Sunday, December 2, 2012

Soultone Cymbal Review

Sorry guys...I forgot to embed the video on the last one.  Here's the video for you to check out why I'm no longer endorsing Soultone Cymbals.  So sorry for the repost.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

How To Impress Your Girlfriend

Come on know you want to impress her with your rhythmic skillz!  Here's how *Insert sarcasm*

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

30 Second Drum Lesson - Funk Drum Fill

It's election day in the good 'ol U.S. of A.  Get out and vote.  And after that, relax by learning this funk drum fill in 30 seconds.

Online Drum Lessons with Stephen Taylor...FREE 7 day trial!!!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Question on Easy Linear Triplet Pattern

I had a question come in on this lesson, and it's a problem I had when I was coming up and learning basic subdivisions.  Thought the discussion might benefit some of you guys as well.

"Hi stephen, hows it going bro? got a question on this fill. cant seem to catch or feel the fill when i try to input the fill in over the beat. it confuses the heck outta me! how is counted? im thinking cuz its triplet fill in a eigth note feel it's counted like this (1 e ah 2 e ah 3 e ah 4 e ah) but i could be wrong. is there something i can do to get this corrected. really cool fill and i'd love to get it down! thanks for your time Stephen!"

What's up John!

Great to hear from ya man!  To your question...

Yes, this is a triplet fill over a duple time signature.  It's naturally gonna feel "weird"...or naturally have a push and pull to it.  You can count triplets "1 e ah, 2 e ah, 3 e ah, etc" but that gets confusing to me (since you also count 16ths "1 e & ah, 2 e & ah, etc).  I prefer to count them "1 la lee, 2 la lee, 3 la lee, 4 la lee".  That way there are different sounds for different subdivisions.  The easiest thing to do to get this to feel right is to play 3 bars of groove and then play a simple alternating triplet fill between the hands for a measure and back into the groove.  It's natural to have a hard time "feeling" triplets in 4/4 time.  I had trouble with it for the longest when I was coming up.  Once you get that to feel natural, then I would advance to an alternating triplet fill between the right hand and right foot (R-F-R-F-R-F etc).  Finally, once you've mastered that, I would then move on to the actual linear pattern that I break down in the lesson.

Don't know if any of that will help you get it under your belt, but hopefully it will!  Go Practice!!!


Online Drum Lessons with Stephen Taylor

Thursday, October 18, 2012

5 Essential Reggae Drum Fills Every Drummer Should Know

Keeping with the reggae theme we've got going on the YouTube channel this week, here's a lesson on 5 essential reggae drum fills that every drummer should know.  Simple and effective.

Online Drum Lessons with Stephen Taylor

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Reggae Drumming How To - "She's Gone" by Bob Marley and The Wailers

Ever since I put my first online drum lesson up that addressed the Reggae One Drop, I've had requests to do a couple of follow ups.  So, here ya go.  A breakdown of the groove for "She's Gone" by Bob Marley and The Wailers.  Have fun mon!

 Online Drum Lessons with Stephens Taylor

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The Purdie Shuffle - Online Drum Lessons

I've NEVER had a lesson as requested as this one.  So, here ya go.  A simple breakdown of a really classic and applicable groove.

Online Drum Lessons with Stephen Taylor

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Linear Triplet Fill - Online Drum Lessons

A completely new online drum lesson for you to check out!  We're looking at a linear triplet pattern.  This is the debut lesson for the new studio, and as my way of saying "thanks" for all of the support I'm offering a 7 day free trial of the online drum lessons that I stream on my website.  This is your chance to check them out, hang with some of the other students, and see if they might be a fit for you and your drumming.  I'd love to see you in there!  Now GO PRACTICE!!!

Online Drum Lessons with Stephen Taylor

Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Herta - Intermediate Application

Another old lesson I've just put back on the channel.  An intermediate drum set application for the herta.  Have fun!

Online Drum Lessons with Stephen Taylor

Saturday, September 22, 2012

The Herta Advanced Drumset Application - Online Drum Lessons

And one more old lesson.  An advanced application of the herta for the drum kit.

Online Drum Lessons with Stephen Taylor

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Doubles Around The Drum Set - Online Drum Lessons

All this week I'm serving up some of the older online drum lessons that I've done.  Can't believe it's been over two years since I posted the first video lesson!  I ask where you're from in this one...let me know!

This is a technique that I've used for years.  The exercise breaks down how to begin to split your doubles up around the drum set.

Online Drum Lessons With Stephen Taylor

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Herta

So I'm on a kick here...throwing back up some of the older online drum lessons that I had taken down.  This is a quick one on a great hybrid rudiment called the Herta.  Oh...and I tell a story about a lion dog that used to live in my neighborhood...gotta get me one of those...

Online Drum Lessons with Stephen Taylor

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Songo - Online Drum Lessons

I just threw these lessons back up on the ol YouTube channel.  It's a 3 part series I did on the Songo...Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced.  This is very similar to how I approach the topics for the online drum lessons that I do via my website.  BTW, I've just re-vamped the live lessons vault.  All lessons, both past and live, are now viewable on the iPhone, iPad, PC, Mac, Android, or any other streaming device you have.  Pretty excited about that.  As I mentioned above, these are older lessons...keep watching and I'll be debuting the new studio soon!

Online Drum Lessons with Stephen Taylor

Monday, September 17, 2012

Online Drum Lessons - Brann Dailor Lick

A quick lesson that addresses one of the techniques that Brann Dailor uses in his fills.

Also, if you haven't yet, you need to sign up for my FREE drum lessons...they don't suck, I promise.

Online Drum Lessons with Stephen Taylor

Friday, August 10, 2012

30 Second Drum Lesson - "15 Step" - Radiohead

One of my all time fav bands.  Such an infectious groove to play!

 Also, be sure and sign up for the FREE weekly email lessons HERE.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Some Free Sheet Music and Lessons

Download Sheet Music
Sign Up For The Free Weekly Lessons

Subscribe to the Live Lessons

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Nothing To Do With Drumming...

Most everything on this blog is about drumming...except this.  I do other things with my time,'s one of them...

Meet "The Make Believables"...

Kelli and I decided we needed a project to work on together...we both love kids books. So we've decided to write one about a group of kid's that learn about life by using their imaginations...with EPIC illustrations by the one and only Brian Nobles. You can watch the short video to see what it's all about.

Here's how you can help (and no you don't have to give money if you don't want to)...simply share the link with your friends here, through email, and on Twitter (Link: If we reach our publishing funding goal, we finish the book. If not, we don't. That simple. Along with a copy of the book, there is a TON of great additional swag for your support, including donations to local libraries.

In advance, we really appreciate the support and help in getting the word out!

Now...Back to the drums!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

These Lessons Don't Suck

In an effort to find a way to better proliferate the drum knowledge throughout the worldwide intrawebz, I've started a new and COMPLETELY FREE weekly email subscription. It's called "These Lessons Don't Suck". It's pretty simple, you go HERE, enter your email addy, and I send you a free weekly email lesson. The lesson will consist of a PDF breakdown of a concept, a PDF and audio breakdown, or a PDF and video breakdown. Sometimes it will just be sheet music, sometimes a full on video lesson. What I can promise you it will NOT be is spam. One email a week, with a lesson...that's it.

Disclaimer: I sell some things on my website. This isn't news to anyone. I will alert you when there is a new book, a new offer on the live lessons, or something cool is happening on the site. But that's it.  This email subscription is about DRUM LESSONS not spammy, cheesy hocking of widgets.  I just wanted to be clear ;^)

Of course, the live weekly drum lessons are still happening (sign up this month and get a free copy of my newest book "An Introduction To Interdependence").  Go here to sign up for those lessons.

So, if you're interested, please hop on over to the site and sign up.  I promise, these lessons don't suck.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Book Sale!

Last time I'm gonna mention it guys, just want you to be able to get these things cheap.  Everything in my bookstore is 18% off today...just use the code: CAUGHT when you check out...That includes "Functioning In Time", "The Drummer's Bullpen", The Hardback Practice Log, and "An Introduction To Interdependence".  I promise...these books don't suck.

Go Here To Snag All Four

Thursday, June 28, 2012


I've been telling you about it for a few weeks...and now it's here. My new book, "An Introduction To Interdependence" is out today and I couldn't be more excited! I've been SUPER busy these past few weeks getting this book together...but it's finally done. It's all about getting your four limbs communicating with your brain. Once you work through the exercises in this book, your facility on the kit will be through the roof. I'm working through it myself and will be doing some live lessons on the topics, as well as some YouTube lessons, covered in the book. Here's the deal...if you sign up for the monthly live lessons, you will get a FREE digital copy of the book with your first month's subscription. That's a KILLER deal! Here's the link to sign up for the lessons and get your free book: Sign Up For Live Lessons

 If you're not interested in the live lessons and just want to snag the book, here's the links to do that. I would ask one favor...if you snag a copy, leave a review of what you think of the content. And PLEASE...make it an honest review! I don't want a bunch of sugar coated fluff. Your comments and reviews let me know where I can improve...and it lets me know where I got things right.
  Buy a Hard Copy of the Book
  Buy a Digital Copy of the Book

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

One Hour Left...

At the risk of spamming...I simply want to let everyone know, you have exactly 1 HOUR to snag a month long trial subscription to the live lessons for $1. After that, it's gone. I hope to "give" away as many subscriptions as I can in the next hour... Go Here:

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Drum Lesson - The Open Handed Tachnique

Here's a pattern to help you work on your open handed technique. I mention it in the video, but the $1 trial subscription special for your first month of live lessons will end in 7 days!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

"An Introduction to Interdependence"

I've just finished my third method book and it will be hitting the big wide intranet in the next week or so. I'll be doing some nifty specials with the live lessons to go along with the release, so keep your ears and eyes open. Here's what the book is about...I'm kinda've excited to work on this material myself!

About This Book...

 This book is aimed at addressing one of the most common topics I hear discussed among drummers. Independence...or, as I like to call it INTERdependence, which means being able to play various rhythms with different limbs simultaneously, with the end goal being complete creative expression.

I’ll go ahead and burst your’re never going to get there. The further you go and the more you learn will only reinforce to yourself that you have light years more to travel. And that’s ok. It’s the reason we continue to get up every morning and make time to improve our playing.

The studies you’ll find inside this book are aimed at helping you on your journey towards creative expression. I mentioned the term “interdependence” earlier. I like that term much better than “independence”. The term independence essentially means freedom from the control, influence, support, and aid of others. Never in my playing have I had a limb on my body that was free from the influence of the others. It’s impossible. They balance each other out. I will agree you may have worked a rhythm or ostinato so much that you are able to play virtually anything on top of it with one of your other three limbs, but this doesn’t make your limbs independent of each other. It simply means you’re really coordinated. Interdependence refers to a relationship in which each member is mutually dependent on the other. This term more correctly defines how we as drummers should approach things. Let me explain.

To begin explaining my theory of interdependence, we must first look at another theory I have. The theory of 5 way coordination. That term might not make sense at first. We only have 4 limbs, right? I’ll agree with you there. There are only 4 limbs on our body that we play the drums with. That being said, I’ve never seen a drummer that could play without their mind. To be able to really attain freedom in your playing, you must first be able to actively think about what you are playing WHILE you are playing it. You have to be able to tell your right foot to play a certain rhythm, or to tell your left hand to move to the ride cymbal, etc. You also must be able to COUNT everything you’re playing while you are playing it. All of this requires a fifth limb, and that’s your mind.

Think about it. It happens to my students all of the time while in a lesson. I give them an assignment. Then they go home, hit the woodshed, work hard, and come back the next week being able to play it. They’re not only playing it, they’re KILLING it! All of their limbs are going in different’s impressive. Then I ask them to do one thing that invariably stops them dead in their tracks every time. I simply say, ”That sounds great. Let’s play it again, but this time, count out loud.” They immediately go from sounding like Tony Williams to sounding more like Tony McMasterson, the 12-year old kid that takes lessons at his local music shop in Boise, Idaho. What happened? Well, it’s simple...they spent time working on their 4 way coordination but never touched their 5 way coordination. Playing on a professional level is impossible without the ability to count out loud, think about what you are playing, and why you are playing it. To read big band charts properly and set up the horn sections, you have to count. I tried it the other way...I used to leave jazz ensemble rehearsal completely drenched in sweat and embarrassed. Seriously, I had to start wearing two shirts to class everyday because I was sweating so much! I simply wasn’t counting the rhythms, because I hadn’t taught myself to do so...and my playing was suffering BIG TIME.

So, throughout this book, let’s think in terms of 5 way coordination. In every exercise, reading study, and melodic study you work through, force yourself to count out loud. Force yourself to actively think about what rhythm your left hand is playing and what relation it has to the rhythms that your other three limbs are playing.

If you’re actively thinking about what you are playing, which you should ALWAYS be present in mind when you’re playing, and if you view your mind as a fifth limb, then it is virtually impossible to ever have independence. You will always have interdependence. And your playing will sound better than it ever has!

The exercises contained in the following pages are aimed at giving you the facility you need to take your playing to another level. You won’t find new “licks” to use on a gig. You’re not going to gain new grooves to add to your playing. What you will find are exercises aimed at working on weak spots in your playing. Working through the pages in this book will give you the facility to create new grooves, come up with complex patterns, and perform at a higher level in any situation you’re put in. It’s not my job to be creative for you. It’s my job to give you the tools to build your creativity. I haven’t given you material that you will be able to learn and immediately use on a gig. I’ve given you exercises for your practice time. Once you gain the coordination to play the exercises and rhythms, it’s up to YOU to figure out how to creatively apply them to the situations you find yourself in.

I promise you, if you will take the time to work through the studies found in this book, you will find your playing will be taken to a new level. You will have better coordination, better creative expression, and the ability to really think about and understand what you are playing while you are playing it. I encourage you to take the challenge. I’d also love to know how you’re progressing in your studies and how the book helps you. Feel free to direct any of your questions or comments to I answer each and every email personally.

Monday, May 7, 2012

How To Drum - A Latin Flavored Paradiddle

We've been dissecting the paradiddle in the live lessons and putting it through some systems to help incorporate it into your kit playing. So much fun! This treatment has a bit of a latin flare to it. Sign up for the live lessons now and get your first trial month for only $1!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

30 Second Drum Lesson - Amazing Fill (Just For Fun Guys)

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Drum Cover Request- "We Are Young"- Fun.

I've had a ton of requests to put up a new drum cover. To be honest, I would rather teach a lesson...but...I do what i'm told ;^)

Hope you guys enjoy!

LIVE STREAMING online drum lessons 7 times a week @

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Meet My Wife (aka The Hotness)

I've been on here for years and you guys have never met my better half. Here ya go!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Using the Crash Cymbal in Your Double Stroke Rolls

Here's a technique that I use a TON!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

30 Second Drum Lessons - Kings of Leon Series

Had some requests for a few KOL groove breakdowns. As you wish!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

How To Tune A Snare Drum

I get this question almost here ya go. A practical lesson on how to tune a snare drum.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

New Student - Welcome Ashley!

One of the new students, Ashley, signed up last week, jumped in with both feet, and has already posted a vid of the stuff she's mastering from the live lessons. Watch out fellas, she's a KILLA!!!

Also, wanna welcome Jason to the live lessons as well! Pumped to have ya bro!


Thursday, February 2, 2012

John Bonham Triplets - 30 Second Drum Lesson

We break 'em 30 seconds or less!!!

Drum Solo Help


Im going to be in a drum off and have been watchin your videos for help and love them. Got any ideas to make my solo pop and stand out to others? and any ideas on what i should play?


100jasonallin (YouTube)

Sorry it took me so long to respond...I've been swamped!

And sure...the biggest thing you want to have in your pocket when you go to a drum off or drum competition is a clear idea of what you're going to play. I always come up with a motif...a recurring theme that I will come back to, build upon, revert to if I lose my head and get lost in the solo. It can be a 1 bar phrase, an interesting groove, a 4 bar idea, etc...there are no rules, you simply want to have a reference point that you can come back to, one that links the whole solo together for the listener and judges. After you figure that out, make 4-5 different sections. Each section should lean heavily on skills and licks that you already have down cold.

The biggest thing you want to do is HAVE FUN! You'll learn so much just by participating in something like a drum competition...the next one you enter will be ten times better than this one, I promise you that.

Hope that helps!


Snare Strand Size

Hi Stephen,

hope you're good mate. Quick question I'm sure you'll be able to answer..
I need some new snare wires for a couple of 14" snare drums, and i'm looking online for some good ones. When they say
'14" snare wires'
does that mean wires for a 14" snare drum? or the wires themselves are 14" long? because obviously i need the wires to be an inch shorter than the drum. I hope that makes sense.
I was trying to google this but it wasn't working for me so thought i'd ask you.
Thanks buddy


What's up Danny...

I can see how you'd be confused. The 14" means it's for a 14" snare drum. I hope that helps bro!


Friday, January 20, 2012

how To Drum - Beginner Linear Groove

Sometimes linear patterns can seem least to me they are. The reality is, they're simply several smaller patterns, or fragments, put together to make a longer pattern. Once you learn the "words" you need to make a "sentence" then you're good to go. Here's a simple linear groove that sounds cool and that you'll be playing in 5 minutes.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Student Video From Belgium

It's amazing to me that I am able to teach students in Belgium...and Finland...and the UK...and Scotland...and Canada...and the list goes on and on. Seriously, it's humbling to teach a linear pattern and then hear from a drummer halfway across the see their progress. That's what drives me these days...seeing drummers from all over the world improve their playing. Here's Tielman from Belgium kicking one of the linear patterns from the live lessons...

On the Pad

On the Kit

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Hip-Hop Drum Fills?

Hey Stephen,

First off i like all your clips on youtube. Ive been following techniques and tips from your videos for over a half year now.
I will subscribe to your site later on this week.

I am currently playing in two groups. The second is in the hiphop.soul.rock genre.
For the second group all the songs are already recorded either electronically or by there formular drummers. The presure is a bit bigger for this group, because there is a management and everything...
Because it is hiphop it is much about the beat and i have no problem to play there songs but i want to give them and make it for me a little bit interesting. Most of the songs are around 80-90 bpm and played in 16th notes,2 bar or 4 bar beats. I really have a hard time finding descent fills to make it interesting.

Is this for example also something you help people with?
I am only playing for 3,5 years, started at age 25 :)

What's up Tielman!

Once you gave me your YouTube named I knew exactly who you were...Thanks so much for the email! I'm so glad the lessons on You Tube have been helpful...that's what they're there for.

It's great that you've getting involved in various groups. Hip hop is a different animal. I love playing it because the beauty is in its simplicity. It's all about the groove and making people move to the beat. That's a totally different skill than throwing a bunch of licks in. It's good that you're thinking about how you can enhance the parts that are already there, make it yours, and also make it a bit interesting rhythmically. My biggest piece of advice would be to LISTEN to the style of particular, listen to a band called The Roots. They've been around for a really long time. They're what is called "Organic Hip-Hop". All of them play the instruments live. Their drummer, Questlove, is a BEAST! Just by listening to their albums, you will learn a ton of effective and useful fills. My other piece of advice would be...when in doubt, keep it simple. Hip-hop doesn't need a ton of's all about the groove. Focus on making your grooves as tight as you can. Use this opportunity to work on that area of your playing.

It's alot of pressure working with a band that has management and a regular schedule of shows. You're on the right track're thinking about the gig and what you can do to enhance the music. That's a sign of a real musician.

I actually do help drummers with this sort of thing. If you subscribe to the live lessons, I'll make it a point to devote a couple of lessons in the next few weeks to this particular topic and style. I love coming up with lesson topics around issues that my students are having trouble with. It's what drives me as a teacher.

I'd love to have you join the online lessons. Today is Funky Drummer Day...we do it once a month and we pick apart a couple of funk grooves. We're looking at some grooves from a band called The Funky Meters with Zigaboo Modeliste on drums. Gonna be a blast!


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Students Working Through the Lessons

I get really excited whenever I'm able to check out how some of the live students are coming along. Chris posted a few from recent lessons...Check it out!

Meet Chris

Cascara Soca Lesson

Some of the grooves we worked on in the Soca lessons

A fill from one of the linear lessons

This one is from one of the YouTube lessons. He KILLS it!!!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

How To Drum - The Cascara Soca

What do you get when you mix a cascara bell pattern with a soca groove? Something really cool, that's what!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Do I Use Heel Up or Heel Down?

Hey Travis,

Of course I remember you bro! Glad the downloads are working now.

I get this question alot and I'm probably going to do an extended post on the topic in the future...the 'ol heel up or heel down conundrum. Here's the most recent question...

"Hey Stephen, my name is Travis. I actually have a question regarding the killer bass drum speed lesson. I have been taking lessons for about 2 years and that said am very curious about your pedal technique. Do you use the same pedal technique during the constant 16th notes hits versus the doubles and sextuplets section? Would love to see some shots of your foot during the video, but don't know if that's possible. I agree the internet is full of cure all bass drum techniques that don't deliver. I understand that lots of practice with solid technique is the only answer. I guess, as a beginner, I am asking if you might have any tips in pedal technique or videos available. Thanks!"

Hey Travis,

I don't have any lessons available on pedal technique. That being said, here's my two cents on it.

Yes, I use the same technique on both. It's a cross between heel up and heel down that allows me to get the beater off of the head quickly after I make the initial stroke but also gives me the speed and agility and power associated with heel up. I think you should know all three equally well...heel up, heel down, and neutral. You should be able to play quickly and slowly with all of them. They're just tools to use. One isn't right or better. It's your personal preference and what feels best to you. But most of all, you have to just put the time into practicing. I'm working on heel/toe technique right now...I think the possibilities with that position are countless, but it's really hard to reteach yourself technique, so it'll take a while.

I don't know if that helps at all, but that's my two cents on the topic. Foot technique is frustrating to deal with...I applaud you for taking the time and effort to really try and make yourself the best player you can be. You inspire me to go practice!

Don't hesitate to shoot me any other questions you may have in the future!


Saturday, January 7, 2012

Question on a Chad Smith lick

"Good evening Stephen ! (I'm french so I beg your pardon for my bad english)

Firstly, I'd like to congratulate you for your videos which are very helpful, i really improved my play thanks to you! (I'm playing drums for two years). You are certainly busy, I don't want to annoy you or abuse from your work but I think you could help me. I really enjoy Chad Smith's drumming, I find it's really groovy. I try, but I don't understand a pattern

I would like to understand the pattern he is playing at 1 :00 with his floor toms and bass drum. Can you help me ?

Thank you very much !


Hey Louis,

Thanks so much for the email! And your English is fantastic, alot better than my French, lol!!! I'm really glad the lessons are such a big help for you. That means alot.

Your questions don't annoy me at all man...that's why i'm here, to help. The pattern you're asking about is pretty simple in concept, but the speed he's playing at makes it harder. It's essentially Right-Left-Foot-Foot or Left-Right-Foot-Foot. He starts the pattern on the left hand and alternates between the two patterns I just listed. Killer melody he's making on the toms! I hope that helps you pick it apart.

Since the lessons are such a help, I thought you might be interested in a special I'm running for January. Sign up for the live lessons and you can lock in the $18.99 monthly price (for 16 half hour lessons a month, sheet music, and the live lessons vault) PLUS you get one of my books of your choice for FREE sent to your mailbox (a $19.99 value in and of itself). It's just my way of saying thanks for the support! The live lesson vault already has over 30 half hour lessons in it on everything from linear fills to James Brown grooves to the mambo, so you would have a TON to keep you occupied for a while. You can sign up here if you're interested in taking advantage of the January offer:

Don't hesitate to send me any other questions you have!


Monday, January 2, 2012

Student Shed - Jason and the Linear Pattern

We studied a linear pattern in the live lessons a couple of weeks ago. Not only did we look at a pattern, we broke out the individual stickings and started to learn how to use those to create countless other fills and patterns. Love how Jason is already trying to think outside of the box with the pattern!