As you advance in your drum lessons, you will want to take on more complicated drum patterns and grooves. Here, Federal Way, WA drum instructor Kendra M. explains how you can learn to play complex drum patterns…
Complex drum patterns can be intimidating for new drum students. Take this “tricky” groove for example:
Even though this groove sounds complex, there are actually several ways to break patterns like this one down into manageable parts. Before you know it, you’ll be able to play complex drum patterns with ease!
Using the example above, here are three ways to conquer difficult drum patterns:
Method 1: Simplify Each Line
Take out all of the 16th notes to play a simplified version of the pattern.
Then, add the 16th notes in, one limb at a time.
Method 2: Create Short Loops
Loop a short section of the pattern while keeping time on the ride cymbal.
Keep adding a little more of the pattern into the loop.
Method 3: Reduce the Number of Parts
Play the parts for only two limbs. For example: the right hand on ride cymbal and the left hand on snare.
Then, use a different set of two limbs. For example: the right foot on bass drum and the left hand on snare drum.
If a groove is too difficult to play all at once, break it up. Keep building the groove from the most basic version you can create, to its complete form, step by step.
The more familiar you become with each element of the groove, the closer you will come to putting it all together. Don’t worry about speed at first; practice each variation at a tempo where you can play it successfully.
Be patient. Think of each challenging groove as a puzzle created for your enjoyment. Then, piece it together and have fun!
Want to improve your drumming skills? Sign up for lessons with a private drum instructor!
Photo by Kyle Sorkness