Drum Tuning – Tom Toms

In this lesson you’ll learn how to tune your high and low tom toms for optimal tone and projection.


Drum Tuning – Snare Drum

Tuning your snare correctly is important for getting the right sound for any particular style of music. This lesson shows you the basics of snare tuning.


Drum Tuning – Bass Drum

This lesson is an in-depth introduction to tuning your bass drum. It covers the basic concept of tuning your bass drum and shows you how to achieve a few different sounds using the same drum.


Play-along – You And The Night And The Music

Sacha performs to our play-along version of “You And The Night And The Music”. Download the ‘minus drums’ version and have a go yourself.


Play-along – Oleo

In this performance video, Sacha plays “Oleo” – a typical example of the AABA rhythm changes song form. Download the ‘minus drums’ version and have a go yourself.


Play-along – Green Dolphin Street

“Green Dolphin Street” is a popular jazz standard which can be played many ways. This version uses a simple medium swing feel but also modulates between two different keys, giving it a unique sense of momentum. Download the ‘minus drums’ version and have a go yourself.


Play-along – Georgia On My Mind

This is a slow 12/8 version of the popular standard “Georgia On My Mind”. It starts off nice and easy but builds and builds and by the end you should have had some good fun. Download the ‘minus drums’ version and have a go yourself.


Play-along – Dr Smooth

This play-along track is great for practicing your rock and funk grooves with sixteenth-note subdivisions. There’s a lot of different ways you could interpret this track on the kit (e.g. really heavy or really airy and light) and you can watch Sacha’s interpretation in the video. Download the ‘minus drums’ version and have a go…


Play-along – Damas Cha Cha Cha

In this lesson, Sacha performs to a play-along track called “Damas Cha Cha Cha” – a traditional Cuban cha cha cha with a modern edge. Download the ‘minus drums’ version and have a go yourself.


Play-along – Caravan

This track is a fairly typical modern jazz trio rendition of Duke Ellington’s “Caravan”. Keep in mind that once the melody starts, the song is based on AABA form. The feel for the A sections is a loose ‘swinging latin’ groove, and the B section changes to swing.


Play-along – C Jam Blues

12-Bar Blues is the most basic jazz form, and learning to play and feel it is essential to become a great jazz player. “C Jam Blues” was written by Duke Ellington and is one of the simplest songs ever written, but also one of the most catchy.


Play-along – Bernies Tune

“Bernie’s Tune” is an example of the AABA jazz form. In this version we have a 2-feel in the A sections (2 beats to the bar), and a 4-feel in the B section (4 beats to the bar) – listen for the bass to help you along.


How To Play Triplets

A triplet is a kind of note that allows you to divide beats into 3 notes rather than 2 or 4. This lesson shows you how to count and play triplets. The downloadable sheet music also shows you how they’re written.


Trading Drum Solos

In this lesson you’ll learn a technique often used in jazz and other types of improvised music for drummers to take a drum solo while still interacting with the band.


Rudiment Applications – Six Stroke Roll 2

These demonstrations show you a few ways the Six Stroke Roll rudiment can be used to create drum licks with left and right hand lead.


Rudiment Applications – Six Stroke Roll 1

This lesson demonstrates of some of the ways the Six Stroke Roll rudiment can be used to create melodic patterns around the drum kit.


Rudiment Applications – Single Paradiddle

This lesson demonstrates of some of the ways the Single Paradiddle rudiment can be used to create melodic patterns around the drum kit.


Rudiment Applications – Single & Double Paradiddles

This is a short demonstration of Single and Double Paradiddles and how they can be used to play freely and fluidly around the drum kit.


Rudiment Applications – Inverted Paradiddles

This lesson demonstrates an ‘inverted’ Single Paradiddle rudiment and how it can be used to create melodic patterns around the drum kit.


Metric Modulation

This advanced lesson deals with the concept of Metric Modulation, which means changing the meter (time signature) and/or tempo (speed) of the music.


Licks – Woody Woodpecker

I came up with this 9-note drum lick back at university and has had people asking about it ever since. One YouTube commenter said it sounded like Woody Woodpecker laughing…hence it’s name.


Licks – The Blushda

This is a powerful and very handy drum lick made up of a flam and a drag. With a little practice the ‘Blushda’ will sit nicely in your bag of drumming tricks.


Licks – Steve Gadd Drum Lick

Here’s a really cool drum lick made famous by the great Steve Gadd. Remarkably simple but really effective when practiced right.


Licks – Speed Exercise – Directional Triplets

This is a simple but effective practice exercise designed to get you moving around your drum kit with more speed and endurance. It’s more of a physical workout than most of my other lessons so put on your gym clothes and work that core.


Licks – Cliff Almond Drum Lick

This drum lick/fill is taken from a Michel Camilo recording called ‘Not Yet’. Drummer Cliff Almond plays this little gem to bring the band in after a piano intro. An epic fill for an epic piece of music!


Licks – 6-Note Speed Lick

This simple drum lick is made up of only six notes and can be used in any sort of music where you want a heavy sounding fill or solo. The sticking is RLRLFF (Right Left Right Left Foot Foot) which could be interpreted as a Single Stroke Four followed by two bass drum notes.


Free Playing – With No Pulse

Sometimes the best thing you can do behind your instrument is just play. Free playing time can allow you to momentarily forget all the structured things you’ve learned and see what feels good to play in that moment. It’s about pure expression and exploration – like going for a walk deep in the woods and…


Free Playing – Streetbeats

Sacha warming up to record some lessons by improvising some New Orleans ‘streetbeats’ aka ‘second line’ grooves.


Free Playing – Songo Grooves

Sacha warming up to record some lessons by playing some songo grooves.


Billy Cobham Melodic Pattern

Found in an old Billy Cobham drum clinic video, this pattern combines a 3-note pattern in the left hand with a 4-note pattern in the right hand, resulting in a unique and challenging drum kit melody. Billy Cobham was one of my biggest early influences and his unique drumming on the albums ‘Spectrum’ and ‘Total…