DRUMSET LESSON MENU #1
Beginner & Intermediate.

DRUMSET LESSON MENU #2 Intermediate & Advanced.

DRUMSET LESSON MENU #3
Advanced & Ultra-Advanced.

DRUMSET LESSON MENU #4
Text lessons: All levels.

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Bill Powelson's School of Drums

Drum Lesson Menu #2 (The E-M Menu)

Most of the lessons on this menu were originally E-Mail lessons. When I first began teaching here on the Internet back in 1994, . . . the early lessons were often sent to individuals in E-Mail form (hence the label 'E-M' lessons.) Since everything was in plain text e-mail back then, the E-M lessons didn't work out very well because of font displacement and various incompatibility problems between e-mail programs.

Since that time, I have converted most of those lessons to html (web pages.) Many of these lessons still contain traces of the 'old' plain text formatting. Here they are . . .

  • E-M LESSON #1: 16TH 4/4 VARIATIONS: 4.3 billion ideas exist in every measure of this beat category. All drummers should have an arsenal of these variations in their trick bag. Fill patterns operate differently in this framework too. If you have ever heard 'Tom Sawyer' by Rush, you have heard a complex 16th 4/4 variation. These beats are a ton of fun!

  • E-M LESSON #2: BLUES VARIATIONS AND FILLS (bass syncs included): 16 million possibilities per measure. Every drummer will need a bundle of these tricks!. Learn to add fills too!

  • E-M LESSON #3: EIGHTH ROCK VARIATIONS, SYNCOPATIONS & FILLS: Some of this stuff has been covered online, but there are still tons of tricks in this category too. We can go much deeper into these if you choose to do so. Just give me some indication as to what you know already. I will try to take it from there.

  • E-M LESSON #4: Quarter-Note Rock: 90s music has made this a very popular beat category. 65536 possible variations exist in every measure. The fill patterns are similar to 8th rock but there are some differences.

  • E-M LESSON #5: RUDIMENTS, TIPS & ADVANCED FILLS:This lesson is for those of you who are having trouble will rolls and fills. It is guaranteed to take the embarrassing kinks out of your playing style. Learn to connect will fills every time in mid-song! Contains beginner and advanced material.

  • E-M LESSON #6: WALTZ:The Waltz beat is loaded with innovative and fascinating rhythms (over 5 Quintillion per measure) but due to its current lack of popularity . . . maybe it is better to save it for last.

  • E-M LESSON #7: DRUM SOLO TIPS:The quickest easiest way to get your chops together and start playing solos' like a pro in only a matter of days!

  • E-M LESSON #8: 'SWING': Swing is really a variation of Shuffle! Or is it the other way around? Maybe Shuffle is a variation of Swing. At any rate, Swing is central to Jazz drumming! Learn about it here!

  • E-M LESSON #9: "Disco": This beat might best be called '0verhand 16th 4/4'. It got stuck with the undeserved Disco handle back in the 70s and in many minds, the name doesn't do this interesting pattern justice. The truth is, this fascinating pattern existed before the so-called Disco era and it has survived it. This form of 16th 4/4 is still very popular today and it should be for many years to come.

  • E-M LESSON #10: "Reggae & Ska": I am still searching for verified histories of these two beat patterns. Meanwhile, I'll just pass along what I have picked up over the years. Legend has it that Ska came first from Europe during the early days of the British rock and pop invasions of the 1960s. Actually, classic Reggae and Ska are based on the same general beat patterns.

  • E-M LESSON #11:" Polka, CutTime 2/4 and Up-Tempo Jazz": There are easier substitute beat patterns that can be used in place of these patterns. You might play a lifetime without these beats and never have a problem. So, if they drive you crazy and leave you frustrated . . . DON'T PANIC! You can put them on the back-burner for study at another time.

  • E-M LESSON #12: "Syncopated Jazz Waltz" . . . Based on the Swing Beat. This beat is a Jazz Classic! Sooner or later . . . you'll need it!

  • E-M LESSON #13: "Syncopated 5/4": Based on the Swing Beat. This is another Jazz Classic! I've met people who think this is the ONLY 5/4 beat pattern! Yet, we discover through permutation theories that over 1 Trillion 5/4 beat patterns exist. Every drummer needs this one in his/her trick bag, whether it's ever used or not. Knowledge is power! You'll need to know what you are talking about even if this only comes up in conversation.

  • E-M LESSON #14: Using brushes with modern music styles: In this lesson we are speaking primarily of old-fashioned wire brushes used to swish, slap and scratch rhythms at low volumes. More useful knowledge to add to your Jazz info base.

    ADVANCED DRUMMERS!
    Now, move on to Lesson Menu #3. These are the Latin beats every advanced working drummer will want to add to their onstage bag of tricks.

    ULTRA-ADVANCED DRUMMERS!
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    Copyright Bill Powelson 1994 all rights reserved.