BE A SPONGE
I’m a firm believer in watching and learning from any drummer that you come in contact with. One positive of being in a band that tours so much is that I come in contact with a wealth of drummers, all of whom have their own style, technique, and overall approach to playing the instrument. It’s great to sit down and talk shop with any one of them, because I’ve found that as solid as you may think you are as a player, there is always someone else out there with something to show you.
Recently I hung out with my buddy, Mark Messina, who is the drum tech for Chevelle and Drowning Pool, and is a hell of a drummer in his own right. We were trading off some beats and whatnot, just being typical drum nerds. I showed him this triplet beat that I had been playing around with, and it so happened that he had his own version of it. We both decided that people would have fun with this.
Pick a solid, comfortable tempo to work with. The ghost notes are very important when playing the straight beat on the snare. They create that “shuffle” feel. When playing the second version of the beat, don’t play off only one tom. Try to move around the entire kit, hi-hat and ride cymbal included. This will make for an array of sounds in the beat and will help your independence around the drum set. Enjoy!