How to do some easy but cool drum set stick tricks

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2020/09/27/how-to-do-some-easy-but-cool-drum-set-stick-tricks.html

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The bottom line for young players should be “please study drumming first, then once you become good, tricks will be ok”. I had this friend ages ago who would flip, twirl and launch his sticks, but was absolutely terrible at playing in time even the simplest 4/4. Not surprisingly he played drums “just to get chicks”, and abandoned drumming pretty soon :smiley:

Here’s my favorite drummer Neil Peart (RIP) performing during the Buddy Rich Memorial Scolarship Concert on Apr 8 1991 (the YT page says 1994 which is wrong). Solo starts at 3:52 and after a while he morphs it into his famous one with the many Rush fans in the audience spotting it immediately and giving the great Steve Marcus and other band players a good giggle.
There are also some crossovers in his performance, so it may be of interest for this topic.

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What good are stick tricks if you can barely see the drummer?

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But what if the drummer already has shown her required 15 demonstrations of flair? Do you want her to show more?

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RIP Neil, indeed. Hands so fast that YouTube compression can’t keep up and they appear to teleport. Seeing him play live is one of my fondest memories.

The Smooth Criminal video in the OP is worth watching, even just for the final beat when he stops cymbals. Seriously. :exploding_head::heart_eyes:

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Even more fundamental: please study music and develop your ear first.

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This a hundred times, although ear can be hard to develop later if nature didn’t help first with the gift. I was extremely lucky in this context, although lacking in others.

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Seeing him play live is one of my fondest memories

Now I’m envious :grin:

The Smooth Criminal video in the OP is worth watching, even just for the final beat when he stops cymbals. Seriously. :exploding_head::heart_eyes:

Watched both, it seems the way he places and hits those cymbals is a signature characteristic of his playing style; in a video some of his fans do the same.

Also worth watching is the great Bernard Purdie; I believe there’s no better example of a drummer not just being damn good at it but also showing so much love for the drumset. Frankly I have no words to describe this guy’s groove…

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Love of drummers is what got me into metal music. I was really into the hardcore rock drummers like Neil and the jazz drummers who seemed so amazing. Then my Scandinavian friends were all, “uh, that’s adorbs, but you wanna see drumming?” and showed me video of Dragonforce, which I honestly thought was a drum machine. I didn’t think a human could play that. :smiley: :exploding_head: :heart_eyes:

Then I found out the lead singer of Iron Maiden is a classically trained opera singer and the whole band is satire to him, and I was hooked for life. I wasn’t seeing the talent in those bands because, growing up, the people that listened to that music didn’t seem like my people. How wrong I was.

ETA: Apparently this is the audition tape that got Gee the gig with Dragonforce. The video compression on YouTube only only catches about every fourth beat on his hands.

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Wear eye/face protection, if necessary. Don’t ask how I learned that lesson. :nerd_face:

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Head’s up–lots of flicker in this video.

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Playing drums is a lot of fun. Unless you can afford a sound proof room or a set of electronic drums (or those perforated silent heads) you will in fact drive away your friends and family and neighbors.

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As a drummer, I’m assuming the title of “easy stick tricks” was with heavy sarcasm/sadism, that dude is gnarly!

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This just shows that the power of the paradiddle is manifest in such dazzling speed drills. Notice how he plays his tricks slowly at the start. This makes them seem very doable. We’ll come back to this video soon.

I caught this local band live and spent the whole time staring at the drummer doing tidy spins and bouncing sticks of the snare and catching them (warning - no fancy drumming footage in link). All the while as steady as a click. Paul Roper I think.

Ha! My favourite setups (no neighbors bothered):

  • Loud - a childhood friend who had two kits in a barn in the middle of nowhere.
  • Quiet - kick, snare, hh and ride next to my bed in Melbourne bedroom complete with mutes, tea-towels, stuffed pillows galore and only played in time with stereo up loud.
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While we’re sharing our favourite drumming videos


Disclaimer: video contains no sticks, but my guy Maywa Denki President is a happy mutant 200%
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i think the coolest drumming trick is being able to keep time with your feet. i’d like to think i’m a competent guitarist and i can bang on bongos etc but i can’t for the life of me get my feet to do the thing my hands do. have you ever seen somebody who just has absolutely terrible rhythm and you’re just puzzled about how/why they can’t get it? that’s what the rest of me thinks about my feet.

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I share your pain, only mine is difference in hands. Training in groups/band helped with my feet. I can get them to keep time and function independently. However, my left hand seems to have a mind of its own. From grip to movement, it’s always a problem. Instruments with strings (like guitar/violin) or round keys (like woodwinds) are ok, when my wrist is curved while my fingers are pressing something. Whenever I try piano or drums, if I’m not looking at that hand, something bad happens. :woman_facepalming:t4:

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I’ve been into metal (listened, not played) between 13-18, thanks to my uncle giving me for xmas a Van Halen album, but I was already listening “unusual” things like the post-Stooges Iggy Pop. I wrote unusual because all my school mates at that time were into disco music, a genre I started to appreciate some 20 years later.
I’ve seen the Irons live, but that was in 1980 or 81, they still had Paul DiAnno as singer.

Speaking of Scandinavian bands, here’s an almost unknown one I discovered through a record sent me by my brother when visiting Sweden in the late 80s.

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Very good point there.

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