Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Drumming In Church But Want To Do More

Every day my inbox is filled with questions from drummers around the world.  I'm not saying that to brag or make me seem important...because I'm not.  But I do believe that there are a lot of drummers out there that are looking for a little direction, need a kick in the pants, are stuck on a question, or just need to find a teacher.  I don't mind helping out.  Seeing as I have a back log of literally hundreds of questions from drummers like yourself, I thought I would post some of those questions here in hopes that they would help you out too.  And as always, if you have any thoughts or questions on the subject at hand, throw them in the comments section.

"Hello Stephen,

My name is William and I'm an intermediate drummer (or so I say). I've been playing for over two years with "some" but not great advancement due to time constrains. I usually take classes at my church. I enjoy watching your videos and the way you teach although I find some of the lessons harder than others. I would like to continue growing my drumming practical and intellectual knowledge and for this reason I would like your advice on what type of program do you offer or recommend in order for me to achieve this goal. 

My apologies if my request seems too technical or somewhat robotic. I really like and enjoy playing drums,  it grows out of passion and when I mix it with worship I  sort of go crazy and unfortunately tend to go all over the place. So if you can guide me towards the right direction I would really appreciate it.

Thanks a lot,


Hey W,

Thanks so much for the email!

I love your attitude towards the drums.  And I love that you play in church (I regularly play at my church here in Nashville).  Regardless of who/where you take lessons and learn, you need to find some.  You also need to be hyper organized about your practice time.  Especially if you have limited time to practice.  It's not about how much time you put in on the drums, it's how productive that time is.  I actually have a two part series talking specifically about how to organize your practice time to be most effective.  Marking out a goal, setting markers to achieve it, tracking your progress...that's what it is all about.

As far as what programs I offer...well, to be honest, the live lessons on my site are going to be the best bang for your buck.  There is a 7 day 100% money back guarantee, so you can try them out at no risk to see if it's what you need.  There are over 300 lessons with sheet music for you to look through...everything from linear fills to song breakdowns to rudiments to technical advice.  If you miss the live times, you can simply catch up later in the vault.  They're able to be viewed on any mobile device or home computer.  If you're looking for a plan to follow, there are over 20 student tracks in the members area that take you through a specific topic and give you a test at when you're done to let you know that you've mastered that topic.  New additions to the site: The Art of Soloing (we talk about the specifics of how to solo and the skills involved), a playalongs section, and a lot more.  There is also a student YouTube channel where students regularly upload videos of themselves playing so that I can critique and help them improve.  It's as interactive as you want it to be.  If you do decide to take me up on the free trial, I would be happy to make you out a lesson plan for you to go through.  I would just need to know what level of a player you are, what you need to work on, and what you want to work on.  We can then devise a plan that works specifically for you.  Once you finish that one, I would be happy to make you another.  

I'm simply giving you the info about that because you asked what I offer/suggest.  You can go here to see everything that a membership offers.

Whatever you do, seek out some instruction.  You'll grow much faster!

-Stephen T.
Organized, fun, and goal oriented online drum lessons at www.StephensDrumShed.com

"Hi Stephen,

I'm going take upon your offer. However, I am also interested in setting a program like you said and join the live session (even though I'll most likely review them from the vault). My hope is for this investment to bear fruit at its due time. I believe I'm choosing correctly and thank you for helping me and others reach not only great musician levels but worshipers. 

Moreover, how would you asses my level in drumming? ( since you mentioned you'd need to know my level), video? Or only sound?. To give you heads up, my drums are set in a room with poor acoustics. 



Hey W,

Excited to have you be a part of things!  To answer your questions...either an audio or video are fine.  If it's a video, just make sure that it is a clean shot of your torso so that I can see your posture, hand positioning, etc.  The sound quality doesn't matter ;^)

Just sign up, send me a video or upload one to the student YouTube channel (you get the username and password when you sign up), and then let me know what you feel you need to work on and what you want to work on.  Give me a couple of days and I will have one out to you. 

Let me know if you have any other questions!  Looking forward to making you a lesson plan and getting you started on your way to becoming the best you can be on the drums!

-Stephen T.
Organized, fun, and goal oriented online drum lessons at www.StephensDrumShed.com

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Incorporating Left Handed Hi-Hat Patterns Into a Groove

I asked everyone on Facebook what they would like a lesson on. Well, I got a TON of requests so I had to pick one. One suggestion was how to incorporate left hand patterns on the hi-hat into ride cymbal grooves (ala Carter Beauford and Ray Luzier). I thought that would be a fun one. It was something that I sought to incorporate into my playing when I was coming up. Here's a simple groove that will help you begin to master this concept. Be sure and stop by the website to see what all of the new buzz is about! And if you haven't signed up for the free email lessons that I offer, well, you should. 'Cause it's free. And they don't suck. And did I mention they're free??? Enough said...GO PRACTICE!!!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Sextuplet Accent Patterns - Full half hour lesson

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Wow! The response to the new format of the lessons has totally blown me away. As a thank you, I wanted to send a special lesson out this week. This is a full half hour lesson taken from a series I did on sextuplet accent patterns. I sent it out to the email subscribers last week, but I wanted to share it with my blogging buddies as well.

Go here to see the lesson.

For those of you that I got to see at PASIC last week, you don't know how much it means to have time to hang and talk drums.  Thanks so much for the support.

As always, email me with any questions you may have. And if you haven't read about the changes we made last week, you can do that here.

-Stephen T.
Organized, goal oriented, and fun online drum lessons