Learn How To Be A Punk Rock Drummer
Learning how to keep up with the speed and diversity of punk rock drumming is very rewarding. The speed you will develop on your bass drum and sticks will improve your playing in all other styles of music. Punk rock music requires a lot of energy, creativity, speed, and endurance. You may have a lot of people tell you punk rock drumming is very basic and easy to play; this couldn’t be farther from the truth. Punk rock music has evolved since the basic bands like The Ramones, and has taken a more technical route. The basic pop punk rock groove may be easy to learn; however, there is much more involved than just a basic beat. Punk rock music itself is very up beat and usually very fast. This requires a drummer to remain on his toes constantly, as failing to keep up could ruin the feel.
Getting Started With Punk Drumming
Before you dive into the world of punk, make sure you have practiced up your basic drum rudiments. Being a master at the single and double stroke rolls will benefit you big time when trying to tackle these punk grooves and beats. Work on your speed with your wrists as well as your feet. You will notice most fills for punk rock beats are very fast versions of basic drum rudiments. In addition, make sure you have the proper stick grip and that you tune your drums. Because this style is very fast, having incorrect grip on your stick can cause pain and irritation. Having said this, check your posture on your drum set. Sitting at your drum set with poor posture will also contribute to pain and irritation, which will limit your range of motion on the kit.
Develop Your Bass Drum Speed
A big aspect to punk rock drumming is you bass drum speed. Most punk rock beats will require you to play very fast and precise bass drum doubles. Now there are ways around this if you are not up to speed; however, taking the time to increase your bass drum speed is definitely worth while. There are a few methods you can use to increase your bass drum speed – one of them is the heel toe technique, the other is the slide technique. Both are very useful and can increase your speed and precision by a lot on your bass drum. So take the time in warming up/speeding up your feet, as you will need them to play punk rock!
Develop Your Wrists
Along with your bass drum, you are going to want to develop your wrists as well. Punk music is fast with your feet, which means it will be fast with your sticks as well. To do this, simply work on your rudiments! I have said it before, but, by taking the time to master your single stroke, double stroke, and single stroke four patterns, you are developing muscles that are essential to keeping up to speed with punk rock music. Make sure you use a metronome so you do not fall behind time! If you are having troubles with some of the speeds of the music, do not worry! Simply cut your hi hat stick play in half. This will not slow the song down, but it will cut the amount of hits your hand is doing in half, which will save you a lot of stress!
Develop the Punk Rock Feel
To fully understand the feelings behind punk rock, you must surround yourself with this style of music and drumming. Punk rock is all about attitude, and to be able to fit into that style, you must be familiar with some of the styles of the music. Luckily, this kind of music is very popular, and is easy to get a hold of. You can listen to some mainstream bands like Blink 182, or you can listen to some classic bands like the Ramones. Try listening to some NOFX, or Bad Religion to hear some more hardcore punk. You will notice that most punk beats have a rushing feel to it; kind of like it is driving the band. Energy is totally essential here, with no energy you will be left behind. It is better to have more energy and make mistakes, then to play perfectly with no energy for this genre of music!
Go through these few steps and you should have no problem learning the punk rock style of drumming. Remember, if a beat is too fast, just cut time in half. When you have read through this and are feeling fairly comfortable with it, proceed to the next lesson to learn the first basic punk rock beat!
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