By Glen Sobel | From DRUM! Magazine’s December 2016 Issue

Let’s take some steps toward achieving a cool addition to your double bass repertoire. We’ll use the typical eighth/sixteenth-note double bass groove and blend in a three-stroke ruff before each backbeat.


Start with this basic rock shuffle pattern (Ex. 1).

Sobel-July-2016-Lessons_Ex2Now add the left foot to create a three-stroke ruff before beat 3 (Ex. 2).

Sobel-July-2016-Lessons_Ex3Sobel-July-2016-Lessons_Ex4In the next two examples we fill in more notes on the left foot (Exs. 3 and 4).


Finally, the pattern is complete. Pay attention to the fact that the bass drum never plays simultaneously with the snare and that the left foot follows the right after each snare note (Ex. 5).

Sobel-July-2016-Lessons_Ex6Ex. 6 shows the pattern written as double time.

Sobel-July-2016-Lessons_Ex7You can move the snares and three-stroke ruffs around to different places in the bar, as in Ex. 7.

We’ll expand on this concept in the next column.

Glen Sobel plays with Alice Cooper. Other credits include Paul Gilbert, Sixx: A.M., Richie Sambora, Orianthi, Tony MacAlpine, Cypress Hill, and Vivian Campbell. When in L.A., Glen plays sessions, teaches at Musician’s Institute, and does clinics for DW Drums, Sabian, and Regal Tip. For more, visit