Intermediate Linear Drum Beats
The content included within this free drum lesson will take your linear drumming to a whole new level. Besides showing you exactly how to play five linear drum beats, Dave Atkinson teaches you how to come up with new fills and beats from any linear pattern you encounter. This free drum lesson is geared towards intermediate players, so if you haven’t already, check the free drum lesson “Beginner Linear Drum Beats” before you give this one a whirl.
A linear pattern is a combination of non-overlapping strokes that are played between hands and feet in sequence. You can actually take any of these patterns and use them as drum fills instead. So by mastering only one linear pattern, you can come up with a whole bunch of different beats and fills by orchestrating the strokes differently around the drum set.
Exercise #1 is based on a very common linear pattern – K L R K L K R L – which is played twice for each measure. Take your time with this exercise and focus on the stroke sequence first. Even if you went through the beginner linear drum beats with flying colors, we advise you to don’t underestimate the power of starting out slowly.
Exercise #2 has the stroke sequence of the previous drum beat. This is a very good example of how to recycle linear combinations you already know how to play, by displacing the strokes to different surfaces and with different dynamics.
Exercise #3 is another common linear pattern. It’s played in groups of three 16th notes – K R L – throughout the entire length of the drum beat. So you end up by playing fourteen 16th notes and one 8th note on the “and” of count 4.
Exercise #4 is a variation of the drum beat played by Dominic Howard on Muse’s “Knights of Cydonia”. This is a very cool beat to play. The consecutive 16th note bass drum double strokes played on the “ah” of count 2 and on the “ah” of count 4 may keep you busy for a while, especially when you get to faster tempos. To learn more about how to play a fast double stroke with only one foot, check the free drum lessons “Slide Technique” and “Heel-Toe Technique“.
Exercise #5 has some interesting twists to it. The first one is that it isn’t actually a linear pattern, because of the unison stroke played on the “e” of count 4. It was written like this to show you how to spice up your linear patterns with some unison figures. The second one is the single stroke four that’s played as 16th note triplets, and is scattered between the hi-hat and the bass drum from the “and” of count 2 to count 3. This is a great example of how practicing drum rudiments will not only improve your hand technique, but also your creative output when coming up with your own patterns.
Once you’ve learned how to play these linear patterns, you can keep working on new ones through two cool and simple concepts that make use of all the beats and fills on this website. The first concept is based on the idea of breaking up all the linear patterns on DrumLessons.com into counts, which you can mix and match later on. The second concept is built on non-linear patterns. For each unison figure leave only one of the strokes in. After learning how to play the first variation, you can remove the stroke(s) you decided to leave initially, and play the one(s) you removed.
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