Here’s a cool exercise one of my teachers shared with me, a long time ago: You play 14 different 16th note variations on the hi-hat, one per measure, while keeping a continually repeated pattern (ostinato) on the bass drum and snare. The bass drum syncopation includes a note on the “a” and “&” of the […]
Often, the most simple exercises prove to be the most effective. I call this one “The Loop.” Here’s the sequence: 2 measures of 8th notes 2 measures of 8th note triplets 2 measures of 16th notes 2 measures of 8th note triplets It will improve your timing and transitions between the rates. Practice it with […]
Remember: Repetition is the key. If you’re new to this, practice a little bit every day, and soon the movements will become second nature as you develop muscle memory. HEEL DOWN 1.Your foot is flat on the footboard and you play from the ankle. 2. Your foot doesn’t leave the pedal when you wind up, […]
When you learn a new lick or combination, make sure you can play it in different rates, e.g., 8th notes, triplets, and 16th notes.
Some of you asked for sheet music of the 16th Note Variations video. I did NOT write out all the grooves (on purpose – the goal is to improvise!), but here are all the variations on top of a basic beat. Each line is played four times before moving on to the next. Download Sheet […]
Here’s something I like to practice: I’m improvising grooves while working my way through different 16th note variations on the hi-hat. I’ve found this to be a great way to come up with new ideas, strengthen my coordination, and improve my timing on the drums. Too often we drummers forget about the endless possibilities seemingly […]
This is great exercise to deepen your pulse and improve timing on the drums. I start playing a beat at the downbeat, then move it to the “e” of the beat, then the “+” and the “a.” I’m basically moving through the 16th note grid, using each 16th note as a new starting point.