Warren Cann's Drum Column (Part 5)
Part 5: Two-measure patterns
Part Five of our electro-drum column, written by our consultant drummer Warren Cann of Ultravox, continues with some more examples of beats useful to the modern percussionist. As always in this series, the patterns shown are suitable for both the acoustic kit player and the programmer.
"This month we're going to move on to variations that are only possible over the space of two measures. More sophisticated patterns invariably find themselves spread this far and, as for the simpler one measure patterns, the possibilities within this framework are nearly without end."
23. A variation of 21 and 22; keeping the high-hat and snare parts straight while experimenting with bass drum patterns is one of the first and most important exercises a drummer will ever do. The scope here is much greater than you might think.
24. One more variation, but this particular one is very useful to know because it's probably one of the dozen or so most used beats in rock music.
25. Now we move on to 2-measure patterns. The only way to advance beyond this is to juggle entire measures, and by repeating them to form a new pattern. This implies taking any combination of 1 and 2 measure patterns and making a 4 or 8 measure pattern out of them. Try the 8 measure ones only if you're feeling particularly ambitious!
26. A variation of 25 with an additional bass drum beat tucked in. If you're an acoustic player these flicks require quite a bit of practice to do smoothly, or if you're programming it'll help to write this sort of thing at a slower tempo.
27. A good example of what you can achieve with a 2-measure pattern. A large part of playing any instrument lies in having a good memory, and when you start using these patterns you need to keep well on top of what you're doing. This is where the aesthetics and the mathematics of drumming interweave to either fascinate you or drive you to distraction!
28. Back to a one measure pattern with the busiest bass drum part yet scored. It can underpin things too literally if used in the wrong context, but in other applications it can help to pad things out. Whether a programmer or an acoustic player, only your own experience can teach you that sort of judgement.
Feature by Warren Cann
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