Our journey to drum set independence began in Lesson 1 by establishing two independent layers of rhythms (snare drum and verbal counting patterns) to detach our mind from our physical performance and develop muscle memory.
In this lesson we will add the bass drum. While counting sixteenth-notes in groups of three on top of the same snare drum patterns we used in the last lesson, we will play the bass drum four times on each beat of our three-note pattern before moving it over by one sixteenth-note note.
This approach is the first step in engaging our hearing and mind back into what we are physically performing. In our previous lesson we used our sight to make sure the snare drum patterns were even and that we played the right one, while our hearing took care of the counting. This time we will also watch over the bass drum. Not only do you have to play on the right beat of the three-note pattern, but you also have to make sure all permutations of the bass drum pattern happen four times on each of the three beats.
If you practiced our last lesson, you shouldn’t have to worry about the snare drum patterns, since they are now embedded in your muscle memory. Counting in three will give you the three-note groupings (regardless of the given snare drum pattern) for your bass drum to follow. It sounds a lot easier than it actually is.
Don’t forget that the snare drum and counting patterns are not in the same time signature, which means that they will overlap. Listen closely to keep your bass in time with your counting, and to keep track of the three sixteenth-note measures that have elapsed.
Do not accent any notes. All three layers – snare drum, bass drum, and counting patterns – should be kept even in volume and accent free.
Just like in our first lesson, you will notice certain parts and notes that line up with your counting or bass drum pattern. Please do not force them to intersect – just let it happen.
At this point, all three layers of our independence exercises have to be in relationship to time, “the master code,” as I call it, not to each other.
Only that way they will come out truly independent of each other.
Snare Drum Sticking Patterns
RRRRLLLL* - bonus
[*] = Patterns used in the video, but you should practice all of them, regardless of how similar they seem to you.
Please spend a lot of time on these exercises, because we are just warming up for a lot more patterns and complexity.
See you next time.