Here’s a fun and rhythmically exciting bit of coordination for you to master at the drum set. Select a medium/comfortable tempo, and play Ex. 1 with your bass drum and hi-hat. Repeat several times.
Ex. 2 is the same rhythm — that is, a hemiola pattern that takes three bars to cycle or come back to 1. In this case, the first notes you’ll play will be on beat 2 of the first bar. Repeat.
Now add your hands, playing the small tom with the right hand and the snare drum with the left hand (Ex. 3).
Once you get comfortable with Exs. 1—3, try moving your hands around the kit (playing on different toms) as well as increasing the tempo (Ex. 4). A good target tempo would be the quarter-note at 200 bpm. Hold on!
Peter Erskine has played with Weather Report, Steps Ahead, and the Stan Kenton Orchestra, and holds an honorary doctor of music degree from Berklee College Of Music. http://petererskine.com