ROCK ’N’ JAZZ CLINIC
Part 4: Linear Variations
by Jost Nickel
All of the exercises in this lesson are based on the first groove from last month’s introduction to linear phrases. This pattern is notated in Exercise 1.
First let’s play diddles on a few of the single strokes with the right hand. Doubled notes are marked with a slash. When you see a slash through the stem of a 16th note, it’s played as two 32nd notes. The strokes on the “e” of beats 1 and 2 are doubled.
Exercise 3 demonstrates the same pattern written with 32nd notes instead of slashes.
In Exercise 4 we’ll double the “&” of beat 2 and the “a” of beat 4 with the left hand.
Next we’ll incorporate double strokes with both hands.
Let’s try playing diddles with the bass drum. On the “a” of beat 1, we’ll play two 32nd notes instead of one 16th.
Now we’ll bring it all together. In Exercise 7 we’ll play double strokes with the hi-hat, snare, and bass drum.
For our second linear groove variation we’ll incorporate the hi-hat foot and use it to replace select bass drum strokes. In Exercise 8 the hi-hat replaces three bass drum notes from our original groove.
Exercises 9–12 show variations of this idea. In these examples the hi-hat foot replaces select bass drum notes.
Be sure to experiment with these ideas in other linear grooves as well. Applying doubled strokes can also work well in other contexts, such as non-linear grooves.
If you’re interested in these concepts and want more groove ideas, check out my book, Jost Nickel’s Groove Book.
Jost Nickel is a top session and touring drummer in Germany, and he endorses Sonor, Meinl, Aquarian, Vic Firth, and Beyerdynamic.