Arts & Entertainment, Music

Playing Drums in a Band

Sheila E.

Lesson time 6:55 min

Learn about timekeeping, the relationship between drums and bass, and how to drive a song dynamically with a band.

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

Topics include: Timekeeping • Playing Different Genres • Meet My Band • Playing in the Pocket • Dynamics: How to Break It Down • Drums and Bass


[00:00:00.00] [00:00:13.89] - We, as drummers, are the timekeeper. And that's really important. So say, for instance, we're playing a beat, right, and all of a sudden you decide to speed up because you got excited. So you kind of lose control, and you start speeding up. The band's going to follow you. That means they're all going to speed up because you started speeding up. [00:00:38.52] If you start to slow down, and you're playing, and you start to slow down, not even realizing that you're slowing down, the band's going to slow down with you because they're following you. So it's really important in playing to a click track, to a metronome. And practice different speeds, beats per minute, BPM, beats per minute. That means, you know, maybe 60 beats a minute. And just keep playing like for 5, 10 minutes the same beat over and over. And just practice being consistent and trying to hit every single beat. [00:01:12.59] [00:01:19.47] What if I said I want to play something Latin? My drummer, this chair has to be able to go there. Now, not all bands are like this, where they're going to call different genres of music. But in my band, I want you to play. So what if I say play something Latin, and if you play time, I want to take a solo on top of what you're playing? They would play something like this. [00:01:54.05] Just a little Latin beat, but they have to be able to play that. So you want to be very versatile. You want to be open about listening to different genres of music and practicing, not unless you don't want to do it. You just want to play rock and roll, and big hair, and big cymbals, you can do that. That's fun too, because I always wanted to be the rock and roll drummer in a band. I really did. And so now I get to do that. [00:02:16.58] [MUSIC PLAYING] [00:02:22.79] All right, so I'd like to introduce to you some members of my band. On guitar, my godson, Mychael Gabriel. Yes. On bass, Raymond Deacon McKinley. Mm. And on keyboards, Bertron Curtis. [00:02:45.80] [MUSIC PLAYING] [00:02:54.53] I like drummers that don't overplay. I respect drummers with discipline and pocket. My drummer Wes McVicker is one of those guys. [00:03:06.08] Playing in the pocket means that we're playing together. It's so tight that you would think that it was a drum machine, like everything was so precise. And it's a feel. It's like we're all feeling the same thing together. It's a movement. [00:03:20.57] And it's something that is an experience. It's not like we're playing, yeah, we're reading these notes, we're playing this. This feels good. You're thinking, again, it's in your heart. It's like-- it's a movement. We're all walking the same way. [00:03:34.22] And when you get into that place where musically you just flow effortlessly, it's amazing. It's a beautiful place to be and feel because then you're just-- like everyone's in the same place. And you just go, oh my god. It can't get any better than this. [00:0...

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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