Intermediate Linear Drum Beats

Easy Drumming That Sounds Hard

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.

Drum Beats

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.




  • MikeB. says:

    request linier drum sheet pdf

  • drummieo Samuel says:

    how to play different kind beat and more lesson on drum

  • shell says:

    good but i agree slow down. 100bpm is way fast to start with 60bpm would be useful for 16th stuff

  • Ermin says:

    some cool Linear beats, I can definitely incorporate thee in my playing. I would say though with anything linear it’s always to best to learn the pattern first, then move it around the kit, that way you don’t train your ears to only hear certain voices. Also to say foot stick stick isn’t very clear, though it’s not hard to figure out. Personally I prefer K, R, L for whatever linear pattern I’m learning.
    For example one pattern I love to go to for a linear fill is R, L, K, K, R, L, R, L. It would be hard to explain and demonstrate it by Stick, Stick, f, F, Stick, stick, stick stick.
    That I way I know the pattern between my hands and kick. Just a suggestion, otherwise another informative lesson.

  • Scarlette says:

    Great drumming skills dude, I’m a drummer chic in a band called ‘Blaze’ (still new and not famous) and I was looking for an intermediate linear drum beats and ur video helped so much thanx dude

  • TC says:

    Hey, thanks. I’ve been drumming for years, I was snare captain of my local drumline and we were all in close relations with WCU’s marching band [Western Carolina University, look them up if you’re into that sorta thing, they’re very impressive. they won the sudler award last year]

    Anywho, it’s been like, almost a year since I’ve actually played my kit regularly. Mostly cuz i’ve been focusing on guitar and because my old jam partner is off exploring the country and such like, so I’ve only got time to play on my pad. Well recently I’ve been getting back behind the traps and I find I’m lacking the luster I once had when I was playing everyday. Well herpaderp to me, I’ve been forgetting to apply some key things I was taught. Linear beats being one of them, and how cool they can be when you get creative.

    I just wanted to say thanks for re-sparking and kick-starting the rock drummer within me, cuz now thanks to the focus and the practicing of these beats, I’m not feeling as limited as I was there for a minute. It’s true that when you don’t use it, you start to lose it, and while I still have my chops mannn I had forgot how to break shit down on the kit like I use to. So thanks for that, mannnnn.

  • ThisGuy says:

    Dude, SLOW DOWN!!!!!

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