Hand / Foot. It's the Secret Sauce that drummers in the know use to Blow Stuff Up.

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Hand/Foot Combinations for Drum Set: Exercises on PDF

One of the most powerful things you can learn as a drum set player is how to combine your hands and feet (note that “feet” usually means bass drum) to create fills and soloing vocabulary. There are a few reasons for my assertion of the importance and power of learning this. One is that it really “super-charges” your vocabulary. When you are adept at combining your hands and feet, the possibilities are endless and many of those possibilities sound massive. This kind of coordination allows you to do things that you simply could not do otherwise.  

Another reason this has power is because it will make you stand out as a drummer. I’ve noticed that–except at the professional level–not that many drummers are good at this coordination and therefore can’t execute this kind of playing. This could be good news for you if you are willing to do some of the hard work that others are too lazy to do. If you want to be thought of as one of those few special drummers with superior finesse and power, all you really have to is to learn how to play and appropriately use this kind of vocabulary. 

On this page there are a few choice ideas to explore in this realm but please note that this is just the tip of the iceberg. There are many more examples of mixing your hands and feet together in the massive amount of PDFs that you’ll find in the “Nasty Licks Series” page which is located here: VISIT THE NASTY LICKS PAGE

And now, without further delay, here are some great PDF worksheets to explore the marvelous world of hand/foot for drum set. Just click on the bolded red titles to go to the PDFs:

  • Dave Weckl’s Ten Triplet Ideas   This worksheet is based on ideas that Weckl talks about in his “Back to Basics” Video from 1988. It has been said that this video is kind of the origin of Gospel Chops…some of those who are fluent in the GC style of playing have talked about how the “Back to Basics” video was foundational for this approach.  You couldn’t do much better than this PDF for a beginning to these concepts.
  • 12 Double Bass Drum Hand/Foot Triplet Exercises   This is related to the Weckl worksheet, but it goes a little more sideways with some more uncommon phrases. Still foundational to understand.
  • Fours, Sixes and Eights as 32nd Notes  These are some of the basic building block ideas of hand/foot playing.
  • Explorations with Lesson 19 Part 1  This is a nod to my friend and teacher Dave DiCenso. If you know his teaching, you may recognize the pattern used on this worksheet. It’s from “Lesson 19” in his book, Rhythm and Drumming Demystified.  But it’s been “messed with.” 
  • Five Note 16th Note Pattern   For me, this has become a staple of my playing, but if you’re new to hand/foot, you’ll definitely want to dig into this. 
  • The Rock Drumming Six   This phrase can be used in so many ways. But if you want to get started with it, this is the worksheet to download.

Ever felt like a "Deer in the Headlights" when it's time to play a fill?

If so, you’re not alone. Hundreds of beginners have overcome the “deer in the headlights” feeling of knowing it’s time to play a fill but not having any idea what they should play that will be appropriate and sound great.  If knowing what to play when it’s “fill time” makes you anxious, this is the answer. It’s Pro Sounding Drum Fills for Beginners, and it’s one of our best-selling video courses.

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