More Bounce For The Ounce

By Jeffrey Clemens Originally published in 2004

Hello drum lads and lassies. Nothing good comes easy. As I read once somewhere, “There is no elevator to the top, you gotta take the stairs the whole way.” With that in mind, I enlisted the great Stanton Moore to help me write this lesson.

Bounce beats are one flavor of urban hip-hop and modern R&B. They involve intricate subdivisions with thirty-second notes. These patterns are often programmed on computers, making it difficult to mimic on a drum kit.

In Ex. 1 you have a sixteenth-note pickup on the and-ah of 4 before 1. Then you play a mostly linear pattern between the hats, snare, and kick. You can play the hats with either left or right hand. In Ex. 2 and 3 you will play with a similar feel, but there are thirty-second-notes, which will give the illusion of playing twice as fast because of the extra subdivision. This is hard to articulate in words, but it is worth it to get help if you don't understand how to read or play this. Don’t be afraid of the unknown, okay? Good luck.

Jeffrey Clemens is the drummer for G Love & Special Sauce.