As a beginner, one of the biggest mistakes many drummers learn is teaching themselves how to strike the drums as hard as they can. Not only can this lead to playing related injuries which will keep you from your kit for weeks, but it will also cost you a fortune in drum heads.
Power is everything. Whether you are talking about money, physical ability, or anything else, the ability to control your power is one of the most crucial things you will ever learn.
Think about it; if every strong man put all of their strength into their warm up sets, not only would they be tired, but the strain caused by forcing all of their body would cause injury. Learning how to hit the tom toms is no different.
When drumming, at no point within your range of motion should your body be tense. All strokes are performed using a relaxed wrist and the tips of your fingers.
Grip may sound basic, but if your knuckles are white while you are holding your drumstick, you are doing it wrong. In fact, there is no reason to actually close your palm around a drumstick in the first place. You should maintain a loose, yet efficient grip.
There should be absolutely no discoloration in your hand whatsoever. Your grip should not be so loose that your stick slips from your hand, and neither should it be so tight that you end your playing session with stick marks in your palm. For more details, check out our article on how to hold a pair a drumsticks properly.
Once you have a comfortable grip, you need to understand that there are three basic types of strikes; grace notes, regular notes, and accented notes.
This is important to keep in mind when learn how to hit the tom toms, as there should be a noticeable difference in volume between each type of note. Grace notes should grace your drum head, regular notes should be directly audible, and accented notes should be loud.
When you strike your tom toms, your stick should bounce off of your drum. If your stick lands flat, you aren’t using your wrist; you are using your arm muscles. Your entire arms should not be moving along with the motion of your strokes. The only movement required to hit your tom toms is that of your wrist, with slight motion in your forearm.
Notice I said slight motion in your forearm; you forearms should not be jerking up and down.
When you strike the drum head, aim towards the center of the drum head with the head of your stick. This will give your stroke a full bodied sound, allowing for it to properly ring out. There are other forms of strikes, such as rimshots, but those are hardly used in rock and roll. For the most part, rock and roll utilizes a full bodied hit.
Now that you know how to achieve proper form, and where to hit the drum head, the final step is to practice. Be sure to pay close attention to your form, and if you notice something wrong, correct it! Tom toms are an invaluable asset to giving your playing flavor, so have fun and be creative, but remember; don’t hurt yourself in the process of learning drums!
You can unlock your full potential in drums playing with a specially designed program to enhance your skills. Check out Successful Drumming for more details…