Here are some challenging exercises designed to work your four-way independence. I’ve based the patterns for the feet on rhythms from a traditional Liberian piece called Shiko. Double kick drum players can substitute their left kick drum for the hi-hat lines. Mix and match foot and hand patterns to create lots of exercise variations. To make the most of these exercises, it’s best to aim for complete accuracy before doing them fast. Definitely work with a click to help you gauge your timing and stroke accuracy. You can find dozens of traditional rhythms that you can use in this manner on my new DVD titled Rhythmic Foundation: Interactive African Drumming For Everyone, available at JimDonovanMusic.com.
JIM DONOVAN is a current and founding member of the multiplatinum band Rusted Root. He has released three solo CDs as well as four instructional drumming CDs.