing. As such, grab some sticks and put on the video. This is a seemingly simple but very important component of your drumming technique.
FROM GOOD TECHNIQUE COMES GOOD RESULTS!
There's heaps of important content in this one! Stick with it! Learning new skills can be challenging and test your patience and resolve, but ENJOY the learning process, then you will proceed and thereby succeed. By the end of this video you will understand the ideal posture and arm position. The video demonstrates how to effectively strike the drums, plus key aspects of technique to be aware of. Also, the concept of counting time and several introductory exercises are undertaken.
These exercises include learning how to count basic time and the single stroke roll. It could be argued that the single stroke roll (R L R L) is the foundation of drum rolls. Most drum rolls that you hear played are variations of the single stroke roll. This is the most efficient and basic way to play a roll, but there are plenty of other roll types that we will explore in future lessons.
Other key concepts explored include 16th notes played as single stroke rolls, revisiting key aspects of technique in terms of grip posture. The concept of stick control is introduced, which is a key component of developing both speed and even technique. See you on the other side!
In this lesson you will learn the importance of rudiments as the gymnasium for your drumming development. You will learn how rudiments are applied, and the use of increasing to faster tempo to push your skills further. Push yourself with practicing your rudiments, these are the foundations upon which drumming skills are built. Make sure you use either an online or a physical metronome when practicing, either is fine. Key terms include bpm (short for beats per minute), which is the key term when talking about speed - for example, many songs are in 120 bpm, which is a medium tempo and means there are 120 beats per minute. The concept of beats and bars are briefly introduced. In this course, we will be focusing music that has 4 beats in each bar. Most modern rock and pop has 4 beats in each bar.
This lesson firstly introduces the one handed roll and counting time whilst practicing. Using a metronome, first you practice keeping time with one hand and then the other. It's a good idea to spend about 5 minutes a day on each hand while you are developing your foundational drumming skills. Remember, these lessons alone will not make you a great drummer. You will need to also get your metronome going and do this on a regular basis. You can also revisit this lesson and practice along. Remember, one of the great things about drums is that you can practice anytime, anywhere. You can practice with your hands, or just with a set of sticks, or with a full drum kit.
This lecture introduces the meaning behind time signatures and how they relate to the counting of time. This course focuses on 4/4 time as the main time signature. Also, the notes within this that we are focusing on include quarter notes (crotchets), eighth notes (quavers) and sixteenth notes (semi quavers). Drumming has a specific method of counting eighth notes and sixteenth notes which is explored in these lessons. Practice counting out loud as much as you can, particularly when practicing rudiments. It is a very helpful way of learning the 'language' of drumming which you will apply whenever you learn a new beat or rudiment, and even when you are learning songs. Keep focused and you will pick up some super important things!
In this lesson we demonstrate counting time and practice the counting of quarter notes, then move onto putting bars together along with a basic beat. Here we begin to apply the basic theory into practical application of a drum beat. Do the exercise described at the end of the video as many times as you can over the coming days. This is going to develop your skills and form the foundation of your drumming in terms of playing a beat. At first, it will be tricky, you will have trouble co-ordinating, but with practice you will get it. The snare falls on the 2 and 4 beat, with the kick drum falling on the 1 and 3. So the sequence is kick(1) snare(2) kick(3) snare(4) Remember to have fun while you do this!! Go back over the video again if you need clarification or to play along with the beat. Remember to get your metronome going when doing independent practice, and also count out loud as you play. Go for it!
This lesson takes you through the function of the kick drum and its context within music, then onto the technique involved in effective drumming on the kick drum. The kick drum as you learned in the last lesson found on the 1 and 3 count in the basic beat. This means the kick drum is hit at the start of each bar. The kick drum is also called the BASS drum because it provides the low frequencies, supports the bass guitar and also supports striking of crash cymbals. As a rule, when you hit a crash cymbal you should also play the kick drum, these cymbal crashes, also called accents, will often fall on the 1 beat along with the kick drum. This is because the start of a bar is the start of a new sequence, whether the start of a song, a change in to verse or chorus. For example, a chorus may have 16 bars. Each of these has 4 beats. So (for example) the chorus has 16x4 beats, for a total of 64 beats. A crash cymbal can come in with the kick drum on the 1 beat in the first bar of the chorus, and (for example) every 4 bars on the one beat. This would give us a total of 4 crash cymbal strikes throughout the chorus, on the 1st beat of the 1st bar, the 5th, 9th and 13th bar. This would be quite common, as drum fills, crashes etc. often come at the end of a sequence of 4 or 8 bars. If we do a fill and crash for example every bar or every second bar, this would be what's called 'too busy' and may disrupt the flow of the music. Like with many things, like sauce, it's often better to use cymbal crashes tom fills sparingly, so as to avoid the music being 'too busy' and to ensure the groove of the song is maintained.
Welcome to the heart of the drum kit - the snare drum! You will learn key snare drum techniques and how the snare drum is applied in modern music. The snare drum we learned falls on the 2 and 4 of a basic beat. It is the 'backbeat', falling after the kick drum on the second and fourth beats of the bar. We can drop the snare drum back to a 'half-time' feel by just playing the snare on the 3 count. When we play this 'half time' feel, we play the kick drum on the 1 count and the snare drum on the 3 count. This is common in ballads. Also, the snare drum very much dictates how much energy a song has. If you drop back to a 'half-time' feel, it will be laid back, more like a ballad style. If you then pick it up to a 'full-time' feel, with the snare on the 2 and 4 count, it will have more energy, more like an energetic rock or pop style. As such, the snare drum is very much in control over the feel of a song. This is one of the unique powers that drums have, they can increase and decrease various feelings of a song, such as 'punchy' or 'laid back'. There are many other variations of beat that the snare drum can be incorporated for, such as using a single stroke roll of 16th notes for half a bar (2 beats) or an entire bar (4 beats). This means 8 strikes on the snare drum for a half bar of 16th notes (RLRLRLRL), or 16 strikes on the snare drum for a full bar of 16th notes (RLRLRLRLRLRLRLRL). This is a snare drum fill and would generally be done on the 4th or 8th bar of a sequence when playing a beat. In summary, the snare drum can be laid back (half-time), can drive a song when in normal time (full-time) on the 2 and 4 counts, drives the feeling of a song and can be used for fills, just like the toms. Have some practice on the snare drum, do your single stroke rolls, incorporate them into fills when you are able and just do some good old free style improvising. Don't forget to practice playinh along with songs too. Listen to some music and count the 1,2,3,4 of the bar. Can you hear where the snare drum is falling? Keep up the good work!
Here we discuss and apply the kick and snare drum together and how they play off each other. This lesson also includes some practical tips on how and where to practice, in addition to an overview on how the snare and kick work together within the beat. Again, counting out loud is an important component to this process. Working in the kick and snare together is a great way to build into your skills, particularly if you are not yet comfortable incorporating the hi-hats. It is a great idea to practice kick and snare together without the hats to strengthen your skills in playing these two very important drums. Remember, you can practice these skills even without a drum kit or drumsticks on hand, wherever you are. It's a great idea to start practicing kick and snare technique when listening to music, and again, remember to get out the metronome and start slow, gradually building up tempo as you go. By pushing yourself, you will see improvements and take things to the next level, one day at a time!
This lesson discusses the use and application of hi hats including the components. Also discusses some key aspects of counting hi hats when looking at notation. It's important with hi-hats to keep pressure down on your foot to ensure that the note is crisp and clear. This is called having a closed hi hat. This means the cymbals are pressed together firmly. You can release tension on the hi hats by reducing foot pressure slightly, this produces a more washy sound from the partially open hats. Try and listen for the difference next time you are listening to a song. This difference is important as it is used in different parts of songs and creates two very different feels. Thirdly, you have the open hi hat sound, produced when completely reducing pressure off your foot, which allows the two hi hat cymbals to completely separate. This is often done at the end of a bar, for example on the 8th hit when playing 8th notes on the hats, which is the 4 & count. It often then leads into a crash cymbal on the 1 count of the following bar, then back into the hi hat feel on the 1 &, which is the second 8th note in the bar. For closed hi hats, try and play your hi-hats with the tip of the stick right in the middle of the top hi hat cymbal. For partially open hi hats, you can drop the stick down a bit and play using the stick itself, a few inches from the tip of the stick. This gives it more power and makes it wash better. This technique with partially open hats is commonly used in rock and is a good way to increase the intensity of a part in a song. For example, you could have closed hi hats on the verse and then partially open hi hats on the chorus, which helps add intensity to the chorus. Have a practice around with all these ideas, the video is just a short one, this is one of those things you really just need to get into and experiment around with yourself. You've got some key concepts of hi hats now, so roll with it and keep it up!
Here we get a bit more in-depth with the basic beat and practice the counting and playing of quarter and eighth notes. Here we reinforce some of the earlier learning and give you the opportunity to play along. It's important not to try and go to far too fast, you want your foundations to be solid. A good drummer doesn't just try and get onto the next thing, they take time to get really good at the basic stuff. Like anything, that takes a bit of time! So keep it up, try and get in there with daily practice of your basic beats at 60-80 bpm and beyond. Also with your one handed roll and single stroke roll, keep going with practicing these. The more you put in the more you will get out and the faster you will get to where you want to go with your drumming. Anywhere from 5 minutes or an hour plus a day will make a big difference though, so make sure you at least are getting some daily practice in with your rudiments and beats. OK then, enough talk, let's walk!
Introducing further the concepts of eighth notes (quavers) and sixteenth notes (semi-quavers), along with practical application of these concepts, with extra exercises allocated for those wanting to take the concept further. Whilst you may never want to be a 'session' musician and read music from notation, these skills are very helpful for you to visualise how drum beats and rudiments occur across a bar. It also is a great way of learning new songs. Once you grasp how drum notation is laid out, you can get your hands on any notation and learn a song just by looking at how the notation is written. The further application of this for advanced drummers is to play a song they have never even heard, just by reading the notation as they go. This skill requires a lot of practice and the learning of further notation language, but here is the foundation for both professional session drumming and learning new songs. Very handy!
Firstly this lesson explores the concepts that we have studied in notation and tempo. One of the most challenging things to grasp in drumming is how fast a tempo feels. The more you look at bpm (beats per minute) and how each tempo can change the feel of music, you begin to take seriously the most important role of the drummer - to keep time. This means keeping an accurate tempo. This is why practicing with a metronome is so important. Just 10bpm change can make a significant difference to the feel of the music. Whilst a small amount of variance is not going to ruin the feel, racing off an extra 10+bpm or dragging back by 10+bpm can ruin a performance. This is one of the challenging aspects of playing to a metronome, but also the most rewarding. The beat gets locked in and you can hold a solid beat even when a metronome is not there. Ultimately, this is one of the most important skills to learn - keeping a solid tempo. It makes you the backbone of a band. So, keep it tight, and lock in on that tempo!
This is a big lesson and packs a lot of content. This lesson is bringing together all of the knowledge learned thus far and incorporating it in a series of practice exercises. Here we practice the single stroke roll and the double stroke roll. We work on starting with the alternate hand, and practice our first transitional rudiment, which involves going from the single stroke roll straight into the double stroke roll. Lots of tips and reminders are also included in this lesson. Each of the exercises in this video can be incorporated into your own practice schedule.
In this lecture you learn to play along to an original 77 Drumming Method song called FIXATED that is at a great tempo for getting started. First time through, you can play the song with just the kick drum. This is a great starting point and helps you get the feel. Second time through, bring in the snare drum along with the kick drum. Third time through, bring in the hi hats with quarter notes on the hi hats. Fourth time through, bring in the hi hats with 8th notes on the hi hats. Also included in the resources for this lecture is an audio copy of the song, one with the drum track and one without the drum track, so you can play along with or without drums. Feel free to try out some of the fills and beats you hear! So great to have you as a part of the 77 Drumming Method Introductory Course. See you again in future courses!