Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Updates and Goings On...

I thought I'd throw a real quick synopsis of everything that is going on in my world right now. Lots and lots of goodies...

-Video lessons:
I'm posting pretty consistently nowadays. New lessons come out every Monday and Thursday, with lots of updates and fun stuff in between. You can check the lessons out here: DRUM LESSONS WITH STEPHEN TAYLOR

-Contest: I'll be hosting a small contest here in the near future. I've got a couple of hybrid rudiments that I've come up with and I want you guys to name them. Whoever comes up with the best name will snag a pair of Silverfox sticks as well as a PDF copy of my new book...which leads me to my next topic...

-"If Only Love Were the Cure" Campaign: So you guys have completely blown my mind with this one...we've raised over $6,000 for the Appel family so far. The campaign still has a couple of months to run and we're almost to our goal of $7,500. Such a cool thing for you guys to show support to. I'll keep you updated but in the meantime, please spread the link around and give if you can!

-NEW BOOK: I've been working overtime trying to put the finishing touches on a book I've spent the past 5 months slaving over. I'm getting the final edit from the publisher today as a matter of fact. It'll be available in the next couple of weeks in hard copy as well as a downloadable PDF version...and in the near future I've got some suprises to go with it...should be fun!

And then of course I'm always here for your questions and such. If it takes me a few days to get back with you, please be patient with me. I'm getting a ton of mail and messages these days and sometimes it takes me a while to get back to everyone with everything else going on.

Thanks for all of the support!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

New Endorsement and New Cymbals

I've been busy lately...really busy...lots of good stuff coming (at least I hope it's good, lol!). My newest endorsement is with Soultone Cymbals. They're killer...check 'em out. You can see the vid below of my new metal. And yes...I still feel like a kid at Christmas when I get new gear.

Monday, May 16, 2011

A Fill to Have Fun With

Just a simple fill to throw around and have some fun with. Sheet music is in the video description.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Simple Sextuplet Fill Drum Lesson

This is a very simple idea that I used in a drum cover and I've had alot of peeps askin' about it, so here's a lesson for ya on the breakdown.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Herta Series

Here's a series of lessons I've put together on the Herta. I explain the rudiment in the first video and then take it through beginner, intermediate, and advanced applications on the drumset.





Email, message, or comment if you've got any questions!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Question About Double Bass Playing

I had a question come in via You Tube asking about some double bass issues...

"Hi, I have a couple of questions about drumming that I am hoping you can answer

First, I am having a hard time switching from playing heel down to playing
heel up. I cannot get control of my feet while playing double bass, I can
alternate right left right left but I can't ever keep it locked down to a straight
tempo, and I have been practicing for a long time now but I am not making any
progress. Do you have any advice that I could use?

Second, are there any workouts that work on the muscles that you use for
blasting? you know how they have calf raisers that help you with double bass
playing, I was wondering if they have a certain workout that could really help
with blasting.

please help!"

Thanks so much for the message...and I'm SUPER sorry it's taken me so long to get back with you. It usually only takes me a day or so, but I got so behind that I've been having to work through my inbox whenever I get the chance.

First question: Why are you switching? Are you wanting more power? Do you feel like heel up will make you play faster? Anytime you switch a part of your technique that's engrained in you, it's gonna be hard. So I always ask myself why I'm doing it...if you're gonna put in that much work to adjust something like technique, you want to make sure you know the reasons and can tell if you're achieving what you wanted to with the new technique. I use both techniques...I also use the slide technique on my bass drum playing. In my hands, I play traditional, matched, american, german, and french grips...all at different times depending on what the situation calls for stylistically. I learned them all so that I can incorporate them into my playing. That takes a long time though. You're just gonna have to keep putting the work in. My suggestion is to put your metronome on a comfortable tempo ad start playing eighth notes with the feet. Once you get that comfortable, move on to playing triplets with the feet (this is an alternating sticking, so it'll also help with the left foot leading on some beats). Once you've got that down, move on to 16th notes. Once you have all of those solid, start alternating them. A bar of eighth notes, a bar of triplets, a bar of 16ths, etc. Begin slow and work your way up in tempo. Make consistency, accuracy, and correct technique your goals, and not necessarily speed. The speed will come naturally. There's no easy way in this one...it's just gonna take lots of practice. But if you love playing the drums, that should be ok with you, lol!

Questino Two: Blasting is physically straining, that much you're correct on. I would suggest doing some light cardio a few of times a week (i.e. fast walking or jogging) for 30-45 minutes. Combine this with a light regimine of 3 sets of 10-12 squats, 3 sets of 10-12 lunges, and 3 sets of 15-20 calf raises. You want to build up all of the leg muscles, not just the calves. This is actually healthy to do whether you're blasting or not...it's good to keep the body in shape, especially when you're doing something as physically demanding as drumming. The best workout you can do is practice blasting. Set the timer for five minutes, set the metronome at a comfortable tempo, and get to work! Start your practice session off with this everyday. You should see dramatic improvements in accuracy, speed, and endurance within a couple of weeks.

Good luck bro...I hope you kill the double bass!

-Stephen T.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

A Teacher That's Makin' It Happen

I posted two lessons a couple of weeks ago...one on single stroke rolls and one on double stroke rolls. I got into a conversation with a drum teacher, and he's putting into place some GREAT ideas and seeing fantastic results with his students. Here's the lessons and conversation we had via Facebook...

"Eddie Vallee March 28 at 11:32am Report
Great points. I like the approach and exercises.. I'm also going to make a chart for my students and get the parents involved! I think simply giving them more accountable structured system in this area is the key. A good chart will force them to slowly approach the skill with patience...and will also hold them accountable com lessons time. Thanks so much!"


"That's a really great idea. I've made similar charts before...I basically pit the students against each other, get a little healthy competition going on. Have a drummer of the month or something like that...anything that recognizes them excelling. I've also done a public practice chart...If they came to the lesson and didn't practice, their chart got no marks, if they had, they would get marks depending on how much improvement was made. The other players see it and then begin to have a small amount of healthy peer pressure to get in the woodshed.

Whatever gets them practicing!"


Eddie Vallee April 24 at 10:19am Report
"Just wanted to drop you a note and give you a big THANK YOU for your input and lesson work regarding the double stroke rolls I asked you about a few weeks ago. I've since gotten my students fired up using your techniques....and have seen immediate results in not only their playing ...but mine too. I've also purchased a Beatnik RA800P Rhythmic Analyzer drum Pad and and am electronically monitoring each students accuracy each week on a chart. I've created a fun little "silent competition" amongst all of my students....both young and old. Again.....I very much appreciate your help and advice. Thanks Stephen! ! ! ! "
-Eddie Vallee

"Bro, I can't tell you how much that makes my day! I'm so glad you're seeing some tangible results with your students. I know how much it helps a teacher to finally see some fowards progress! And this is a huge testament to you too...they wouldn't be going anywhere without a teach leading them.

You're incorporating some great ideas and benchmarks for these guys to strive towards. Wish all teachers tried that hard. Keep me up on how they're fairing...and again, thanks!"