lessons

The Basics Of The Reverse Blast Beat

drummer

In our previous lesson we worked on exercises to develop the basic heavy metal blast beat using a single bass drum. This time, we’ll develop the chops necessary for playing the reverse blast beat with a single bass drum.

Last month’s basic blast beat consisted of playing the bass drum and cymbal part simultaneously on the downbeats while the snare drum played on the upbeats. The reverse blast beat is a bit more difficult because you’ll be playing the snare drum and cymbal together on the downbeats and the bass drum on the upbeats. Note that you can play the cymbal part on slightly opened hi-hats or on any ride, crash, or China-type cymbal- depending on the particular sound that you want. Check out the written exercises first and then watch the video demo.

Practice these exercises using each of the four drum keys shown below.

reverse blast beat

Metronome: Quarter-note = 60 to 200

Drum Key 1
RC = Right sticks on ride cymbal or partially opened hi-hats
SD = Left stick on snare
BD = Right foot on bass drum

Alternate Drum Key 2
RC = Left stick on ride cymbal or partially opened hi-hats
SD = Right stick on snare
BD = Right foot on bass drum

Alternate Drum Key 3
RC = Right stick on ride cymbal or partically opened hi-hats
SD = Left stick on snare
BD = Left foot on bass drum (or hi-hat if you play single bass)

Alternate Drum Key 4
RC = Left stick on ride cymbal or partially opened hi-hats
SD = Right stick on snare
BD = Left foot on bass drum (or hi-hat if you play single bass)

Use a metronome when practicing these exercises and repeat each exercise at least 40 times to build your endurance and control. Start at the slowest recommended tempo (60 bpm) and gradually increase the metronome tempo as your chops improve. Just remember to play the eighth-note and sixteenth-note groupings as cleanly and evenly as possible. To increase your cross-body coordination, practice the exercises using the three alternate drum keys as shown on the chart. If you eventually reach the maximum recommended speed of 200 bpm and can still play the patterns cleanly and without tension, continue to increase the speed. More than 30 years of teaching students has shown me that most drummers aren’t aware of what they are truly capable of doing. The only way you’ll know for sure is to push your limits. Try it. I guarantee that you’ll be surprised at what you can do. If you’re having problems getting the reverse blast beat up to speed while staying loose and relaxed, visit TensionFreeDrumming.com for additional help.

That’s all for now. I suggest that you learn the basic and reverse blast beats well and stay tuned for next month’s lesson where we’ll be developing the chops needed to play double bass drum blast beats.

For questions on this month’s speed lesson, you can contact me at http://www.tigerbill.com. Stay loose!

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