There are no shortcuts in gaining control in drumming. Just as it takes time to develop speed and accuracy with your hands, the same applies to your double bass playing. The important things are to be focused in your practice and to put in many repetitions.
Presented below are sixteen exercises designed to help improve your hand and foot coordination. These patterns can easily be used as fill ideas. They are presented as two-bar repeating phrases, written as 8th notes in the first measure and as 16ths or 16th-note triplets in the second measure. Take your time with each one, and gradually increase the tempo as you get comfortable with the coordination.
Once you have the basic patterns down, experiment with the following:
- Play all of the snare notes with the right hand.
- Play all of the snare notes with the left hand.
- Alternate the snare notes between the right and left hand, starting with either.
- Play all of the snare notes as double strokes.
- Play all of the bass drum patterns with the right foot.
- Play all of the bass drum patterns with the left foot.
- Alternate the bass drum patterns between the right and left foot, starting with either.
- Play all of the snare and bass drum notes as unisons (hands together, feet together).
Todd “Vinny” Vinciguerra is the author of several instructional drum books. His latest, Double Basics: Complete Double Bass Drum Book, is available through Mel Bay. For more info, visit anotherstateofmind.com.