Basics Archives - Modern Drummer Magazine


Modern Drummer is the world’s most widely read drum magazine, is dedicated entirely to the art of drumming and caters to the needs of amateur, semi-pro, and professional drummers.

Stop Skipping Steps!

Many people never realize their life through rhythm by unknowingly skipping steps. I get it, this is how I started too! I was eager to get right to bashing out the joyful roar I was hearing from my drumming heroes.…

By Chris Lesso
May 31, 2023

The 4 Practice Pockets: #4. Celebrate the Wins

“Each day, and the living of it, has to be a conscious creation in which discipline and order are relieved with some play and pure foolishness.”-May Sarton CELEBRATE, THE FUN PRACTICE To celebrate is to refill your well of enthusiasm,…

By Chris Lesso
Apr 30, 2023

The 4 Practice Pockets: #3. Push the EDGES: The Blue Ocean (Great Unknown) of Practice.

Venture into the blue ocean (great unknown,) by doing something you don’t know how to do… YET! I’ve never met a drummer that didn’t want to learn in the “Matrix style.” In the hero’s journey movie The Matrix, Neo plugs…

By Chris Lesso
Mar 31, 2023

The 4 Practice Pockets: #2: Stack the Reps, The 10,000 Reps Mindset

“I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.”–Bruce Lee Back in the early days of recording, bands had to be grittier to get a magical…

By Chris Lesso
Feb 28, 2023

The Four Practice Pockets #1 Release Your INTUITION

“Good practice is fluid and adaptable, it mirrors nature.” The IREC practice model (Modern Drummer Dec. ’22) is when we use the four practice pockets of Intuition, Reps, Edges, and Celebration to get more out of the time we have…

By Chris Lesso
Jan 31, 2023

How To Practice When You Have No Time: The 3 Minute Rule

“Don’t break the chain. Your only job is to not to break the chain!” These are not the words of a drummer, but of comedian Jerry Seinfeld. When asked how he works on his craft, he says that he writes…

By Chris Lesso
Jan 1, 2023

The Rhythm Of Practice

Beats are something you do; drumming is something you live. The drums don’t want you to be good at them. The world will throw every excuse at you not to practice or play drums. We have all heard the excuses,…

By Chris Lesso
Oct 31, 2022

Practice Outside of the Box

For this month’s article, I’d like to discuss the concept of practicing creatively or “outside of the box”. I’ll agree there’s certainly nothing wrong with playing through a drum method book as written. However, I’ve discovered that there are many…

By Billy Ashbaugh
Sep 30, 2022

The Business Side of Drumming

For this month’s article, I’m going to share some of my personal insights for dealing with the business side of drumming. If you’re lucky enough to be making a living playing drums, then you are already aware of the importance…

By Billy Ashbaugh
Aug 31, 2022

The Game Changers Part 2

Welcome back for part two! Last month we discussed several important topics that I felt were monumental in my growth as a player. Those were: understanding subdivision, learning to read music, developing your ears, and learning to write charts/roadmaps. Once…

By Billy Ashbaugh
Jul 31, 2022

The Game Changers Part 1

For this month’s article I’d like to share several different topics that I feel were monumental for my growth as a drummer. I call these “The Game Changers”. There are several topics so this article will be split into two parts.…

By Billy Ashbaugh
Jun 30, 2022

Touring Life and Lessons

For this month’s article, I’m going to share some of my experiences from over the years while on tour with various artists. I’ve been fortunate enough to have done many different “levels” of tours, everything from stadiums to smaller 200-300…

By Billy Ashbaugh
May 27, 2022

Recording from Home and Wearing Three Hats

Last month we talked about the challenges of picking up the drumsticks for the first time, studying, and the process of learning to become a good drummer. This month we take a big jump forward in your drumming journey. My…

By Billy Ashbaugh
Apr 30, 2022

Concepts for Beginners

This month’s article will focus on some monumental ideas that will help you quicken your growth as a drummer when first starting out. Some of these concepts were taught to me by my drum instructors when I was younger, and…

By Billy Ashbaugh
Mar 31, 2022