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HOW TO CONTROL DYNAMICS

   

The easiest and most common way to control dynamics/volume, is through stick heights. If you play from a lower stick height you will produce a softer sound than if you play from a higher height. Why? There is less time for energy and momentum to enter the stroke.

You can however produce a fairly loud sound from a low stick height if you use a technique such as a finger snap or the push-pull technique, but for general playing, the stick heights concept works best most times.

How many stick heights are there? The 3 most common as recognized in rudimental snare drumming, are tap (soft), half (moderate) and full (loud) strokes. These are the 3 heights most beginners start out with as it gives you a fairly broad scope of the dynamic range. But really, you can use the tiniest increments in stick heights. If you started from 2mm above the drum head, and kept going up in tiny increments (say 1cm or less), all the way up until you were forcefully belting the drum, you could have 20-30 increments, and therefore stick heights. This would mean theoretically, you would have 20-30 different dynamic levels you could draw on.

WHY DO I NEED TO BE ABLE TO PLAY AT DIFFERENT DYNAMIC LEVELS?


Because not all music is meant to be played loud you meat head! ;) Seriously though, different styles of music call for different dynamic levels, and most styles use more than one dynamic level in the same piece of music. Dynamic playing however isn't solely dictated by the style of the music..

A broadly accepted concept is, "you play to the room". What that means is if you're playing in a room that has a naturally big, reasonant sound (maybe a concert hall, or perhaps a restaurant with wooden walls) you might need to play softer (lower stick heights, or use rods or brushes). If you're performing that same piece of music in a softer room (a carpeted rehearsal studio, the middle of a football field, you might need to play louder. The point is, other than the style, always be aware of the acoustical environment you're in and adjust your performance to suit that.

 

 

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Jack's Gear Setup How To Control Dynamics Different Stick Sounds
How To Hold Your Sticks How To Control Speeds Sleishman Pro Series Drums
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Counting 8th Notes Drum Notation & Basic Theory Triplets & Flams Chop Builder
Counting 16th Notes Writing Cheat Sheets Fast Triplet Drum Fills
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