In this lesson, I’m going to show you here is one way to expand your musical vocabulary and stimulate creativity by playing on other sound sources, in particular the toms. But feel free to expand on this concept to use other sound sources such as cowbells, rims, sound effect cymbals, etc.
To begin, start playing a constant eighth note ride pattern. While you most likely are familiar with playing on the ride or hi hat, how about moving the ride pattern to the toms. First, we’ll practice playing the new drum pattern on the floor tom alone. This way you will be getting use to playing a ride pattern on a sound source other that the hi hat or ride cymbal. Next, add the rest of the patterns: bass drum on counts 1 and 3, snare and hi hat on counts 2 and 4.
Now, play the ride pattern between 2 of the toms. Try beginning with tom 1and the tom 2. Notice that you are playing the quarter notes on tom 1 and the eighth notes on tom 2.
After you are comfortable playing this way, try to add tom 1. This time play tom 1, tom 2, floor tom, tom 2, tom 1, tom 2, floor tom, etc. Notice how the quarter notes are now split between tom 1 and the floor tom, while the eighth notes are all played on tom 2.
Add as many toms as you like, or have. At this point you should understand this concept enough to apply it to your own patterns. Also, try experimenting with cymbals or what ever other sound source that you may have. This same concept can be applied to sixteenth note patterns. For many different drum patterns, check out my new books, “Studies in Drum Set Independence Vol.1 & Vol. 2” available through Mel Bay Publications.