FA Drumset: Essential Skills and Techniques

A Fresh Approach to Drumset Essential Skills and Techniques featuring Stanton Moore!

 
Learning the fundamental skills and techniques behind playing the drums is one of the most important aspects that all drummers should spend time with. Without hand and foot technique, a drumset player will always be limited in his or her ability to make music!
 
These lessons deal with some of the most essential skills – from rudiments, reading and independence, Stanton not only breaks down each technique for the younger player, but also shows how he uses the fundamentals on an advanced level!
 

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Most great drummers know how important it is to learn your rudiments - but the problem is that a lot of the rudiments don't immediately apply to the drumset. Even though you MIGHT be able to figure out a way to make a Double Ratamacue sound interesting on a fill, the rudiments that WILL apply to EVERY groove and fill should be the ones you spend the most time on.
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One of the most fundamental elements behind becoming a relaxed player is how you set up your drums. Stanton demonstrates a step-by-step method to getting a setup that will put you in the most relaxed position possible to play the drumset.
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Fundamentally speaking, it really doesn't matter how great your technique is - if your drums are tuned like old cardboard boxes, you'll never sound good! Stanton demonstrates how to tune your drums to create a nice balanced sound across the entire kit.
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No matter what level of a player you are, you should have some advice on how to grip the sticks properly. Even though it seems like a fairly natural act, there are lots of considerations to make when you pick up the sticks! Stanton takes you though his grip - and talks about the pros and cons of matched AND traditional grip.
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The rebound stroke (also called the "free stroke" or "natural stroke") is the most relaxed way of playing the drums - and the stroke you should learn FIRST! Stanton demonstrates this fundamental concept and shows you a great exercise to work on your stroke.
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One of the first fundamental practice routines every drummer should establish is working on stick control - or combinations of single, double and triple strokes. Stanton demonstrates how to practice at a basic level to establish a great sound from right to left hand - then shows how even the most advanced players can apply a single sticking combination to create a huge library of grooves. This lesson isn't just for beginners!
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3 more fundamental stroke styles that every drummer should know: The tap stroke (sometimes called "ghost notes"), down stroke (accent stroke) and up stroke. Stanton demonstrates how these basic strokes are combined when playing all styles of drumming and concludes with an "Accent / Tap" exercise that is essential when playing fast hi-hat ride patterns.
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Stanton demonstrates the "heel-up" and "heel down" approach to playing the pedals - plus shows you his own hybrid technique that he uses in his own playing. A great lesson, even for more experienced players!
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Sometimes trying to play your first rock beat is difficult if you haven't worked to develop some independence between your limbs. In this lesson, you'll learn how to play a solid "ride pattern" on the closed hi-hat and put some snare drum or bass drum notes with it. Including play-along tracks that make learning fun!
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Learning to play the drums without learning to read music is like memorizing the alphabet, but never learning to read words! With this step-by-step method, you'll soon realize how easy reading music really is. This lesson includes all the basic notation elements, plus easy exercises with play-along tracks that'll get you started - and you'll have a blast doing it!
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This lesson is Part 2 of learning to read music: 8th notes. Includes exercises with play-along files, plus reading files from the Appendix. Stanton demonstrates how to take basic exercises and apply them to work on 3 and 4 way independence.
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These exercises are great for learning the independence necessary between the feet when playing open hi-hat patterns. Stanton shows you how to make great sizzle sounds and time the feet accurately. A fundamental skill for the beginning drummer!
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Gaining independence between the feet is important to every level of player. By focusing on the open/close hi-hat patterns in these exercises, you can clean up otherwise sloppy sounding rock beats!
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Stanton introduces you to the first three ESSENTIAL rudimentals: Single Strokes ("single stroke roll"), Double Strokes ("double stroke / open roll") and Paradiddle. Using a relaxed rebound stroke, these rudiments are easily approachable by all beginner drummers - yet is essential for even the most advanced players!
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The 4th Essential Rudiment that every drummer should know! Stanton demonstrates how to produce a great multiple bounce (buzz) on each hand, the combine them to play a buzz roll. Then, he shows you how he applies this fundamental technique to his everyday playing. Not a lesson only for beginners - this is great info for even experienced players!
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Learning to apply accents to the paradiddle sticking is an important foundational element to learning to play other rudiments. Stanton takes you through the basic strokes, shows you how to achieve speed with this rudiment - and demonstrates how applying accents to other sticking patterns can create some great grooves! A great lesson for even advanced level players!
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Another Essential Rudiment that every drummer should know! In this lesson, Stanton demonstrates how to learn the Five Stroke Roll with a traditional "double stroke" approach, then with multiple bounces. To show you how he applies the 5 stroke roll to his every day playing, Stanton melds a traditional "military march" into a very hip New Orleans 2nd line cadence that'll have you jumping back to the practice pad! For beginning as well as more advanced players!
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A "Drag" (sometimes called a RUFF) is one of the most prevalent rudiments used on the drumset. Stanton shows you how to play a clean "open" drag, then buzz it to create some great sounds to fills around the kit! A great lesson, whether you're a beginner or advanced player!
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Two of the most useful rudiments (especially in a jazz context) are the Paradiddle-diddle and the Six Stroke Roll (with the relaxed, "triplet" interpretation). Stanton shows you how to apply these two rudiments in a jazz context!
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Taking basic stick control patterns and applying accents can open up a world of grooves and fills. Stanton shows you how a simple sticking combination can be applied to a variety of different grooves.
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In this lesson, Stanton demonstrates how to apply drags (diddles/doubles) and flams to a four note "grid". This popular exercise is used for lots of rudimental patterns and can open a world of technical difficulties!
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This is one of the most fundamental techniques you must learn to be able to control ghost-notes on intermediate to advanced rock & funk beats! Stanton demonstrates this three note pattern, then applies it to several grooves using the controlled rebound as the ride.
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This lesson deals with applying the Controlled Rebound Stroke that you learned previously to triplets. Stanton demonstrates how to use the Moeller stroke style to get a nice, relaxed "accented 3" feel that will enhance your groove on any triplet based feel. Includes exercises to work on the independence between the accented 3 ride pattern and the feet or opposite hand!
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Advanced grooves often require that you be able to play a ghost note immediately following a strong backbeat. Unlike the triple "rebound stroke" that you learned in the previous controlled stroke exercises, this technique is quite a bit different. Stanton describes the control points in the fulcrum and gives you several exercises that immediately applies this technique to a triplet groove. This lesson also covers an important rudiment that applies this technique: The Swiss Army Triplet!
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Most drumset players know the benefit of working on "Stick Control" patterns, but fewer might never delve much into the subject past the normal 8th note (duple) subdivisions. Triplet sticking patterns are very worthwhile to study - and Stanton shows you several great applications that you can use for this essential fundamental!
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Learning to read syncopated 8th note rhythms is an essential skill - whether you want to play jazz or just learn some great new rock beats quickly and easily! This lesson includes several pages of reading exercises that are presented in a step-by-step easy to learn progression.
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Although 4/4 is considered 'COMMON TIME', it isn't the only time signature that's used in music! This lesson teaches the fundamentals behind reading quarter and eighth note rhythms in 3/4 time. Includes tons of reading exercises!
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12/8 (or 6/8 and 3/8) time signatures can seem daunting for those who aren't used to seeing them, yet many tunes in a blues or shuffle styles use this time in music notation. This lesson will demystify the "8 time" confusion and teach you with step-by-step exercises the most common 12/8 notation!
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An essential element of the jazz style is snare or bass drum "comping" underneath the ride cymbal and hi-hat patterns. This lesson includes 2 full pages of comping patterns (practically every combination of triplet based rhythms that you'll ever run into), which will develop independence between the limbs. Stanton shows you how to apply these patterns in real world musical situations. Also included are 6 playalongs, recorded at various tempos that you can practice with!
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One key role of the drummer in a jazz big band or small group situation is to provide a "setup" to "kick" an ensemble figure. In these exercises, Stanton shows you how to play a 1, 2 & 3 count fill to setup and kick ensemble figures. Includes extensive exercises and play-along tracks to help you practice this essential skill!
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Once you've learned the basics behind setting up and kicking an ensemble figure, then you'll need to learn how to deal with more complicated figures that a band might play. This lesson deals with 1 and 2 bar figures - and shows you how ensemble articulations should be handled on the kit. Included are extensive exercises and play-along tracks to practice this essential skill!
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In this lesson, Stanton demonstrates how you can take the duple and triple "stick control patterns" and apply them to the jazz ride to help with independence and coordination.
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Every drummer should know some basics on how to play with brushes! Stanton demonstrates common sweeping patterns & plays a great brush solo that'll inspire you to learn even more!