10 Metal Drumming Tips by Gene Hoglan (FULL DRUM LESSON)

(heavy metal music) ♪ Coiled forever in
the darkness below ♪ ♪ They await for the
right time to strike ♪ ♪ Defending the truth
and protecting the lies ♪ ♪ Reptilian,
shedding their skin ♪ ♪ They gather in masses,
encrypting the stars ♪ ♪ To breed slaves sworn to war ♪ ♪ The thrashing and bashing
and blistering burns ♪ ♪ Death brought
forth to the world ♪ ♪ Serpent’s eyes ♪ ♪ Always watching you ♪ ♪ Without a trace ♪ ♪ The covenant of the snake ♪ ♪ Succumbing unto your fate ♪ ♪ They’ve been watching you ♪ ♪ Through shape-shift eyes ♪ ♪ In Sumerian disguise ♪ ♪ By the gods who
decree our faith ♪ ♪ By the gods who
decree our faith ♪ ♪ De-luvium religions
of monarchs and gods ♪ ♪ The hideous
hydra takes shape ♪ ♪ The bloodline descendants
of its original form ♪ ♪ The dragon of Egypt awakes ♪ ♪ They’ve taken the tablets
and hidden the scrolls ♪ ♪ To deceive the
ones they protect ♪ ♪ The truth of creation,
mutation of man ♪ ♪ Entombed in the
Vatican walls ♪ ♪ Serpent’s eyes ♪ ♪ Always watching you ♪ ♪ Without a trace ♪ ♪ The covenant of the snake ♪ ♪ Succumbing unto your fate ♪ ♪ They’ve been watching you ♪ ♪ Through shape-shift eyes ♪ ♪ In Sumerian disguise ♪ ♪ By the gods who
decree our faith ♪ ♪ By the gods who
decree our faith ♪ ♪ The gods decree our faith ♪ ♪ By the gods who
decree our faith ♪ ♪ We are the ones who dominate ♪ ♪ Five thousand years
silent control ♪ ♪ Societies to subjugate ♪ ♪ Eternity complete control ♪ ♪ The brotherhood of the snake ♪ ♪ And they will always
assume control ♪ – Right on. Everybody, Mr. Gene
Hoglan on the drums. – Hi everybody, how are
you, good to be here. – Gene welcome to Drumeo, man. – Man Ash it is so amazing to
be here, thank you brother. It’s incredible to be a
part of the Drumeo family and really cool, got
the array of drummers that you guys have around here. I’m a total scrub
compared to all you guys so it’s really
awesome and hell, you and I have been family forever. – Yeah yeah we’ve known
each other for a minute, that’s kind of why I’m here
with Jared and Dave’s blessing, they let me sit in and come
and teach a lesson today. – Well thank you Jared
and Dave, awesome, couldn’t be in better
hands right now. – For those of you who
don’t know who Gene is, he in fact is no scrub. Just so you know,
he is an absolute living legend in the heavy
metal drumming community. He’s played in some of the best, most fantastically,
legendary bands, such as Death,
Strapping Young Lad, Zimmers Hole, Dethklok,
Fear Factory, Meldrum, I have a list here because
I can’t remember them all. – I can’t either. – Yeah he currently
plays with Dark Angel, which is your first band right? – That’s right. – Come back around again. – Yeah we’re back
at the beginning. – Yeah as good as ever,
as well as Testament, what you just heard
was a Testament song. And you also play
with Galaktikon. – Darn tootin’ – Which is with Brendon Small. – That’s right.
– Awesome. Great, yeah again my
name’s Ash Pearson, I play in a band
called Revocation, and Gene and I are
old pals, in fact he sort of taught
me how to play drums back in the day when he
was living in Vancouver. – Awesome. – So here we are and
also we’d like to thank some of the sponsors,
we got Sabian cymbals, we got Pearl drums, we
got Pro Mark sticks, we got Evans heads, is there
anything that I’m missing. – Boy we got some Dan
Meyer beater balls but these are 35
year old beater balls on these brand new
Pearl red line pedals but that’s about that,
Roland thank you Roland. – Roland. – Appreciate that very much,
thank you for the triggers and stuff, we got
some Alesis here but they’re not a
sponsor, come on Alesis, kick down some
triggers over here. – And we’d like to thank the 35 year old Dan Meyer beater balls. – Yeah man. – Thank you, cool. For those of you who
don’t know what Drumeo is or what we do here, we
do this kind of thing all the time, we bring
out some of the most rockin’ players from
all around the world to give you guys
lessons and we’ve got, from the United States,
we got Gene here, but we bring out people
like David Garibaldi, Matt Garstka, Dennis Chambers, all sorts of excellent players and we’re also gonna be filming some course material
with Gene as well so go to Drumeo if you want
to check that stuff out. Also, I wanted to mention
Gene’s online presence, he’s got a Facebook,
Instagram, and Twitter and all that stuff,
and his own website so he’s got
hoglanindustries.com, he’s got Facebook,
GeneHoglanOfficalPage, Instagram is TheRealGeneHoglan, and Twitter is @GeneHoglan,
and that’s that. He’s also been on the cover
of Modern Drummer magazine, which is no small
accomplishment and you also have your own DVDs, he’s made two
DVDs and self released them, and they’re awesome so I
recommend you check those out. – Darn tootin’ they are
called the “Atomic Clock” and the “Atomic Clock
the Clock Strikes Two” and they’re both available
from hoglanindustries.com as well as Amazon,
stuff like that, so definitely check
them out ’cause they’re a whole lot of fun. – Today’s lesson, ten metal
drumming tips from Gene Hoglan. We’re gonna be talking
about a bunch of different stuff, some practical
applications for the kit, but also some
conceptual stuff too. So what do we got
here, I got my list. Alright so Gene I’ll
let you take it away but I’ll set you up, I
wanted to get more into some of your warmups,
what you do before you start playing a show. – Well my warmups have
evolved over the years, there used to be
the time when I used to have these big
giant leg bones that I would warmup with just
’cause they were really heavy. And these days for
my hands I’ve always used big heavy weighted
sticks or something but these days I just,
my tech Jeff just has thrown together
three sticks. And this is a real
decent way to just get the weight into your hands. The entire concept of
my whole warmup thing is to make things, obviously
easier when you’re on stage but also make things
lighter, and that’s one way that things
become easier. I don’t know if you can
tell but you put here, I got the leg weights on
so, I keep the leg weights on when I play a
lot of the times. A lot of the times
I’ll play a few, well we’ll get into leg
weight stuff in a little bit but this is essentially
my warmup these days is I just sit with
Testament I’ll just sit here for ten
minutes before the show and do stuff like this. Testament doesn’t have
a lot of crazy rudiments or anything like that
that I have to really be on top of but
the energy is there in the songs so I just, for instance that last
track I just played, “Brotherhood of the
Snake,” that’s been our opening number for
the past few tours and I’m sure it’ll
remain our opening number for a while, and
that song itself is a good little warmup. If you noticed, I didn’t
do a big fat warmup before that one and
that song’s in the wheelhouse to play but
I just take some heavy, I use 2B sticks, so
I just, we’ve taped three of them
together and that’s essentially my hand
thing but a lot of times what I’ll do super
quick to warmup is I’ll just do, and I
showed this on my first DVD, little warmup, all
it is is I just do double strokes on
the hands and I’ll do single strokes on the kicks, and here’s an example of it. (plays drum) There’s an example
and then if you want to start kind of
chopping things up a bit you can start,
here’s an example. (plays drum) And one thing that
that little exercise does is it allows you to start, if you notice I’m
a left foot lead when I do stuff, we can
explain that at some point. But if you notice in the
little (imitates drum noise) that I was doing on the
kicks, that’s one thing that I worked on a
lot when I was younger is that follow through,
it’s coming back to the one with things
instead of just going, (imitates drum noises)
it’s like you want to be able to come
back to the one because you always gotta
come back to the one when you’re playing double bass. So when you’re doing
any kind of rudiments to help warm yourself
up or when you’re playing your patterns
anyway, fills and stuff, you always want to be
able to come back out onto the one so that’s why I
always try to bring that extra snap down with my left foot,
probably your right foot and yeah so that’s
a real decent, quick little warm
up, gets you going and it also starts creating
the synchronization I suppose, between your
left and your right and when you got
that all locked in, then hey you’re good to go. – Yeah I actually
learned that from you, I use that some times
when I’m warming up it’s good for a
coordination warmup. – Cool.
– It’s awesome. And you got the ankle weights, you got the sticks what else? Do you mess around
with energy drinks at all or anything like
that before you play. – Well I used to be a Red Buller and these days I don’t
do that too often but what I do have
is there’s this guy names Dr. Schulze
and he has this stuff called Super Food,
and there’s a whole lot of super foods
out there but I happen to be real partial to this
Dr. Schulze’s super food, you’ll find his
stuff on herbdoc.com but his super food just gives me a super pile of energy
and that’s helpful. A lot of guys, especially
back in the old days they would do drugs to get
up, do drugs to get back down and I suppose Red
Bull and caffeine, hell I used to pop
caffeine pills, I’m sure those are all
druggy to some point but now I’m doing the
natural super natural energy from all that sort of
stuff and I try to turn as many people as
I can on to it. For instance I
turned Paul Bostaph on to super food right
before a Slayer show and I remember I spoke
to his tech Gene, right after the
show and I was like hey man how’d that super
food work out for Paul, and he was like I
love it it’s great but I can’t reign
in the ballads. And I just started
laughing ’cause I’m like first of all which
Slayer song is a ballad. What are you talking about? But anyway I’m turning
it on to a whole bunch of people and it’s
just a good quick energy thing for me anyway. – Speaking of that,
another part of your warmup that it seems
counterintuitive, but I see you sleep before you play. – Yeah man. – So what gives you a
benefit of sleeping? – That’s just, you
get your energy going and I’m a huge napper,
I got my little nap time before the show
and I try to wake up about 50 minutes before the show and there’s been many times
back in like the Strapping days when I was sleeping
off the hangovers for god’s sake, you
know Byron would be knocking on my head like
dude we are in five minutes, come on let’s get this going. And you’re playing all
foggy and stuff like that. So now I try to wake up a
little bit ahead of time and get myself in the
zone and I don’t do a lot of prep, like I’m
not a brood in the corner kind of guy, I’m pretty
gregarious and engaging when I’m warming
up so I need my, G needs his space or
anything like that, but there’s also stretches
that are fantastic and this is one thing
that super helps with the warm up is for
years I’ve done this stretch. I start off with,
usually I use it with the big old heavy sticks there,
the triplet stick or whatever. I just do a little
action like that to break the left
wrist, crack it anyway. And then the right wrist
that’s a good way to go. That’s not easy to do, you know. When I first tried it I was like oh god this is terrible
and now pretty quick. And also this
little stretch here that there’s one, it’s
a series of three, that was the first
one and then down, and like I’ve said
before you really feel it right here and
then you flip it over and you do that and you
feel that right there. And I explained that
one on my first DVD, check that one out. But you’re good to go instantly, like if you can’t
warm up, you know god I need 20 minutes of
pad work or anything, if you don’t get that 20 minutes and you do that little stretch you’re good to go in 30 seconds. – Awesome, alright great. So that’s most of what
you do for warming up, that leads me into
the ankle weights. You kind of wear those
before you’re playing and you even leave
them on when you play. – Absolutely, if
the set list allows to have a bunch of, I suppose,
easier songs to warm up with I’ll keep them on
for six or seven songs, I’ll keep them on
until that hauling song and the double bass
is really flying. Like I said a million
times before you just pop off the leg weights
and that is a warmup right there, you are good
to go you’re ready to fly. And if you’ve ever
had any sort of issues with, man I do need
six or seven songs to warmup for that
hauling double bass song. If your set list starts
off with the hauling double bass song, if
the rest of your band are a bunch of sadists
on the drummer, then warmup with
them a little bit, do your things and
you know one of my warmups is that Dom
Famularo side to side sort of thing if you’re looking at the feet right
now, I do that a lot. That’s a fantastic
warmup I don’t know why, I’ve always said this
is rather odd looking. You do this little
thing with leg weights and you get them
going pretty fast and you just crack
all your adhesion, you feel those
stretches going on. You pop those leg
weights off and you’re good to go right off the bat. Give it a shot,
give it a chance. I used to use three
pound leg weights, now I’m up to five
pounds on each foot and that’s cool,
I’m cool with that. – I wanted to ask, when did
you first start doing that, did you hear about that
from another drummer or did you just think
about that yourself. – No that was
totally from my own, it was from my own
personal sports experience is back in 1988 I was going into record my second
record with Dark Angel and you weren’t
even two years old at the time probably, you were just barely two years old. About a week before
we entered the studio I lost my legs, a
lot of double bass on the Leave Scars
record was what we were about to go record and
I just lost everything, I was struggling to play
everything and I’m like what in the world is going on. So I thought well,
when I played baseball if for those of you who
are familiar with baseball. – I love baseball. – Yeah okay, well when
the on deck batter is in the on deck
circle, which means you’re the next guy to go
up, usually you’re there with an array of heavy
bats or what they call batter’s donuts, which
just slide onto your bat, you take a one pounder
a two pound sort of weight, swing it around a little
bit and you pop that donut off and your bat is super light. So I just kind of
applied the same, sort of, I guess it’s an
isometric exercise or something, to my feet, bought
some leg weights, warmed up with them
and popped them off for all these fast
hauling Dark Angel songs that we were
doing and it worked. And I later realized
when we were recording the record that I was
probably just rehearsing them too fast, we
weren’t rehearsing to a click or recording
to clicks back then. I was probably just
playing them too fast, you know you can play so
fast, it’s still comfortable to you but it’s just
right out of your little wheelhouse there, I think that was probably my
issue but at least in my head these
leg weights worked and they’ve been a part
of my regiment ever since. I suggest giving it a shot. Most people I’ve turned
on to the leg weights, they’ve gotten back
to me and I told him, in a week your feet are
gonna be doing things they just were not doing before. And sure enough
next time I see them they’ll be like dude, those
leg weights really work. In a week just like you
said I was doing things I could not do before
and I can do them all the time now, so it’s
like hooray leg weights. So they do work. – Do you think that
your speed might slow down if you stopped
using them for a while. – Well I do go for
extended periods of time without using them. Like for instance on
this last Testament tour I started letting
my warm up routine get a little lax and
I don’t think I was going on stage with
them and if I’m popping off beforehand, that’s
a good question. I think I do go for a long time, it works for me and
I know it’s also a mental exercise
for all of this so yes your feet will get slower if you don’t use leg
weights, so use leg weights. – Try them out. Yeah I mean Strapping
Young Lad was one of the fastest bands I have
ever heard and you played some pretty fantastic
speeds with that band so I don’t doubt that you needed
them for some of that stuff – Yeah, totally. – Actually that
kind of brings us to the next point,
energy conservation. You’ve been on tours
before where you’re doing two, one to one and a
half hour sets a night. I mean you did
Testament and Anthrax, you did the Sounds of
the Underground Tour, you were playing Strapping
Young Lad and Opeth. So not only is that a lot
of music to just remember, but I mean that’s a lot
of music to be playing at full capacity, full
volume every single night. So how do you stay
centered and balanced with your energy, how do you
not tire out by the second set. – That’s a real good question
and ’cause that’s one thing that I have, through
energy conservation and I suppose I do
have what is known as an autonomy of
motion, I’m not very demonstrative with big wavy arms but I swear I will take
the Pepsi challenge with anybody in
terms of velocity. I might look really
relaxed back here but that doesn’t mean I’m using some serious power
back here, it’s loud. So that’s one thing
that I feel helps the energy conservation,
if you’re not being extraneous with extremities
you get to focus all your energy towards
your outer limbs. I’m able to focus my
energy into my wrists and my fingers as well
as my ankles and my toes so that’s where energy
conservation really helps. It allows you to
play with more power because you’re not wasting
power for the show. And I understand
the show part of it, I definitely get that
I try to bring some of that in there too,
however I try not to do it at the
expense of the parts. So that’s one thing that I’ve always tried to concentrate on. So I can look like I’m
being very calm and sedate but I’m actually
whacking the hell out of these things so
that’s pretty good. – Absolutely, I remember
hearing about this one time. That you use to play or
practice with a garbage bag wrapped around you? – Yeah I did. – For the purpose of? – Weight loss. – Okay. – That was strictly
for, and you know we throw some vegetables
into the suit, we make a soup out of it. Yeah that was just,
hey let me try to, try to apply athletics
towards this, this is a very aerobic
thing that we do, especially the heavier,
faster drummers out there, the more extreme of us. Try to apply some
of the athletic kinesiology I suppose
towards things, it’s all aerobic,
it’s all an exercise. So hey, I see guys that
work out on the treadmill or whatever and they
got they’re little sweatsuits on so it’s like okay, instead of wrapping
myself in saran wrap every jam, I just
cut a trash bag, poked holes in it,
played in the trash bag. – It’s funny, when I
first started hearing about you before I first met you I heard stuff like that because, oh you should’ve seen
him it was Vancouver at the Cobalt, he
was playing a show and then he just had
a garbage bag on him and he took it off and
sweat just poured out. I’m like, this
guys sounds crazy, I thought you were nuts. – And at that time I
was a lot larger than I was now, so the
bag fit really tight and it was always
a real challenge when you’d stand
up and just flood. ‘Cause it’ll trap
itself in there when you’re all sitting
down and all chunky. But as soon as you
stand up and straighten out it just, oh gosh. – Okay we can move on from that. Actually I had a question about, you talk about fingers and
you talk about toes too. And people might not
think about people using fingers for
speed for your hands, sure that makes
sense, we can see your fingers moving but
you’re wearing shoes, people don’t normally
see your toes moving but I have personally
been in a living room with you before when
you had your shoes off, you were barefoot and we
were listening to music and I was looking at your toes and you were playing
rudiments with your toes. Not even for real,
just how anyone would be playing a
rudiment on a table, he was just air playing
with his big toe. – Air toeing. – And I was kind of blown away because you were doing it with
such accuracy and everything. Do you think about
using your toes when you’re playing live? You’re like okay
this is the part I gotta use my toes
’cause it’s really fast. – You know there are some times when it’s, I’ve mentioned
this in the last DVD where sometimes you do
kind of have to grip, you do find yourself, at the moment I can’t
think of any certain passage in any of the
songs where it’s like, this is where I do this and
this is where I do that. But there are times
when you’re actually playing when you’re like,
I’m using the outside of my toes right now,
I’m using the little pinky toes and
stuff and this time I’m digging in and
I’m using my big toe. And one thing that I do
find helps with the toes is that it’s like when
I am lying on a couch working on a part, just
got my eyes closed, I do my little finger
tapping like this, or I’ll be tapping on
my chest or anything, and I’ll be doing that and
I got the toes doing it, it’s one of those
things if you can do it with your toes you can
do it with your feet. If you can do something
with your fingers you could do it with your hands. I think that’s kind of why
is started developing that like hey if I can
be really lazy, get a workout not on
the kit, on the couch, you gotta do something
to make it work out in your brain anyway
so you got your toes doing little
rudiments or whatever, then it’s one of
those things it’ll translate and
transfer to your feet and your ankles pretty easily. – Gotcha that’s pretty cool. Let’s move on to the
rides, you got two rides. And I know you’re
ambidextrous but we’ll save that for later
but right now I just wanted to address
that, have you always played with two rides
or is that something that you just came
up with later on. – I suppose I started using two rides in the latter
portion of Dark Angel’s career, the last couple
of years of that. And that really came
about because in I guess it was 1989, Dark Angel was opening for Overkill
and there was an opening band for both of us
and that band was called Wolves Bane
and that’s the band that Blaze Bayley
who later went on to sing for Iron
Maiden, he was with that band at the time
and their drummer, Stevie Danger, had
a four piece kit maybe it was five piece,
but it was a really tiny kit and there
were times when it’s like if Overkill
has their kit set up and then Dark
Angel sets up in front, Stevie who was a very cool guy, there would be no
room for his kit. So there would be
times when I’d be like okay let’s just set
up your kit for this so you could play,
I’ll play your kit, your little five piece
kit, little double bass and pedal and all that
and I was kind of like well hey let’s not
even move the ride. Because I had been, a
couple years earlier before that I had woken
up one day on the bus where my left arm was
completely dead asleep for two weeks, I
pinched some nerve and so I could barely
do that with my hand. And so I had to, but
I could play kind of a beat with it
and Dark Angel, very thrash polka
beat oriented band, I just started moving over
here and playing stuff off the ride and so
that started working on the ambidexterity
stuff, it’s like okay you could do it over here
you could do it over there. And it’s not a bad thing to be, well I’m sure we’ll
get into ambidexterity at some point but
it’s not a bad thing to have two rides,
and also I just I love two rides
because there’re so many times that I’ll
bang on a ride bell or just something
just to keep a time or just as little accents, and hey you got two,
you got two tones. And one thing that
secondary ride definitely came in
handy with was in Death, that’s when I really
started using the two rides because since I am
a left hand lead, it’s kind of hard
to cross over and do like disco beats
because I’d have to do like that sort of
thing Sean Reinert on songs off of Human, like
Flattening of Emotions, there’s a lot of
where he’s doing kind of a double high
hat sort of a thing and he’s moving
over to the ride. I just couldn’t, my
high hat is so low and at that time
my gut was so big that crossing over
was not easy to do I learned how to do
kind of paradiddles so I could come
back with the right, most people would be playing
the solid or whatever, I’d be playing the
paradiddle to do it just to be able to
come over on the right. And this way you can
play that disco beat okay and not have to
worry about crossing over and it just comes in handy,
it’s great for double accents, and you could do a bunch of
tasty stuff with two rides. – You mind showing us
a couple of examples, of you just ripping
double ride beat, even something off
of a record you just played on if you
just want to riff. – Yeah let my try something. (drumming) You get to do cool stuff
when you got two rides, you don’t have to go
all the way over here and a lot of guys
it’s not fun to go all the way over here, if
you get to go like that then you get to open yourself up and playing this
way is a whole lot easier than playing that
way or anything like that so two rides are beautiful. – Yeah I mean you’ve used them to such an awesome
degree in a lot of the bands you played in. – Cool. – Yeah man, it’s awesome. Tuning drums, what’s your
philosophy on tuning a drum? – That’s a real good
question because I come from the era of
huge sounding drums where even in pop
songs in the 70s you had massive sounding drums and the drummers
would play the drums it wasn’t like a
looped beat like it is nowadays in pop songs,
but I like the big de tuned, low, heavy,
thunderous drums and one thing that I
do when I tune a drum and perhaps we’ll get
into this a little later, I tend not to use
a key very often. I’ll just finger tighten,
I’ll start with the bottom and if I’m using a drum just
totally from top to bottom, I’ll start with the
bottom head and I’ll just, you know press down,
I don’t know if you can see any of this
but you take your drum, set it on the floor,
set it on a flat surface, something where you can
get some pressure on it and you just press
around, finger tighten. You get everything kind
of finger tight to start and then you start working on it and you press down while you’re, it’ll build up a tiny
little callous right here, let me tell you man
you’re gonna feel it the first few
times you try this. I have a callous from
30 years of doing this but you just take your
fingers and you grind on the, you tighten from the thread
of the bolt here, of the lug and you press down and
do it and you just get it all the way
around and everything just kind of turns out even. It always helps to
have clean lugs, little bit of WD 40
on the lugs and take your fingernail and squeeze
that lug all the way through just thread it until
you’ve degunked it and that makes this style of
tuning really easy for you. And perhaps over the course
of this weekend here at Drumeo I’ll be able to get a
little bit more into that. But you get a
beautifully tuned drum every time and you’re
not messing around with keys and the little
dials that do stuff for you that’s a very quick
way to get things done and this is, you
don’t need a lot of, and one thing I don’t
tune to any sort of notes or anything, I just make
them low and heavy sounding. With Testament however we
tune them up just slightly because there’s a lot of
(imitating drum noises) with the riff and
Testament guys like that a little bit higher so
we accommodate Testament in that regard like
with the Dethklok we just go full heavy,
Galaktikon whatever, Dark Angel really Heavy,
Death, super heavy. – Big old tub sound. – Yeah man I just
love that, I love thunderous sounding drums. – I haven’t really heard
of someone not using a drum key to tune a drum. – Figures, most people
don’t wear leg weights and play with big
bones either so. – You are a special case
so I’ll give you that. So with Testament you
tune to intervals maybe, between you and Jeff
do you pick notes or do you try and make
it (imitates drum noise) something like that. – No there’s nothing like that, it’s pretty much just
whatever I like it at, let’s tune it up a
little higher than that. A lot of the times the
sound guys appreciate that because they’re like
I can really get that attack through and
Testament has a little bit more attack, a little
bit more on the top. But that could also,
I mean there are times when I’m like are
you guys even paying attention any more,
we’re tuning them down. So that’s cool, but I do notice. When you do tighten things up you do obviously get a
little quicker bounce back and there are times,
especially when we’re doing one of those
fly in festival shows where you have
never seen the kit until you’re
playing it on stage. And there’s been
times where it’s like oh I see we didn’t get
to the tuning of this, we didn’t tune it
up because some of those (imitates drum
noise) takes a little bit more effort to
get them to come out. So that’s where there
is little bit of, obviously different
velocities when you are, different tightnesses
create different feels in your own playing. – I think sound men
appreciate that too when there’s actual pitch
differences and stuff, it makes it a little easier
for them to dial things into. And with that in mind,
that’s why when I’m using a three tom setup
now and that’s why I put an inch between each tom, that’s a 10 that’s
a 12, that’s a 14 rather than going 10, 12
,13 or something like that. Just for that
reasoning right there, sound men love you for it. – That’s awesome, yeah yeah. I wanted to talk
about how freaking ambidextrous you really are. (laughs) Your kit is almost
a mirror image, you’re missing a second
crash on that side and a high hat on that
side but you’re doing everything open
handed, I’ve barely ever seen you cross over. I know you’ve done it but
you barely ever do it. That’s pretty amazing to us
regular drummers you know. So I mean would you throw
a baseball left handed, were you just always
like that as a kid and you just were always it
came naturally to you that way. – I think so and
I’ve always said this but I think there’s
ambidexterity in everybody, I think everybody’s ambidextrous and there are things
that I noticed when I was kid,
everybody else was eating right handed and I
was eating left handed and I notice as
I’ve gotten older I shave left handed, I
brush my teeth left handed and I’m sure a lot of
people to little left handed things, like I’m
not even thinking about it. That’s ambidexterity. It was really when I had
that injury back in 1991 where it’s like okay
well you really cannot use this hand so you
better start getting good with this hand and
I really just thrown into the fire of this
tour is gonna last another two or three weeks
and gotta do something. We tried taping the
drumstick into my hand and the stick went
flying the first song. Now I’d super glue it,
you know walk around with a stick after the
show just all night. But it’s ambidexterity
or at least applying what you know over here
for right handed drummers, if you apply all that
to you never know when you’re gonna
have to get through a gig, get through
a song or something, your arms cramped
up and oh my god I, for whatever reason
it’s something that does come in handy so if
you do learn a lick over there you should probably
figure it out over here. It’s just not a
bad thing to have and one way I practice
ambidexterity is when I air drum and that’s quite often,
I air drum right handed. That’s a good practice
of ambidexterity, I’ll just try to do
everything right handed and you’re not
making any sounds but in your head you
are and as long as what you’re hearing in your head is matching up with what
you’re doing flipped over, then you’re giving yourself
a lesson right there in ambidexterity
and that’s something that really is a good thing. – That’s awesome, you know
I’ve always noticed that players who are either
open handed or left handed players always have some
really cool ideas as well. I don’t know if it’s
because from the perspective they can write a part
from the perspective of somebody who can
do something starting on this side, or do something
staring on that side you know what I mean? – Absolutely. – So people like you,
people like Tom Hunting from Exodus or
something like that, I’m like man that
guy’s really good, oh he’s a left hand player
isn’t that interesting. – Yeah sure. Well that’s where I
think if you’re a left handed player I think
what you’re doing is just applying
everything a right handed player would be
playing just backwards. And I’ve sat on Tom’s kit before and yes it’s odd having
a high hat over here, gotta open that thing,
but that’s one thing I’ve learned how to do,
like if you’re gonna play, can I play right now? – Play, man. – Yeah if you’re gonna play any, even a kick drum
part, (drum music) Right there is you
notice playing everything together, that’s a
great way to develop some ambidexterity for yourself and there’s been
many a time during a gig where the kick
head will break, the pedal will fall
apart, something will just go wrong over
here and while I’ve got Jeff down there fixing
it like a mad man, you gotta switch over
and play everything with your left foot and you
have to double bass things, (drum noises) Even that, to get
through (cymbal rings) – Whoa. – Even that to
get through a part so yeah just if you
could play it with your right foot, try
it with your left foot and it doesn’t hurt
’cause there’s gonna be the time when
you lose that kick drum for whatever reason
so you gotta do everything for this with the left foot
for the duration of a song, or the duration of the
set which it’s happened like that before and
there’ve been times when the band has come back
and said I didn’t even notice yeah I didn’t have a kick drum
for the last entire two songs and they’re like,
we didn’t know. – Man that’s funny,
that would ruin most people’s shows, you know
that would cripple most people when they’re on
their set like that but when you think about
it a lot of drumming is like working on
your weaknesses, if you want to get better,
if you’re not too familiar with shuffles or swing
or anything like that, those are the things
you need to work on if you want to become
more well rounded. And that makes good
sense if you’re used to playing a show this
way, like practicing a rudiment, leading
with your right and leading with your
left, why not practice your beats that way
too, you’d only become a better player from
that and then also it might actually come in handy
if something goes wrong too. – Absolutely if
you’ve played as many shows as I have, which a
lot of you probably have, a lot of you guys out there
played thousands of shows, you know you’re gonna have
problems at some point. Something’s gonna happen
where it’s like uh oh, move it all over here
and get through the song. So yeah it totally
comes in handy. – That’s great. I wanted to touch on some
of your favorite drummers and also talk about
swing, shuffles, triplet feels all that stuff. I’ve been told that
your favorite drummer is Stevie Wonder, is that true? – Yeah absolutely. Yeah yeah totally
to this day, fully. I think it’s because and
I’ve said this before I think he is from
Mars so he definitely has a martian
approach to drumming which he just does
things that no other drummer was doing at the time. Just the way he
would approach drums. You know I know that
maybe he’s not the most technically proficient,
I don’t know if he could do linear phrasing or threes over fours
or anything like that but his feel and his taste is
so perfect for what I love. And believe it or not, you can equate some
Lars Ulrich type things to Stevie because
Stevie will just drop some weird off
time weird stuff right in the middle
of everything, kind of like Lars
would do however Lars creates that I’m not sure, but
Stevie’s actually playing it and that feel did not
make any sense there. How was we able to
come like fills in “Living for the
City” for instance, this big old fill and that thing where you’re just like
oh god this is nuts. But he comes right out of it and what I’ve always wondered is is that Stevie trying
to get a drummer to play what he’s
hearing and the drummer’s like man I’m trying
but I don’t think I’m getting what
you’re trying to say and Stevie’s just
like oh give me those sticks I’ll do it myself. That’s the way I feel
it happened with Stevie. But I come from an era
before thrash metal, before extreme metal
so that’s just, the guys I grew up on
like Tommy Aldridge and Cozy Powell, and
yeah I learned my early stuff from guys like
Peter Criss and– – Dean Castronovo? – Yeah Dean came along
a little bit later, I really discovered
Dean in 1987 so I was 19 at the time, and I applied
a lot of Dean immediately as soon as I heard that
Wild Dogs “Reign of Terror” record, that’s a
landmark drumming album and he later went on to
play with Marty Friedman on the Dragon’s Kiss record
and I’ve always admitted I stole the chorus for
“Symbolic” from Death, I do it on a double
ride, I think he did it on a single ride and you know
that (imitates drum noises) with the double basses
going on underneath it, that’s right from “Forbidden
City” from Marty Friedman. And a lot of the other stuff, you know the five
records that Castronovo has played on, just
incredible drumming. He’s such a great drummer
and really inspiring and he brought out a lot
of the traditional metal stuff for me, huge influence
on the “Symbolic” record. And a lot of the guys that
I grew up listening to one thing I noticed
was Tommy Aldridge, he was known as this
double bass drummer but you never heard him
going (imitates drum noises) like a Judas Priest
style of double bass or anything, he just
played double bass super tasty and super
funky, super groovy, always super incredible pocket. I would strongly
suggest drummers go out and check out
Pat Travers live album, it’s called “Live Go
For What You Know.” Absolute landmark drumming album so listening to metal
drummers, rock drummers with taste and I’ve gone back to Alex Van Halen, super tasty
drummer, super amazing, Frank Beard, I’ve stolen so
many licks from Frank Beard, I’ve talked about
that on the last DVD. Just anybody that had
a tasty little chop or anything that
influenced me and that’s why I think it’s
interesting still to this day, being a
thrash metal drummer, or an extreme metal
drummer or anything, and I’m still incorporating
elements of classic rock and stuff like that
and that just brings another dynamic out
to your playing. And that’s not a bad thing. – That’s awesome,
so you were into a lot of Motown
records and stuff too? – Absolutely. – And you know when
I see you warming up and just jamming along you’re
usually playing shuffles, which you might not expect
from a guy you might think is exclusively a
thrash player, double bass blast beat guy, but
you’re just rocking along on tons of different
shuffles and triplet groups and stuff, so I don’t
know what does that do for your playing? – You know what,
one thing it does, I think it brings kind of a
suppleness to your playing, adding some ghost notes
in, a lot of shuffles have the ghost notes
going on and you can apply ghost notes to all
the rock stuff, I got a lot of ghost
notes from Frank Beard, from ZZ Top, totally,
I didn’t even know that his ghost note,
I turned that into my ghost note, my standard go to ghost note for a rock beat. But playing a shuffle,
playing anything where you’re getting a
little bounce on both hands it just brings a
suppleness to your playing that allows forte sense of feel that a lot of thrash
metal and extreme metal drumming does not call
for for it’s regimentitis for all it is really,
that’s always fun when you can show that
you have the chops, you can play all the
stuff at the speeds and the tempos
that are necessary. But if you’re able
to just bring some flavor to it, that’s
one thing I find that shuffles help
me with is getting some flavor to your playing and also it’s nice
to show people that, yes I am known for
this kind of playing, extreme stuff and
I’m fine with that but I have an arsenal
of other things and I think a lot of
other drummers do. You know who’s a
great shuffle guy is Matt Byrne from Hatebreed. – Oh yeah man. – He’s a shuffle master, man
I love listening to him play. – Yeah he’s a great drummer,
fantastic, very underrated. I had regimentitis
one time actually. – Oh okay. – Yeah I think I
need a shuffle groove actually, could you give
me a shuffle groove? – I can give one a shot man. – Make me feel better. – Yeah baby. (drum music) – That cured it by the way. – Oh yay cool man. – Thank you thank you. That it’s funny I watched
you play in the shuffle and then you morphed
into what I thought was a Strapping Young Lad beat. – I think so yeah. – I think it was but you know I saw the connection
all of sudden, I’m like oh geez that is a
bit of a man that’s so cool. – Excellent. – You might not think
that those things connect but there you go,
it’s right there. – Yeah man. And that’s one thing
that’s also fun is doing some of
the ghost notey kind of things with a little
bit of double kick going on underneath
it, and a lot of times it gets lost, the top gets lost. For instance, in “Love” I’m
doing a bunch of ghost notes in that and with
many Strapping songs a lot of those
ghost notes got lost in the mix ’cause we
got layer upon layer going on there and I
understand why that happens but if I can ever bring out
ghost notes there you go but there’s a lot of
times when I’m playing hauling double bass stuff
and there’s a ghost note going on underneath
it, I’m sure a lot of the shuffle approach
has helped with that. – Yeah that’s awesome. I wanted to move on to
taste but we already touched on it a little
bit when we were talking about imitating
other tasty players. But just in a nutshell
what does the word taste mean to you,
’cause I’ve heard you say it a bunch of
times, tasty drumming, what dos that mean to you? – Well I guess
that is, I suppose, ’cause I never really
think about this question, that is just I guess when
you have an arsenal of things where you can go
for the super blasty thing and hey I’m definitely
guilty of that a lot but if you try to pull it
back from that approach and drop in some
splashes or kangs as I have or some
ride bell stuff, and it’s also it’s
just an approach to where maybe
you’re not playing a mind boggling fill
but you’re playing something that’s like wow,
that really stuck out. That was really cool and tasty. Like for instance,
on your magnus opus Drumeo thing he did there’re
so many tasty grooves on that where you’re just
dropping in tasty little splashes and things
like that and god one of my favorite tasty
licks and it’s so silly, I used to drive Steve
Di Giorgio crazy with this ’cause when we
were just getting together doing the original
Death record that I did was “Individual
Thought Patterns,” Stevie D and I were
sitting there playing, you know I like this
he’s playing me stuff he likes and there’s a
song by Gino Vannelli called “Wheels of
Life” that’s on the Brother to Brother
record, and he was really excited that Anthony
Jackson was playing bass on that, one of his guys. And in that song
“Wheels of Life” there is a lick
where the vocal is Wheels of life
are turning round, (drum music) Just that, it’s just
that, it’s a flam on a floor tom but that just
it gets me every single time, the bass has got a nice
little (imitates bass) with it and he’s like
why do you like that, all he’s doing is
that and that, why? I’m like dude it’s
just so tasty. – It just makes you
go like, (groans) – Totally. It fits, it sits, it’s awesome. It hits. – You know you did some
really tasty drumming on Devin Townsend’s
solo record in Infinity and Terria and stuff, it’s
just very ethereal playing where I’m like, oh there’s a
whole other side to this guy. You’re just playing
really open and you can actually hear a lot of the
tasty stuff that you’re trying to do, you know
ghost notes and stuff, you’re not playing a
million notes a minute, your moving and grooving
on that stuff I love it. – Awesome thank you. – Feel and meter, I
wanted to touch on that. So you play to a click
live with Testament or? – No. – No you don’t. Okay is there any band that
you do play to a click? – There definitely have been. For instance Dethklok,
for those of you who are familiar with
Dethklok and for those of you that have seen
Dethklok or anything you’re aware of the
big screen behind us that is synced up to
what we’re playing, we are sort of the orchestra
for what’s happening on the screen behind us. For instance with Dethklok
shows we purposely keep the lighting
rather minimal on us because we do want yo watching
that screen behind us. And I run the whole
show, the whole show lands on my shoulders,
if I get off the click then that thing
starts getting off, people are like whoa
what’s happening. – It’s a lot of pressure. – Yeah and I’ve
mentioned this before, there have been times when
the click has gone down, we’re starting the show
and there is no click, but I remember that’s the
only time I could kind of get away with it okay
because we start the show with the Death theme for
those of you who are familiar with it, you know
the song and so there’s this
(imitates drum noise) and while on the screen
that was a flash behind me of just a spotlight behind
of just a white screen. And so when we start the
set and it’s like oh god there’s no click and
I know it’s starting, I know we’re, okay
there’s no click. I would line up, I
can’t see the screen but I could see the
flash and that would be my kind of visual meter
to lock in with that, find anything to help
yourself lock into ’cause a lot of times
the muscle memory, the mental memory,
I’m like any drummer sometimes I want to speed
up and lean into things and it’s like with a
Dethklok or some of the other bands like Fear
Factory or whatever, songs that are played
to track to click, you gotta be spot on with
those so that’s what helps. And one thing Devin pointed
out and I’ve mentioned this before, really
Dethklok I think cured me of this was I used to play
32nd note behind the click and Devin really
enjoyed that he was like god ’cause you really sink
into whatever the riff is you can really lean into
it and lean back on it and that gives it some breadth
so don’t change anything so I’m like okay that’s good. I never really noticed
that, that that’s what I would do but Devin’s a
smart man and he’s the one that pointed it out
so I’m like okay well I understand
that and when it came to recording Dethklok
albums, those have to be like super tight so
that’s where I just taught myself all these tricks
to be able to work with a click because
before I ever worked with a click, Strapping
was the first band I worked with a click
for and I had heard that a click can turn
drummers into crying babies you know just
puddles in the corner and I’m like wow I don’t
want that to happen to me. Fortunately I took to
the click pretty well and I started just I
guess using the click when you’re not on the
drums, I’ve just everybody probably knows this
your turn signal, that’s a great click track. Especially the turn signal
that do the shuffle, (imitates turn signal)
those are awesome, I love those turn
signals and you know dripping water
there’s another one, the tick of a clock
obviously just anywhere you can find a meter
happening whether it’s your fan blade
turning and it does a little click on every
millionth revolution or whatever, just try
to pull anything in to always work on your
feel for the click. – That’s great, I know
the answer to this but I wanted to ask you, do you think playing to
a click makes you stiff? Or makes you sound stiff? – Well that’s I guess
one of the challenges of the click and
perhaps that’s why I would play a 32nd note
behind because I didn’t want it to sound
stiff with the click and I do find that it
is really dependent upon the project, dependent
on the individual song to where it’s like
no this does need to be just butted right
up on the click, just do not waver from it. Then there are times
where you get to just kind of sit back
and that’s kind of what my internal feeling
is with the click. ‘Cause I tend to sit
back, I do have to kind of make myself
step up to the click ’cause I do want to just
rest just behind it, it just feels good, but
sometimes the project does not call for
that so you just want to be able to move whichever way the project or the song goes. Clicks are fun, I
mean for me you get to turn your brain off you
don’t have to think that much, play to the click and
you’re good to go. – Awesome, that brings
us to our last tip with Mr. Gene Hoglan,
you touched on this a little bit just a second
ago, mental exercises. So that could be anything
from playing along to your turn signal like
you were talking about, I heard you mention
one time that you would wait for a clock to
go to 60 and then you’d close your eyes
and you’d count the seconds in your head and
you’d open up your eyes when you thought it was
bang on the one again. – Yes and that’s a
really fun trick to try, that’s a mental
exercise that you could spend ten minutes
on or an hour on or two minutes on, you
can always do that. And it’s one thing to… I do this in the hotel room
when I got nothing else to do, sit there and
look at the clock and watch it, and do
what you just explained and it’s just a good
little mental exercise, it can’t be a bad
thing and the one thing is that you don’t want to cheat, you can go, say if
you find yourself I think I’m falling
way behind so you start counting a little faster
just to make it end on that zero, don’t
do that, you know. Just take yourself, just
put yourself in the wrong. It’s okay to be too
fast or too slow, like last night for
instance, I tried this last night in the hotel,
I was just sitting there, this worked and the
first time I tried it I was ten seconds over
’cause I haven’t tried this exercise in
quite some time. And the next round through
I was four seconds behind. And when I was four
seconds behind I was like I think I’m falling
behind, do I speed myself up just so I land on that zero. I didn’t, and then the next
couple of rounds through, the next minute it
was like okay well open my eyes, there it was. Okay I’m still a
little fast, and then the fourth time
through it was like okay it’s spot on
so that’s good. But don’t be afraid to mess up that’s okay because
this is an exercise and exercises are for
building strength, building mental strength
so don’t be afraid to get it wrong for
two hours at a time if you’re getting it wrong
but this is all working on just your internal clock
and that’s never a bad thing. – That is awesome, and
that is why you’ve earned the nickname the Atomic Clock. That brings us to
the end of ten heavy metal drumming tips
with Gene Hoglan. Gene, I really appreciate you
coming out and helping us out. I’d love to see you
play another song. – Sure. – What you got for us? – Well let me see,
we were gonna play– – Well I’ll tell you
what, let’s wrap this whole thing up and
we’ll get you to play us out with one other song. How about a Galaktikon song. – Sounds good.
– That’d be great. Again, can’t thank you
enough for not only coming out her but man just
being one of the best examples of
good, well rounded, heavy metal drumming,
you’ve done a lot for everybody who
plays in the genre, you changed my life
when I was a teenager when I first heard your music. And then I was
fortunate enough to get to meet you and get to know you. And I can’t thank you
enough for setting me off down that path
and I know a lot of us out there feel exactly
the same way so– – Aw, well that’s very cool. – We couldn’t be happier
that you’re here man. And again on behalf of
everybody in the heavy metal community, thanks
for all that you do and I’m so stoked that
you’re just keep doing. – That’s awesome man,
I appreciate it man. That’s very cool,
I appreciate it. – Well we love you man,
thanks again for coming to Drumeo, I’m gonna split and this is a Galaktikon
song, enjoy, everybody. (heavy metal music) (screamo music)

99 thoughts on “10 Metal Drumming Tips by Gene Hoglan (FULL DRUM LESSON)

  1. Don't forget to enter for your chance to win Gene's SIGNED Sabian 20" HH Power Bell Ride! The one he used in this lesson!

  2. i have scoured all these comments and have not found a single one about Gene playing the shuffle then going into the SYL lick. Its Love? lol

  3. 48:20 OMG THAT TRANSITION HAHA true master ! ty for this 🙂 will spend my upcoming years to learn this stuff 😀 looks easy from his hands and feet but is a true mastery and takes a lot of skill. ty Drumeo

  4. I'm here from looking up dethklok members. Learned about Gene from the 3rd album documentary. I really enjoyed listening to Gene, and the interviewer did a great job as well. Also, the video, editing, and sound quality are all top notch. Thanks to everyone who put this together!

  5. Wow, I could listen to Gene talk drums all day long. Kudos to the interviewer who really did a hell of a good job asking the right questions of this guy.

  6. This is the man I aspired to be as a drummer. Imagine a cross between Gene and Ingo Switchenburg of Helloween. That’s what I wanted to be.

  7. I've noticed that actual accomplished drummers don't shit-talk Lars Ulrich's playing and only people I've never heard of do. I guess pros don't have time to be hatin'

  8. If you love Gene, you will absolutely love his interview with Dean Delray on the Let There Be Talk Podcast:

  9. Gene Hoglan, 1 of my favourite drummers of all time with his gr8est metal bands, such as; Dark Angel, Dethklok, Fear Factory, Forbidden, Pitch Black Forecast, Slayer, Strapping Young Lad, Tenet, Testament & Zimmers Hole!!!! >:D >:D >:D M/ M/ M/ V/ V/ V/

  10. So instead of waiting for his goatee to grow long he just grew the beard on his double-chin to make it look like a long goatee?

  11. Gene's the perfect example of a master that would much prefer taste, feel and a great song than listening to a virtuoso do everything.

  12. Gene should know that the carnivore diet/lifestyle is the best way to go. Don't have to fight to lose weight and we humans absorb nutrients much better from the fat of meat. MeatHeals.com

  13. Why does he never look the person in the eyes, thats asking him a question… He is looking all kinds of ways besides looking at the interviewer wtf. Seems a bit stuck up to me

  14. Check out a new documentary about legendary Death and their frontman Chuck Schuldiner! DEATH by Metal!

  15. Gotta do a you tube search for Stevie Wonder drum solo, That will show exactly what Gene was talking about when he said Stevie Wonder is his favorite drummer.

  16. Drumeo Guy: Death
    Gene: 😀
    Drumeo Guy: Strapping Young Lad
    Gene: 😀
    Drumeo Guy: Zimmer's Hole
    Gene: 😀
    Drumeo Guy: Dethklok
    Gene: 😀
    Drumeo Guy: Fear Factory
    Drumeo Guy: Meldrum
    Gene: 😀

  17. with a leg staff like having heavy boots and change for snickers …. yooouu fly and jump as you take every step

  18. Yeah but when Stevie wonder does it it sounds cool. When Lars does it it sounds like an amateur drummer.

  19. Gene's such friendly humble cat. I appreciate his friendliness but there's really no need for humility, he's got skills and talent to burn.

  20. Tommy did Judas Priest kind of beat speed metal thrashy stuff

    In the last song with the guitar riff harmonic after the progressive ( pre mercyful fate ) part in this make no difference .
    But also In Hammerhead song .
    On Heat from the street album (1978)

  21. The song at the end was “My Name is Murder” in case anyone was wondering.
    That was an awesome video, it’s so cool to have channels like this where new drummers can get solid advice. I just had to figure out crap myself when I started but I wouldn’t recommend that.

  22. I’m a beginner drummer and there are so many AMAZING topics in this interview I can learn from, holy cats!

    I’m into athletics so much discussion about diet, kinesiology, ergonomics, ankle weights, sleep, etc…WOW! Right down Broadway for me. ?

    My favorite part was energy economics. I tend to flail my arms around bc I thought that’s what hard rock drummers do but to see a heavy metal drummer say he limits showy flailing to bring the highest level of motion and energy efficiency to his time behind the kit.

    A wonderful Teacher has been telling me the same thing for a long time….maybe I better start listening to her, she was right!

    Just never thought it looked “cool” unless you are flailing wildly behind the kit but this man just put that thought to bed.

    Thank you for an AWESOME video, you guys ROCK! Now back to kicking on 1 & 3 and snare on 2 & 4 and maybe someday I’ll be touring stadiums. ???

  23. Such an incredible drummer, played some of the fastest double bass ever recorded, and he did it in fucking work boots.

  24. I already worshipped Gene as a drummer but now I’m also impressed by his intelligence and obviously vast musical knowledge. I died when he did that sweet shuffle

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