BY STEWART JEAN
Triplets—you know you love them! Have you ever noticed they are harder to play consistently compared to eighth- and sixteenth-notes? This may have to do with the fact that when played hand-to-hand (RLR, LRL) the lead hand alternates on every downbeat.
If you have issues with your right foot not lining up with your left hand (flamming) as compared to your right foot with your right hand, then get to work on that right away. It is important for drummers to be as balanced as possible when playing and it is easy to look past the fundamentals when the laundry list of things to work on is ever growing.
Drumming balance fundamentals
- Consistency: Are you hitting the drum consistently from hand to hand? How good is your accuracy and note placement?
- Sound: Are you getting an even sound when moving from surface to surface?
- Limb calibration: Are there bad habits or balance issues when all four limbs are engaged?
- Time: Is your time feel flowing nicely when moving from surface to surface?
Take your time with the following exercises. There is no such thing as too slow! You will benefit most by practicing these exercises with patience. Go easy on yourself and you’ll avoid unnecessary frustration and defeated feelings.
- Are the crashes lining up perfectly with the bass drum?
- Are you over-lifting your foot off of the hi-hat?
- Are you leaning or losing control of your balance (even slightly) when moving from cymbal to cymbal or from snare to toms, etc.?
Stewart Jean is Program Chair for Drums at Musicians Institute in Hollywood, CA.