How do you tune the drums?
The most standard and agreed upon method is that you should start on one side of a detuned drum (a tom tom lets say) and turn the lug slightly. Then cross the drum to the other side and tune the opposing lug in the same manner. You go around the drum like tightening lugs on a wheel and do this until you get back to the starting place. The degree of tightness should be relatively the same around the drum.
You then listen for tone. Try to match the tone around the drum so that the drum is "in tune to itself". This goes for top and bottom of all the drums. From there you tune up or down depending on pitch and feel desired. We'll be covering this in greater depth later as well as providing links to drum tuning resources.
What's better, traditional or matched grip?
Many pro drummers actively use both grips on drums and interchange them at will depending on how they approach the song. Some play primarily matched grip but will switch to traditional to play swing because it allows them to approach the music with a different feel and/or mindset.
Whether you learn to eat your food with chopsticks or a fork, the end result is relatively the same. Both are respected methods and have proven to get the job done efficiently. Drums are the same. It's all in what you get used to.
Should I play up or heel down?
However, just like everything else, there is more than one way to skin a cat. John Robinson is a very famous drummer that has played with numerous pop stars through the years. He swears by playing heel down on drums and has done so throughout his successful career.
Who is the best drummer in the world?
To take this a step further, you also have to determine whether you're talking about technique, groove, overall musicality, or other factors. While someone like Dennis Chambers might be considered one of the better technical players in the world on drums (or at least that we know about), I think many would give the "groove" determiner to another artist such as the late Jeff Porcaro, or a Manu Katche type player.
Remember too that
in our world as we know it, we often let popularity determine who we
think is "best". There are many players that do not grace
the covers of magazines that would absolutely blow you away if you were
to see them play, whether it be amazing chops or the most awesome feel
(or both). They are the "undiscovered" that deserve more recognition
than they often get.
I've been in a slump lately and don't feel like practicing drums.
What can I do?
Aside from just taking some time off now and then, try setting specific goals for yourself. When you're under a deadline to meet those goals you'll often get much more accomplished. Take lessons with a new teacher or buy a new piece of gear. Buy a new CD with your favorite drummer blowing chops or laying down amazing grooves. Go to drum clinics and hang out with great musicians that you aspire to play like. All these things will help you get excited about practicing drums again.
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this frequently asked questions page on drums and drumming topics.
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