Typical Drum Playing Techniques with V-Drums


 Electronic drums have come a long way from their humble beginnings. Thanks to the latest digital trigger technology, electronic drums now give the player a new level of expression unheard of even a few years ago. Let’s explore a range of typical drum techniques and how they work on V-Drums.

Contributed by Simon Ayton for the Roland Australia Blog

With acoustic drums and cymbals, the range of sounds and textures possible is infinite. Many factors go into deciding on which sounds to use for which song and there are no rules. 

All the elements including drum material, size, drum depth, head type, tension/pitch and muffling and even snare buzz all play their part and then there’s the actual character of the room itself! Afterall, if there’s no room, there’s no sound.

With all of these possibilities, it can be easy to forget that the thing that makes the most impact (pun intended) is the player. The drummer and the way they express themselves is unique and where the sound originates.

Impressively, not only are all of the sound elements adjustable with V-Drums including the room sound, the player can still use many of the same techniques used on acoustic drums in order to express themselves.

V-Drums also allow for completely new techniques, some of which are just not possible on an acoustic instrument. For example, a hit ‘n’ hold choke. This involves hitting an electronic cymbal and holding the stick on the cymbal edge in order to kill the cymbal sustain. This is impossible with an acoustic cymbal.

Here are some things to try the next time you visit a drum shop.

V-Drums Crash Cymbal Playing

In this series of techniques, we look at Chokes, Swells and Bow Hits. Bow Hits involve striking the bow of the cymbal, located between the bell and the edge.

V-Drums Hi-Hat Playing

A Foot Splash and Close is a classic jazz hi-hat pedal technique. It involves gently opening the hi-hats to produce a splash cymbal sound. Also in this series we look at Bow Hit with Foot Pressure, which involves striking the hats while slowly opening them from closed to produce variances.

V-Drums Kick Drum Playing

In this video we examine the variances in Soft Hit and Hard Hits on the kick drum, as well as how they translate on an electronic kit.

V-Drums Ride Cymbal Playing

As an important part of the cymbal choices available to a drummer, the ride has a lot of playing options. In this video we examine a few techniques for the ride cymbal, including Bell Hit with Shank, which involves striking the cymbal with the edge of the stick, as opposed to the tip of the stick.

V-Drums Snare Drum Playing

The snare drum is a vital part of the drum kit and has many techniques associated with it. Among those found in this video, we look at the Stick Drop Buzz. This technique produces a roll effect by dropping the stick on the snare and allowing for natural bounce.

V-Drums Tom Playing

Toms techniques can add punch to a drum performance, particularly a Rim Shot, which involves striking the head and the rim of the tom simultaneously.


Recommended Articles

Quick Start Guide to the Roland TD-50 V-Drums
Expanding and Customising Your V-Drums
Performing Live with V-Drums and Electronic Percussion

Take a look at the range of techniques possible on the VAD-706.

This acoustic design kit is for acoustic drum lovers that want the look of an acoustic kit but with all the plusses of an electronic one with loosing anything in the playing experience.

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Created by Roland V-Drums specialist Simon Ayton, these patches were designed using the internal factory sounds and many of the techniques covered in the TD-50 guide. Enjoy exploring the possibilities!