Drum Lesson: Level-Up Your Grooves With Ghost Notes

Drum Lesson: Level-Up Your Grooves With Ghost Notes

Hey!

So, in this ghost notes drum lesson, we’re gonna take a look at developing your snare drum phrasing using grace notes to embellish your back beats. We can really enrich the groove of our beats by using nice details on the snare, but we need to make sure that our motion, and timing are spot on! We don’t want these notes to be sloppy as otherwise the impact won’t be the same, and it will have a detrimental effect on the music we’re playing. Our band mates will not be happy with us!

The CORE SKILLS we’re going to be developing with the ideas in this lesson are:

Timing

You should aim to explore the accuracy of your strokes, ensuring that the rhythms are clear and performed cleanly.

Motion

As you play these grace notes relative to your back beat, you will need to be aware of how to best use technical strokes including rebound strokes, up strokes, tap strokes, down strokes, etc. Smooth motions will have a positive impact on your timing! Check out Jojo Mayer’s Secret Weapons Part 1 DVD, and / or Matt Savage’s Rudimental Workshop book.

Fluidity and creativity

As you get comfortable playing the examples / ideas in this lesson, try playing your own versions of these. A great way to develop different ideas is to play a couple of bars of one, and then change it slightly, then play that alteration for another couple bars again, before changing it again. Also, writing your own versions is another creative way to develop idea, as you won’t be pressuring yourself to come up with stuff on the spot. However, do make sure allocate time to write your ideas down.

NOTE!

The examples provided don’t include bass drums. This is so you can input your own bass drum patterns to the grooves. Maybe try permuting single bass drum notes along the 16th note grid… The world is your oyster. Check out David Garibaldi’s Future Sounds book for ideas on this.

Enjoy!

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Drum Lesson: Get More Out Of Triplets Part 1

Drum Lesson: Get More Out Of Triplets Part 1

Some say 3 is a magic number. Others say that 3 is a crowd. It may well be both! However, there’s one thing that’s pretty clear: rhythmically-speaking, there’s a crazy amount of things we can get out of just 3 notes. And so, over the next 3 instalments, we’re going to explore just a few ideas we can extract from these 3 notes in the shape of triplets.

The purpose of the following articles is to help develop core skills, outlined below.

Core Skills

Timing: You should aim to explore the accuracy of your strokes, ensuring that the rhythms are clear and performed cleanly.

Motion: Be aware of your movements! Moving these rhythms around the drum set might involve motions that you’re not used to, so take the time to understand this. Smooth motions will have a positive impact on your timing!

Fluidity and creativity: By exploring different ways of applying these triplets, you will open up new possibilities to incorporate into your fills and grooves. Mix your creative output with these triplets with eighth or sixteenth note phrases to loosen your fluidity, and spice things up.

Each example in these articles are just that: examples. Exercise your creative muscle further by coming up with your own versions. The same applies with the orchestration of each example; orchestrate as you like!

How To Practice These

  • Practice each example slowly, and build speed when you’ve achieved fluid quality

  • Start first on the snare drum until you’re comfortable, then orchestrate as you please

  • Turn each idea into a 4-bar phrase.

  • Also try playing 4 bars of a groove, and 4 bars of the ideas

  • Play simple time, and try using shuffle grooves

  • Create your own rhythmic variations of each example

  • Focus, and explore this in detail

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