What DrumHeads Are Saying About TigerBill and TigerBill's DrumBeat Website...

Click for Another Quote


Best Products at the
Lowest Prices
Lowest prices on Tiger Tested drum products

Lowest Prices on Drum Sets, Cymbals and Percussion at Amazon.com

TigerBill's Unique
Drum Lessons
Play Better With Less Effort - Learn TigerBill's Tension Free Drumming Concepts

Advertise With Us
Contact Us
Link to Us
News & Press Room
Order Info
Permissions & Reprints
Privacy Policy
Register for Free

Books for Fun
Books for Education
Buying Drum Gear
Chops Challenge
Clinics & Events
Concerts & Tours
Discount Drum Shop 1
Discount Drum Shop 2
Drum TV Show
Drum n Bass
Drum Skills Evaluation
Fame & Fortune
Famous Drummers
Fun With Drums TV Show
Gear & Accessories
Gladstone Technique
Healthy Drumming
Hip-Hop / Rap
History & Culture
How To Guides
Laugh It Up
Lessons for Free
Loops & Samples
Member Links
MIDI Files
Moeller Technique
Record Your Own
Sit-in & Play
Tension Free Drumming™
Ticket Sales
TigerBill and Friends
TigerBill's Bio
TigerBill's Gear Picks
TigerBill's Clinics & Events
TigerBill's Drum Shop
TigerBill's Lessons
TigerBill's Place
Tips and Tricks
Vintage Gear

There's Gold in Them Thar' Rhythms

The drummers who are most in demand - and making the most money - have one thing in common: Mastery of dance rhythms. They can sit behind the drums in any band playing any style of music and sound like they belong there. Dance rhythms vary drastically between cultures and in different parts of the world, but I must say I never met one I didn't like! How many dance rhythms can you play? Rock, jazz, and maybe some Latin stuff? But how about a Joropo, Guaracha, or Merengue? If you're not familiar with at least three dozen, you're missing out on a whole lot of fun and profit!

When I first started drumming lessons, I was lucky to have a drum instructor who felt the same way. I learned every weird dance rhythm on the planet but over the years, I've used nearly every one of them. To make the most money from your musical investment, you need to develop the same skill.

Here are some basic dance rhythms that you should be able to play:

  • Beguine
  • Bolero
  • Bossa Nova
  • Bulgar
  • ChaCha
  • Charleston
  • Conga
  • Country
  • Czardas
  • Disco
  • Dixieland
  • Freilach
  • Funk
  • Guaracha
  • Hip Hop
  • Hora
  • Jazz - small group style in 4/4 and 5/4
  • Joropo
  • Irish Jig
  • Mambo
  • March - in 2/4, 4/4, 6/8, and don't forget the Roll-Off!
  • Merengue - No, not the lemon kind!
  • Metal - Light Aluminum to Heavy Iron!
  • Mexican Hat Dance
  • Montuno
  • Paso Doble - 2/4, 3/4
  • Ravel Type Bolero - 3/4, 4/4
  • Reggae
  • Rhumba
  • Rock - Slow, fast, and half-fast!
  • Salsa
  • Samba
  • Sher - No, not Sonny and…
  • Shuffle
  • Swing - Big band style
  • Tango - Argentine and Spanish styles
  • Tarantella - Hint, it's not a spider!
  • Waltz - Standard and Jazz styles
  • Zydeco

You'll find some of these dance rhythms in the links under my Lessons For Free link, to the left of this column. For more, visit my site at Tension Free Drumming.

Once you've practiced these basic rhythms, the next step is to learn some authentic drum fills. The best way to do this is to go to clubs, listen to the radio, and borrow or buy some CDs. Then cop some fills to add to your repertoire.

On a gig, the closer you can emulate the authentic feel for each rhythm, the better your chance of having the leader call you again. Whatever you do, it don't mean a thing if your phone doesn't ring! So make sure it does. And by the way, check your answering machine regularly to be sure it's working properly. Better yet, try a voice mail system, available through most local phone companies. They're inexpensive and more reliable than answering machines.

Practice your rhythms well. Once you get a rep for being a versatile drummer, you won't have enough room on your calendar for all the gigs you'll get. Then you'll be well on your way to buying that really expensive set of new drums you've always wanted! And eventually you'll reach the day when the band leader calls a Tango and you get to say: Will that be Spanish or Argentine?

Stay loose.

Tiger Bill Meligari


Become a Free Member of the largest, most Comprehensive Drum Site on the Web

Learn TigerBill's Innovative Tension Free Drumming and take your chops to the next level

Get TigerBill's Free Info-Packed Newsletter, Monthly Chances to Win Valuable Drum Stuff

& Much More...

Click Here to Register as a Free Site Member

Copyright © 1998-2013 by TigerMix.com, Inc.
All Rights Reserved.

Unauthorized reproduction without permission is prohibited except as noted.

< Back to Top >

Free Site Membership!
Click Here for FREE Site Registration and become a member of the largest drum and percussion family on the Web!

* S I D E B A R *

Links Related
to this Article

Related Links on Site

Learn the Eight Essentials of the Artist Drummer!

Related Links on Web

Visit Tension Free Drumming for More Drum Lessons than you can Count!