Chad Sexton: Alternative Beats

By Chad Sexton Originally published in DRUM! Magazine's December 1999 Issue

Inner Beats in Rock

One of the questions I’m most frequently asked is about ghost strokes on the snare drum. Ghost strokes are, for the most part, soft notes that flutter around the main hits of the snare. If used in a tasteful way, they can add groove and texture to an existing beat, or change the feel of a beat completely. Ghost strokes can also be used as a tool to develop different drum beats. To add ghost strokes to an existing drum beat, we must first look at the hand pattern of the beat (Ex. 1). Next we develop a more involved hand pattern by adding sixteenth notes (Ex. 2) Then apply the hand pattern to the drum set, adding the bass drum with it (Ex. 3). We’ll explore this subject a bit further in the next issue.