Dawn Richardson: Drum Fun-damentals

Dawn Richardson formerly played with 4 Non Blondes and the Loud Family. She teaches drums at D’Amico Drums and is the author of the book/CD package Building Blocks of Rock. She currently plays with Kindness.

Offbeat Hi-Hats Applications

Most of us are used to playing the hi-hat on the downbeats or on 2 and 4 with rock beats. Changing the hi-hat pattern to an offbeat pattern can really change the feel of a groove. If this is an entirely new concept, try practicing simple kick and snare patterns with Ex. 1 first. This should help you prepare for the following examples.

Experimenting with the orchestration around your kit can also give you some new ideas. Try playing the ride cymbal part on the rim of the snare drum, for example. You might also try playing the beats with the hi-hat on the downbeats to hear the difference the offbeat pattern makes.