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Drum Tutorial Lesson 6

Updated on December 23, 2009

Welcome back to lesson six of the learning how to drum series.

If you thought that drumming looked like fun but didn't have the confidence to give it a try, due to not having the equipment, someone to show you how or you felt that you lacked the coordination, then you've come to the right place. Because I wrote these lessons for YOU.

You don't need a drum kit to start, but if you can buy some drumsticks to start, it'll help you get a better feel for it. Then follow these simple steps and tap out the rhythms on your legs if you have to. Or some pillows. Or buy a rubber practice pad. Later if you feel like it's something you can really get into, you can buy a practice kit or a second hand kit. But to fully experience this lesson, which is about the ride cymbal, you'll need to use an actual drum kit.

I developed this drum tab system as an easy and understandable way for people to learn how to play the drums. If you follow these tutorials at your own pace and you have a pinch of rhythmic ability before too long you will be able to hold a steady beat. If you haven't read lesson one in the series yet you better head over there now. Otherwise none of this will make sense to you.
And now on to this lesson...

Drum Lesson Six: The Ride Cymbal

The ride cymbal, usually the biggest and thickest cymbal, is a standard part of most drum kits. It ranges from 18 to 24 inches in diameter. Much like the hi-hats, its function is to maintain a steady rhythmic pattern. It is often played louder than a hi-hat, and can create a more exciting dynamic.

Before you let loose though, it's important to become familiar and proficient with it as you have with the previous lessons involving the hi-hats.

The following patterns are the same as Straight Beats 1, 2, 3 and 4 but using the Ride cymbal instead of the hi-hats.

Straight Beat 1
C  --------|--------|--------|--------|
Rd *-*-*-*-|*-*-*-*-|*-*-*-*-|*-*-*-*-|
H  --------|--------|--------|--------| repeat
S  ----x---|----x---|----x---|----x---|
B  o-------|o-------|o-------|o-------|

Straight Beat 2
C  --------|--------|--------|--------|
Rd *-*-*-*-|*-*-*-*-|*-*-*-*-|*-*-*-*-|
H  --------|--------|--------|--------| repeat
S  ----x---|----x---|----x---|----x---|
B  o-o-----|o-o-----|o-o-----|o-o-----|

Straight Beat 3
C  --------|--------|--------|--------|
Rd *-*-*-*-|*-*-*-*-|*-*-*-*-|*-*-*-*-|
H  --------|--------|--------|--------| repeat
S  ----x---|----x---|----x---|----x---|
B  o---o---|o---o---|o---o---|o---o---|

Straight Beat 4
C  --------|--------|--------|--------|
Rd *-*-*-*-|*-*-*-*-|*-*-*-*-|*-*-*-*-|
H  --------|--------|--------|--------| repeat
S  ----x---|----x---|----x---|----x---|
B  o-o-o-o-|o-o-o-o-|o-o-o-o-|o-o-o-o-|

There's a few ways you can play the ride. First of all, don't strike too hard. The ride is one of, if not the thickest cymbals you'll have in any given set up, but they're not made to crash.

Use the tip of the drum stick on the surface of the ride, at around the half way mark. Also try hitting the bell of the cymbal. You'll hear a different sound. You can also use the stick (and not the tip) to strike the bell and you'll hear a duller sound. Practice one way all the way through, and then try a different part of the ride. As you get more coordinated and confident you can mix it up and alternate between bars and if you're quick enough, even beats.


And then once you're proficient with your riding technique, you can go on to drumming lesson 7.


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      8 years ago

      hey thanks man...ur really a big help....hey can u like give us more lessons?? it's be great if u can..

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      How can one position his hand on s drum

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      This is really helpful, thanks!


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