A Dozen of the Most Common Kick/Snare Figures
by Rich Redmond
One of the best things you can do in your drumming study is work on practical techniques, stickings, grooves, and fills that can be applied in real-life situations on the bandstand and in the studio. After playing a wide variety of music in my formative years, and then becoming part of Nashville’s touring and recording scene, I’ve made note of a handful of these “practi-patterns” that have shown their face time and time again.
These patterns are based on a specific relationship between the kick drum and snare. Variations in feel can be created by applying a variety of rhythms with your right hand and left foot; the right hand can create different textures on, for example, the ride cymbal, cowbell, or floor tom. Be sure to practice the exercises at all dynamic levels (soft to loud) and at many different tempos. Also play them straight and swung. Playing with a metronome or click track will help you to further lock in a solid time feel. Try experimenting with colors on the drums as well. Play the snare part as rimclicks, and also try playing 8ths or 16ths with a tambourine, shaker, or maraca instead of the ride. Have fun!
Rich Redmond drums for country star Jason Aldean, is an award-winning clinician, and is an active session drummer in Nashville and Los Angeles. His recent book/DVD, FUNdamentals of Drumming for Kids (coauthored with Michael Aubrecht), is available through Modern Drummer Publications.