Intermediate Tom-Tom Drum Beats
Welcome to the free drum lesson on intermediate tom-tom drum beats. In this free drum lesson, Jared Falk teaches you how to play 16th note triplet and 32nd note tom-tom drum beats. You’ll have to work that much harder to get them under your belt. But the enjoyment you’ll get from mastering these cool sounding patterns, not to mention your overall improvement will make it that much worth it. So let’s get cracking!
These free drum lessons on tom-tom drum beats build off of each other. Even if you’re not a beginner drummer, chances are you’ll still learn something new from the free drum lesson “Beginner Tom-Tom Drum Beats”. You can also use this free drum lesson to learn about famous drummers that have had a heavy influence in this type of drum beat. Their drumming is a great source of cool sounding tom-tom drum beats. If you’re still a beginner drummer, we encourage you to check the free drum lesson “Beginner Tom-Tom Drum Beats” before you go through this one.
Exercise #1 is a combination of 8th notes, 16th notes and 32nd notes. Due to the various types of note values featured in this tom-tom drum beat, it’s wise to start by getting the stroke sequence down at a slow tempo, so you can focus on having consistent sounding subdivisions. By starting out slowly you’ll learn things much quicker.
Another thing you should look out for is the 16th note double stroke played on count 4 on the snare drum. This double is executed with one hand, because your stronger hand will be playing the floor tom on the “and” of count 4. This little issue shows exactly why it’s important to learn how to play drum rudiments. They improve your hand technique tremendously and expand your world of possibilities on the drum set. Playing this section of the beat is only possible if you learn how to play the double stroke roll.
Exercise #2 is based around a 16th note triplet single stroke roll, which is scattered between the floor tom, the high-tom, and the snare drum. With the bass drum, you play a steady and driving four-on-the-floor pattern. Remember to start this one slowly and to really get used to hearing, feeling, and playing 16th note triplets before you add the metronome to the mix.
This next tom-tom drum beat is very similar to the previous one. It’s based on a 16th note triplet single stroke roll played around the drums, which is accompanied by a steady and driving four-on-the-floor bass drum pattern. Counts 2 and 4 harness the biggest difference you’ll find between both tom-tom drum beats. Instead of playing a single stroke roll between floor tom and high-tom, Jared Falk goes down the toms playing one 16th note triplet for each tom with his weaker hand, while his stronger hand is kept on the floor tom.
Exercise #4 can look a little scary at first, with all those 32nd notes lying in the sheet music below. Focus on learning the stroke sequence first and on getting them evenly spaced. Don’t start playing this tom-tom drum beat at a fast tempo. Starting out slowly will have you working on control and evenness, which are the most important factors for achieving speed. You’ll have to be careful with the snare drum pattern on count 4, since it encompasses a double stroke that you’ll have to play with your weaker hand. To make sure you’re able to play this double stroke with ease, check the free drum lesson “Double Stroke Roll” to work on improving your double strokes.
Tom-tom drum beat #5 breaks away from playing single stroke rolls around the drum set. The dominant hand plays 8th notes on the floor toms – except for counts 2 and 4 which are played on the snare drum. The weaker hand plays 16th note triplet double strokes on the hi-tom on counts 1 and 3, and on the mid-tom on counts 2 and 4.
Except for exercise #4, every tom-tom drum beat in this free drum lesson has the same bass drum pattern. Once you feel comfortable with these tom-tom drum beats, mess around with different bass drum patterns. This is a great way of coming up with new combinations and of working on your bass drum independence. This is also a great idea to help you improve on your soloing abilities, since you’ll be moving all over the drums while playing different bass drum patterns with your feet.
As mentioned in the free drum lesson on beginner tom-tom drum beats, you can incorporate the left foot into these patterns by playing quarter notes, off-beats, or 8th notes with the hi-hat foot. As soon as you’re done with this free drum lesson, we encourage you to check the free drum lesson “Half-Time Drum Beats“.