Learn to Play Drums/Lessons/Beats

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Beats are what you hear in most music. They are something steady that the drummer plays to give the rest of the music a steady base.

4/4 time[edit]

4/4 time means 4 beats per measure, counted as quarter notes. If it was 8/8 it would mean that you should count it as eight notes. It is used for most western music and we shall go over it first because it is one of the simplest time signatures to understand.

HH|x---x---x---x---|
T1|----------------|
Sn|----o-------o---|
T2|----------------|
T3|----------------|
BD|o-------o-------|
   1   2   3   4
HH|x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-|
T1|----------------|
Sn|----o-------o---|
T2|----------------|
T3|----------------|
BD|o-------o-------|
HH|x---x---x---x---|
T1|----------------|
Sn|--------o-------|
T2|----------------|
T3|----------------|
BD|o---------------|

[Note that the above beat is a half-time version of the second beat in this section.]

HH|x---x---x---x---|
T1|----------------|
Sn|--------o-------|
T2|----------------|
T3|----------------|
BD|o---o-----------|

The bass and snare are just like 'we will rock you' by Queen.

HH|x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-|
T1|----------------|
Sn|----o-------o---|
T2|----------------|
T3|----------------|
BD|o-------o-o-----| 

Here we bring the speed up to that of the second beat and create some variation by coupling beats 3 and 4.

HH|x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-|
T1|----------------|
Sn|----o-------o---|
T2|----------------|
T3|----------------|
BD|o---------o-----|
   1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +  

This is the basic beat used for a lot of rap music. It is harder than the preceding beats because the the second bass is now half a beat later than usual. By using the Hi-Hat as written and counting time you can master this beat.

HH|x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-|
T1|----------------|
Sn|----o-------o---|
T2|----------------|
T3|----------------|
BD|o-----o---o-----|

Double Bass[edit]

Mostly used in heavy metal drumming, the double bass technique includes the use of a second pedal and possibly a second bass drum to allow rapid bursts or a continuous pattern of bass.

Cy|x-------x-------x-------x-------|
HH|--------------------------------|
T1|--------------------------------|
Sn|----------------o---------------|
T2|--------------------------------|
T3|--------------------------------|
BD|o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-|

This is a slow beat, where the bass goes on constantly. This can be tough to do, but with practice, it gets easier.


Learn to Play Drums
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