BY STEWART JEAN, ANA BARREIRO, AND JEFF BOWDERS | FROM THE FALL 2019 ISSUE OF DRUM!
The term “pop,” first used in the 1950s in reference to “popular” music, can be applied to many styles. Back then, of course, music on the radio was not as vast and genre-spanning as it is today. We can now better define pop music mostly as dance, moderate rock, and R&B. From a drummer’s perspective, pop often uses a four-on-the-floor bass drum pattern with a backbeat on 2 and 4. With this, there are endless patterns that can be played on the ride or hi-hats to shape the groove for each song. It is essential for drummers to be able to play, with ease, the basic and advanced patterns that are appropriate to this style of music. The first seven of these exercises are crucial for all drummers to master in order to lock into all pop grooves without compromising the integrity of the kick and snare. Exs. 8–9 expand this concept to further develop creativity and musicality. For those, use two hands on the hi-hat, playing continuous sixteenths and accenting the written pattern.
- First, play all patterns with one hand on the ride or hi-hat between 60–90 bpm
- Second, play all patterns with two hands on the hi-hat between 90–150 bpm