Over the last few drum lessons on my drumming blog, we have covered the quarter, eighth, eighth note triplet and sixteenth notes, as well as their equivalent rest values.
Now that we've got a basic understanding of them all, I thought I'd compile a few pages of free drum sheet music so you can to practice them all together.
In the first one, we'll just be covering the notes we've learned, but this exercise contains no rests. We'll save those for exercise 2.
As usual, start this at 60 BPM. If you're struggling fitting all the notes in at this tempo, slow it down even further. Set yourself realistic goals and work through each bar slowly until you're certain its right, before moving on to the next one. Before you know it, you'll be playing the whole piece with ease.
Again, I haven't added the counting to this page. It's great practice for you to work this out for yourself.
USEFUL HINT - Print this piece out and mark the counts down in pencil. The most important thing to remember here is that each bar is made up of four distinctive groups of notes, with the click of the metronome landing on the first note in each group within the bar. That's a great place to start, add in the quarter notes first on the 1-2-3-4, then the eighth notes and finally the "e's and a's" of the leftover sixteenth notes.
Here's me playing the exercise at 60 BPM
In this next exercise, we'll be dealing with the same thing again, but now we've introduced rests to the piece. Lets see how you get on with this one. Remember, even though you're playing nothing when you come to a rest, it's important to still keep your counting going in order for you to come back in on time for the next note.
Some of the bars in the above piece can be notated in an easier way, mainly bars 27 and 30. However, we'll look at that in a little more detail in an upcoming lesson on variations on sixteenth notes.
And here's me playing the rest exercise at 60 BPM.
So that's another introductory lesson covered. If you had never played drums before starting these free drum lessons, and now you're happily tapping away on your snare drum, practice pad, or whatever else it is you use, huge congratulations.
Next time, I'll have a short drum lesson for you covering the first of our proper rudiments; the paradiddle.
Until then, Happy drumming