How to Drum With Your Hands

Drummers use mallets, sticks, beaters and brushes to play their instruments. However, it is sometimes necessary -- especially with instruments like bongos and congas -- to use the hands to drum properly. There are several techniques that make it possible for you to create dynamic and engaging drum rhythms. Take the time to learn each pattern effectively.

Step 1:  Bring your fingers together to form a solid strike by hitting the top of the drum with all four fingers, excluding the thumb.

Step 2:  Play a roll using your fingers by rapidly alternating between the four fingers of the left and right hands. The thumbs can rest on the side of the drum for support.

Step 3:  Place one hand on top of the drum and quickly alternate between two fingers with your fingernails making contact with the drum head. This will create a tremolo effect.

Step 4:  Curve your index finger and slap the top of the drum to create a strike that hits the top of the drum and the rim of the drum simultaneously. This will combine the deep sound of the drum with the harsh sound of the rim.

Step 5:  Moisten your thumb and roll it across the top of the drum head. This will create a bouncing motion that will enable you to create a thumb roll.

You can silence the resonance of a drum by placing the palm of your hand on the drum head. This will stop the vibrations and instantly mute the drum.


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