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 […]
Aspiring drummers and drum set instructors! I updated my instructional drumming PDF “Kick Start” (40 pages). It covers basic reading skills and coordination exercises, and helps the beginning drummer to master her first beats, fills, and gain confidence on the drum kit. I’ve used it successfully in my teaching practice for almost two years now. […]
Here are two simple, yet cool triplet combos: ||:Left Right Kick:|| (Gadd is a master at this!) and then something I’ve heard Bonham do a lot: ||:Left Right Kick | Right Left Kick:|| In this songo improv I play open handed, aka left hand lead (I’m not crossing my sticks), which allows me to […]
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.
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.