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I love coming up with a creative drum beat and this one, whilst not the most out-there of grooves, is definitely one of ‘em.
This came out whilst messing around between takes during a remote recording session for a brilliant Chicago-based artist. One of the things that sparked my imagination was that I had taken the toms off the kit. This helped me focus on the central bass drum, snare and hi hats and play with dynamics in order to create texture.
Sometimes it really is a matter of less is more when coming up with a creative drum beat. For instance, one of the tracks I recorded for Tyler, the aforementioned artist, was just bass drum and snare. If I recall correctly, I then proceeded to overdub different rhythmic layers to build on the groove from a slightly different approach.
In fairness, I should’ve filmed myself recording some of those tracks, but I was so engrossed by the music that, whilst I did think to do so, I just brushed it off. Oh well, at least I captured this creative drum beat here.
You can download this creative drum beat below and use it to write songs; it’s ready to loop so just drag and drop! Ultimately, I guess I just ask that you credit me if you release your song with the loop in it.
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Is there a special drummer in your life? Not sure what to get ‘em for Christmas? Here are some great Christmas gifts for drummers 2021! I mean, I hate to say it but the festive season is approaching fast, and as a drummer receiving a spot-on drum gift is one of the best feelings.
Here’s my compilation of gifts ideas for drummers to help you choose some cool, nerdy, yet thoughtful presents. I’ve also included a quick reasoning behind my choices to help you understand the thought behind each suggestion!
Let’s get to it.
Most drummers have a favoured brand and model of stick which suits their style. Getting them their preferred stick is a great idea!
If you want to go the extra mile and your budget allows, here are a couple of options to get them along with their sticks of choice:
A variation of the model they love. For instance, variations of 5A drum sticks come in different finishes, with grip, colour, or tip, or material.
Alternatively, have a look for models that drummers in their preferred genre / style play and gift them a pair too. Perhaps that’s something they’ve been wanting to try, but have not wanted to spend their own buck on.
Whichever drumsticks you choose, be sure to choose sticks from professional brands such as Wincent Drumsticks, Vic Firth, ProMark, Vater, etc.
I know, weird right? Broken cymbal makes perfect sense as great Christmas gifts for drummers 2021. These can be used to make a stack (i.e. two cymbals stacked on top of each to create a very dirty, quick sound perfect for accents and textures).
Here’s a great video explaining stacks in more detail:
You can find broken cymbals for sale on eBay, or on certain Facebook groups such as:
Here’s a little groove I made with my stacker cymbals (the one with holes):
You can make a great care package with a selection of fun and useful accessories! The suggestions below are functional, fun and thoughtful and depending on your budget, you can mix and match accordingly.
Cowbell + mount
Who doesn’t like a cowbell? These are great to add musicality to a drum kit, expanding a drummer’s sound palette. They can be mounted on a cymbal stand or on a bass drum hoop.
I got a fever… Doctor prescribes more cowbell!
These have become really hip over the last few years. Things like Ching Rings or Ankle Shakers are great texture-making accessories. Lots of people use these on the snare drum, or the hi hat cymbals!
Here’s a neat video with some great ideas!
An often unsung hero that can improve the sound of the snare drum are upgrading snare wires Canopus wires are world renowned and are a great choice, as are PureSound wires.
Good snare wires can drastically improve the sound of the snare drum.
A great upgrade idea is to get things like Cympad felts, which are a great option to improve cymbal sustain. Similarly, No Nuts cymbal sleeves make changing cymbals a breeze and helps protect cymbals from thread damage.
A good drum key makes for a more pleasant tuning experience!
Drum Multi Tool and Gaffer tape
A all-purpose tool is a must in every cymbal or stick bag, as you never know what may need a quick repair. Paired with some gaffer tape, and you have a winner! Pearl Drums make the fantastic Pearl PTT13 Tech Tool which is definitely worth checking out!
A nice hi hat clutch
Ah, the hi hat clutch (the bit that holds the top hi hat cymbal in place); tiny yet crucial piece. If your drummer is a gigging musician, they’ll know that drummers don’t share their clutch. So having a nice one that’s smooth and quick-loading is super useful! Below are some great alternatives.
A book filled with great ideas to apply to the drum kit
A drum lesson is a great way to improve technical skills, offer advice, help develop creativity introduce new ideas, and ignite passion for playing. Teachers like myself can create gift vouchers for lessons. Get in touch with the teacher to discuss how many lessons would be suitable! If you’re interested in purchasing some drum lessons with me, have a look at my lessons page and get in touch!
Whilst these are a very niche thing, they’re extremely useful in helping to build accuracy. They’re a also very portable, so they’re perfect for travel. The Ahead Wicked Chops Practice Pad is a great option!
A variation of this portable theme are practice pads that can be strapped to one’s lap! These are great Christmas gifts for drummers 2021 as they can literally practice anywhere. The Wincent DualPad or Ahead Strap On Practice Pad are a great options.
Portable and practical as all get up! Great Christmas gifts for drummers 2021
If the drummer in your life is extra special and your budget can stretch, you simply cannot go wrong with Yamaha’s incredible EAD10 module. In short, the EAD10 module that transforms an acoustic kit into a powerful electronic hybrid. It allows a drummer to to sample effects and sounds, and not only amplify but also record your own performance, which you can then easily share online! It also allows you to easily play along to your library of music or your own creations.
FRAME SOME BROKEN STICKS
If you’re feeling crafty, and you can source broken / very well worn sticks, you can put them in a frame to make for some cool artwork!
If all else fails, get a voucher from a store near them to support retail, or from an online shop!
You know, teaching drums to many a child with SEN (Special Educational Needs) isn’t something I ever intended to do a lot of, yet I’ve had the opportunity to teach my fair share. Similarly, it’s also not something I ever expected to enjoy and have the patience for.
Now, my students like how patient I am, and my ability to break things down and explain them clearly. Of course, I take the compliment, yet I think it’s about acknowledging that people are wired differently. This, in my opinion, this makes for an effective teacher!
Teaching a child with SEN can be tons of fun!
I’ve worked with children on the Autistic spectrum, have Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, ADHD, or have been partially blind. Yet there’s always fun to be had with a child with SEN. Lessons can be made fun and engaging with learning activities based on rhythm, coordination and sounds.
Whatever the student’s needs, it’s important to be flexible, think on your feet and be prepared for the unexpected. Sometimes I find it’s much better to not have a plan. Just take it as it comes as you can always spin what catches the student’s eye into a relevant game.
So with that in mind, here are great tips which have been reinforced by experience which are worth sharing. These are particularly relevant if you’ve not formally trained in teaching a child with SEN, like myself.
#1. Be creative
As I mentioned before, being able to think on your feet is crucial. Similarly, whilst not having a lesson plan is useful, a long-term direction of skills to develop over time is crucial. That sense of direction will guide and inform you choice of activities.
The way I see it, creativity is strongly linked with the idea of long-term skill development. Try to understand how the child thinks and takes information in (see below). Try using the whole range of activities such as drawing, playing, listening, singing, moving / dancing, etc.
And, as far as creativity goes, I try to also not limit it to the activities but to the tools I use. These can include household items to make sounds, or things like the CHOPZzz drum pillowcase to have fun with.
Using creative tools to make lessons engaging for students with SEN
#2. Make it a team effort
The better your understanding of the child with SEN, the better. And if the effort is collaborative team orientated with the parents / carers, even better! Working together with parents / carers is the best way to engage the child to ensure their development. In my experience, not only does this help set development goals and expectations, but engages the child from more than one positive influence!
Remember, sometimes it’s not about turning the student into the world’s next Jojo Mayer! Teaching basic co-ordination, exploring sounds, and helping in their general development through music is crucial in the child’s development.
#3. Be patient
Sometimes there’s a lot of messing around, and from a learning perspective, not much might get done on a particular session; that’s OK! Some sessions will be more productive than others. Just ensure to always try to keep the student engaged, and don’t lose focus. The way a child with SEN perceives the world at any given time might not be the same as yours, so keep an open mind. Be flexible and, above all, patient.
I hope this has been insightful and useful. If you’d like drum lessons for your child, learn more about my lessons here, and get in touch!
Here you’ll find (awesome) articles with drum lessons, thoughts on life as a professional musician, tips on how to be creative, (hopefully) fresh perspectives, and other fun stuff!
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