Drum Gear

Grip Stix for small hands for little kids:

Alesis Nitro Mesh
A good first drumset (quiet).

Power amplifier
In case want everyone to hear what you’ve been working on, lately.  Very helpful with muted acoustic drums.

Zildjian Low Volume Cymbals
Great low volume practice cymbals


Method Books

Software Tools


The “Nedtromome”

This is my own invention.  It’s a free app that we use to work on hand speed,  and double bass foot speed.  It’s a metronome that accelerates in perfect increments of 1000th beat per minute.  It also decelerates the same way.  You can set plateaus that stop at certain speeds, so you can take time to re-relax yourself at those speeds.  It’s turned out to be especially good for holding the fastest tempo for a minute, and the slowest tempo for a minute.  The builds and helps you avoid muscle fatigue.  The slowest BPM plateau gives your muscles a chance to really get warm and relaxed before you cycle through another acceleration/deceleration loop.

  • DISCUSSION on the counter intuitive nature of the nedtronome…
  • People often worry that the Nedtronome will harm their tempo skills.  But, I’ve discovered that we all have what I call “Vanity Tempos”.  Those are the tempos that we’re awesome drummers at, but to the exclusion of other tempos.  Vanity tempos ‘secretly’ tug on us like gravity, and make us slow down or speed up to get to that vanity tempo that makes us look absolutely awesome.  Developing coordination and  what I call the “Micro Tempos” releases you from the tyranny of “Vanity Tempos”.  I first noticed this when spending hours per day for a couple of weeks  reviewing all the rudiments using the marching snare drummer accelerate/decelerate cycles, while trying ever-so-hard to decelerate (which is where the control comes from) at the same rate as I accelerated.
  • RESULTS:   At the next shows and jams sessions I played during that period, I noticed that all my tempos felt solid as a rock, and my hands felt uber-cooperative and stable.  The key is to perfect your hand holds, accent lifts, etc. using your correct technique at 30 BPM, until it becomes second nature.  Then turn on the nedtronome to speed up gradually without changing your perfect technique as you go.  It’s pretty miraculous.

Amazing Slow Downer

My students and I use this to allow them to play the songs they are working on much slower.  Like the Nedtronome, it has an automatic speed up function.

Groove Scribe

Another free web app.  Great for short beats.  Also has Auto Speedup.  But, with longer passages, it has a tendency to pause between loops.  Which messes up my students timing.  It will sometimes even do that on a two-bar loop.  But it’s a killer app for learning one and often two-bar beats.  Groove Scribe’s drum machine programing is right in the web app’s url, so you can text or email it to yourself and play it on any device.