Matt Byrne: Three For Your Feet

I’ve been messing around with the concept of triplets as of late — more specifically, double bass drum triplet beats. Drummers rarely approach their foot technique the same way that they would their hands. I’ve found that many double bass players only focus on the speed of their sixteenth-notes and fail to alternate patterns and vary tempos with their feet, so this month we’re going to rectify that problem!

The eighth-note triplet pattern is different from the sixteenth-note pattern in that the main kick drum will fall on every other beat (the 1 and the 3, followed by the 2 and the 4). So in Ex. 1 we’ll begin with some alternating triplet patterns between the hands and feet just to get used to the feel. Then we’ll gradually add some complexity to the patterns in Ex. 2 before moving into an Ex. 3, which will help you master the ability to transition from straight eighth-notes to eighth-note triplets with your feet.

Next we’ll move onto some straightforward beats, with the snare on the 2 and 4, then 1 and 3, and finally on all four beats of a 4/4 measure. I’ve placed a number of rests throughout the beats to create staggered bass drum patterns. Play a quarter-note pulse along with these beats, and feel free to experiment with hi-hat eighths, as well. As with everything else we’ve ever worked on, begin at a slow speed and increase the tempo as you feel comfortable.

DRUM! Notation Guide