Monday, July 25, 2011

Applying Rudiments To The Drum Set and Learning New Fills

Had a question via email come in...

"Hey man, I hope this message gets to you! I'm 18, and my name is Ryan.I just graduated High school and attending college next year. I live in Maine, and I too love drums. I'm 100 percent self taught. Out of all the drumming videos I have seen online, you seem to be the nicest, most understanding guy I see on there. so messaging someone because of their video on youtube is highly unlike me. But I had a question for you. I am in a band and get through it just fine. Most of my fills though are basic, and half the tim I dont know what I am doing, it is just muscle memory. How do I expand my knowledge of fills? I mean, I was told to learn rudiments and what not, but how do I incorporate those into fills? I want to be able to play drums and throw down some awesome triplet fills,or 32nd not fills, or what have you. and on top of that, I would want to do them on time:P so as of right now, Im not making any progress with my drumming.. what do I do? Thank you so much for your time, I hope you get this!"

What's up Ryan!

Thanks so much for the email...and yea, I try to answer all of the messages and emails I get in. Although these days I'm getting alot of them, so it's getting a bit harder.

To your questions...

You're going through something that's ordinary. Even I go through it. You realize that you've just been on autopilot and now you're actually wanting to expand your knowledge and push yourself to learn new things. The first step is realizing you're in a rut...and you're already past that step, so kudos to you for noticing it.

First step

-Take 3 of the "boring" fills that you already know and play all of the time. Now, instead of playing them like you usually do, dissect the sticking. Just play that sticking on the snare until it's in your head. Now, keep the left hand on the snare and move the right hand to the floor tom and play the fill on just those two sound sources. Then keep the right hand on the snare and move the left hand to the top tom. Now pick a cymbal and one tom to play the fill on...continue doing this for as many combinations as you can. What this will do is not only give you variations to your normal "boring" fills, it will start to open your thinking up...and that's the most important part. Getting your mind used to thinking in different ways.

Second Step

-Yes, you absolutely should learn your rudiments. They just give you a larger rhythmic palette to pull from. You're stuck where alot of guys get do I apply them. Begin to think of the rudiments you learn as simple sticking patterns. Paradiddle is simply RLRR LRLL. you can take that sticking and move it around the kit just like you did with your other fills. Move the right hand first and keep the left hand on the snare. Move it to as many sound sources as you can. Do the same with the left hand. You won't use all of the combinations you come up with...some of them will sound quite bad actually...but that's not the point. The point is to open up your thinking.

Now that you've moved them around some...replace all left hand hits with your kick drum and play the rudiment between your kick and right hand. Move it EVERYWHERE on the drum set. Then play all of the right hand hits with your kick so that the rudiment is played between the left hand and the bass drum. The important thing to remember is that there are NO rules here...there's no right or wrong way to apply these rudiments. Some of your ideas will work, some will be horrible...that's ok. The point of practicing is to push yourself to new places. If you sound good while you're practicing, that's not really practicing...that's reviewing old material. Save some of your practice time for reviewing old things and polishing them and a large chunk of your time for pushing yourself to new'll sound bad, you'll improve quickly, and you'll have a blast doing it!

Check out my YT channel and comb through alot of the old lessons...there's over a hundred up there so they should keep you busy for a while. I put them up there specifically for people like you...self taught chaps that want to improve.

I hope that helps Ryan...let me know if I can answer any other questions! You can also check out my blog for other questions and practice tips at

Now go practice!!!



sun light said...

The paradiddle is the best thing to learn these well with because
it naturally executes them if you accent the first note of each
side. If you look at just the right hand: The first accent
(first stroke) is a down stroke (start high, end low) and the
next is the double stroke which are both taps. That stroke is
an up stroke.

paradiddle book
paradiddle exercises

Post a Comment