BY JOE SMYTH | FROM DRUM MAGAZINE’S APRIL 2018 ISSUE
This month I want to share a concept I call weighting the cymbal hand. By weighting, I’m referring to putting weight or accents on different notes to change the groove.
Ex. 1 shows an unweighted groove as a starting point.
If anything, many drummers tend to weight their right hand unconsciously, accenting the hi-hat (or ride cymbal) along with the snare drum backbeats on 2 and 4 (Ex. 2).
Try accenting each quarter-note equally, which can help drive a mid-tempo song or a ballad at a faster tempo (Ex. 3).
Accenting the &’s (the upbeat of an eighth-note) can give you a quasi-double time feel (Ex. 4). Playing these accents on the body or the bell of the ride cymbal works well.
Finally, in Ex. 5, weighting every eighth-note equally (think downstroke on each note) with the right hand will give you a hard-driving groove, especially if played on a half-open hi-hat or a crash cymbal.
When playing your favorite grooves, experiment with weighting your cymbal hand and enjoy the new places this concept will take you.
Joe Smyth is a founding member of the award-winning Sawyer Brown band, touring the world for the past 37 years. He also teaches drums and percussion at Brentwood Academy in Nashville, Tennessee.