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How to get a big sound out of your drums!

Looking to get a big sound out of your drums?

There are lots of ways to do this without having to be three hundred pounds or 7 feet tall. Let me take you through a simple step by step process. (See video above for reference).

  • Hi Hats – Many drummers play there hi-hats with the tip of their stick in the middle of the cymbals. That gets nice clean sound but not the “biggest” sound out there. Try using the shoulder or shaft of the stick and play it on the edge of the hi-hat cymbal. This will beef up your hi-hat sound and give you that big crunchy sound you hear on your favourite hip hop and rock records!

  • Snare Drum – Many drummers play with “again” the tip of the stick and hit the dead centre of the snare drum. This is very useful in many styles of music and creates a warm snare sound. If you’d like to beef the up the sound and get a crisp back-beat for funk, hip hop, rock and pop then read on. Hit the shaft of the stick on the rim of the snare drum and simultaneously hit the centre of the snare drum with the tip of the stick. This is called a rim shot. Rim shots are extremely useful when playing a big backbeat as the pop of the rim shot carries very well throughout a room. It is also very useful in latin music which you hear very much so when percussionists play Timbales!

  • Bass Drum – There are many talks about whether to play the bass drum heel down or heal up. I believe that there is no “correct” way to play. Everyone has a different foot size and shape and may feel they gravitate towards one versus the other. In the context of getting a big sound out of your drums it helps to play heel up. This is because you have the full force of your foot and leg which can pump up and down to give you that large cannon sound when playing your bass drum. If you’re unfamiliar with playing heal up read on. Put your foot flat on the bass drum pedal, then lift your heal an inch or two above the pedal while keeping the balls of your feet and toes on the pedal. Lift your leg up a few inches up in the air and come back down with the force of your leg and foot and repeat.

  • Putting it all together – Now we need to put it all together. Make sure you have practised each technique on its own before you put it together. Play each one as quarter notes and then eighth notes to make sure you are comfortable at different tempos. Once you have done that you are ready to try it out together as a drum beat. Start with a simple eighth note rock groove and try to match the dynamic level of all three limbs. You should notice almost right away that you are getting a bigger, crunchier sound out of the kit. As you get comfortable try out more complex patterns and continue from there. Remember to dig in and make it groove!

For more info about getting a big sound on the drums get in touch with me!


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