In this month’s lesson we will focus on using the bass drum to “fill” in the gaps of various sixteenth-note hand permutations. Focus on perfecting the “building block” exercises by practicing with a metronome at a wide variety of tempos. This will help your flexibility and control. The fun really begins when we start to string the various patterns together to create cool fill phrases. You will notice that you can create two-beat phrases, as well as four-beat phrases for a full bar. Always methodically practice the various left-foot hi-hat patterns while you are playing the fill for maximum coordination and vocabulary building. Notice that you can also divide the hand patterns between voices such as toms and cymbals to create a more linear effect.
To really drive the concept home, take any snare drum book and fill in the gaps of the written rhythms with the bass drum. You will be working on your coordination, reading, and creative development all at the same time. Whether you are playing with your own band or filling in for another drummer, this is a very useful concept for playing different- and interesting-sounding fills.