• Jack Howson

Independence Exercise 1 - Hackney Drum Teacher

Welcome back to the blog for the first post of 2021. Back in lockdown again and no face to face drum lessons for the foreseeable, so I'm going to put my time to good use and get as many blog posts, videos and online drum lessons together as I can.


Todays free drum lesson features some of the more basic things we've learnt so far, and combines them with a relatively easy foot pattern to create some very nice sounding pieces. These are great exercises for control, coordination and independence. Here's a sneak peak of the final exercise where it's all been brought together.





The key here though is in the title; Independence. In previous Drum Lessons, we've mainly playing kick and hi-hat together or snare and hi-hat together. Those combinations are pretty straightforward, right foot with right hand or right hand and left hand. What we're going to encounter with these drum pieces are some more interesting and tricky variations; right hand and left foot, left hand and right foot and so on.


So here's what we're going to be playing.




Let's start by having a look at the foot pattern. It's a pattern very often played in Samba or other Latin style music and has a great flow and feel to it. We'll be playing a Kick on 1, Hi-Hat foot on the '&' and another Kick on the 'a'. So you'd count it 1-&a 2-& a 3-&a 4-&a.


NOTE - these don't necessarily get harder as you go through, its seems every drum student I've had find some easier than others, so don't get hung up on each one too much.


Now let's talk through what the hands will be playing over the top of this foot pattern. If you've followed the blog this far, chances are you'll have mastered the hand patterns already. Simply single stroke rolls, double stroke rolls and paradiddles. Don't be put off if you're already proficient in all these, when you add the feet into the equation it'll seem like you're starting all over again!


Ex.1 - Quarter notes played with alternate hands.

You can mix this one up and play it all left hand and all right hand too, giving you three exercises for the price of one. This one might look like the easiest on paper, but a lot of my students have found this the trickiest to get their head around.


Ex.2 - Eighth note single stroke

This is one of the easier ones in the whole exercise, because your lefts and rights don't start crossing over yet. Right hand/Right foot on 1, Left hand Left foot on the '&', and that final Kick on the 'a'.


Ex.3 - Eighth note double stroke

Ex.4 - Eighth note paradiddle

Getting a little tricker now, you'll encounter that 'crossover' where you'll be playing left hand/right foot and right hand/left foot combinations.


Ex.5 - Sixteenth note single stroke

Ex.6 - Sixteenth note double stroke

The trick here is to focus on the 'a' of every beat which will be a left hand/right foot combination.


Ex.7 - Sixteenth note paradiddle

The 'crossovers' to watch out for here are on the '&' of beat one (RH/LF), beat two (LH/RF) and the 'a' of beat two (LH/RF), then you'll encounter exactly the same thing again as the second half of the bar is just a repeat of the first.


Ex.8 - Combination study

This nice little latin sounding groove sounds great when played at speed. In basic terms it's three beats of single stroke and the first half of a reverse paradiddle of beat four. I'd suggest just focussing on the hand pattern first, because it does move around the kit a little. Once you've got that cracked, add the feet and finally work on really digging into those accents to give it some flavour.


Thanks again for checking out another free Hackney Wick Drum Lesson. As always, if you're local and looking for Drum Lessons, follow the link for a free taster lesson. I also offer online Drum lessons, so if you stumble across this, wherever you are in the world, get in touch to find out more.


Happy Drumming


Jack x




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