Arts & Entertainment, Music

Experimenting With Percussion

Sheila E.

Lesson time 5:25 min

Sheila walks you through her custom kit and encourages you to get creative and have fun setting up a kit that fits your budget and style.

Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars

Topics include: Building a Beat


[00:00:03.70] I love to experiment with my sound. Now that I've shown you my drum set, I want you to think outside the box and create one of your own. [00:00:14.85] [00:00:20.55] I was doing a Hans Zimmer movie recently, and I wanted to get some different sounds for him because I always bring something crazy, because I'm always experimenting on what I'd like to hear or try. There are no rules to say this is right or wrong. And that's what's fun about it, is you're creating a sound. [00:00:38.49] This setup is a snare drum and the little baby wooden snare drum. This is a regular snare drum. And this is something we just made up just putting it together. And a little baby hi-hat down here. Yeah. [00:00:58.76] This kick drum is connected to a cajon. This box is called a cajon. So this setup is kind of like a funky samba kit-- I don't know-- because you can play all different kind of rhythms, and you just make it up as you go. [00:01:13.93] And I think that's the cool thing about-- whatever you have at home. If you have some things and you're like, oh, I want to do traditional, you can, but you don't have to. Make up your own kit. Make it happen. And have fun with it. [00:01:26.19] [RHYTHMIC BEEPING] [00:01:32.58] I'd like to demonstrate how to like layer different percussion instruments together. And I'll just play something, and we can layer, and layer, and layer. And this is how you kind of create your own loops as well, your own sounds, you know, by not sometimes being traditional, just making it up as you go. [00:01:50.55] So I'm actually officially in a recording studio. So this unit right here is for me to hear. I have an in-ear right here, as you see, this right here, little, tiny in-ear. And I can hear the sounds that come out of here. So if I record this, when I want to layer another instrument, I'll turn it up, and this will play back, and I can hear it. And I'll add something on top of that and keep adding and adding. [00:02:15.19] So these are separate channels in which every time I record something, it goes on another channel. And then you just keep building and building. I'm going to put in these ears so I can hear. [00:02:26.40] And I'm going to ask them to play a click track at a tempo. And what it is is just like a metronome, as we spoke about earlier. It's just the timing of-- for me to follow so that when I play this and I get ready to record something else on top of it, it'll be in time, in the same time. So can you please play back a tempo, a click track for me, please? [00:02:51.15] [RHYTHMIC BEEPING] [00:02:52.17] OK. OK. All right. So this is what we're going-- what I'm going to play to. [00:03:18.46] Now while that's going, I can actually add a little bit more rhythm to that. So I can get a little bit more complicated. Here we go. [00:03:41.83] And all you need sometimes is four bars. The time is still going. And you can add breaks to it like this. Now when I place all those together, it'll kind of s...

About the Instructor

Raised in a family of musicians, Sheila E. has collaborated with icons like Marvin Gaye and Ringo Starr and was named one of the all-time greatest drummers by Rolling Stone. Now she teaches you how to find your rhythm. Learn the principles of percussion—with or without a drum set—and discover techniques for dynamic solos and fills. Jam with the Escovedo family and find your own groove, as a beginner or as a bandleader.

Featured Masterclass Instructor

Sheila E.

Legendary drummer Sheila E. welcomes you to the world of percussion and teaches you how to express yourself through rhythm.

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