T Bruce’s Free Drum Lessons & Gratis Daily Drumming Tips

A series of free daily drumming tips to help you rapidly improve your playing in ways you never imagined!

September, 2018: I’ve been teaching at Carleton University for five years. In addition, I’m going to be coaching drummers in my home music studio in Orleans/Ottawa, Canada.  It’s what I do: seriously coach the best out of drummers who are inquisitive and passionate. My instructor-peers, Dave Mattacks and Jim Keltner, taught me everything. To give one example, I’m not content with teaching heel-up or heel-down or some hybrid. First we’ve got to see why the issue arises. What are you doing that causes you pain or mitigates against speed? Why can’t you control your bass drum? Why do you have trouble at 130bpm playing your Bonham doubles/triplets whereas Larnell Lewis is playing 16th notes with a single pedal: crescendos, no less! And then doing it with right hand, or left hand, in unison? We’ll get to the bottom of it. I kneel and bend, and see if you’re patting the pedal as in ping pong. Or see if you are employing the muscles north of the knee, as used in heel-up execution while keeping your heel on the heel-plate to please a teacher who told you all good drumming starts with heel-down on bass drum. Well, that’s a load of manure. And where would it leave Elvin Jones or JR Robinson? Now that is one recipe for the body fighting the natural order. I’ve cured that affliction many times. Also, I’ve noticed trends in foot problems that suggest that it’s due to technical and coordination elsewhere in the body. Let’s get in there, find out what’s not working, and prescribe a remedy. Wouldn’t that be nice, not having to wonder for five-tears until some sports therapist tells you, “Better break from drumming for six months and cure your tendonitis”! You need what I have to offer, not all of you, of course. It’s a fairly unique approach that works on concepts, gateway exercises, basic grip/stroke and a whole lot of things I learned from eminent teachers like Freddie Gruber. Email me: tbrucewittet@gmail.com  Let’s get your drumming career started. Or let’s jump-start it.

April 27, 2013: Audio and video lesson on breaking the rules and becoming a better drummer.

August 18: The most important technique in getting a great snare sound is the rimshot. I have painstakingly drawn, sketched, mapped out a couple of places where you ought to place the stick (no jokes please…I heard that!)

July 30, 2012: Forget about expensive Moon Gel for muffling cymbals/drums. Chewing gum works as well, feels organic, and tastes better! And is cheap as dirt.

July 11, 2012: Turn your freaking snares off!

July 13, 2012: Friday the 13th means whenplaying brushes turn your snares off, too!

* In-depth Insights & Gateways to Better Drumming

March 04, 2012: Open the door to folkloric musics and all sorts of bodily trauma. Investigate the upbeat….not the backbeat but the upbeat….

January 9, 2012: Insights into drumming in a free jazz or improvisational music context. Is there implicit drumming logic? Or do the sticks fall as they may?

March 31, 2011: A challenge to the Doctrine of the Thumb-First Finger Fulcrum. I took heat for this when I explored this notion in Modern Drummer magazine and Drums Etc magazine features. You wouldn’t believe. And as my colleague Kevin Crabb (scroll way down for link) points out, it’s but the tip of the iceberg. All I was trying to say with in MD and DE was that if you’ve got a lever (stick) and a pivot point/fulcrum limited to thumb and finger-1 and you exert pressure on that fulcrum: (1) you compromise the lever system, which relies on force exerted distant from the pivot point, and (2) you can get hurt

March 7 to March 27: Part II of an article offering a radical ray of hope: How Drummers Can Relieve Performance Anxiety, Panic, the Frights, and Build Self Esteem…the answer lies in the pulse, listening, feeling it….

* T Bruce Private Lessons

I am accepting a handful of students in the Ottawa, Canada area. The curriculum is atypical and drawn from classic techniques (I studied Gladstone…from a disciple, not from Billy…not that old!) mixed with modern. I’m into folkloric styles. We play a lot. We do repairs and remedial. We get sounds. Identify the implicit grid in reggae vs second line. We pause and I spin CDs. When I teach you, say, a Cuban songo, you learn what it is to play in-clave. I’d rather explore the upbeat lilt in The Roots’ “The Otherside” than what goes up & down in BS& T’s “Spinning Wheel”.  You like country? Great. You like music. It’s all good. Rock is good, so is jazz…just ask Tony Williams (long distance charges may apply). Email: TBruceWittet@gmail.com