In my last lesson we talked about practicing to strengthen each hand individually. Today we’ll talk about rudiments, drum fills, and your role as a drummer to support your ensemble.
As a drummer, one thing that I am very grateful for is that I understand all of the rudiments and how they work in time. I have worked with many different drummers/percussionists over the years, and there is no denying it that the students that spend the time putting in the work, (mastering the patterns one at a time on a practice pad while playing with a metronome at different tempos) are the ones that succeed musically in multiple styles and genres.
Our job as the drummer is to keep the time and beat for the ensemble. That means that we never want to over play and be too busy….ever.
When it comes to rudiments and using them appropriately within a drum pattern, think about what it is that you can do first to compliment the phrase. How can your fills be different than before simply by utilizing the amount of tonal surfaces that you have at your disposal?
When it comes to trying different patterns at the end of phrases, do your best to match the musicality of the melodic lead tones. Pay attention to whether the lead line is ascending or descending. Compliment these tones, again making sure to never over play, and respect the dynamics that shape the music.
Rudiments are the key to breaking beyond a simple pattern rock drummer. Seriously, if you are a drum student out there and you are reading this, spend time with the PAS Rudiments chart here over at the Percussive Arts Society website. It’s a great resource where you can focus on each individual rudiment one on one. There is even a great feature that lets you hear a clip of the rudiment being played by a professional so that you can get a good grasp and feel of how the rhythms and sticking’s flow for each one!
Lastly, I want to really note that it is VITAL to always master the patterns and sticking’s on ONE DRUM before attempting to go crazy across the kit. When you do become comfortable with the pattern on one drum, take time and only ad in one surface at a time. There are endless combinations that can be played, but only if you can become confident and take the steps to master the tried and true patterns that have existed on the grid since the dawn of drumming time!
I hope you enjoy!