Drum Set Fundamentals

Author: Yoron Israel   •   Course Code: OPERC-160

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Gain a solid foundation in drum set performance and musicianship with Drum Set Fundamentals. The course explores five main topics—musicianship, hand-to-hand technique, snare drum reading, drum set coordination, and repertoire development—with each week becoming increasingly more challenging.

The course starts with teaching the basics, such as the concept of time; how to develop proper grip, playing area, and sound; and how to achieve balance and evenness between your hands. You will perform helpful strengthening and dexterity exercises and explore drum rudiments, including the double stroke roll, single stroke roll, paradiddle, double paradiddle, triple paradiddle, drag, drag paradiddle #1, flam, and flam accent. You will develop basic snare drum reading skills and how to interpret drum set charts, including various time signatures such as 4/4, 2/4, 3/4, 12/8, 6/8, 9/8, and 5/4. The course moves on to topics related to two-, three- and four-way coordination, touch, balance, dynamics, and shadings in the context of common groove patterns found in Rhythm & Blues, Pop-Rock, Funk, Rock, Jazz, Brazilian, and Afro-Cuban music.

Throughout the course, you will be exposed to a wide variety of drumming examples from bands such as Journey, Parliament, The Steve Miller Band, Toto, James Brown, Duke Ellington, John Coltrane, Count Basie, Airto Moreira, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Mongo Santamaria, and Hermeto Pascoal. The goal of the course is to enable you to play with more confidence, musicianship, and overall success, and to serve as a natural springboard for study into more specific areas of drum set and percussion study. The techniques, methods, and concepts presented in the course have been developed and refined for over 25 years by course author Yoron Israel, through his extensive teaching, performing, and recording experiences.

By the end of the course, you will be able to:

  • Understand basic time
  • Develop proper grip, playing area, and sound
  • Improve the balance and evenness between your hands
  • Play drum rudiments, including the double stroke roll, single stroke roll, paradiddle, double paradiddle, triple paradiddle, drag, drag paradiddle #1, flam, and flam accent
  • Develop basic snare drum reading skills
  • Interpret drum set charts
  • Improve your overall coordination, touch, and dynamics
  • Play common groove patterns found in Rhythm & Blues, Pop-Rock, Funk, Rock, Jazz, Brazilian, and Afro-Cuban music
  • Play patterns in various time signatures, including 4/4/, 2/4, 3/4, 12/8, 6/8, 9/8, and 5/4

Lesson 1: The Basics

  • Musicianship
  • Hand-to-Hand Technique
  • Reading
  • Drum Set Coordination
  • Repertoire Development
  • Playing, Counting, Play-Along Assignment

Lesson 2: The Basics 2

  • Musicianship
  • Hand-to-Hand Technique
  • Reading
  • Drum Set Coordination
  • Repertoire Development
  • Playing, Counting, Play-Along Assignment

Lesson 3: Table of Time

  • Musicianship
  • Hand-to-Hand Technique
  • Reading
  • Drum Set Coordination
  • Repertoire Development
  • Table of Time Assignment

Lesson 4: Single Stroke Roll

  • Musicianship
  • Hand-to-Hand Technique
  • Reading
  • Drum Set Coordination
  • Repertoire Development
  • Single Stroke Roll Assignment

Lesson 5: Bossa Nova

  • Musicianship
  • Hand-to-Hand Technique
  • Reading
  • Drum Set Coordination
  • Repertoire Development
  • Bossa Nova Assignment

Lesson 6: Samba

  • Musicianship
  • Hand-to-Hand Technique
  • Reading
  • Drum Set Coordination
  • Repertoire Development
  • Samba Assignment

Lesson 7: Shuffling It

  • Musicianship
  • Hand-to-Hand Technique
  • Reading
  • Drum Set Coordination
  • Repertoire Development
  • Shuffle Assignment

Lesson 8: Swinging

  • Musicianship
  • Hand-to-Hand Technique
  • Reading
  • Drum Set Coordination
  • Repertoire Development
  • Swing Assignment

Lesson 9: Compound Meter

  • Musicianship
  • Hand-to-Hand Technique
  • Reading
  • Drum Set Coordination
  • Repertoire Development
  • Compound Meter Assignment

Lesson 10: Grooves in Three

  • Musicianship
  • Hand-to-Hand Technique
  • Reading
  • Drum Set Coordination
  • Repertoire Development
  • Tunes in Three Assignment

Lesson 11: Odd Times

  • Musicianship
  • Hand-to-Hand Technique
  • Reading
  • Drum Set Coordination
  • Repertoire Development
  • Odd Time Signature Assignment

Lesson 12: Timely Shifts

  • Musicianship
  • Hand-to-Hand Technique
  • Reading
  • Drum Set Coordination
  • Repertoire Development
  • Time Shift Assignment

Yoron Israel

Author & Instructor

Yoron Israel is a drummer, percussionist, composer, band leader, and educator. He is the assistant chair and professor of the Percussion department at Berklee College of Music. He has performed and/or recorded with such notable artists as Otis Clay, Shirley Caesar, Kenny Burrell, Horace Silver, Sonny Rollins, Abbey Lincoln, Ahmad Jamal, Benny Golson, Curtis Fuller, Clark Terry, Joe Henderson, Bobby Hutchinson, Art Farmer, Freddie Hubbard, Jimmy Heath, Cedar Walton, Grover Washington, Freddie Cole, Tony Bennett, Joe Williams, Pharoah Sanders, David "Fathead" Newman, Red Holloway, Larry Coryell, Doctor Lonnie Smith, Bennie Wallace, Joe Lovano, Tom Harrell, Vanessa Rubin, Kevin Mahogany, Roy Hargrove, Bill Mays, James Williams, Cyrus Chestnut, and Joshua Redman.

As a leader, Israel has recorded four albums—Basic Traneing, Chicago, Live at the Blue Note, and A Gift for You—and is now working on a fifth. Basic Traneing reached number 3 on the National Jazz chart in 2004. His projects include the trio Organic with organist Kyle Koehler and guitarist Ed Cherry, his quintet Connection with vibraphonist Bryan Carrott, guitarist Ed Cherry, and bassist Sean Conly, and the newly formed Boston band High Standards. He tours regularly with Italian saxophonist Marco Pignataro and vibraphonist Jay Hoggard, in addition to performing and recording in the New England area with artists such as Abraham Laboriel, Eddie Gomez, Frank Morgan, Joanne Brackeen, Eliane Elias, Larry Goldings, Ann Hampton Callaway, Jane Ira Bloom, Clark Terry, Joey DeFrancesco, The Macanda Project, Laszlo Gardony, Stan Strickland, Donna McElroy, Gabrielle Goodman, Shawn Monterro, and Lance Bryant.

Israel's influences and experiences range from jazz to world styles, gospel, contemporary Christian, funk, r&b, and orchestral music. He received a bachelor's degree in music from Roosevelt University in 1986 and a master's degree in music from Rutgers University in 1997. He has been recognized in publications such as Jazz.com, Variety, Jazz Improv Magazine, Down Beat, Jazz Times, Modern Drummer, Stick It, and Percussive Notes, among others. Israel is the author of the educational DVD Creative Jazz Improvisation for Drum Set, published by Hal Leonard and Berklee Press. He was formerly on the faculty at Rutgers University, William Paterson University, and Mannes New School, and he continues to teach privately and conduct clinics, workshops, residencies, and music camps throughout the world.

For more information about Yoron Israel, visit www.yoronisrael.com

Prerequisites

Completion of Music Theory 101 or equivalent knowledge and experience, in addition to at least one year of playing experience is required. You should have a location for practicing regularly. You should have some understanding of common note values for reading music, be able to perform simple grooves on your instrument with adequate sound production, and have physical capabilities on the instrument necessary to record weekly homework assignments.


Required Textbooks

None required


Software Requirements

  • Webcam video recording software

Mac Users

  • OS X 10.9 Mavericks or higher (click here for system requirements)
  • Latest version of Google Chrome

Windows Users

  • Windows 7 or higher (click here for system requirements)
  • Latest version of Google Chrome

Hardware Requirements

Assignments in this course will require you to use a webcam to record yourself performing along with backing tracks. In order to record your performances with backing tracks successfully, you will need:

  • Webcam
  • Webcam recording software
  • Speakers or headphones

In addition, you will need:

  • Acoustic or electronic drum kit
  • 14" Sabian Quiet Tone Practice Pad
  • 1 pair of medium sized (5A, 5B, 2A, etc.) matched drumsticks
  • Metronome (for an online version, see http://www.metronomeonline.com)
  • Microphone (unless you are using an electronic drum kit/drum brain for assignments), such as a Samson C01, Shure SM57, or Shure SM58, along with mic stand
  • Optional: CD/MP3 player (separate from computer) and mixer
  • Optional— for those using electronic drum kits: CD/MP3 player (separate from computer) and drum brain
  • Optional: isolation headphones, such as Vic Firth's SIH1 Drummer's Headphones
  • 2 GB RAM (4 GB recommended)
  • 500 MB hard drive space
  • Internet connection with at least 4 Mbps download speed (http://www.speedtest.net to verify or download the Speedtest by Ookla app from your mobile app store)

Comments

Got a question? Contact our Academic Advisors by phone at 1-866-BERKLEE (U.S.), 1-617-747-2146 (INT'L), or by email at advisors@online.berklee.edu. We can also answer basic questions in the comments below. Please note that all comments are public.




  • Level
  • Duration
    12 weeks
  • 3-Credit Tuition
    $1,479
  • or
  • Non-Credit Tuition
    $1,229

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