Drumming Details: Snare Drum Backbeats

We looked at the hi-hat and how it can affect our sound and feel which, in turn, has a profound affect on the feel and vibe of the song. In this installment I’m going to talk about the snare drum and how we play our backbeats, specifically rimshots and center of the head.

Option #1) Rimshot

The rimshot produces a nice fast and sharp attack. Not as much body but it will definitely cut through even the heaviest of guitar riffs.

Option #2) Center of the Head

Playing center head will have less attack and therefore be less aggressive. However you will have more of the body of the drum with the potential to get a much fatter sound. If you’re not use to playing rimshots it will take some practice getting a consistent sound.

Likewise if you’re a rimshot only player, playing center of the head can feel very light and hard to get a good dynamic. One way around this is to simply flip your stick around and play your backbeats with the butt end of the stick. It will give you a nice fat, center of the head, sound while still having some weight behind it. Now ultimately it’s up to you how you choose to utilize these two styles of playing backbeats. I always start by simply listening to the song. If you use your ears, and are really listening, the song will tell you what to play. If you’re coming up with new parts for a song explore both techniques to see which one works best.

To get a feel for how these two techniques sound I've included a loop from the verse of one of my iGroove Practical Play-Alongs called “Wonderful”. It’s kind of a mid-tempo classic rock style groove that’s sound great with either of these techniques. Be sure to download the loop to practice with and check out the accompanying video as I demonstrate each technique sounds.

Play-Along

Download the mp3 file.

Remember, it’s not what you play but how you play it. The difference is in the details.

In the third and final installment we’ll talk about the bass drum. See you next month!

Charlie studied music at the McNally Smith College of Music in St. Paul, MN and Musicians Institute in Hollywood, California where he graduated with “Rock Drummer of The Year” honors. Following graduation, he was signed to Universal Records with the hard rock act, Speak No Evil and toured extensively throughout the United States. He has since toured Europe with his band JKB and has achieved critical acclaim through his work with his Rock-Fusion trio, EGH, with the CD releases Live at MI and Itʼs About Time. Charlieʼs also stays busy writing, producing and mixing for his production company Abrasive Productions and various TV shows including Malcolm in the Middle (Fox Television) at his studio in Hollywood, CA. For PIT, Charlie teaches private lessons, Live Playing Workshops, Rock Drums & Rhythm Section Workshop. For more lessons and information about Charlie check out www.charliewaymire.com! More Lessons available at http://www.drummagazine.com

© 2010 Charlie Waymire. All Rights Reserved. Basher Beatz Music (ASCAP) http://www.CharlieWaymire.com">

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