"The method is to maintain a common ride pattern with the right hand, while systematically working through the common possibilities with your left hand.."

A New Kind of Rock Drumming Independence Part 1

If you’re looking for something interesting and new to work on in the new year, you’ve come to the right place. Today we’re going to dig into a new independence idea that I’ve seen Dave DiCenso use in some of his solos. If you don’t know about him, you have to check him out. I’m a big fan of his drumming.

Dave sometimes plays a pattern between his left foot and right hand that creates a very different kind of 16th note feel. The pattern is this:

The method is to maintain a common ride pattern with the right hand (here, the jazz ride cymbal pattern in a sixteenth note form), while systematically working through the common possibilities with your left hand.

Try it out….it’s hard work, but the pay off is big. A little further down the road, I’ll post some of the musical patterns you can play off the top of your head once you’ve locked down this independence concept.

Have fun, and please feel free to comment or ask questions.

See? Each idea you want to work on in your independence development needs to be worked on in this manner.

Start out just working on the ostinato between your right hand and left foot. Play it slowly with a metronome and count out loud. First, count all the 16th notes, but eventually, you should move onto just counting the quarter notes out loud. You really need to understand “where you are” which is why the counting the quarters will serve you well.

A couple of thoughts on orchestration are in order. Right hand on the ride and left foot on the hi-hat sounds great, but I’ve experimented with playing a second closed hi-hat with my right hand and I like the way that sounds too. You can also just play your main hi-hat with your right hand. The combination of the left foot on every third 16th note and the right hand with two notes in-between will produce yet another different sounding ostinato with an open hi-hat sound that moves around the bar.

To begin working gaining independence here, I thought working on simple rock beats and moving on to funkier stuff would be the way to go. That’s what we do on the worksheet, which you can download as a PDF here: A New Kind of Rock Independence, Part 1

There are only ten exercises on the worksheet and I move them pretty quickly from simple to more complicated. In particular the last two exercises are really hard. But I did this in order to give you an overview of what you might consider doing with this idea.

Much more to come! Have at it and let me know how it goes.


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