If you want to play rock or pop drums, you will have to gain control over rock grooves that are based on eighth notes. Perhaps 75% of all the pop and rock grooves you play will be based on the pattern created by playing eighth notes on the hi hat and “two” and “four” on the snare drum.
“The Cycle” is a very simple but logical system that I’ve used to help aspiring drummers gain control over this very important first step in the world of rock independence. It’s an exercise that is definitely more technical than it is musical, but it IS useful. The point of the exercise, as you’ll see by looking at the printed page, is to be able to put your bass drum on any eighth note in the bar while maintaining the essential rock beat ostinato with your hands.
The exercises, once mastered, are just as useful mentally as they are physically. The systematic placement of the bass drum note on every possible eighth note in the bar is “proof” of your ability to control these eighth note grooves and therefore gives you the mental advantage and power of knowing that you “own” this ability.
You can print out the exercise from this blog by clicking on the link that says “The Cycle”, see it below? Go ahead and download it and then take it into the practice room.
Practice each exercise separately until mastered, and then try to play all eight exercises in a row, like a “cycle.”
I love the drums and hope you do too.