Rock Drumming System

Learn How To Play Eighth Note Snare Drum Beats

Before we get started, make sure you have the proper stick grip!  Also, make sure your drums sound as good as possible 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 bass drum. 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 need to be changing.

You may find these beats a little trickier than the bass drum beats. This is because you may not be used to using your left hand like this.  Usually, you snare hand is used very little, unless you are playing a fill or a solo.  This awkwardness must be overcome.  As a drummer, you want to be able to use every hand and foot separately.  This is called coordination.  So if you are having trouble with these beats, try practicing up your double stroke roll.  That will get your left hand used to some of these motions!  That being said, lets dive in!

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 time. When this is under control move onto your snare.

Drum Notation

Now, instead of adding the snare in, add your bass drum on the 1, and 3 counts.

Drum Notation

Once you have that down, add the snare in.  This time; however, add it on more than just the 2 and 4. 

Drum Notation

This one is just a little bit different!

Drum Notation

You may not find much use for this one in a song, but it is a very good beat to practice with.  It will help you with stick independence, and precision!  Like the bass drum beat, just add the snare wherever your bass drum isn’t. 

Drum Notation

There you have it! A few basic eighth note snare 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, and gradually build up your speed!

By: Dave Atkinson

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