Creativity is a key element in being the drummer you want to be. Using the pattern that you made up and putting it to use in a performance situation is a great feeling. Creativity is something that should be done every day, and trying to analyze a technical challenge in your practicing is no different. If you are creative you can find different angles to approach something and eventually overcome it.
Let’s take a look at alternating the right stick with the bass drum playing 16th notes. If you play the right hand on the floor tom-tom and if the tom-tom is pitched similar to that of the bass drum, this pattern will give the illusion of playing two bass drums. It’s also a nice visual.
Here is the pattern:
The bass drum is essentially playing 8th notes, so let’s concentrate on that and add one 16th note on the floor tom-tom in between to get a sense of what the pattern is about.
Here’s where your creativity comes into play. Find another way that you can approach the above. How about this:
Now try what I’ve written below. The bass drum is still playing 8th notes, but we start on the “e” or second 16th note. Now we are getting closer to the actual pattern.
Here are some other exercises that you could use:
Now add some left foot hi-hat.
Take these exercises slowly using a metronome and gradually work them up to a faster tempo. Practice the material for a few weeks, and you will be amazed at the difference. Making creativity part your daily practice routine is a great way towards becoming a better drummer.
Sam Ruttenberg is an active performer, educator, clinician and author. He received a Bachelors degree from the University of Miami, a Masters degree from the Juilliard School, and endorses Sabian, Vic Firth, Remo, and Taye drums. Sam has published articles in various drumming magazines, transcribed Joe Morello’s book “Master Studies II”, and has published his own book entitled “Drum Tips” (HoneyRock 2009), which is designed to help drummers develop better technique and coordination through increased musicianship.