‘Progressive Steps to Syncopation For The Modern Drummer’ – snappy title eh? When I first came across this book some 12 years ago I was non-plussed; it appeared to me the most boring book in the world. And by itself it is. Page after page of single line rhythms leading nowhere and with no orchestration.… Read More


When the same rhythm is placed at di↵erent beats in the bar, we say that the rhythm is displaced. In the example below, the quarter notes are shifted sequentially each bar across the 16th note subdivision.     Practice shifting between these displacements to a metronome. Make sure you count until you internalise the feel.… Read More


This article is the first in a series which deals with the concepts behind orchestration and construction of drum parts in music and solos. These articles shall contain minimal focus on licks or chops, rather, they deal with the most important subject of all – drumming within the context of the music. As such, no… Read More


I’ve written before about the massive influence listening to Rush and Neil Peart had on me growing up,, and how this inspiration compelled me to playing the drums. Today I shall be more specific. On Rush’s 1989 live album ‘A show of Hands’, there is a drum solo entitled ‘The Rhythm method’ (I was too… Read More


Understanding and keeping track of the form of the song is, after being able to play the appropriate feel, the most important skill in a drummer’s arsenal. If you, the drummer, cannot keep track of the song’s form, you won’t be called to play very many gigs, and indeed, when you do play gigs, you… Read More


A polyrhythm is the term used to describe two or more simultaneous pulses which overlap in a regular way. Developing an understanding of simple polyrhythms will help all musicians, but particularly drummers, better understand, recognise and play different rhythmic subdivisions, and bring interesting elements to they’re playing. The simplest polyrhythm, and the topic of this series of… Read More


Understanding and finding the quarter note triplet can be tricky. So below is a way in. First what is the quarter note triplet? Well just like a quarter note is 1/2 an 8th note, a, 1/4 note triplet is just half of an 8th note triplet. 8th note triplets are what you play when you… Read More


I’ve been enjoying the drumming of Steve Gadd on the Chick Corea album ‘My Spanish Heart’, and was particularly taken by his drumming to the tune ‘Wind Danse’. In fact, more than just the drumming, the track itself is one of my favourites. But aside from the joy of listening from a personal perspective, the… Read More


For the last month or so, I’ve been concerned by a buzzing/rattling that has appeared after I hit my snare drum.  Firstly I assumed the issue to be isolated to the snare drum and so I took it into a ‘live’ room, and tuned it. The rattling was reduced, but still there. Looking underneath the… Read More


Picture yourself in this position: You’re in an up and coming band. You’ve gigged extensively around your local area, have an album’s worth of well gigged songs under your belt and the time has come to put these songs into the digisphere. You’ll may be producing an EP or two or maybe a full length… Read More