31st January 2017 Wil Wainwright

Warming up your bass drums

Welcome to a slightly different series of lessons.  In this lesson I will be showing you a really good exercise for increasing your accuracy with 16th note bass drums. 

1a) Ok, so I know when you see this you might dismiss it and not even bother playing it, but please do.  Put a click on, something slow like 60 and play through it, focusing on playing perfectly in time and counting as you go.

1b) Now we add the backbeat on “2” and “4”.  Try and continue to count and really focus on nailing the click.

2a) Now on to the 16th notes.  Keep the click going and make sure you are counting.  As you play this, also take care to make sure the bass drum is exactly in the gap and you are not swinging the bass drum.  If you are counting the full 16ths this should happen naturally.

2b) As with 1, we add the backbeat in the second part of 2.  Make sure you focus on keeping the hihat smooth and uninterrupted.  Many students want to put the hihat on the “e” of 2 and 4 because your brain is used to following a snare with a hihat.

3) In this example we switch between 1b and 2b.  Try and focus on the hands part as this is the same for both bars.  We are simply shifting the bass drum along a 16th.  Also take car when looping the two bars as you get two 16th note bass drums back to back.

4) This is a shortened version of 3.  Instead of switching every bar, we change it up every 1/4 note.  Not only is this a good exercise, it’s a cool sounding groove as well.

Hope you had some fun with those and it makes some of the recent bass drum heavy exercises a little easier. Out of all of them, number 3 is the one to focus on.  It will really help you to increase the tempo and accuracy of your bass drums.

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About the Author

Wil Wainwright Wil Wainwright has been a student of the drums for well over 20 years and a teacher for over 10, starting his musical journey in the early ‘90s. He has been a part of many bands over the years ranging from Punk, through Rock, Prog, Math-Core, Math-Rock, Metal, Pop and Electronica. Although he is an accomplished performer, teaching is where his real passion lies. He now teaches at various schools and colleges in the UK including prestigious institutions like Ardingly College as well as smaller primary schools. Wil also does a lot of private tuition, really focusing on getting students to be the best versions of themselves possible. He proudly plays Istanbul Mehmet Cymbals both on his teaching set ups and also on his live and studio kits because “They just sound right!”

Istanbul Mehmet Cymbals

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