As I always like to tell my students, music includes 3 elements: harmony/melody, rhythm and dynamics.
As drummers of course we are rhythm masters. Harmony and melody are not what we typically do, although it’s possible to tune the drums to specific pitches.
But we still have dynamics at our disposal: they basically determine the volume at which we play and they are a very powerful tool that many drummers overlook.
On the one hand we have the tendency to play everything as loud as possible, being the drums such a physical instrument and being most mainstream music very loud and dynamically flat.
On the other hand it’s hard to face the technical challenges that being able to play with dynamic control entails.
Yet, mastering this part of drumming is incredibly powerful in making what we play a lot more musical.
Music is a language, and wherever there’s communication, there’s also a story being told. This story can be more or less interesting based on what happens in it: tension and release, a plot twist, a surprise.
Like in a good movie or book, even in music mixing these ingredients wisely will contribute to the emotions being created. And the use of dynamics is very effective in this direction.
In this lesson we are going to study them in 3 steps:
– The theory.
– Snare Drum applications.
– Groove applications.
Here you can download the Pdf of the full free lesson which includes all explanations, transcriptions and links to video demos:
If you’d like to watch the entire video demo click here.
A very important thing to consider is that dynamics can be studied with 3 approaches:
– One volume at the time.
– Changing volume with a sudden jump.
– Changing volume gradually (Crescendo and Decrescendo).
These kind of studies are designed to make us improve many areas of drumming simultaneously: technique, control, musicality. That’s how to make the most of our practice time.
And the best part of it is that these exercises are also extremely fun to play!
Check out these resources if you want to learn even more about this topic:
Unmusical vs Musical Drum Solo
1 Month Drum Challenge – Free Drum Course
‘Drum Technique Booster – The Masters’ Approach’
‘Hands & Mechanics’ – Altitude Drumming – Volume 2
‘Bass Drum & Feet’ – Altitude Drumming – Volume 3