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Richard's Drum Universe

About the blog

FREE DRUM LESSONS!!! This blog will incorporate drum lessons, drum patterns, music theory, advice, random drum related stuff... just anything related to drumming, teaching them and learning how to play them. This service is provided for free. Hopefully, you'll find it useful.

Spring Exam Results

Exam Results Posted on Sat, April 04, 2015 14:16:07

Many Congratulations to the following students who all passed their drum exams!

Passes with Distinction

David New 98 (Grade 7)
Richard Dalby 89 (Grade 1)

Passes with Merit

Joel Cane 83 (Grade 7)
Solomon Stone 83 (Grade 3)
Aayush Parmar 76 (Grade 2 snare)
Raphael Thompson 82 (Grade 2 snare)

Neil Edwards 73 (Grade 2)

Sonor SQ2

Waffles Posted on Sat, March 07, 2015 11:07:33

I don’t get too many opportunities to play my Sonor Kit. As is the case for many drummers, my best drum kit remains in cases most of the time. The Sonor SQ2 is a top of the range kit and it sounds amazing. This one has maple shells and a Rosewood veneer and I’m using Istanbul Traditional cymbals (good for rock) and a 19″ Zildjian Constantinople crash ride (good for jazz).

Happy New Year

Waffles Posted on Thu, January 01, 2015 12:43:22

Where do the days go? Here’s to lots more drumming in 2015! It’s going to be GREAT – I can just feel it.

Winter 2014 Exams

Exam Results Posted on Wed, December 03, 2014 14:12:54

All my students who took their drum exams last week have passed, and BOY have they passed…

Passes with Distinction
Mark Lovett 91 (Grade1)
Alex Haigh 89 (Grade 3)
Simon Dean 88 (Grade 8)

Passes with Merit
John Rawlings 76 (Grade 2)
Paul Ryan 85 (Grade 6)

Well done everyone!

Joel Cane

Waffles Posted on Fri, November 28, 2014 12:50:37

Congratulations to my student Joel Cane, who drums for the Enderby Youth and Concert band. In a recent brass band competition he won the ‘Best Soloist’ award for his playing during a piece called “Fascinating Drums”. The band also won the Leicestershire Brass Band Association Open Context (unregistered section). Keep up the good work, Joel!

Random Linear Patterns!

Drum lessons (advanced) Posted on Wed, November 19, 2014 21:39:02

Once upon a time I did a PhD in Unpredictable Popular Music. The patterns included in this worksheet were created randomly using MAX MSP.

They explore random linear sequences for the hi-hat, snare drum and bass drum. Although they are all 1 bar in length, each one may be repeated any number of times, either by itself or in combination with two or more sequences to produce a longer pattern. It should be noted, however, that longer sequences (e.g., playing through all 12 patterns!) will sound a lot more unpredictable than shorter ones. Repetition will help reduce this effect, for example, a four bar sequence could contain patterns 1, 2, 1, 6.

The sticking patterns should be followed exactly and memorised. Ideally, the player should learn to move between each sequence in any order, thus increasing the perception of unpredictability.

Download the PDF

Triple Stroke Roll Exercise

Drum lessons (advanced) Posted on Wed, July 30, 2014 12:08:50

For a while now I’ve been trying to improve my triple stroke roll. It’s not a rudiment I use that often but I believe that that’s just because I haven’t tried to incorporate it into my practise. It’s a perfectly good rudiment, I’ve just been a bit lazy. The other day when I was playing it I realised that the best possible thing I could do was write a piece that used it throughout, that was both challenging and fun, and above all sounded pretty good. And so, here it is. I’ve called it ‘Seeing Triple’ because by the end of it your eyes will hurt. Good luck!

You can download ‘Seeing Triple’ here.

Drummer’s Elbow – Active Release Techniques

Waffles Posted on Sun, July 13, 2014 11:52:04

If like me, you have ever suffered from tennis elbow, you’ll know what a nuisance it is. I’ve only really had it badly once, most of the time it’s just a constant nagging pain in the background. I used to get it when I’d carry the shopping home. By the time I’d get to put the bags down, I wouldn’t be able to bend my arm! And then there was this gig I did in a large working men’s club, where only my bass drum had been mic’d up. During the interval I received reports that the drums were lacking power…. I took this as a criticism, that I wasn’t putting enough into it. Actually, it was just the way my kit was sounding against everything coming out of the P.A.! I played really hard in the second half to compensate this and at the end of the night I had a tingling in my hands (early signs of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome) and then next day I had really bad tennis elbow. This sucks, I thought.

I’ve put up with it on and off for the best part of five years, when recently I asked one of my students, Tom (who just so happens to know stuff about physiotherapy through his work as an athletics coach coacher) and he showed me a few things that would help reduce the pain and eventually eradicate it.

Because, let’s face it, drumming, like athletics, involves a lot of repetitive action which puts a lot of stress on specific muscle groups, joins, ligaments, and stuff…. and yet, how often do drummers warm-up? And I don’t mean warming-up by playing paradiddles. I mean stretching and twisting the arms and fingers BEFORE picking the sticks up. As a drummer of nearly 30 years I honestly say that until now I NEVER did stretching exercises before playing – and here lies the problem!!!

Tennis Elbow (which I think we can rename Drummer’s Elbow) and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can be treated with some basic physio called ‘Active Release Technique’ which the following videos explain.

This first video explains the theory:
on the forearm…
// different but same idea…
// of the forearm…
Thanks go to Tom Crick for sending me these links.

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