Dynamic Control for Drummers
Being able to play with a good dynamic control is an absolutely skill for all musicians. This is even more important
for drummers and it is topic that many young drummers tend to overlook. Dynamics basically refers to the volume and
power you put into each limb while playing. This varies according to your personal style and genre. Here are a few
ideas that can help you enhance this element of your playing style.
1. Loud or Soft Playing:
With dynamic playing you will be able to access a much larger variety of tones. For example, you could go from soft
hits on the snare that adds a sonic element to harder hits that accent beats. Each part of the kit can be played
with a different dynamic quality and this can create a versatile overall sound. Most drummers are well aware of
this and practice diligently to ensure that they are able to control the dynamics of each part of the kit separately.
2. Heel up and heel down techniques:
Learning and implementing these two techniques will go a long way in helping you implement various techniques.
Beginners do tend to start with heel down and it is great for playing quietly in the beginning stages. However, as
you advance as a drummer you should be able to play louder also in the heel down way. Also perfect the heel up style
as you will be able to play with even more volume. This will really help in bringing in dynamic variations.
3. Dynamics and Music Genres:
Different genres call for a different style of drumming. This is very true even for the dynamics aspect. Also
consider drum rudiments and dynamics of each genre. For example, rock drumming calls for snare shots accentuating 2
and 4 with a very prominent bass drum. The hi hat is considerably weaker. On the other hand, for jazz you require a
soft bass with the snare also being quieter. The hi hat or crash is generally the loudest. Studying these differences
between genres will help in developing your playing to a large extent.
4. Practice Various Voicings on the Kit:
It is very important that you be able to play different dynamic voicings on each part of the kit. Try playing loudly
with your hands while being soft with feet. Then try the opposite. This will help develop dynamic control as well
as limb independence.