In the second part of this series, we’ll continue to create new grooves by displacing the snare drum. We’ll start with a basic pattern that consists of 8th notes on the hi-hat, snare hits on beats 2 and 4, and a funky bass drum phrase….
There are sixty-four 8th notes in eight bars of 4/4, so the 11/8 riff repeats five full times. Then the band fills the remaining 8ths with the a portion of the riff before cutting back to the top on beat 1 of the ninth bar….
For this lesson, we’ll use a six-note grouping that begins with an accented stroke, continues with two sets of unaccented (tapped) double strokes, and closes with another accented stroke. This grouping has a powerful sound and really swings. At first, try playing the rudiment on the snare, and play the accents as rim shots. Also, practice these with a variety of ostinatos on the kick drum….
This lesson starts off with the five-stroke roll on the hi-hat as it dances around these “money-beat” feels. The rudimental cornerstone also sounds great on the snare after a strong backbeat. As the exercises progress, we’ll voice the five-stroke roll between the hi-hat and snare drum, experiment with hi-hat openings, and apply bass drum variations. The five-stroke roll is the super glue of the drum world, so make it stick!
In the first part of this series, we’ll create new grooves by displacing the snare drum. Our basic pattern consists of 8th notes on the hi-hat, snare on beats 2 and 4, and a specific bass drum phrase….
One of my favorite rhythmic tools is implied metric modulation. This trick can make music appear to change tempos dramatically. The modulation is implied because the tempo doesn’t actually change. The bpm will stay the same, but the pattern will feel faster or slower by changing its subdivision….
In this lesson, I’m sharing some of the warm-ups I use before hitting the stage with Jason Aldean each night. I improvise with rudimental figures that isolate both sides of my body, which helps me focus on my weaker hand. This isn’t an exhaustive list, but these exercises continually find their way into my routine….
I’ve owned and operated my own teaching school, Jeff Salem’s Music Studio, for eleven years. Prior to that I taught percussion lessons at a local music store for twelve years. When I decided to branch out on my own, the decision was made after being on tour with a band for five months. When I returned home I wanted to start teaching again. My first thought was, “If I was just starting to learn the drums, where would I want to go for lessons?”
Changing subdivisions on a dime is a fundamental skill for playing double bass in modern heavy metal. Switching gears to a faster subdivision can help build intensity, and with a careful execution it sounds incredibly tight and powerful. A great example of this would be playing a 16th-note groove and then ramping up to 16th-note triplets.
Finding creative ways to apply rudiments to the drumset can be a great way to discover new vocabulary. In this lesson, we’ll discuss what I call “squashed stickings.” A squashed sticking applies a specific roll to a steady subdivision but inverts it so that the accent starts the phrase.
This month’s lesson focuses on the crossover, a technique that legendary drummers such as Buddy Rich, Gene Krupa, Louie Bellson, Jo Jones, and Sonny Payne popularized in their extended solos. Employing crossovers can help maintain the continuity and flow of single-stroke phrases you play around the kit without altering the sticking.
What advice would you (or do you) give to students who are thinking about a career in the music industry?
As drummers, we’re often taught the importance of warm-up exercises. These drills are typically designed to help loosen the muscle groups of your wrists, forearms, and fingers. A good warm-up routine develops your reflexes and helps you produce an articulate drum and cymbal sound…..
The traditional nine-stroke roll consists of four alternating double strokes followed by a single stroke. It can be played open (clearly articulated) or closed (buzzed). This is a popular rudiment in marching and concert percussion idioms, and I’ve found a practical way to apply it to the drumset.