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Speed, Power, Control, Endurance by Jim Chapin

Great drummers focus on doing the basics very well. Once they know the basics, they have a solid foundation upon which to build a more complex drumming vocabulary.  I consider the drumming basics to be hand technique, foot technique, drumming posture and hand/foot coordination.  Master these 4 areas and you will have the building blocks to be a great drummer.

The DVD Speed, Power, Control, Endurance by Jim Chapin is a definitive work about one of these 4 drumming basics: hand technique.  If you learn the concepts on this DVD and put them into practice when you play the drum set, you will have no reason to worry about studying drumming hand technique from anyone else.

Chapin teaches on so many different levels at once that this DVD is great for beginners and for advanced drummers as well. I’ve watched the DVD many times over a number of years.  Each time I watch, I learn something new because I’ve grown as a player since the last time I watched.  Drummers at any level can learn something from this DVD!

Recently I wrote a post about Read More…

How Whale Blubber Improved My Drumming Posture

Muktuk. You ever hear of it? Loosely translated it means “whale blubber.”  I had never heard the word let alone understood its meaning until I played in Anchorage, Alaska with a rock ‘n’ roll band called The Family Jewels (good band with a funny name).

My band mates and I flew to Anchorage to play a 6 week gig at the Gold Rush Hotel.  I remember, as we approached the Gold Rush for the first time, seeing the bright lights of the reader board: “Ballroom: Family Jewels / Lounge: Muktuk”. It was so exciting to see our band’s name “in lights.”  But who (or what) was Muktuk?  Was it a band?  Was it was some kind of Native American culture show? We couldn’t wait to find out!

We arrived late on a Sunday and didn’t have to play until Monday night. So we quickly unpacked our bags and headed to the lounge. As we approached the dark cave-like entrance, we could hear Read More…

I’ll Practice Drums on the Weekend!

Do you know what caused me to start drinking coffee? It wasn’t when I stayed up late to study or party in high school.  It wasn’t when I played until 2 AM on Sunday nights and then woke up at 6 AM for school on Monday.  It wasn’t when I played on the road 6 nights a week, 5 hours a night until 2 AM.  I didn’t even need coffee when I was working 2 day jobs and playing in bars until 2 AM.  I can remember being very tired during these times but I never got to the point where I needed caffeine.

You want to know what forced me to start drinking coffee?  Cramming for tests while going to night school.  Yes, waiting until the last minute and then staying up late, into the night, to study for a test or to complete a school project.

It was understandable, though.  I was working during the day, taking 1 or 2 classes in the evenings, and playing drums on the weekend.  Also, my wife and I had our first child during this time.  We were busy!  And I didn’t have time to study every night.  At least that’s what I thought…
Read More…

Can You Learn Drums Playing By Ear?

The Noblemen
The brightness from the stage lit up the front half of the dark elementary school gymnasium as the master of ceremonies approached the microphone.  Silhouettes of the heads in front of me started to rise with anticipation as the announcer introduced the last act of the school-wide talent show, a local band called The Noblemen.

It was all we could do to stay seated in the chairs that filled the basketball floor.  I could see the students lean forward in the bleachers that lined the walls as the band hit the opening chords of their first song.

The band sounded good beyond their years. The bass player, Ron, was in my eighth grade class at school. The guitar players, Randy and King, went to my church. And I knew that the drummer, Jim, was an eighth grader at a neighboring school.

Not only were The Noblemen technically good on their instruments, but they played with a feel that had everyone in the gymnasium tapping their feet and swaying to the music.  And that is what captivated me. How could a group of barely teenagers make a song feel so good and light up an audience?

As The Noblemen started their second song,  I noticed Read More…

Is Sheet Music Used When You Play Drums in a Band?

We need data! We can’t guess about something as important as a drummer using sheet music to play in a band.

And what’s the best way to get data from a drummer? Hang out at the local drum store?  How about conducting a phone survey?

But before we get into the phone survey, let me give you a little background.

I was asked this question recently: “aw hey i’d love to learn drums this might be a dumb question but can you get sheet music for it or is everything done by ear?”

It sounded to me like 3 different questions:

  1. Can you get sheet music for drums?
  2. Is sheet music used when you play drums in a band?
  3. Should you learn to play the drums by ear or by using sheet music?

I answered the first question here.  This post is answering the second question.  Now, back to the drum sheet music phone survey.
Read More…