Maxim Dallaston, rhythm designer
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Old drumset

A bit of history…

An new way to learn drumming. More than a method, it is a new approach of drumming that I am submitting here. A wise melting pot adapted to each personality, each purpose, based on specified exercices, Agostini method, and new technologies; tools that make you design your own grooves.

Drums:

A bit of History: 1865, in the United-States, appeared some unions between percussive elements playable by one man; the goal is to play various rhythms without many percussionists. Bass drum and snare drum are settled and put together the way that one man could play both. At that time, no pedals for the bass drum (or very rare, expensive and hard to play); both instruments are played with sticks, using a technique called “Double Drumming”.

Rhythms played are mostly military ones, using the bass drum on the 1st and 3rd time of each bar (1 2 3 4 … ), and bars are based on 4 times. It is only during the year of 1909 that appear the very first Ludwig removable kick pedal, which is very close to the models drummers are using nowadays.

It had to wait until 1930 and the rise of the Jazz style, with the appearance of the firsts Hi-Hats, and Gene Krupa’s ideas of Tom-toms, to see drum kits as we all see it today. From there, drum sets as we imagine are democratized, and becomes an instrument by itself, with its techniques, makers and well known players as Gene Krupa, Buddy Rich, Jo-Jones and many others.

What is a drum kit ? This instrument is a modern example of cultural and temporal mixing. Snare drums and bass drums are from Europe, cymbals came from Orient and Asia, Tom-toms were made under the influence of African and Indian from America percussive elements. Today settled with synthetic skins, Tom-toms are made from multiple wood plys, with topsides allowing to control the tension of skins and to maintain elements on places that drummers want them to be. Mixture of copper, tin, bronze and silver, cymbals have the feature to project simultaneously a set of multiple natural harmonics.

Based on an anthropomorphic point of view, rhythm, percussions, are the basic musical expression, the most expanded and primitive way to express a musical intention.

Playing drums: Is not so easy !

Indeed, this ultra customizable instrument requires a lot of coordination and synchronization. There are lots of stages and countless exercises to master drum playing. The very first application that a drummer must know is : to be able to count down ! Counting down, loudly, while playing will permit to the drummer to develop his internal rhythm singing. Despite its primitive aspect, a drummer must not be tensed when he plays. Tensed muscles may create injuries and does not help to play quite in time. A daily practising is essential to a good technical evolution. Finally, drums are very loud and powerful; a good drummer is a wise drummer ! It is very important that he protects his ears while drumming.

There are many ways of drumming; the very same number as drummers. So it is important to have a palet of abilities as diversified as possible, in every kind of music, and using various techniques. Practising your drumming by playing Jazz, Latin or Bossa music is as primordial as getting used to play Rock, Blues or Heavy-Metal. Specifications and drummer’s personality will establish considering his own purposes and natural affinities; a Heavy-Metal drummer will not waste his time by practising Jazz style. It even will be very beneficial to his Metal drumming.