In Part I (April ’82 MD), I defined linear coordination and demonstrated its importance as a drumming concept through systematic pattern combinations applied to the entire drumset.

Linear coordination is a tasteful learning concept and the groundwork for dexterous coordination and good counter-rhythm playing. Continuing the pattern combinations introduced in Part I, two sixteenth notes are now systematically eliminated from a grouping of four notes providing for uniformly displaced sound and thematic playing, that is, keeping the basic pattern in mind from drum to drum and cymbal to cymbal, while playing the patterns.

Linear Coordination 1

Combinations: The following pattern combinations have been written with the preceding basic pattern in mind, yet, provide for four-way coordination around the drums. Series A eliminates the last two sixteenth notes from each grouping, series B, the second and third sixteenth notes, series C, the first and second, series D, the first and last. For each series I have written seven patterns so that the linear coordination will be played on each part of the drumset.

Method of Study: Play the patterns as written with metronome marking, M.M. = 60, then progress to 80.


Linear Coordination 3


Linear Coordination 4

Linear Coordination 5


The following examples are a result of inter-mixing the groups of notes of column one and a rearrangement of the band part. Basic Pattern: The first group of notes of A l , the second group of Bl, the third group of Dl and the fourth group of Cl.

Linear Coordination 6

Example I : An extra note was added on the “and” of four, making a quadruplet (polyrhythm) in the third group for more interesting playing. M.M.  = 96

Linear Coordination 7

Example 2: The left hand rhythm is displaced around the drum set on the snare drum, small tom and floor tom-tom for a Latin-funk flavor. M.M. = 110

Linear Coordination 8

The following rhythms are developed by practicing linear coordination in a reggae feel. Funk-Reggae in a Half-time Feel: M.M. = 70Linear Coordination 9

For more reggae emphasis convert half-time Funk-Reggae into a Shuffle Half-time Feel: M.M.  = 70

Linear Coordination 10

For some variation with linear coordination in a triple feel, take four bars of jazz time and go into four bars of Afro-Cuban Rhythm: M.M. = 120

Linear Coordination 11In columns 2, 4, and 7 be sure to play the open hi-hat, practicing a sustained control on the sizzle with the hand and foot. For column 3, the hi-hat can be played with your left foot on quarter notes, eighths and on the “and” of each beat, while playing the hi-hat hand pattern on the ride cymbal. To facilitate playing in columns 5 and 6, play as indicated and then play the right hand hi-hat part on the ride cymbal, keeping the hi-hat on fours or eighths with the left foot. Some patterns may require more practice than others and may not be played in a musical context, but they are excellent for improved ease in your normal playing.

After you feel comfortable with the patterns, play them with the following suggestions:

Suggestion I: Taken from A7. Added bass drum to be played with the open hi-hat.

Suggestion 2: Taken from D4. This will really make your left foot work. Play the hi-hat part with the leading hand on the bell of the cymbal (or other cymbal sources) while the splashing hi-hat is sustained by the left foot.

Play the right hand on the bell of cymbal (or other cymbal sources) at the same time splashing with the left foot on the hihat on the open note. The bass drum is added to reinforce the open hi-hat.

In conclusion, the drummer can work with linear coordination the same way composers build songs around their basic melody. Practice to build tasteful rhythms, odd times, and soloing ability. There are, literally, millions of combinations that can be developed with linear coordination. Quite a few have been discussed in the two parts of this article. However, it should be mentioned that there are two more combinations that can be developed by eliminating two notes for additional foot emphasis (Pattern E would eliminate the third and first notes, and Pattern F would eliminate the fourth and second notes) and there are four combinations when three notes are eliminated. If you would like more practice with linear foot independence, experiment with writing down the pattern combinations.