Wednesday, April 27, 2011

"If Only Love Were the Cure" Campaign Update: W-O-W!!!

You guys never cease to frickin' AMAZE me with your love for the instrument, your willingness to learn and share your knowledge and experience, and your generosity. We raised over $2,400 in the first 24 hours we had the fundraiser live...that's a hundred dollars an hour...AMAZING!!! Thank you guys SO MUCH. We're halfway through day 3 and we're up to $2,895. We have 72 days left on the campaign...looks like we're on our way to hit our goal in more than enough time. Even though we've kicked it off to a stellar beginning, there are still some things you can do (and you don't have to give money to help out!).

We're looking to increase our "Go Go Factor". Doing so gives us more visibility and could land us on the front page of IndieGoGo's website, as well as in their other various public news outlets. So here's a few things that will take you all of 30 seconds to do...

1. Use the "Share" buttons at the bottom of the campaign video. It will allow you to share it on Facebook and Twitter, so DO IT!!!

2. Share this link through email as well as on your social sites. This specific link is monitored by IndieGoGo peeps and helps us with our "Go Go Factor", which is what could land us on the FRONT PAGE of the IndieGoGo website! With such a great start, we're hoping to snag a spot.

3. If you have a blog (and I know some of you do!), go below the video on the campaign page and grab the widget for embedding on websites and blogs. It'll look like the below link...

Again, the Appel family and I can't say thank you enough for all of the support! Now lets spread the word more!!!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Basic Recording Setup

Had a question from tavonentertainment

"i have a problem......wen i record a video and play to a song my drums is statiky and yu cnt hear da music.......wat kind of mics are yu using and how do you hook it up to your laptop....and can yu explain plz..."

To record to your computer, you're going to need a couple of things:

1. Mics
2. Interface
3. Software

1. Mics: A basic set of drum mics will do the trick, doesn't have to be fancy. You'll run the mic cables from the mics into your interface.

2. Interface: Your interface is exactly what it sounds's where your mics INTERFACE with your computer. In other words, it will transmit the sound from the mic cables and put it into a form that your computer understands (this is a really basic definition of something that can be a bit technical to explain). I use a Presonus Firestudio Tube for my interface, but there are lots of good ones out there. You can get them with one input or lots of inputs, just depending on what your situation calls for. A good place to start would be one overhead condenser mic, one snare/hi-hat mic (SM-57 always works well) and one kick mic. You can expand later to add tom mics, etc.

3. Software: There are TONS of choices out there for this. Pro Tools is the industry go to standard. It by no means is the best or easiest to use, it's just the most commonly used in major studios. If you have a Mac, then it comes with Garage Band, which for what you're wanting to do would be more than enough. If you want to buy one, the majors to choose from in my book would be Inuendo, Logic, Pro Tools, and Cubase. I run Cubase on my Macbook Pro.

Once you get past the hurdle of starting, it's not that bad. Hope this helps!

-Stephen T.

Monday, April 25, 2011

If Only Love Were the Cure

Sometimes we get a chance to help someone...this is one of those times. Sean and Kassandra Appel are parents to two very sick little girls. Their two girls, Ales and Zoe, are the only two people IN THE WORLD that have both Trichothiodystrophy and Cockayne Syndrome (CS). Both of these disorders carry a sensitivity to UV sunlight with in, it can kill them. Habitat for Humanity has signed on to build a house for them. Make-A-Wish foundation has agreed to re-do a play room and equip it with UV protected windows so the girls can play in the sunlight they're never able to see. Only problem...well, a playroom isn't in the plans for the Habitat house...the Appels would have to pay for the addition themselves. Which is where we come in. Sean has watched my lessons for a year now, emailing and asking questions and just being an overall friend. Great guy with a great family.

So here's your chance to help one of your own, a drummer. Our goal is $7,500, and we've already got $500 in place after only a night of having it posted. Please click on the link and give if you can. And if you can't, please take 5 minutes and post the link on your Facebook, Twitter, or embed it on your website. Your help is immensely appreciated.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

SIlverfox Drumstick Review

My first impressions of the Silverfox 5A's

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

A Question About Odd Time Signatures

Got an email question in the other day...

Hi Steve. I am Marc Bolger from Fresno California. I recently suscribed to your site. Very good lessons.

One thing I have trouble with is listening to a groove and determining what the time signature is....

Like is it a 5/8 or 7/8 or what not...I think I seem to have trouble listening to when the end of a measure is. I understand well the facts of 1/4 and 1/8 and 16th notes and I can read it well. But listening to it is kind of weird for me. Is there a way I can break it down by ear and understand it or did reaaing a lot just make it develope?

And I want access to all your Zeppelin riffs. You only have about 3 of them ?

I did notice many other types of riffs that I need to study as well.

I am 48 years old. I have played drums for almost 9 years now. I have played guitar for 30+ years and so my sense of timing and ear are quite developed so jumping on drums was maybe a bit for confortable for me.

My drum teacher was impressed and that was a good thing.

I look forward to learning much from you! You are very very good!!

How about some bonham cross sticking triplet paterns broken down?

I loved Fool in the rain" groove. The Ocean was not ever really one of my favorite zepp tunes but it is good schooling from you for sure! So...thanx a lot! ;p)

And again here we go with how you explained the note count within that structure in the ocean. I seem to have a hard time wondering what it is time signature wise.

How about that song by the Police "Spirits in the material world"? is that a 7/8?

I know it is odd time.... I think my main problem is separating the measures?

I have three kits. I vistalite,and Ludwig Blue sparkle with classic lugs in 7 pli North American Maple-26" kick

and my Yamaha with 2 24" kicks in Maple Custom absolute. Im also looking at getting a 36" Paiste Gong and later on I would like 29" Timpany pedal kettle.

With Much respect master Steve

Marc Bolger

I also like your rewind button! ;p()

What up Marc...

Really sorry it took me a hot minute to get back with ya...I've been slammed both with work and on the personal side of things this's taken me an hour this morning to catch up on emails, and I've still got a clinic to plan for Monday! Ahhhhhhh! Good to be busy though...

You know, listening and determining the time signature to a song is a skill that's learned, so don't feel bad for not knowing how to do it right off. It takes time and patience. I would take songs that I knew the time signature of, but maybe didn't know exactly how to count, and then try to count it. Knowing what time signature it was in helped me to feel sure I was counting it correctly. And from there you just have to take each song by itself, play it over and over, and count. Figure out what the subdivision is (quarters, eighth notes, a triple feel, etc) and then figure out how many beats are in a measure. I find that alot of times I can listen to a riff (the guitar, piano, or drum groove) see when it repeats, and then go from that. Singing the riff in my head makes it alot easier to count than just reducing it to makes it a musical event instead of a mathmatical event. Make sense?

On your question about the's in 15/8 (the opening riff). Another way to count it is one bar of 8/8 (or 4/4) and then one bar of 7/8, and that's repeated 4 times I do believe. Just start counting at the beginning of the song, count to 15 in time, and start'll start to feel right eventually.

And on The Police track "Spirits in a Material World" 7/8, lol. It's one of the most deceptive songs I've ever heard...I know how to count it and I still hear it wrong every time! On the intro lick, the snare hit is actually on the "&" of 4, and you start counting after that. It's in 4/4...the bass drum is on 2 and 4 and the keys and accented hihats are on the upbeats. Absolutely a sick and misleading drum intro!

I don't have anymore Led Zeppelin break downs recorded actually...they were all requests. If you have one, let me know and I'll try to get around to breaking it down for ya.

And thanks for the pics...always love some good drum porn,lol! The kits look great!

You're absolutely right about the guitar knowledge you have making it easier to transfer to the already have alot of the basics of counting and musicality down, which is a cool place to start.

Fyi, I sometimes use emails as blog posts so that everyone can benefit from a private email. I don't use names though. Hope this is ok.

Please keep up with me and let me know how things are goin' for you!

Stephen T.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

You Tuber Question

hi stephen. Im a proud subscriber of you on
youtube. my youtube name is zwegyi1000000. maybe u might have seen me
comment a couple of times but anyway, i just wanted to know your
opinion on drumsticks.

first of all, i believe you have heard of Ahead Aluminium drumsticks
right? what are your opinions on it? especially versus wood sticks.
people either love ahead or hate them. some swear by them while some
hate them to the core.

currently i'm using AHEAD 5AB Hybrid series (studio) and AHEAD JJ1
Speed Metal drumsticks.

the biggest question is, do u recommend using aluminium sticks? have
you tried them before by any chance? what are your thoughts, man?? i
mean, on the net different people are giving all sorts of opinions and
2 persons give 2 opinions. so just wanted to know your valued opinion.
thanks lots


What's up Ivan. I'm stoked you subscribe and even more happy that the lessons help you...and yes, I know who you are bro, great to hear from you again!

I don't love aluminum sticks personally. I think they feel unnatural and are rougher on the cymbals. That being said, that's just my PERSONAL opinion...every player needs to make a decision on their sticks based on their particular needs, preferences, and likes. So whether I like aluminum sticks or not, it shouldn't affect whether you like them or not. How they feel in your hands, the sound they get, and how they make you play when using them are all WAY more important things to consider than what some guy on the internet has to say about them.

I appreciate you thinking enough of me to take the time to write and ask a question as personal to a drummer as stick preference. Hopefully, that helped a little!