I definitely don’t get as much time as I would like to practise without having to work on band stuff, but here’s what I have been working on over the past few months:

I’ve been trying to improve my independence between all 4 limbs, which I’ve generally been doing by picking a foot ostinato (repeating pattern) between kick and hi-hat, then running through various rudiments and sticking patterns while keeping the ostinato going. For example, I could be playing HKK (H=hi-hat foot, K = kick drum) either as triplets or 16th notes, then run through singles on the snare matching the sub-division of the feet, first on the snare, then moving around the kit. Then I would play double strokes with the hands, followed by inverted doubles (RLLRRLLR), triple strokes, single, double and triple paradiddles, para-diddle diddles, then groups of 5 and 7 with the following stickings – RLRRL & RLRLRRL. Then play them all again but leading with the left hand! Then of course try to improvise around the kit with different stickings and rhythms. It’s tedious as hell but the payoff is pretty satisfying!

Sometimes to be able to play one of these exercises, I’ll have to start with just the first few notes on the hands while playing the foot ostinato, then literally add one more hand at a time. It’s also been necessary to write out a few of these exercises so I could actually see where the feet and hands line up.

I learned this approach to working on independence from a lesson I had with Sydney drummer Peter Drummond late last year. He is an absolute king when it comes to playing creative solos using 4 limb independence and the lesson was hugely benefical. I would highly recommend seeking out the best drummers in your country and hooking up a lesson whenever they are in your town or vice versa.

 Pete Drummond (currently plays with Dragon and Thirsty Merc)

Pete Drummond (currently plays with Dragon and Thirsty Merc)

You can also play a groove on the ride and snare while keeping a foot ostinato going - see the below video from my Instagram feed to see an example of me demonstrating this. In the video, I change the hands so that the groove changes from a triplet feel to a 16th note feel, all while keeping the foot pattern the same. This is called implied metric modulation, where it sounds like the tempo has changed, but really you have just changed to a different feel within that tempo i.e. changing the sub-divisions. 

The simplest way of trying these independence exercises is to just play a ‘walking’ pattern with your feet – kick on 1 and 3, hi-hat foot on 2 and 4. Once you can play different stickings and/or rhythms with the hands over this kick pattern, try playing the bossa nova/samba foot ostinato – K HKK HKK HKK etc. The rhythm is 1 2+3 4+. If you haven’t played a bossa or a samba before, start with these rhythms as it will help make you more comfortable playing the foot pattern.

Some books worth checking out on this concept include Creative Control and Creative Coordination by Thomas Lang and Extreme Interpedendence by Marco Minneman. Thomas and Marco are the masters of drumming independence along with Virgil Donati.

Other things I’ve been working on:

Improving my dynamics and ghost notes on the snare, especially while keeping 16th notes going with my right hand on hi-hat or ride. Having to keep the volume down to neighbours is a good incentive to work on this!

Working towards better improvisation at different tempos. Trading fours with myself (soloing for 4 bars then playing time for 4 bars), keeping the same sub-division i.e. 32nd notes, 16th note triplets, quintuplets, playing linear phrases only i.e. only one drum/cymbal at a time. Maintaining the same sub-division is actually pretty difficult as I have always placed an emphasis on rhythmic variation while soloing.

Nick Bukey fills (www.nickbukeydrums.com) – This guy has online fill lesson packages available to purchase along with free videos and PDFs which you can download. I’ve learned a bunch of the 32nd note and 16th note triplet linear fills that he has available on his site. The longer fills can be quite challenging!

Exercises from Instagram – Drummers like Sebastian Lanser, Anika Nilles and Elliot Hoffmann all post excercises which I like to try. As well as exercises, every now and again I’ll try and copy solo/fill/groove ideas from drummers on Instagram as well.

That’s it for now, stay tuned for some new drum videos coming very soon! 

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Efficient and effective practise. This is a huge thing to consider when you play an instrument. You may be practising for hours every week, but if you are just ‘noodling’ and playing what you already know, then you aren’t going to make much progress. I’ve always said to my students, if someone can hear you practising and it sounds good most of the time, then you’re not practising the right stuff. I’ve been practising difficult independence exercises lately and I know that anyone listening from outside would assume that I was a total beginner! More on the independence stuff and what I’ve been practising in my next post.

In order to get the most out of your time in the drum room, it is important to plan out your practise material in advance and try to stick to it. Now, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t improvise and have free practise time; a large proportion of my practise in the past has undoubtedly been based on playing ideas that have come into my head and just following the flow of these ideas. But, this should be done in between planned exercises that have the objective of improving weaker areas of your playing.

I always found that I would make the most general progress when I would have sheet music on the music stand which I would work on, then once I became too frustrated or antsy, I would just play whatever came into my head for a few minutes. This would have a similar effect of leaving the room for a few minutes, then coming back with a clearer head better able to continue attempting the difficult exercise. I invariably found that I would be able to play the exercise better once taking my mind off of it for a while. Repeating something difficult over and over again when you are not quite getting it is not really beneficial for your playing or your mindset.

Obviously you need to be careful with not getting distracted with the ‘free playing’ for too long and try to maintain your focus on the planned exercises for a decent amount of time, as you won’t end up getting much done otherwise. On the other hand, you could stumble upon something really compelling during your ‘free playing’ that could form a part of a new song or something that you could call on regularly in the future when playing other material. If you end up playing and developing a cool beat or fill of a relatively high level of difficulty which you haven’t played before, make sure you write it out. If you can’t read or write music, learn!! Assuming you can already play the drums reasonably well, I can teach you to become competent at rhythmic theory within a matter of weeks (as long as you practise it regularly).

 Here's a fill idea you can try using 16th note triplets. The arrow things are accents (play loud) and the notes in brackets are ghost notes (play softly). Practise only on the snare to start with (still playing kick drum). 

Here's a fill idea you can try using 16th note triplets. The arrow things are accents (play loud) and the notes in brackets are ghost notes (play softly). Practise only on the snare to start with (still playing kick drum). 

Another thing that I attribute a fair chunk of my improvement to is regular rehearsals with bands over the years. I confess that I have not been very disciplined when it comes to private practise in the past, but scheduling regular rehearsals means that I have it locked into my calendar and I have to do it because it’s been arranged with the other members of the band, so if I cancelled I’d be letting them down, not just myself. That accountability factor is not to be undervalued. Plus, rehearsals are usually more enjoyable than private practise as you’re actually creating music with other musicians or rehearsing songs for an upcoming show.

Then there is the act of booking a rehearsal room where I have to drive to the rehearsal studio, set up my drums then pack them up at the end of the session. Because there is such an output of time, effort and money involved, you better believe I’m going to try and get the most out of that rehearsal. There’s no way I’m going to go to all that effort to play a few songs. Whereas if you are just at home playing drums, then the incentive to continue playing and get the most out of that session is not as pronounced as the rehearsal room situation.

 Here's a fill using para-diddle-diddles and a para-diddle accenting the single strokes. Practise only on the snare to start with. 

Here's a fill using para-diddle-diddles and a para-diddle accenting the single strokes. Practise only on the snare to start with. 

Still be careful not to be the drummer that commits to too many bands so that you hardly have any time left for your own practise. I have certainly been guilty of this and still am really! But with the bands I play with, all of them are challenging in different ways and allow me to maintain my skills across different genres. This is key. Learning songs by acts like (James Norbert) Ivanyi, Obsidian Aspect and Dyssidia have all been a huge challenge and forced me to play in ways that I wouldn’t have otherwise considered if I had just stuck to collaborating on new music with Voros and coming up with my own drum parts. Finding that balance between creating your own parts and learning other people’s drum parts (with the option of changing some bits) is a very important factor in becoming a well-rounded drummer.

That’s all for now – thanks for reading and please check out my next post in which I run through what I am currently working on in the practise room :) 

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It’s been just over a year since I joined Instagram (@liamweedall). I resisted initially as I didn’t really see the appeal of scrolling through pictures that people have posted of themselves and what they were doing. However, I was unaware of what a valuable tool it is for musicians seeking inspiration and education on their instrument, seeing as Instagram allows you to upload videos of up to 1 minute in length. As well as being a great platform for me to showcase my own drumming, I have found a wealth of inspirational content from a whole bunch of my favourite drummers and drummers that I was previously unaware of. Whether it’s live drum cam footage, play-throughs, or drummers explaining exercises and licks, there is definitely a lot of value to be derived from following drummers on Instagram.

Just going back to the point of posting your own videos for a moment, the use of hashtags means that people who don’t yet follow you can find your videos and potentially follow your page. Some standard drumming hashtags include #drums #drummer #drumcam #drumlife #drumstagram #drumuniversity #drumsdaily #drumcommunity #drumlessons. Say you’re posting something with #oddtime, #polyrhythms or #metricmodulation, you can use those hashtags so people can stumble upon your video. In addition to hashtags, you can also tag drumming pages in your post to give them the opportunity to share it on their page. Some of these pages include @drumsdaily, @insta_chop, @theworldofdrums, @drum.life, @drumsoutlet, and @percussionperfection.

 One of my favourite drummers and Instagram posters Sebastian Lanser (Obscura, Panzerballet)

One of my favourite drummers and Instagram posters Sebastian Lanser (Obscura, Panzerballet)

In this post I’ve listed all my favourite drummers that actually post videos of themselves playing, rather than just photos of drums or what they’re doing on tour. My favourite drummers to follow are people like Sebastian Lanser, Anika Nilles and Elliott Hoffmann, who all post exercises along with notation or stickings. This means that you will always have something new to practise if you go back through these drummers’ feeds. I also get a kick of posting exercises for other drummers to try, which is what it’s all about – fostering a collaborative and helpful community of drummers supporting each other’s development.

I’ve broken the list up into drummers from Australia and the rest of the world. There are so many talented drummers here in Oz and I find it beneficial to see what the top Aussie drummers are doing as it gives an insight into how they stay in demand in the session and touring scenes.

As I love my metal, there is definitely an emphasis on metal in this list, but there are plenty of players on here that are far removed from heavy music. The drummers I admire the most are the guys that can play it all, like Sebastian Lanser, Travis Orbin, Marco Minneman, Virgil Donati, Thomas Lang, Matt Gartska, Sean Reinert, Morgan Agren, Yuma Van Eekelen (not on Instagram), Blake Richardson, Navene Koperweis and Danny Walker. There’s also a few awesome drummers on the list who are known for the ‘gospel chops’ style of playing which I love – check out Eric Moore, Tony Royster Jnr and Aaron Spears to name a few.

I’ll start with 5 of my favourite ‘big name’ drummers who require no description. If you don’t know of any of these guys, you’ve got a lot of youtubing to do!

Virgil Donati @thevirgildonati

Thomas Lang @thomaslangdrum

Marco Minneman @marcominneman

Vinnie Coliauta @vinniecolaiuta

Dave Weckl @officialdaveweckl

(The last 3 don’t really post many videos to Instagram, but are still worth following!)

 The King - Virgil Donati - no one has taken drumming further in my opinion!

The King - Virgil Donati - no one has taken drumming further in my opinion!

Now, for the drummers that you may not have heard of:

Sebastian Lanser @sebastian_lanser (Obscura, Panzerballet)

Anika Nilles @anika.nilles (Solo, clinician)

Elliott Hoffmann @ehdrummerist (Carbomb)

Travis Orbin @travisorbin (Solo, Darkest Hour) – His solo stuff is super unique and challenging!

Matt Gartska @mattgartska (Animals as Leaders)

Alex Rudinger @alexrudinger (ex-The Faceless, session)

Danny Walker @dwalkerdrummer (Intronaut, session)

Charlie Engen @charlieengen (Scale the Summit, session, teacher)

Sean Reinert @seanreinert (ex-Cynic, composer)

James Stewart @james.stewart.vader (Vader)

Morgan Agren @morganagren (Mats/Morgan, Frederik Thordenal’s Special Defects)

Mark Guiliana @markguiliana (Mark Guiliana Jazz Quartet, session incl. David Bowie))

Craig Blundell @craigblundelldrums (Steven Wilson, session)

Tony Royster Junior @tonyroysterjr (session incl. Jay Z, Katy Perry)

Eric Moore @ericmoore_ii (T.R.A.M., Suicidal Tendencies, session)

Aaron Spears @aspears (Usher, clinician)

Chris Coleman @crc_global (Clinician, Beck, Prince, Chaka Khan)

Dre Energy @dreenergy (Cirque De Soleil, clinician)

Emmanuelle Caplette @emmanuellecaplette (session, clinician)

Gergo Borlai @gergoborlai (session, clinician)

Navene Koperweis @navenekoperweis (Entheos, Solo, ex-Animals as Leaders)

Blake Richardson @blakeyeatsteaky (Between the Buried and Me)

Dave Elitch @daveelitch (Justin Timberlake, The Mars Volta, Killer be Killed etc.)

Kevin Paradis @kevin_paradis_drumming (death metal session drummer)

Marco Pitruzzella @lordmarc0 (Six Feet Under, Brain Drill, probably the fastest drummer out there)

Eloy Casagrande @eloycasagrande (Sepultura)

George Kollias @georgekolliasofficial (Nile, Solo, Clinician)

Ryan Van Poederooyen @ryanvanpoederooyen (Devin Townsend Project)

Allan Cassidy @88o119725 (The Black Dahlia Murder)

Phil Dubois @philduboisdrums (ex-Revocation, Cannibal Corpse drum-tech)

Samuel Santiago @s_a_m_s_a_n_t_i_a_g_o (First Fragment, Gorod)

Steve Such @stevesuchdrums (session, transcriber of Vinnie (Coliauta) licks!)

Wilfred Ho @wilfredhok (session, teacher, youtube drum covers)

 Stan Bicknell - A Melbourne based drummer who has experienced rapid growth in popularity through Instagram

Stan Bicknell - A Melbourne based drummer who has experienced rapid growth in popularity through Instagram

Now for the Aussie drummers:

Pete Drummond @petedrummond (session, Dragon, Thirsty Merc, independence master)

Andy Gander @andygandermusic (Andy Gander Quartert, session, PhD)

Dave Goodman @davegoodmanmusic (Dave Goodman Quartet, session, PhD)

Johnny Salerno @saltydrums (session, Jon Stevens, Suzi Quatro)

Terepai Richmond @thepaiman (session, DIG, The Whitlams, Missy Higgins)

Ben Todd @bentodd (Cirque Du Soleil, clinician) 

Jackie Barnes @iamjackiebarnes (Jimmy Barnes, The Lachey Doley Group)

Stan Bicknell @stanbicknell (insta drummer, ex-Kimbra, ex-session)

Stevie Cat Junior @steviecatjnr (Kimbra, RnBeast)

Dan Presland @dan_presland (Ne Obliviscaris, session)

Rob Brens  @rob_brens (Hadal Maw, I Built the Sky + more)

Steve Judd @stevejudd23 (Karnivool & The Veronicas)

Benjamin Shannon @benjaminshannondrums (way too many bands to mention, teacher)

Shane ‘Russ’ Russell @rustyninja79 (Twelve Foot Ninja)

Anthony Stanislavski @luvskidrums (session, teacher)

Josh Griffin @joshgriffindrums (Caligula’s Horse)

Troy Wright @troywrightdrums (Plini, drum teacher and youtube cover sensation)

Robin Stone @frogmagus (Norse, death metal session drummer)

Jake Sproule @roodymence (Whoretopsy, Truth Corroded)

Dom Simpson @domsimpsondrums (Darker Half, session)

Luke Williams @luke.williams.drummer (Dead Letter Circus, teacher)

Jack Thomson @jackthomsonondrums (session)

Nick Bukey @nickbukeydrums (online drum lessons, session)

Darran Muller @darrandrummer (session)

Steve Pope @stevenpope (session)


Thanks for checking out this post – I’m sure I’ve missed a whole bunch of great drummers that deserve to be on this list (feel free to suggest some in the comments), but hopefully I’ve inspired you to check out some new players and get posting!


The 'Good Grief' tour kicks off this weekend with the Progfest shows in Sydney and Melbourne headlined by Leprous (NOR) and Voyager. We'll be playing a couple of new songs which will be on our upcoming album due out mid-late 2018. One of these tracks is a 10 minute epic titled 'Good Grief', and I'll tell you what, getting this song down has caused us a lot of grief! But that's the nature of prog I suppose! :) 

I'll also be playing with Ivanyi at the Sydney Progfest and we will be supporting Ne Obliviscaris at the Manning Bar in Sydney on the 16th of Feb. Bring it on! 

Dyssidia Jan-Feb tour poster.jpg


I'm pleased announce that I'm now endorsing Gretsch Drums, Gibraltar Hardware and Istanbul Mehmet Cymbals!! I've been playing Gretsch/Gibraltar for the past 12 years and have upgraded from the Catalina line which served me so well to the awesome Renown Maple kit! Damn, this kit sounds good! My new cymbals are sounding beautiful as well, displaying some great versatility for the many genres of music that I play. 

I'm honoured to be part of the same drumming family as greats like Tony Williams, Art Blakey, Elvin Jones, Vinnie Colaiuta, Morgan Agren, Stanton Moore and Mark Schulman. 

I'm also excited to be playing the same brand of cymbals as drummers such as Horacio Hernandez, Carmine and Vinny Appice, as well as my fellow Aussie metal drummers Jake Sproule and Lee Stanton. 

Check out pics of my new drums and cymbals below: 


Not pictured is my 8 inch tom, which I may just use in the studio. I've had three rack toms for a long time so I'm probably going to see how I go with just two rack toms for the near future at least for live situations. Also not pictured is my cymbal stack, which I still need to figure out. 

I'll be filming some high quality drum videos towards the end of the year with the kit fully mic'd up, so stay tuned! Most of these will be tutorial videos where I'll be going through some concepts which I have found to really helpful in my playing. 


A big thanks to Simon at Pro Music Australia, Con at Derringers Drum Shop and Christian at Dynamic Music for getting me on board with some fantastic companies!