Rock Drumming System

Learn To Play Eighth Note Bass Drum Beats

Before we get started, make sure you have the proper stick grip! Also, make sure your drums sound as good as they can. You can do that by reading up on how to properly tune your drums.

I will give you a few varieties of the basic rock beat. These will all be eighth note rock beats, meaning they will be played with eighth notes. Also, to keep things basic, we will be using the bass drum to change the feel of all these beats. Before I go on, I want to remind you that there are MANY different variations of these grooves and beats; these are just a few examples. You will notice with these beats that there are 2 voices on the drum that do not change: the hi hat and the snare. These two will be a constant for all these beats, which is good, as it allows us to split our mind, and focus on what we are currently working on: The Bass Drum

If you are unsure on how to read this, read up on understanding sheet music.

Start by playing eighth notes on your hi hat. Remember to play slow at first, and get one hand moving at a time. When you've got this under control move on to your snare.

Drum Notation

Play your snare on the 2 and 4 count. Just like in the money beat.

Drum Notation

These two hands will not change. So if you can, try to get the feel of this, and forget about it. This way you can focus on the other parts of your drum kit, like the bass drum. Let’s add the bass drum in now; notice how you can get a totally different feel just by changing the spot on the bass drum.

Drum Notation

Now add the bass drum on 1,&3,&. You will find this has a much fuller sound to your beat. 

Drum Notation

Lastly, try adding in the bass drum wherever your snare isn’t played. So on the 1, &, 2&, 3, &, 4&. This will get you a very punchy sound from your beat.

Drum Notation

There you have it! A few basic eighth note rock beats. These are very common in a lot of songs, so tune your ears in when you are listening to music, and try and pick out the beat. Notice how all these are just different applications of the basic rudiments & Single stroke rolls. Practicing these rudiments will help you with all beats! Remember to start slow, then work at build up your speed! When you have figured these out, try some eighth note snare rock beats!

By: Dave Atkinson

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