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Techniques & Concepts

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Fun Jazz Independence Exercises

Learn four patterns from Ted Reed's Progressive Steps to Syncopation.
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Improvisation Workshop: Drum Fills

Do you have trouble making up drum fills on the fly? If so, you're not alone. A lot of drummers express difficulties and even anxiety when asked to do so. This lesson provides a template for practicing and developing your improvisational skills.
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Hi-Hat Fills? Why Not!?

This lesson strays from the common application of drum fills where toms and snare strokes are at the heart of the fill. By placing an emphasis on the hi-hat, a more subtle (but often effective) drum fill can emerge.
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Breaking Out of the 4/4 Rut

This lesson explores a slick alternative to playing in 4/4. The grooves are designed to be very similar to 4/4, but because they're actually in 7/8, the last would-be 8th note is missing. Stepping outside of your comfort zone is a great exercise to keep your drumming mind fresh.
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“AH”nother Take on Drum Fills

Drummers are often locked into the technique of playing a crash cymbal on beat 1 when coming out of a drum fill. There's a good reason for that: it works well in a lot of situations.
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The Easy Way to Get the Most Out of Your Beats

We've all spent time learning new drum beats, and that's great. However, we often learn a groove and then move onto the next without really getting the most out of the pattern.
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The Power of Dynamics

The term dynamics refers to how loudly or softly the music is played. Without changes in dynamics, music can sound dry or even robotic. This lesson is designed to show how greatly dynamics effect the feel of a drum beat.
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Hard Times – Tom Groove

This lesson explores the main tom groove used in the song Hard Times by Paramore and introduces an off-beat hi-hat foot technique.
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Killer Kick Drum Exercise – Single Pedal

Having trouble nailing your quick pedal kicks? This lesson explores a simple exercise for developing single pedal speed.
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Basic Linear Training Exercise

The third lesson in our exclusive Musicians Institute lesson series, this time we explore exercises that are designed to help you feel a repeated linear pattern of three sixteenth notes that travel over the bar. By doing this exercise you will be able to feel syncopated linear patterns in all possible sixteenth note subdivisions.
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Developing a Drum Beat – Part 2 (Funk, Rock and Metal Possibilities)

This week's lesson concludes the two-part series which explores developing an intermediate drum beat into a more advanced groove.
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Hi-Hat Technique – Steven Adler Style

This unique hi-hat technique is used by Steven Adler throughout the verses of the Guns N Roses hit Welcome to the Jungle.
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Accented Six-Stroke Roll Techniques

We've teamed up with Musicians Institute (MI) in Hollywood, CA to bring you lessons from the staff each month throughout Spring 2017. In this lesson, Stewart Jean (Drum Program Chair at MI), demonstrates unique accent exercises applied to the six-stroke-roll.
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John Bonham Inspired Drum Fill Ideas

For this week's lesson we are playing around with a classic John Bonham herta style drum fill. We will use this as an opener for a variety of other licks that vary in speed and complexity.
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Hi-Hat Ostinato Over 7/8 – Building Grooves

These grooves explore a steady, quarter-note hi-hat foot played over a 7/8 groove. Drum fills included.

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