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.

 

 

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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.

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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.

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”

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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 4)

In this issue of my tuning guide we will be looking at Bass Drum Tuning and dampening.

But first if you haven’t had a look at my other issues in this Drum Tuning Series please take a look at them first.

Topics we have covered so far are:

  • Drum Anatomy
  • Equipment needed
  • Drum Head Selection.
  • Drum Preparation
  • Drum Key Technique
  • Drum Head Seating and Tuning

There are 2 main types of Bass Drums. The first and optimal bass drum being the un drilled type. Basically it has no mountings for toms. As such no huge metal bars for the sound to escape through the downside being you have to purchase additional racking or boom arms to hold the toms. This can be costly but my preferred choice. The 2nd been the drilled type. Which has a huge hole to mount the toms on. Not great as the vibrations escape up this drying the drum out faster. But it is the cheaper option.

(pictured above is one of my kits and the kit i use for my drum covers. This has a none drilled bass drum) Read the rest of this entry

First cover of the year

Finally managed to finish the first Drum Cover of this Year. I’ve also recorded another but just waiting on the Video Edit for that 1. This is the 2nd instalment in my Michael Jackson mini-series and its titled “thriller”

FACTS:

  • “Thriller,” the biggest-selling album ever, wasn’t the only Michael Jackson work released in November 1982. A few weeks before it was set to hit stores, MCA Records released an album of Jackson reading the story of “E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial” and performing the original song “Someone in the Dark.” The album promotion, which featured posters of Jackson and E.T. looking very friendly, angered CBS Records, which felt it was stealing the thunder from “Thriller.” Lawsuits ensued. Both albums ended up winning Grammys the following year.
  • “Thriller’s” phenomenal success led to a breaking down of traditional racial barriers on FM radio at the time. New York’s WPLJ, a “white” station, played Jackson’s “Beat It” because of Eddie Van Halen’s appearance on it. The song caused a wave of protests from some listeners who didn’t want “black” music on their station. MTV also had a reputation for flavoring white performers at the time, and its heavy rotation of Jackson videos helped alleviate the criticism.
  • The music video of “Thriller” played in a Westwood theater for one week in 1983 to qualify for an Oscar nomination. It opened for Disney’s “Fantasia,” much to the dismay of unsuspecting parents.

I hope you enjoy it. It was a lot of fun to play. Only part I’m not happy with is the timing issues at the start.

My Thoughts on Tuning your Drums. (Part 3)

Welcome to part 3. In this issue we will be looking at the toms. Finally we get down to fitting that first drum head.

(All pics are of my Drum Kit and me 🙂 courtesey of James Grice.)

But first a list of the topics covered in the last edition, and if you haven’t read it please take a look before reading this:

  • Drum Preparation
  • Drum Key Technique

I tend to start with the smallest tom as it’s the highest pitched and then work my way down to the floor tom or biggest rack tom.

Right then down to it. First things first check you haven’t got a dead drum head before you start. Grab the new head and tap it in the middle you should get a very dull but slight tone out of the new head, If you don’t and instead get a duff sound the head is dead and not worth using. (the chance of this is very, very small but still worth mentioning)

Now place the head over your drum it should go straight on without any struggle. (I normally line the logo up with the support arm, Just my preference. And I start with the batter head.) Then were going to place the hoop on over the top this is normally a tighter fit and can require a slight push to get it on properly.

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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)

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