Wally Schnalle: Four Plus Two Six Ways
This pattern is a staple of many drum fills and solos. It’s typically triplet-based, though it can be used in other rhythmic environments as well. It consists of four strokes with the hands followed by two bass drum strokes, all played evenly, which you can see in Ex. 1. It can be orchestrated around the kit in many different ways, but here I chose to voice the left hand on the high tom and sweep my right hand back and forth between the snare and toms. This first pattern sounds great and can be very useful. Many drummers stop there, but as it is a six-note pattern that means there are five more inversions of it, which simply means starting the pattern in different spots. The most obvious result is that the bass double moves to a new position in the pattern. Exs. 2—6 show the inversions for a total of six ways to play four strokes in the hands plus two with your foot.