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EDS Lesson One  Building a rock groove (using quarter notes)

Developing three way co-ordination

Playing the bass drum

Playing the bass drum

To really understand quarter notes, we should use them to build a rock groove. To play a rock groove, we need to use three of our limbs. This is called three way co-ordination. Co-ordination needs to be developed in stages. The first stage is to count the four beats in the bar out loud and play the bass drum on beats 1 and 3.

For each exercise throughout the course you have multimedia clips. These will help you understand the exercises and give you an opportunity to play along with them as well. There are video and play along files, so you can see, hear and play along with the exercises.

Watch the video for the exercise first, so you can see what to do. You can then listen and play along to the MIDI file using your DrumXtractor.

NOTE: There are 4 clicks at the beginning of each exercise to count into the exercise.

Quarter Note Rest

Quarter Note Rest

This symbol is a ‘rest’. This particular rest is called a ‘quarter note rest’ and so it is telling you that there should be silence for one beat. There are marks in music notation which show where there should be sound (notes) and where there should be silence (rests). Rests will be studied in detail in Level 2 of the Essential Drum Skill course.

Exercise 1

Exercise 1
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The second stage requires you to play the snare drum on beats 2 and 4. Again, count out loud and, when you say "2" and "4", hit the snare drum.

Playing the snare drum

Playing the snare drum

Exercise 2

Exercise 2
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Now we are ready to develop two way co-ordination with the bass drum playing on beats 1 and 3, and the snare drum being played on beats 2 and 4.

Exercise 3

Exercise 3
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The third part of the process brings in the hi-hat. The hi-hat pattern requires you to play all four beats. So again, count "1, 2, 3, 4" and hit the hi-hat on each beat.

Playing the hi-hat with the cymbals closed

Playing the hi-hat with the cymbals closed

The exercises for the hi-hat require you to play the hi-hat cymbals with them closed together. You close the hi-hat by placing your foot on the hi-hat pedal and strike the cymbals with your drum stick. Watch the video clip before moving on to your first hi-hat exercise.

Video 1. Playing the hi-hat with the cymbals closed

Read the transcript of the video

Exercise 4

Exercise 4
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We need to be able to play all three voices together, i.e. the hi-hat, snare drum and bass drum. I would try building through two way co-ordination with the hi-hat firstly, before leaping in with the whole pattern.

Play the hi-hat on all four beats and try and bring the bass drum in underneath on beats 1 and 3.

Exercise 5

Exercise 5
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Playing the hi-hat with the snare drum.

Playing the hi-hat with the snare drum.

Now play the hi-hat with the snare drum. Leave the bass drum out for the moment.

Exercise 6

Exercise 6
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Next: Playing a rock groove