Category Archives: Jazz Drumming

My thoughts on jazz drumming as well as online lessons which will be included in a drum method book eventually.

Syncopation Studies

This is my first drumming post. As an introduction to this forum, I would like to share some of my thoughts on how we can develop a more melodic sensibility while also improving our technical ability on the drum set. A strong command of the rudiments is essential to being able to play musically. This approach was an attempt to accomplish strong and useful chops in a fun and creative way. I’m hoping you find the exercises enjoyable as well!

The following PDF is the first block of exercises I created using the book, Syncopation by Ted Reed. You will see that I have written out numerous four bar phrases which share the same syncopated figure. The rolls that connect the rhythms are of different speeds and densities. You can look at them as a diverse palette of colors and shades you can use to augment any given syncopated figure.

It is a melodic approach to drumming which will allow you to command a much more musical grasp on these pots and pans we call the drums.

Download the following pdf to begin your journey and remember to be patient with yourself while learning them. More important than playing them exactly right, you should begin to see the patterns and the ways in which a simple syncopated figure can be expanded upon.

Syncopation – Snare Drum Studies – PDF Download

Once you have mastered these exercises the idea is that you would apply them to to pages 38 through 45 of the Syncopation book. Each exercise should be memorized and thought of as a key which you can apply as you sight read through your Syncopation studies. Hopefully as you look at the examples you will begin to see the logic in this. Feel free to ask questions should they come up. Audio examples will be added soon too I promise!

For the Drumset
The next set of exercises is essentially the same concepts expanded to include the snare and bass drum together. These are hard but fun and I think will provide you with a sense of what is possible. My hope is that you will take these ideas and create much hipper phrases and concepts to use in whatever style of music you like to play.

Syncopation Studies for the Drumset – PDF Download