Astro-Drummer

The ToolBox

Welcome to the Toolbox. The following clips are designed to help add some cool dynamics to your playing. These clips are designed for the beginner to intermediate level drummers, or perhaps for a professional drummer looking to change styles. Either way I hope these clips help.

There are 29 clips below. I may add a few more in the future if I find some other cool combinations as I continue practicing. Feel free to download and share the clips for practice and inspiration, but please don’t use these for loops or directly in a song.

  • Walk – This is a simple rhythm for the beginner. It’s the bass drum on the downbeat and hi-hat on the upbeat with straight quarter notes on the ride. The second part of the clip adds an extra bass drum note. Add some tom fills so you can find your way around the kit. With this basic rhythm, you can accomplish a lot – speed it up and add some singles on the snare and a variety of tom fills and you have a good base for a solo.
  • Doubles and Singles – The snare drum is an important voice on the kit and learning doubles and speeding up your singles will add some very nice dynamics. Doubles are simply RR LL RR LL. As the speed increases, start to let the stick bounce, but control it so it only bounces twice on each hand. For singles, I like to add accents as I speed things up.
  • Ghost Rolls – A ghost roll is letting the stick bounce on the snare between beats. This can either be controlled in a rhythmic fashion or uncontrolled to fill between beats. With practice, ghost notes will be more controlled and can add to the overall voice of the kit.
  • Alternating Ride-China and Ride-Hi Hat – With a properly placed China cymbal and a second hi-hat, alternating between the two can add some really cool dynamics – either in a solo or as the basic rhythm of the song. The China is more dramatic while the hi-hat is more subtle. Within the song, an alternating ride-hi hat can sound very nice.
  • Alternating Snare-Hi Hat – A great dramatic effect is the alternating snare and hi-hat. This is faster than using a cymbal choke.
  • Double-Bass – Nothing says rock and roll better than double-bass. But double-bass isn’t limited to rock. The first part of this clip has a straight double-bass rhythm and part two has a great practice routine – quartertone double-bass followed by eight-note double-bass.
  • 3/4 Double-Bass – This is a fun rhythm of double-bass in 3/4 time will playing any kind of beat you wish with the hands.
  • 3/4 March – This is a challenging rhythm of the bass on beat one and hi-hat on beats two and three in 3/4 while using the hands in any other rhythm.
  • Broken Singles on the Double-Bass – This clip is an example of using something other than a straight double-bass. With practice, use of the double-bass can add accents to a song instead of overwhelming it.
  • Double-Bass Rolls – Another method of using a straight double-bass pattern is to add some fast ‘rolls’ toward the end of a measure.
  • Double-Bass Tom Rolls – This is a great fill for dynamics. It’s using the toms and double-bass for a nice roll. Basically its RL on the hands then RL on the bass. For added affect, you can move the might hand to different toms to add more voice to the roll.
  • Double-Bass Triplets – In addition to sounding cool, this rhythm is great for practice for double-bass work. It’s RLR LRL on the bass pedals.
  • Doubles on a Single Pedal – To achieve a sound similar to a double-bass roll, try two quick beats on a single pedal – essentially a double using a single pedal.
  • Triplets on a Double Pedal – Similar to the doubles above, this is a triplet (RLR) using a double-bass (or double-pedal).
  • Fast Fills – This is a fun fill to play. It’s kind of fast, but its alternating between the snare and tom and ending with a snare on the R, tom on the L, floor tom on the R and double-bass with RL.
  • Fast Tom Fills – This is a challenge, especially since I can’t see the tips of my sticks. This is a fast roll through the toms. I have a total of 5 toms on my kit, but this roll starts on the third tome and runs through to the fifth tom.
  • Hi-Hat Fun – The hi-hat can be used for a voice as well. The first part of the clip is open a closed hi-hat singles and the second part is using the hi-hat as a splash – quickly stepping on the pedal.
  • Syncopated Rhythms – Another great tool is syncopated rhythms – hitting a variety of drums on the off-beats. It adds some great flavor and body to any song.
  • Odd Time – 5/4 – Use of odd-time can be a great tool of fitting some complex fills with the rest of a song. In this example, I am playing a beat in 5/4 time – 5 beats to a measure.
  • Paradiddles – The paradiddle (RLRRLRLL) is not just for the snare, but can be used between the ride and toms as well.
  • Reverse Tom Rolls – Tom rolls don’t have to be from high to low. You can also do them from low to high.
  • Single and Double-Bass Snare-Tom Fills – This is a roll from the snare and toms and ending with a single bass drum. The second part of the clips is the same but ending with a double-bass note.
  • Snare and Double-Bass – This is a fun bit with alternating singles on the snare and double-bass rolls.
  • Alternating Snare and Tom Fills – In keeping a constant rhythm, you can alternate from the snare and toms for some nice fills. In parts of the clip I will also use the left hand on the snare and move between the toms with the right hand. There are also rolls starting from the tom and ending on the snare.
  • Tom and Bass Triplets – This is also a great fill. It’s RL on the toms and then the bass drum. You can also use the right hand and alternate between the snare and tom for nice effect.
  • Triplet Bass and Crash – Another great fill are triplet bass, snare and crash. The bass and crash are on the first beat of each triplet. For nice affect, hit a different crash on each of the first beats.
  • Swing Pattern – Here is a clip in the spirit of Gene Krupa and the tom-tom solos of old. This uses the ‘walk’ (the first clip above) and some flams using two different toms.
  • Jazz Pattern – Jazz is a challenging style to play. This clip is my interpretation of a typical jazz pattern. The key here is keeping the hi-hat foot on the upbeats.
  • Samba Pattern – Another challenging style is Samba or Latin Jazz. This clip is modeled after the master – Steve Gadd – and his Mozambique. In the first part of the clip, the bass drum and hi-hat are on the down beat. The second part of the clip are doubles on the bass with the hi-hat on the down beat. The ride and snare are played simultaneously.

These clips were fun to play and I hope they provide you with the inspiration to spice up your playing – tools for your own toolbox.

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