This excerpt is taken from the complete article that appears in the September 2015 issue,
which is available here.
Build a Beat!
A Step-by-Step Approach to Creating Unique and Interesting Grooves
by Rich Redmond
Over the years, my experiences as a teacher have taught me to always start simply. I like to build a strong foundation with a student before increasing the level of complexity. After all, you have to bake a cake and make it taste great by itself before adding the frosting or sprinkles.
When it comes to building drumbeats, I usually start with a basic rock/pop feel with 8th notes on the hi-hat and 2-and-4 backbeats on the snare. This serves as our foundation (the cake), which we slowly add to with bass drum syncopations, extra subdivisions on the hi-hat and snare, and open notes on the hi-hat (the frosting). The later variations make use of the toms and take on an almost linear feel, meaning that no two limbs strike simultaneously. Using this basic build-a-beat method, you can create millions of rhythmic and sonic variations. Get going!
For more on this topic check out the complete article in the September 2015 issue, which is available here.