Archive for the ‘Articles’ Category

Happy Holidays!! Are you planning on shopping at Guitar Center, Sam Ash or any of your favorite music stores this Holiday?

Brett Frederickson, owner of DrummersRule! Drum Lessons, wants to Celebrate by giving away Two (2) FREE Hours of drum lessons with your purchase of any Drum Set or a total purchase of $350.00 spent on any combined percussion sales items from Guitar Center, Sam Ash or your favorite Music Store.

Call Brett today to schedule your FREE drum lessons! **Just print out this Blog Post and present it along with your receipt when you arrive at his drum studio.**

Located near I-17 & Bell Road, the drum studio offers 4 top of the line Roland Electronic Kits and Yamaha Custom Kit to learn on.

drummersrule santa drums 3

Shopping at Guitar Center or Sam Ash this Holiday Season?
Brett provides full 1 hour drum lessons at $25.00/hour.
Whats included:
– learn faster and retain more
– drum styles to develop skills to play your favorite songs
– read music
– sight reading
– syncopation
– increasing speed
– hand technique
– rudiments
– mastering all of the various music styles
– drum line techniques for snare, tenors and bass drum

Call us today at 602-843-3114 with any questions or check us out online at
“Feel the joy of learning to play drums”

Info on your teacher, Brett Frederickson:
He has been a top drum judge for Guitar Center over 20 years and Sam Ash for the past 10 years. He has also been one of the most “referred out” drum teacher from both stores. He has been teaching drums for over 27 years including drum line instruction for the past 17 years. He is a graduate of MI (Musicians Institute); Featured in Drum Magazine, Drum Business and Modern Drummer
. He has played drums with many bands including Megadeth and has done studio work for various artists like Scott Mishoe, Keith Horne, Jeff Kollman, Ray Riendeau and many more. His true passion is teaching students to play drums, in a fun, quality learning environment. So whether you are just getting started, or have been playing for years, Brett can help you take your skills to the next level.

Come see why his students keep coming back!!

3723 W. Monte Cristo Avenue
Phoenix, AZ 85053

DRUMMERSRULE! Drum School 101 – For Ages 10-100

These Drum Lessons are perfect for anyone ages 10 – 100 that are interested in learning to play the drums. In this 4 week Course you will begin to build the necessary coordination and skills to play the drum set. You will also learn how to read and play drum notation and play along to various songs.

These are GROUP CLASSES and last 60 minutes long. They are taught in our ELECTRIC DRUM STUDIO. The Studio has 4 top of the line Roland electric kits for students to use. This 101 Class is very unique, it enables the student to learn faster and retain more while having fun. The Group Classes are affordable, and a great way to see if you, or your child, has what it takes to become a drummer.

Saturday, January 9th – Saturday, January 30th 3:00pm – 4:00pm
Price = $95.00 (Price Includes Drumsticks and Binder)
Meets EVERY Saturday for 4 weeks

Students must be registered prior to the start of the first class. New students will not be accepted once the first class has started.


Look forward to seeing you in class! Call with any questions 602-769-2075.

3723 W. Monte Cristo Avenue
Phoenix, AZ 85053

Practice Routine That Still Works – a Great Drumming Article!

I have read many drum articles suggesting ways to practice and this is one of my favorites. If you’re not familiar with Carl Albrecht and his work, I suggest reading up on him. He breaks down the practice routine into 5 key areas of study to help the growth any drummer.

Click the picture below to pull up the article… Enjoy!!


Drummers Practice Routine

As always, contact me with any questions. I look forward to seeing you at Drum Lessons!!


Mr. Brett

Brett Frederickson – DrummersRule! Drum Lessons

602-843-3114 |

Check Out My New Social Media Page…

I recently came across this great tool from It puts all your social media links in one place for clients, colleagues and friends to access your content with one click. Check it out, just click on the picture below…

DR Social Media

As always, contact me with any questions. I look forward to seeing you at Drum Lessons!!

Mr. BrettDrummersrule

Brett Frederickson – DrummersRule! Drum Lessons

602-843-3114  |


A word from Mr. Brett:

As your instructor, teacher and friend, I have your best interests in mind. I give advice to assist you in developing the skills and tools required for a well-rounded musical development. I understand what you need to be successful. drum-lessons-in-phoenix-2Unfortunately, at times, some students become preoccupied with learning “Impressive Patterns or Solos” to the point that they neglect to practice the actual lesson. Remember, these “Impressive Patterns/ Solos” that are here today and gone tomorrow, will do you absolutely no good, unless you have taken the time and effort to develop the tools essential to excellent drumming technique. Whether you are beginning an entry level of instruction, intermediate level, or advanced level, my goal is to provide instruction that will help you develop as a “well-rounded” better performer. Below are a few “HABIT” tips to assist you as a drummer, enjoy!!

  • DAILY SESSION HABIT – The most effective way of developing long-lasting skills and expanding your techniques is through daily sessions. “Practice marathons” and “drum bursts” (15 min sessions on your set) in addition to your drum lessons will go a long way in getting you the results you desire. Remember, when walking by your drum set. Stop, sit down, and practice for 5 – 15 minutes. Also, don’t forget the other styles you’ve worked on in the past. Go back to these styles, pull out your sheets and include them when you practice.
  • GAME HABIT – Playing repetitive “hand” or “foot-technique” exercises or reading-skills exercises are enjoyable when you understand they are guaranteed (when practiced correctly) to improve you performance. First of all, make a sort of game out of the whole idea, by making everything you play, including “hand-technique” and reading exercises, sound as musical as possible by utilizing dynamics, articulation, and musicality to its highest level. Practice as if you are preparing for a performance, or playing in front of a live audience.Drummersrule
  • CHALLENGE HABIT – Once you have encountered a “challenge” (Ex. Dynamics, executing a phrase at the suggested tempo, articulation of a particular rhythm, phrasing etc.) Simply divide this “challenging” section of the music into smaller musical phrases and begin working on improving these “challenge” sections separately. Slow down the tempo and repeat theses sections until you can play them both relaxed & “naturally”. Then, follow this habit by putting these “extracted phrases” back into context, in order to facilitate “musical-continuity”. Ultimately everything you perform will be relaxed and “natural” both to you and your audience.
  • PARENTAL HABIT – Let me take this opportunity to encourage you to get involved with your younger children. They really need your help and guidance to motivate them in developing the “Habit of Practicing”… which mentioned above is one of the keys to their success!
  • NETWORKING HABIT – There’s an old saying; “Out of sight, out of mind”. Well, this is one of the truest things ever written and it so applies to the music business and drums as well. If you want to work, you need to be seen playing your drums, go out to the venues, jam sessions, put on a small workshop, get to know the employees of the local music stores, visit clubs where drummers are needed, ask, ask, ask! The goal is to “BE SEEN”! You need to engage in conversation with the guys who book gigs and potential employers. Let them know that you’re qualified.
  • For younger players still in school; if you want that specific chair or jazz band seat you have to 
work hard, yes. But also make sure that you’re on a first name basis with the bandleader, drum captain, and any private instructors or helpers, because they will often be assisting with the auditioning process.

Bonus Tip – Top 5 Drummer Networking Mistakes:

  • Not acting professional enough
  • Not being prepared
  • Not letting them know in some way that you’re qualified for the job
  • Not following up on potential leads or opportunities
  • Not having business cards (pro players)
  • ADVICE HABIT– Always, consistently, without fail, reach out to me when you have questions! So many students feel their question is not worth bothering me over. I think the opposite, EVERY question is important!! Ask me please… Email me at or for that matter pick up the phone and simply Call or Text me at 602-769-2075. It’s that simple!!!

Following the above advice will definitely help you succeed, and after all, that’s what it’s all about. Let me now your comments and questions. Enjoy your week!

Mr. Brett

Brett Frederickson – DrummersRule! Drum Lessons

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5 Pro Drumming Tips and Tricks

An Interview with Thomas Lang and Benny Greb – The technical masters share their secretslang-and-greb

Thomas Lang (foreground) raised the bar for drummers everywhere with his two hit DVDs, Creative Control and Creative Coordination And Advanced Foot Technique. His solo performances are dazzling and he is in constant demand as a session player, in addition to working as both a producer and writer in LA.

Benny Greb’s (background) The Language Of Drumming: A System For Musical Expression DVD is a showcase for his ability to make music with the drums. When Rhythm spoke to Benny he had just returned from a huge clinic tour of Asia, spreading his philosophy across the globe.

Both Benny and Thomas possess the enviable ability to turn their hands and feet to a huge range of musical styles, from jazz and fusion to rock and pop and make it all look so easy in the process. So, when Rhythm got face-to-face with these two masters of the kit, they wanted to find out the secrets of their technique and get some handy tips and tricks that you can apply to your drumming.

lang Pic 1Tip 1: Set up correctly
What’s the most common mistake people make when setting up their drums?
Thomas: “To set the drums up for the viewer so it looks cool from the front rather than for yourself. I know a lot of young drummers make that mistake. Number two would be to set the drums up so that the bass drum is facing the audience straight on, rather than being off to the right if you are a right-handed drummer, because the bass drum is not the centre of the drumset.

“We, as drummers, often make the mistake of thinking pattern-oriented, which means we focus on what we do instead of how we do it.” Benny Greb

“Number three is to try to make the drumset perfectly symmetrical. Another is to sit too low or too high, or to set up the cymbals too far away from the player so you have to play with your arm completely stretched – I see that a lot.

“Whatever you do with your body mechanically has to be within a spherical space. It’s not a straight plane, you are moving within a spherical space and your set-up has to reflect that, so whatever is higher on the drumset has to be closer to you.”

Benny: “I would say it’s that they don’t really set it up, bit by bit, in relation to how they sit and to their body, but they set up their kit then sit behind it and see whether it feels right.”

Now try this: kit set-up
Benny: “What creates great results is to take your stool, adjust it so it is cool for you, which normally means there is more than a 90° angle between your legs and your spine and between your upper legs and lower legs. Then you set up the snare drum so it is comfortable, then a bass drum where the foot really sits, then a hi-hat where the foot really sits, and so on.

“If you let students do this, it really results in a very natural set-up.”

Greb Pic 1Next: Tip 2: Get a grip

Benny, you play matched grip. Do you prefer a French timpani grip or a German grip?
Benny: “Being patriotic I like the German grip! I think there is this conspiracy on the internet where someone always pays some people to say that this or this is the best grip and blah blah blah. The thing is that you can’t do everything with one grip, it’s not possible, so you need these different grips to do different things. You can’t do any accents with finger technique, you need the wrist, you need the Moeller technique.

“I think I am generally in a more German position but it’s a little weird with me – it’s not out of the teaching rulebook, what I do. My right hand tends to be more French and my left hand tends to be more German grip. It’s not very symmetrical.”

Thomas, you’ve played with both matched and traditional grips. What would you say are their comparative strengths?
Thomas: “I think the strength of traditional is that it’s an asymmetrical grip and it affects the way you think. The asymmetry of the grip lends itself to asymmetrical thinking and therefore playing, a bit like playing the guitar where the left hand is on the fretboard and doing something completely independent from the right hand which is strumming, but together the two hands produce one sound.

“I look at playing traditional grip the same way where the two hands use two completely different techniques – one hand from underneath the stick, the right hand from on top so there is a push-pull dynamic in your upper body. Matched grip is more modern, it’s more powerful, it’s more balanced. You have better reach with matched grip. It causes fewer injuries. Traditional grip causes a lot of bruises, abrasions, chafing, all sorts of issues. Of course you get blisters with both grips but less surface and skin injuries with matched grip. It lends itself to a more ambidextrous style with open-handed playing, which would be awkward using traditional grip.”

“Rule number one: for speed you must compromise volume. There is no other way, you can’t play ultra-fast and ultra-loud at the same time.” Thomas Lang

What’s the one piece of advice you would give someone looking to improve their playing with their hands?
Benny: “Have a catalogue of parameters that you go through focussing on while you’re playing and adjust your technique according to that list. Some people say it’s boring to play a paradiddle every day for an hour and they are totally right. It’s absolutely boring to play a paradiddle but it’s not boring if you listen to the sound that it makes and try to get it consistent.

“If you take time for one of these parameters, just the sound, does it sound the same? Do you have to play on the same spot? Do you find it hard to play on the same spot? How does it sound if you don’t play on the same spot? Is that a different sound that you want to cultivate, to have in your repertoire? Do you always make rim shots when you try to accent? Can you accent without doing rim shots, focussing on dynamics only?

“The other thing is how much less muscle motion can you use to get the same effect? How is it, time-wise? Do you breathe enough? Are you able to focus long enough or do you dream away? What do you think about? Things like that. If you do all these things then it’s the technique that I talk about it and it’s much more than just moving your muscles.”

Thomas: “I can think of a thousand things! One thing would be to practise unison strokes, playing both hands at the same time, not alternating.”

Lang Pic 2Now try this: grip

Thomas: “Make sure that your left hand and your right hand are equally strong by playing fast unison strokes in different patterns, in different cycles; groups of three, groups of five, seven, two 16ths and one eighth note, but with both hands at the same time.

“That way you make sure your hands are equally strong and you can concentrate on either the right or the left for timing and precision while you are playing.”

Tip 3: Quicken your kick
Are there any shortcuts for fast double-kick playing or is it just a question of putting in the practice?

Benny: “Yes and no. There is this thing, practice makes perfect, which is not right. Perfect practice makes perfect. You can practise in the wrong way forever without getting any results. We sometimes try harder at things – ‘I have to play more, I have to practise harder, I have to practise longer.’ Sometimes it takes us too long to think, ‘Okay, it’s not practising longer, I should try it differently.’

“With a car it’s what baggage can you drop off to make it run faster? If you can’t equip the car with a better motor and you want to go faster, you have to drop weight. In your motion and your technique, it’s not about equipping yourself with more fancy stuff, it’s getting rid of all the excess stuff you don’t need. Then the car runs faster.”

Thomas: “There are certain ways to make it a little easier using pedals with super-high tension, long board pedals with a very low footboard angle, trigger microphones with electronics… It’s a bit of a joke because double bass drums have to be played with aggression. This is an aspect of aggressive music and without volume there is no aggression.

“I’ve seen many bands that perform and, when you are listening to the drums from behind the riser, it is very quiet. There is a complete lack of power and to me this kind of music has to be played with ‘oomph’ and some serious muscle. If it doesn’t have that and it’s all just triggered then it has no substance.

“Rule number one: for speed you must compromise volume. There is no other way, you can’t play ultra-fast and ultra-loud at the same time. I make a compromise by playing loud and when it starts getting weak and wimpy I stop because I can play faster but at a certain speed you lose volume.

“There are certain ways to make it easier but to achieve powerful single-stroke rolls or double-stroke rolls on the bass drum requires nothing but practice. A few years of intense, focussed bass drum practice, but you get results.

“If you stick to it you will be able to execute powerful and beefy double and single strokes at a fast tempo upwards of 200bpm that can be played on any acoustic drum and work in any playing situation without trigger mics.”

Tip 4: Improve your technique
At what point should technique enter the picture in your journey as a player?
Thomas: “Technique was always a major aspect from day one from my first drum lesson when I was five. My teacher talked about technique but because it was from day one it never registered with me as anything special or daunting. It was just there. This is what you need in order to execute these things.

“After 10 years of playing I started to tweak my own techniques and combine techniques and really understand for myself why certain techniques exist, how to employ them correctly in order to make playing easier, or how to switch between techniques to produce different sounds or feels.

“I try to stay out of the groove’s way. A groove is that repetitive cycle that creates the magic. As soon as you play a fill or change it, it kind of ruins it.” Thomas Lang

“That came later in my development. Technique as part of learning was there from the beginning.”

Greb Pic 2Benny: “There is expression first, then maybe later you find out you need more technique to express what you want to express. I think this is the best order. Sometimes people think, ‘Oh, wouldn’t it have been great to learn all the technique and then get started?’ No, that would be horrible! It’s so important to play first and experience music and have fun.

“Technique, as I define it, is stuff that you always try to take care of – sound, time, focus. I very seldom do things like, ‘Let’s get on the Moeller technique again,’ or ‘Let’s check out the different grips again and what we can optimise there,’ but every once in a while I do it with focus and learn something.

Do you think in terms of technique when coming up with fills?
Thomas: “Never, no. I don’t think about fills and I try to avoid fills. I only play them if I am prompted or the producer demands it. When I work for other writers or producers I have no desire to be flash, add fills or any stuff that is unnecessary or could interrupt the groove or take away from the feel of the song or be in the way of a singer. I just play the song.”It’s great but it’s not something that’s on my list every day because it’s simply not the most important thing.”

“I try to stay out of the groove’s way. A groove is a repetitive cycle that only works after a certain amount of repetitions. It’s that cycle that comes around that creates the magic. As soon as you play a fill or change the cycle it kind of ruins it. It’s like having a beautiful brick wall that’s made out of all identical bricks and suddenly you start adding half sizes and a blue brick, two red ones, then two quarter-sized yellow ones.

“Okay, this is now a mess. Where is the beautiful red brick wall? Unless the music asks for it and you want a lot of colourful playing and a lot of variations, in most session situations that is not required and not asked for.”

Benny: “With fills you try to make them as groovy as the grooves, like groove variations rather than ‘fills’, like to fill some beats in. With Steve Gadd, you don’t even know that he’s playing a fill. It’s a different groove in bar four or something.

“You have to have one consistent thing and that is the quarter-note pulse. If you focus on that you will have that flow to whatever you play.” Benny Greb

“Sometimes drummers change everything, they change body posture, stop breathing for one bar, change their technique, focus more on the pattern. They change everything but they expect that the time feel shouldn’t change. That doesn’t make any sense.

“You have to have one consistent thing and it should be the quarter-note pulse. If you focus on that then the chances are quite high that you will have that flow to whatever you play, which is a mental technique.”

When you are doing a solo performance, do you think about what techniques you can incorporate in your playing?

Benny: “I don’t structure my solos in terms of displaying technique, not at all. Yuck, that feels ugly – I would feel dirty doing that. If I have a good day, and everyone has good and bad days and sometimes I have to think more than I would like to, but if I have a good day I don’t think at all, not only about technique but I think about nothing.

“I just play and I see what happens and I let myself be guided by mistakes that I do and try to repeat them so they become a composition.”

Lang Pic 3Thomas: “Everything I do in a solo context is displaying techniques. Everybody is taking the whole solo thing so seriously, as if that was part of my musical identity, which it isn’t. They are only drum shows for drummers. All I’m doing is displaying techniques and noodling around and being flash and spectacular. It’s really only a display of technique, often only for technique’s sake, not for music’s sake.

“There is hardly anything that I play in a clinic context that is non-technical. If I am a viewer at a clinic I’m not going to see somebody play a beat. If I want that I’ll go to a concert and I’ll watch the guy play with a band in a context that is less demanding of something spectacular and where the performer would feel more at ease to play something a little more subtle, more musical.”

Do you have time for practising?
Benny: “No one has time for anything. You can take time, so I take time for practising. Sometimes I don’t practise daily, but as I said, perfect practice makes perfect so I try to make my practice as good and as focused as possible.

“I live very centrally in Hamburg so I don’t have the possibility of having a drumset here. I have a little studio/practice room and I drive there and take a couple of hours whenever I can. I have a pad here obviously but I see myself being more inspired when I sit at a real drumset.

“When I’m on tour I tend to use the pad more but I try to play the drums if possible.”

Thomas: “No, I never practise. I haven’t practised for many years. I’m not proud of it. Actually I’m fully ashamed of it and I wish I could but I have a life besides being a musician.

“I work a lot, not only as a drummer but as a writer and producer. I have a lot of session work and it’s very time-consuming and unfortunately there is no time to practise. I like to practise and I wish I could practise more. I am always working on making more time to practise.

“I hope once my kids are in school I can make some more time to finally get back into practising.”

Greb Pic 3Tip 5: Keep better time
Do you have any good techniques to improve time-keeping?
Benny: “You have to be aware of the quarter-note pulse. I have this exercise on my DVD where there is a quarter note pulse ‘singing’, with this click sound you make a ‘chit’ sound. It’s just an exercise where you do this ‘chit’ sound with clapping or improvising which really shows you, do you think time-oriented or pattern-oriented, which makes a big difference.

“We, as drummers, often make the mistake of thinking pattern-oriented, which means we focus on what we do instead of how we do it, and sometimes even why we do it. If we try to do a certain fill, we concentrate more on executing the fill how we want it instead of executing it, even if it comes out differently but having good time.

“In your motion and your technique, it’s not about equipping yourself with more fancy stuff, it’s getting rid of all Benny: “We as the excess stuff you don’t need.” Benny Greb
“Time, you could say, is a mathematical thing if you break it down, but groove and a good feel are an emotional thing, not a mathematical thing – and that needs a lot of sensitivity and a lot of focus and also some democracy in the band and some tension between the players.

“If I had to strip it down, what helped me the most in time-keeping would be this quarter-note ‘chit’ singing while improvising. It’s a great exercise. Whenever I have a timing problem, when I listen to a gig and some fill is kind of weird, I go back into the practice room, try it out and I sing the quarter-note to it. Then in the future it really sounds great.”

“If you can remember tempo then you are less likely to speed up or slow down. That can be achieved by association and muscle memory. The best way to do it is to combine the two.

“Association, meaning you have a song in your mind. You know this Police song is at 115bpm or this Kings Of Leon tune is at 150bpm. You sing the song, it only takes you about five seconds to sing a chorus and pretty much nail a tempo. That’s association, then at the same time you have a muscle memory component.

“It’s necessary for every musician to be able to learn tempos by heart. If you ask me to play 72bpm, I can nail it. It’s a learned skill that anybody can do. It’s easy to nail 60bpm because everybody has a watch, but if you have 60bpm you always have the double-time and the half-time.”

In the great debate of technique versus musicality, is there any danger you can take the pursuit of technical excellence too far?

Greb Pic 4Benny: “Technique should be a tool that you use for something. That’s why I love the Indian approach so much because first you have to learn the musical language of what you will express. You won’t play it with your instrument or your technique that will be relevant later but you have to do it with your voice, so you are just focussing on expression.

“If you are then fit enough and know what you want to say as an artist then, after a year of that syllable talk stuff, you learn how to play your instrument. They’ve got the order right and this is what I try to do when I talk to people in clinics or when I still had students, I always tried to wait until they came up with something and said, ‘I want to play drum’n’bass,’ or ‘I want to play heavy metal double bass.’

“It’s always people who have no technique that say they don’t need technique to play the drums. Technique is a tool. Why not use the right tool?” Thomas Lang

“Then this was the chance for me to say, ‘You need this technique to get this sound,’ then they have a reason. Sometimes I see people who practise technique and then they have this monstrous tool that is very dangerous if used unwisely and then they run around: ‘Hmm, where can I use this?’

“If you go to a doctor that is very good at open heart surgery but you only have a cold and he cuts you open because he wants to prove to you how good he is, you wake up, ‘What the hell is this?’

“We, as drummers, need to have an ethical code like doctors that it’s good to do what’s necessary with technique and with our knowledge and not always good to do what you can do. This is important when we talk about technique.”

Thomas: “That argument is usually happening between people who have no technique, who don’t understand what the heck they are talking about. To say that technical music is not musical is saying that Mozart and Chopin are not musical, that Rachmaninov and Bach are not musical. This is ridiculous. Of course it is musical!

“Technique often makes music. If you listen to Vivaldi, this is super technical music. Zappa is not musical? Tony Williams isn’t musical? Steve Gadd? Dave Weckl? Stop being ridiculous, people, and wake up. ‘Technique has nothing to do with music’ – the argument is nonsense. You must stop arguing about this.

“It’s always people who have no technique that say they don’t need technique to play the drums. Technique is a tool. You use it for certain activities. You need a hammer to drive a nail into a wall. You need a circular saw to chop lumber. You can use the circular saw to get the nail out of the lumber but it’s not the right tool. You can use pliers for that. You can use a hammer to chop wood, it will take much longer and it won’t be a straight edge.

“Why not use the right tool? If you can acquire it, it will make playing easier and that’s all that technique is. If you have technique it will make playing easier for you. It won’t affect your musicality in a negative way.

“The more tools you have, the more reined works you can do, the more precise you are, the more creative you can be and the more efficient you can be in executing all your musical ideas.”

Lang Pic 4Now try this: timing
Thomas: “Learn five tempos in steps of 10s, for example 100bpm which means you are also able to play 50bpm and 200bpm. Do that in steps of 10, learn songs in each tempo, memorize the song and associate some muscle memory with the song you have in mind, meaning that you know you can only play a certain pattern with your right hand at a certain speed or the right hand can only play 16th notes at that speed using finger control.

“At a faster tempo you have to switch to Moeller strokes or Gladstone technique. You know what your physical comfort zones are at certain tempos and that narrows the tempo margin. That aspect in association with memorising a tune allows you to completely nail a tempo.

“This is a learned skill, all you have to do is put in the time, make an effort to learn some songs and just clock your favourite tunes. Get a metronome out. You probably don’t know how fast Back In Black is, so get a metronome out and clock it.

“If you like a song and have heard it a thousand times, you can feel the song without hearing it, you know what the tempo feels like, it’s internalised. All you need to do is know what that number is.”

Article written by David West (Rhythm)Drummersrule

Brett Frederickson – DrummersRule! Drum Lessons

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Acoustic Or Electric Drum Kit?

When Choosing Between an Acoustic or Electric, Which Should You Purchase?

Students notice that I have both an Acoustic Drum Set and Four (4) Electronic Drum Sets in my Drum Studio. I get asked frequently which is better to practice or play on. The answer isn’t as black and white as the question and simply comes down to looking at the advantages and disadvantages of both types of instrument.

Both types of drum kits have both advantages & disadvantages over the other but at the end of the day it all depends on what you intend to use the set for and how seriously you take your drumming.

Acoustic Drum Kit


With an acoustic kit the drummer is able to play with great feel and touch, from the very quiet to the very loud. Cymbal washes are of course possible unlike most electric drum kits and unlike most electric kits it is possible to take advantage of the tiny subtleties that can be squeezed from a real acoustic drum and cymbal. The acoustic drum kit is an incredibly sensitive and subtle instrument with great dynamics that just aren’t possible to recreate electronically. Yet!

learn-to-drum-phoenix-arizona-5Real acoustic drums allow the drummer to learn and perform drum rolls, buzz rolls, cymbal swells, hi-hat technique and cross stick to a better and more realistic level than the electric drum kit.

No electronic amplification is needed for small gigs and brand practice.

The positioning options of an acoustic kit are far superior allowing angles and heights of drums to be placed where you want due to advanced adjustable stands.

A nice feature about the acoustic drum kit is how affordable they are. Bottom end kits can be purchased brand new for under $300.00 these days and second hand drum kits can be even cheaper. Unlike electronic kits there is less risk involved in buying second hand drums as they are far less likely to break.


Noise! An acoustic drum kit is LOUD but drum silencer pads can help reduce volume drastically. This does mean that the feel and sound of the drums suffer enormously though. Unless ear plugs are worn then hearing damage is a real risk. Be careful!

Drums will need their heads replacing occasionally depending on how hard or often you play and can be quite expensive, especially the larger bass drum.

Acoustic drums need to be tuned, this can be difficult to achieve properly by amateurs. It is possible just to tighten for feel rather than sound if the sonic quality of the instrument isn’t important to you.

Drum kits can be big and heavy and so require space and patience when setting up or breaking down.

Real acoustic drums can be scratched and even warp in shape if treated badly or left somewhere damp. If left in a dry environment [garage] shell can bubble up, especially on low end kits.

Electric Drum Kit


Probably the most important advantage with the electric drum kit is the ability to practice with earphones or turn down the volume of the drums meaning noise issues can be avoided. This makes the electric kit ideal for flats or houses with grumpy neighbors.

Drummersrule Electronic KitMost electric drum kits have built in tools for practice such as metronomes and multiple drum kit sounds allowing drummers to experiment with their sound and playing styles. This can be a lot of fun and great for learning.

Drumsticks tend to last much longer with an electric kit as they are not hitting real drum rims and sharp cymbal edges. A minor advantage I know but still…

You will get more stick bounce on an electric drum kit as they are basically rubber pads that never loose tension. This means that playing becomes slightly easier.that is why developing good technique is very important

Electric drum kits can be plugged directly into recording equipment/pc for practice or writing sessions. Some higher range electronic drum kits have built in recording facilities already. Many churches and studios use electronic kits to regulate and control the sound and volume. There is also no need for mics or mic stands.

Electric kits have a smaller floor footprint than most acoustic drum sets and so can fit into small rooms or onto small stages. You will obviously never have to worry about tuning an electronic drum kit.


They don’t feel or sound the same as an acoustic drum kit. This is the biggest disadvantage with electric kits. The technology is improving but you can’t beat (no pun intended) the feel and sound of real drums, cymbals and hi-hats. The cheaper electric drum kits sound very fake and can be uncomfortable to play on due to cheap materials. Some electric drum kits don’t even have real drum pedals and instead are supplied with trigger pads, which are unusable at fast tempos and insensitive to the light touch.

A common misconception is that the electronic drum set is totally silent; this is not the case as noises are still created from hitting the pads with sticks and bass drum beaters hitting rubber surfaces. They are NOT totally silent as bass drum pads can be heard through floors and walls and the tapping of rubber pads is audible from other rooms.

Electric drum kits will eventually break and will need individual parts replaced such as new drum pads or clamps. Some of the cheapest electric drum kits are infamous for this.

Electric kits can be very awkward when setting up sound levels on stage and most sound engineers aren’t prepared to set up an electronic kit.

They do require external amplification if used for performance. A small guitar amp is all that’s required for your own private use but if used on stage they will need greater amplification.

Some electric drum kits have very limited positioning options. Drums might not be able to be set up at required heights for example due to limiting pad arms or rack.

Warning, buying a second hand electric kit can be a bit risky as with buying any electric product second hand. It could be on the verge of breaking and you will never know until you take it home and use it.

When it comes to price, a good mid range electric drum sets can cost between $1,500.00 to $2,500.00.


As you can see there are many reasons to choose one type of drum kit over the other.

When asked which one to buy, my answer has always depended on just one parameter – is noise an issue? If the answer is yes then the drummer will obviously want to consider an electric drum kit.

Electric drum kits, with all the built in learning tools, are great for practicing on but not really for performing on stage. A beginner could use an electric drum kit in their bedroom but a gigging drummer is probably going to require a real acoustic set.

At the end of the day you can’t beat the sound, feel and subtlety of a real acoustic drum kit.

As always, contact me with any questions,

Mr. Brett



About Brett Frederickson and DrummersRule! Drum Lessons. 

– Degreed instructor — Musicians Institute of Technology (MIT)

– Drum Set instructor for over 27 years

– Drum Line instructor for over 17 years winning many State Competitions and Awards

– Featured in magazines including Modern Drummer, Drum Business, and Drum Magazine

– Has Performed and done Studio Work with many bands including Megadeath, Scott Mishoe, Keith Horne, Jeff Kollman, Ray Riendeau and many more.

– Former students have graduated from Berklee College of Music & Musicians Institute of Technology (MIT)

– Former students have received full ride scholarships to ASU, NAU and U of A for drum-line, jazz band, and percussion

Drum Studio Located in North Phoenix

Brett’s true passion is teaching students to play drums, in a fun, quality learning environment. So whether you are just getting started, or have been playing for years, Brett can help you take your skills to the next level.

Lessons are for a full hour at $25.00/hr. Come see why his students keep coming back!

Brett Frederickson 602-843-3114 or Online at

Drumming Tip #1 – REPETITION!

You would be AMAZED how many problems in drumming come from one little “Secret”…. Like to know what it is?

The secret is REPETITION…

Most young drummers (and even some old ones) underestimate the importance of this word.  Many simple problems are solved relatively easily by incorporating this one little secret.

PROBLEM #1: My arms tire while playing for long periods of time. 
FIX: REPETITION! Practice single strokes for LONG periods of time. Get them EXTREMELY fast to where they become “very” comfortable. If the rest of your technique is relatively good, your arms will not tire after that.


PROBLEM #2: My feet are slow and can’t do half the things my hands do. 
FIX: REPETITION! Isolate your feet and practice nothing but them for extended periods of time. Play the samba bass drum rhythm “allot”. That’s always been a good one for getting your right foot in shape.

PROBLEM #3: I can’t play in odd time signatures.
FIX: REPETITION.! Vinnie Colauita once said, “Just play in 7 for like an hour”. This is especially insightful as we can often get caught up in studying things too closely and miss the point. Sheer repetition will help lead to more comfort in odd times.

drummersrule lessons

PROBLEM #4: I can’t do a proper double stroke roll to save my life. 
FIX: REPETITION! Play that thing slowly, properly, and for “long” periods of time, while gradually increasing your speed. DO NOT CHEAT. Make yourself do intentional, defined doubles. Chart your progress by playing to 16th’s on a metronome. In no time at all, you’ll be GETTING IT.

Thanks for reading… please call me with any questions!

Mr. Brett

Brett Frederickson – DrummersRule! Drum Lessons
Call or Text today at 602-769-2075 or check us out online at
Come see why our students keep coming back… We look forward to seeing you!!

Brett’s Top 10 Tips When Practicing Drums!


Practicing drums can be a struggle and feel boring at times. In fact, most drummers will sit and jam with an iPod for an hour, and call it a good “practice”. The truth is, practicing your technique and jamming are two totally different things. So how do you get the most out of your practice times? Note: Practicing doesn’t make perfect – Practicing RIGHT makes perfect.

1.  Use a Practice Pad

Use a practice pad! Believe it or not, it is essential for developing strong stick control. I recommend you spend 50% of your practice time on a drum pad, playing drum rudiments and working on endurance. A practice pad helps eliminate distraction and will force you to stick to your drum rudiments, and be more creative.

2.  Count Out Loud

We have all heard this is a good thing to do, but not until I was trying to learn more difficult beats and rhythms did I find how helpful it was!. Counting out loud is a great way to check and see if you are playing things right. If you are counting and your playing doesn’t line up – you will know immediately that something is wrong.

3.  Use a Metronome

Use a Metronome! Regardless how long you’ve been playing, a good drummer will practice with one. Taking the time to learn how to use a metronome is essential when it comes to practicing. It will help make you a consistent drummer, which is key if you’re looking to land gigs or be asked back to play. Because it forces you to play on time, you will see just how good you really are. Another idea is to listen to your favorite tune and use the tempo from that song.

4.  Slow it Down

When you start to learn something new, always start slow. Even if you think that you know the beat already, play it slow just to make sure that you are doing it right. Once you know that you are doing it right, then you can start to speed it up. Trying to play too fast at first will ultimately slow down your progress.

5.  Practice, Don’t  Play


Dedicated “practice” time should be focused. You should never jam or play things you have already mastered during this time. This is a mistake that we all have made. It is extremely important to stay on task during any formal practice time.

I have seen students who don’t follow this simple principle and as a result have been working on certain beats for months. They come into lessons week after week without making any real progress.

6.  Be Open to All Styles

Try to find different styles of songs you are not used to; or find songs that are above your level of playing. Listen to larger variety music. Playing along with these songs will force you to be more creative and make you step out of your comfort zone. An example, if you want to increase your speed , try playing along to some faster music.

7.  Get Creative with the Sticks and Surfaces You Use

To increase you speed and control, try playing on different surfaces with bigger sticks. Instead of playing on a practice pad, try drumming on a pillow. This will give you a lot less bounce, forcing you to build your finger and wrist muscles faster. Also, go out and pick up a set of thicker sticks. If you use 5a’s, try practicing with 2b’s, or if you use 2b’s, try using marching band sticks. Do this for a week and go back to your smaller sticks; you will be very surprised at the results! If you are unsure how the thickness and weight of drumsticks make a difference, do some online research for drum articles for more information.

8.  Have a Routine

Ideally you want to practice everyday of the week, but at very least you want to get in to any form of routine. This will help you learn at a steady pace – spending more time advancing your skills instead of re-practicing things that you’ve already mastered.

Inconsistency will make it harder to remember everything you’ve practiced. You might still know a few of the things, but ultimately you will have lost much of what you worked on. As drummers, we are trying to build muscle memory. Practice and repetition is key to achieving this.

9.  Good Posture is Key

This may seem odd, but it is extremely important that you sit up straight during a practice or performance. Not only is this better for your body, but it also helps you stay more focused on what you are doing. You’d be surprised how much easier everything seems when you are in the “ready position” with your back straight and your arms loose and ready. Have those close to you to help keep you in check that you are practicing good posture when sitting at the drum set.

10.  Make it Fun – Let’s See You Smile!


Forcing yourself to practice is the worse thing you can do. Instead, find a way to practice so you enjoy it. Chances are if you accomplish more objectives. It’s always important to end practices on a good note. Overcoming small obstacles is a great way to wrap things up and give you that added confidence to take your playing to the next level. In drumming and in life, confidence based on your accomplishment is everything.enjoy what you are doing, you will do it more often and with more determination. Look at your practice time as a challenge.




Brett Frederickson – DrummersRule! Drum Lessons
Call or Text today at 602-769-2075 or check us out online at
Come see why our students keep coming back… We look forward to seeing you!!