Blog Archives

My Drum cover of “smooth criminal” by Michael Jackson.

Below is my drum cover of Michael Jackson’s song Smooth Criminal. This is the first cover I have attempted using 3 cams, this is also the first cover I have issued using my new Tascam 1800 midi interface.

As with all the MJ covers I have done I had great fun playing this, all the drumming is my original work. Played the way I would have played the song given the chance.

It was recorded on the first take and the video and after effects completed by James Grice.

This was also the first cover I have mixed using Adobe Audition CS6.

Please have a listen and let me know what you think in the comments below.

If anyone would like the recorded drum tracks to play around with please let me know.

 

 

Advertisements

Update (tascam 1800)

So I recently purchased a Tascam 1800, “What’s that?” I hear you say. The Tascam 1800 is a 16 channel midi interface that uses USB 2.0 to record straight into whatever program you work with. For me its Adobe Audition CS6. The benefit of this kind of interface is the ability to produce split track recordings. Which in drumming terms is a god send.

 The comparison

I will use my old set-up as my comparison . I used to use my beringer 2442fx mixing desk to record straight into Audition. While this serves the purpose of been able to record and listen back to the drums there wasn’t a lot I could do in terms of processing the music I recorded. The main reason for this is how the 2442 records to any program you decide to work with. It is only capable of passing through a single stereo track. Meaning that everything has to be mixed down before been sent to the computer. This in itself poses a problem because what you may hear in the monitor is not nessaseraly how the computer will interpret the sound. Also typically any musician will vary there playing from the sound check to the time when you will actually start recording. Not to mention slight variations in the way they play each subsequent recording, Be it a louder kick or quieter ghost notes on the snare. Because of this you’re not always garneted to get that perfect mix your after.

Read the rest of this entry

What’s in your Bag?

I’m finally back after an extended break due to a lot of personal things going on in my life. Which involved a lot of changes.

I am planning to get back to making drum covers as well as continuing to come up with new drumming ideas and writing more articles like this one which will include some reviews on new purchases I have made.

Please if anyone has any questions on anything I use or has any questions about drumming be it beginner or advanced please don’t be afraid to ask. If I don’t know the answer I will go away and learn it for you. Also with the same breath if you have any ideas for my future covers/ articles or my word press site please let me know.

Ok so this is a quick article to get me back into the swing of things, it has been a long time since I put pen to paper so to speak. To expand on the title if you haven’t guessed already is to let you know what I think every drummer should have with them for every gig, practice or audition they attend Read the rest of this entry

Working with Paradiddles

Skill Level
Beginner – Intermediate

Hello all. Sorry I’ve been away for a few weeks. Life’s been a bit hectic lately.

Today I thought id bring you another little exercise. This involves one of the best drum rudiments the Paradiddle. This is by far my favourite of the standard 26. There is so much you can do with it, plus it’s great for improving double stroke speed and overall co-ordination

The idea of these exercises is to show you how to move the Paradiddle around the kit and how to incorporate them into beats.

Exercise 1 is the standard paradiddle played on the snare only you can add in the bass drum on the first note of each set of semi-quavers if you like. I would spend around 10 mins a night practicing this until your happy with your speed. (It will improve your left had no end.) This is a regular feature in my practice sessions.

Exercise 2. This is the first Example of how to begin to move the paradiddle around the kit. I have now moved all the right hand notes onto the Floor Tom or Tom 3. But keeping the left hand on the snare. This gives a good contrast and can easily be used as a fill. Especially if you accent the left hand hits.

Exercise 3. This is basically how to start structuring beats out of paradiddles. The paradiddle is made up of the bass drum and the left hand on the snare. While the right hand keeps time on the hi-hat.

Remember it’s up to you to take this further. This is only a guide to get the creative juices flowing. Take it to your kit and get creative. There is no right or wrong when this kind of thing is concerned.

 

Food for thought.

  • Try not using any drums at all. You have the hi-hat and ride to play with also.
  • Try resting some notes. Its still a paradiddle even if you don’t play all the notes.

Drum Cymbals (hopefully everything you will ever need to know)

In this post I will be looking at lots of different aspect to do with Cymbals from playing them correctly to giving them the best possible chance of survival and set-up (but not placement)

Cymbal Anatomy

Ill start with a little pick detailing the anatomy of a cymbal.

I will predominately be referencing Zildjian as that’s the make I use and know the most about. But there are plenty of others out there for you to try.

Cymbals are the most delicate part of the drum kit. They can be easily damaged if not cared for or played properly. Im going to attempted to show you the correct mounting of your cymbals and the correct way to strike them. With the main goal of extending the life of the cymbal. Ive been playing drums for over 20 years and never once broke a cymbal (touch wood) these things will last you a few decades if you treat them right and play them how they were designed to be played. As we all know cymbals can be very expensive. With the top ranges from each manufacturer fetching between £100-£350. So better not to crack one. Read the rest of this entry

A little Challenge

Morning all.

This is a little challenge for all you budding drummers out there. I have recently challenged myself by learning some linier drum fill patterns. What is meant by linier I hear you say. Basically no two notes fall on the same count. So everything is played separately, and you can get some super crazy results from this. Below are two exercises that Ive put together for you. Please play close attention to the sticking as sometimes you will be using the left hand lead. The idea behind this is once it’s moved around the kit. You start to get some awesome patterns and combinations starting to form.

Exercise 1 is based around 16th notes. This is a simple pattern just to get you mind working.

Exercise 2 is all about 16th note triplets. With some awkward sticking and patterns, including a double stroke in the last bar. It might be a good idea to break it down and lean it bar by bar first.

The ideas behind these is to get you thinking outside the box and to give you an example of what you can do. Once you have it down on the snare and kick your next progression it to start moving the pattern around the kit. Believe me its a lot of fun  You can place rests in there as well to increase the challenge..

Drum Tuning +

In this article I would like to talk to you about different types of equipment you can get to aid drum tuning. Talk a little about External Dampeners and share a few little tips Ive picked up along the way.

Drum Keys.

Ill start with the topic of Drum Keys. There are lots of different types out there to help AID drum tuning. There are NONE out there that will do the job for you. You will always have to put in the hard work and time to actually learn how to tune your drums properly. That been said they can and will help speed up the process. The main 2 types im going to look at here are the “Drill Bit Drum Key” and the “Evans Torque Key”

Read the rest of this entry

My Thoughts on Tuning your Drums. (Part 5)

Things you may need: Guitar Tuner

In this issue of tuning your Drums I will finally get around to looking at the last drum on most peoples kit. It is of course the ever elusive subject of Snare Drum Tuning. The snare is by far the hardest drum to tune. What makes it hard I hear you say? “Snare Buzz” I will hopefully try to give you some tips Ive picked up through my years of drumming to help you eliminate this Problem and I will attempt to do this without the use of any dampening. As I believe this to be cheating and if a good kit is tuned properly this shouldn’t be needed anyway for a live sound. But saying that obviously there are instances when recording that you might need some external dampening but I will be looking at this in my Drum Tuning Extras addition. Read the rest of this entry

My Thoughts on Tuning your Drums. (Part 2)

Just a little recap on what I covered in the last article:

•    Drum Anatomy
•    Equipment needed
•    Drum Head Selection.

In this part we will be looking at preparing your drums to be tuned, and drum key technique.

Once you have your new drum heads just re tuning your kit it’s a good idea to get the hoops and heads of and just start from scratch. There is a way of removing the heads so you don’t warp or damage the drum. This can occur when there is too much pressure placed on a particular side of the drum, which can pull and distort the wood out of place. Below is a diagram of the correct technique for releasing the pressure created by the tight drum head.

The idea is that you work in opposites around the drum using your drum key (pictured below) to slowly loosen the head at each point. (turning to the left)

Read the rest of this entry

Hello all.

Seems like absolutely ages since my last blog. With the new year having just passed I would like to talk about the importance of setting yourself goals and finding a way to plot them and keep a track of the journey along the way. Im not just talking about personal goals as these come and go (I have also set myself a few of these this year. 1 being to lose some weight:-S) I am of course talking about setting yourself goals to improve as a musician.

I am a firm advocate of trying to learn as much as you can. As im sure you are all aware that you will never be able to learn all there is to know about your chosen instrument. And while it’s a good idea to learn the basics in lots of different styles. Its simply not possible to become amazing at everything there is out there. It’s also good to get an idea in your mind about the type of music you wish to try and master and become innovator in.

I had a sit down the other week and began looking into witch parts of my playing I would attempt to improve upon throughout this year. My main goal will be hand speed. I would love to be able to play comfortably at and around 230bpm, So this will be my main goal for improvement throughout this year.

I have also chosen sub goals to be played with around my main aim. The first of these will be to improve my double bass drum playing. Not only in speed but in technique, I already have a book that I brought a few years ago that I never got around to working though. This will be a aim of mine throughout this year.

Another sub goal of mine will be with my drum covers. I want to release at least 1 cover a month. Also putting out a proper mini series, which I have determined will be biased around the American Pie series of Films.

I have others but I won’t bore you with all of these right now. As some are personal and work related goals I wish to achieve throughout the year.

Right now I want to take a look at recording your progress and re defining goals as the year roles by.

The best way to do this is start a training log, or diary.  Begin by setting aside a certain amount of time to practice each day or every couple of days.

Plan what your going to practice. I can’t stress this enough. How many times have you picked up your instrument with the goal of practicing just to mess about playing what ever. Have a goal to achieve that day.

Above all write notes and record your progress. So you have a log of how far you have come since you started. Take notes and highlight important parts for quick reference in the future.

I keep my logs on my iPad so I always have them handy and accessible in what ever situation I find myself in.  It might be a bit of music knowledge you have taken down so you can recall it in a second. A rhythm or pattern you liked the sound of. Or just something you have invented. I don’t know about you but I often come up with a great sounding beat only to forget it the next week. This prevents that from happening.

Hope this little article helps.