Linear drumming (playing only one drum or cymbal at a time) can give your playing a funky, syncopated feel. The following is a basic linear pattern that we will expand upon. Once you feel you have these down, experiment with them to come up with your own. Let’s start with two measures of a basic linear beat.
Now let’s vary the two measures
and then move some notes to the toms.
And finally, once you have this down, let’s add some accents to the last two to make them more interesting. (You can also think of this as a 2 measure 16th note phrase.)
You can make any drumbeat linear by orchestrating the notes one at a time as we did with the first beat at the top of the page. In the next lesson, we will build our linear vocabulary with 16th note variations.